For a driving tour of Ireland, County Kerry can't be beat. This is the Emerald Isle at its most scenic, and the area has been popular with tourists since the 1800s. Expect mist-shrouded mountains, ancient ruins and scenic peninsulas. In between are traditional villages and a string of comfortable mountain resorts.
The best place to arrange car hire in Kerry County is in Killarney, where the Killarney Avenue Hotel and the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa revel in old-world ambiance. Dominated by St Mary's Cathedral, Killarney lies on the banks of Lough Leane near the junction of the N72 and N22 motorways. A short drive along N71 leads to waterfalls and mountain vistas in Killarney National Park.
Kerry County has nine of the ten highest peaks in Ireland stashed in Macgillycuddy's Reeks Range, and you can admire them on a winding through the Gap of Dunloe. It's also worth setting aside a day to drive the Ring of Kerry, a 180-kilometre loop exploring the Iveragh Peninsula. It takes in Atlantic beaches backed by rugged cliffs and ruined medieval fortresses. Book a room in Sneem Hotel or Kenmare's Sheen Falls Lodge if you'd like to stick around for a day or two.
To the north-west is the Dingle Peninsula, where the rugged scenery mellows into meadows and rolling green hills. The pace of life mellows as well, especially in Dingle Town, with its charming pubs and trad music. Hotels in Dingle are quaint and comfortable.
Kerry and Cork Airports brings tourists to the region, with just as many shuttled in on tour buses. The M7 and M8 motorways lead in from Dublin (6 hours). Seeing the countryside by coach leaves a bit to be desired, so it's worth arranging County Kerry car rental.