KILLARNEY was developed as a resort on the doorstep of Ireland’s finest lakeland scenery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and has steadily grown as a tourist town since, busy, lively and easily accessible, with hundreds of places to stay in all price ranges. Backpackers are particularly well catered for, with an appealing selection of hostels and all manner of land- and water-borne tours available for those without their own transport. The town’s kiss-me-quick hedonism and souvenir shops are not to everyone’s taste, but the attraction of the place is still the same as three hundred years ago: beginning in the very heart of town, Killarney National Park encompasses three beautiful lakes, beyond which rise the splendid Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range. The only building of architectural interest in the town is Pugin’s elegant cathedral, but the national park shelters three diverse and very well preserved monuments, Ross Castle, Muckross Friary and Muckross House.
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