A Remarkable Irish Morning // Killarney, Ireland

A Remarkable Irish Morning // Killarney, Ireland

Without doubt, this was perhaps one of the most beautiful mornings of my life. And, thank goodness, I have pictures to prove it.

A few weeks ago Dan and I snuck off to Ireland for a long weekend in County Kerry. Planning out our trip, we were keen for adventure and Guinness. After quickly skimming through TripAdvisor I noted that kayaking on Lake Killarney was a popular, recommended activity so I reached out to Nathan at Outdoors Ireland for further information. He penciled Dan and I down for sunrise kayak tour with an invigorating meeting time of 6AM.Nathan provided us with extra warm wetsuits, a spiffy helmet (you know, just in case) and we scooted out into the black abyss of Lake Killarney. We quietly paddled as the bright, near-full moon cast our shadows on the deep blue water around us.

For a few minutes we gathered together, Nathan, Dan and I, holding one another’s kayaks and floated in the middle of one of the large coves. We watched the silhouettes of birds sweep by and listened to the raucous mating calls of the Sika deer, in the peak of their mating season, just at the water’s edge.

As the sun ever so slowly approached the horizon, we made our way across the lake to Innisfallen Island. Home to a monastery originally built in 640(!), over the centuries the island was inhabited by monks, lepers, students and even invading Vikings.

Once on shore, Nathan poured us cups of hot Earl Grey tea (my favorite) and broke us off pieces of chocolate. Our eyes already adjusted to the twilight, we roamed the island and explored the ruins of the monastery.

As the sun slowwwwly stretched it’s beams (like that?) Nathan called for us to slip back into our kayaks.

Back on the water, Nathan delved deeper into the history of the lake and Killarney National Park. The oldest park in all of Ireland, its 40 square miles were gift from the Muckross Estate back in 1932.

As we paddled, we could see mist rising from the warm lake into the cool air. The low-lying clouds that had once covered the nearby Purple Mountains began to lift, revealing the monstrous rocky terrain.

Time passed quickly as we made our way back to our starting point, near the impressive Ross Castle. The sun gleamed with an array of warm pastels, reflecting poetically off the water.

Easing our way back under the bridges towards our launch point, we were greeted by a large group of unyielding photographers (not pictured), all hoping to grab ‘the’ shot from the marvelous morning.

I felt sorry for them. They had missed it.

While they were dry-docked on land, our morning spent on the water provided the absolute best means for experiencing the unparalleled beauty of the lake.After pealing off our toasty wetsuits and bidding our farewells to Nathan, Dan and I set off to explore Β Ross Castle and the nearby Upper Lake.

Feeling a sense of urgency as the sun trudged it’s way in the sky, I skipped down to the boat moorings to investigate the scene.

Navigating towards the light, I followed an overgrown path towards the Upper Lake, arriving at a stunning clearing, bathed in warm light.

There’s nothing more beautiful than nature, is there?

Turning back, I meandered past the boats and made my way to Ross Castle.

The Purple Mountains, not wanting to be upstaged by the Upper Lake retained their low-lying cloud cover. The lake mirrored the scene perfectly. It was remarkable.

After a shot with Dan using the self timer, we sauntered back to the car, silently marveling at the morning we had just had.

Sometimes I can articulate the experience, and sometimes words just don’t do it justice. Our morning on Lake Killarney was magical, and one we will never forget.

One day, I hope you get the chance to have an experience like this one.

Cheers to Nathan and the Outdoors Ireland team for an incredible experience. If you’re heading to County Kerry be sure to give them a ring!

  • Oh Ireland, isn’t is magical!?!? And I love mornings like this when you’re traveling, they are pure magic!

  • Pure magic!! I certainly love small group excusions such as this! Love!!

  • Just stop! You make me hate my life that I can’t be on all these adventures with you. I fell in love with Ireland (Dublin specifically) after a visit during Christmas 2012 (with my ex). I hope to explore the rest of Ireland one day.

  • I am quite literally speechless.Your photos are phenomenal. This is officially going on my bucket list!

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  • Your pictures are absolutely incredible!

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  • Gosh this is all too beautiful. I need to get me to Ireland right now. Amazing pictures!

  • Oh Nina, you are invited to join me ANY time. πŸ˜€ I’m sure you will return Ireland (sans the ex) someday soon and will love it even more.

  • Darci, thank you! I really appreciate your kind words about my photos. Makes my day! πŸ˜€

  • Thanks so much Kelly!

    Anddd… sorry about that pesky person that replied to you about working from home. No idea what that’s about but I deleted their spammy comment.

  • Thanks so much dear! Yes, add Ireland to your list! Friendly people, amazing Guinness (seriously, just so much better than it is in the States) and, well, places like Lake Killarney. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much dear! It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from you too! πŸ™‚

  • Amen! Magical is the best word to describe it. πŸ˜€

  • These pictures are awe-inspiring. I feel like I can just close my eyes and pretend I’m there!


  • Wow, beautiful photos! Breath-taking! Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  • When we visited Ireland we couldn’t visit Ross Castle because the road was completely flooded out when the lakes had jumped their banks. So looking forward to getting a chance to visit, and now I’ll add kayaking the lake to my list.

  • I see I’m not the first to comment on your photos, but I’ll say it anyway. They’re stunning! What a breathtaking area you were in. Were you not worried about getting your camera wet while kayaking? I’m always so chicken in situations like that, and then I resort to bringing my small point and shoot.

  • Wow! All of your photos are so magical. The island with the ruins that you got to visit and Ross Castle both look beautiful and mystical. It looks like you got a perfect morning for your adventure. I will definitely check out Outdoors Ireland when I finally get around to visiting Ireland. πŸ™‚

  • Your photos are simply stunning! I never considered kayaking in Ireland, but now it’s on the must-do list!

  • AMAZING!! This was one of my fav places in Ireland. Your pictures are breath taking. What a special morning!

  • Some many lovely photos!! Absolutely worth a 6am start! Although, the red oar is so so bright in one photo it’s the perfect contrast to the water. I have heard so many good things about Ireland and how beautiful it is. I’d love to visit and explore some time.

  • These shots are amazing. Wow, just wow! I hope I can experience this as well!

  • Amazing!! Just speculator, I’m so jealous! I really want to make it to Ireland one day.

  • Gorgeous! These pictures don’t even look real!

  • wow, this is breathtaking! definitely worth waking up early for πŸ™‚ I took a photography workshop once where we woke up to shoot the sunrise over a lake [in Michigan though, not so cool as Ireland!]

  • What an experience!!! Your tunnel/bridge pictures are so great! And the sun streaming over the water, absolutely gorgeous. I love that golden light. I can see this being an absolute must when going to Ireland!

  • Absolutely breathtaking! We’d love to get this in the diary!

  • Oh my goodness, these photos are unbelievable!! Your sunrise boating adventure looked like a once-in-a-lifetime experience – thank you for sharing!

  • Amazing photos! x

  • What stunning photographs! I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite, there were so many here I loved.


  • What an amazing experience for u! Way to be gutsy taking pics on the kayak!

  • Thanks so much Robert. That really makes me feel good. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, dear! Glad you enjoyed them! πŸ˜€

  • Thanks so much, Sara! So happy you enjoyed the post!

  • Jessica, thank you! It means a lot that you enjoyed the post! I certainly do hope you hop over to Kerry someday soon – you guys would love it!

  • Thanks so much love! All your kind comments mean the world to me! I agree, the sunrise tour is definitely a must. πŸ˜€

  • Ha, thanks Mar. I promise, I took them myself! πŸ˜€

  • Oh, I bet that was a ton of fun! I’m dying to take a workshop like that. And, although it may lack leprechauns and Guinness, Lake Michigan is absolutely beautiful. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much dear! Yes, yes, yes to going to Ireland someday soon. Dan and I were blown away with just how beautiful it is and the people are just fantastic – so friendly and cheerful!

  • Thanks so much Christy! Glad you enjoyed them! I definitely hope you get a chance to experience this firsthand as well! πŸ˜€

  • Ahh, thanks Chrissy! I really appreciate your sweet comments, it means the world! πŸ˜€

  • Thanks, dear! I really appreciate the kind words! It’s interesting you pointed out the photo with the red oar – that was one of my Mom’s favorites as well. I agree, the contrast is just to nice against the moodiness of the lake.

  • Thanks, love! You’re always SO sweet. Your kind words really mean a lot. πŸ™‚

  • Ah, Christine, you nailed it! My goal is for everyone to take the trip with me so your comment is exactly what I’m going for. So glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

  • Yay for going back! Nay for the road being flooded the last time you were there. Yikes!

    During our visit absolutely everyone kept commenting about our good fortune with the weather. We barely saw a drop of rain, it was remarkable. Well, now I just sound like I’m bragging… sorry. I guess my point is, we definitely got lucky. πŸ™‚

  • Ha, that’s the first thing my sister said after looking at these pictures. As you probably saw, I was chicken during the first half of the trip and didn’t take my camera out until we reached the island. As the sun was rising I couldn’t help myself and, against Nathan’s advice, I kept my big DSLR on my lap, under the skirt of the kayak, for the remainder of the trip. Fortunately we couldn’t have had more calm weather so I didn’t have to worry about it being bounced out of the kayak. I’m definitely rough on my camera but it appears to be holding up well (I hope). πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much Beth! I enthusiastically agree, this is a must-do! πŸ˜€

  • Thanks so much Eva, ‘magical’ is definitely the appropriate word for describing the park! I can’t applaud Outdoors Ireland enough, they put on such a great tour! You’d really love it!

  • my dad and I took a workshop with Todd and Brad Reed [the guys who shoot the Pure Michigan billboards, if you know what that is.] I would highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in that area! http://toddandbradreed.com/lightbox/workshops.html

  • You’re welcome πŸ™‚ Well it’s safe to safe your mum has good taste in photos πŸ™‚

  • I’ve only spent less than 24 hours in Dublin, so seeing more of Ireland is in my plans! I’m hoping to make it over there sometime in May (so far ahh)

  • Wow these photos are amazing!!

    xx Cheyenne

  • This is just fantastic, Margo! Ireland has been my favorite country we’ve seen yet and you portray it so beautifully in your photos! I’m reading a book right now about photography and the author says, when it comes to landscapes the ONLY time to photograph is sunrise and sunset. I tend to agree – while this lake is surely still gorgeous mid-day, nothing beats the light in those early morning hours!

  • How beautiful!! I miss Ireland!

  • Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing the photos and that special Irish morning!

  • Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking.

  • That mountain looks lovely!

  • I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and I have been very happy to have found it. But seriously after this post, I can honestly say that this is now one of my favorite blogs (I follow over 60 smh). The pictures were outstanding and I love that you create doable, out of the ordinary itineraries for trips. Thank you for having such an awesome blog! I will definitely scour your blog the next time I go to Europe! Thank you!! :]

  • HandLuggageOnly

    I remember reading this post shortly after you put it up! Such stunning photos!!!

  • This looks and sounds incredible, I am planning a trip to Ireland and I will have to check out this tour, thank you!