Celebrate May the Fourth Festival at the Smugglers Inn in South Kerry

Are you a Star Wars fan looking for an exciting and unique way to celebrate May the Fourth this year? Look no further than the May the Fourth Festival in South Kerry! This annual event takes place in one of the most beautiful corners of Ireland, and offers a host of Star Wars-themed activities for fans of all ages. From costume contests to trivia challenges, there's something for everyone at this year’s festivities! The Smugglers Inn is located in a gorgeous coastal area of South Kerry, with breathtaking views of the sea and the mountains. Whether you're staying for the festival or just passing through, you'll find plenty to enjoy here at the Smuggler’s Inn! Our hotel offers Festival goers a comfortable stay with well-appointed rooms, unrivalled ocean views, and top-class on-site dining. Plus, the friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to help you plan your itinerary and make the most of your time in South Kerry! During the festival, the Smugglers Inn pulls out all the stops to create an unforgettable experience for guests. You can look forward to our fresh, locally sourced seafood created by our knock-out chefs, as well as easy access to the all the May the Fourth Festival activities just a short drive away. While you’re here, why not try exploring the area of South Kerry? There are plenty of activities to choose from, including hiking, biking, and kayaking all within easy reacch of the Smugglers Inn! So why not make this May the Fourth extra special by booking a weekend in the Smugglers Inn? Whether you're a die-hard Star Wars fan or just looking for an exciting adventure in South Kerry, this event is sure to please! Book your stay at the Smugglers Inn today and get ready to experience the magic of May the Fourth!

What to expect when cycling the Skellig Coast on the Wild Atlantic Way.

What to expect when cycling the Skellig Coast on the Wild Atlantic Way. If you want to see, feel and experience the beauty of South-West Kerry, there’s no better way to do that than cycle your way down the Skellig Coast Way. This route is more than 70 km long and it covers the entire Skellig coast part of the Wild Atlantic way. Too long for a bike ride? Don’t worry; you can still have a taste of the Skellig Coast on the Wild Atlantic way without completing the whole trail. In this blog post, we will guide you through some of the sites on cycling the Skellig Coast on the Wild Atlantic Way Kerry.     The Skellig Coast On The Wild Atlantic Way In Kerry Kerry is a county in Southwest Ireland and is part of the province of Munster. On the far western tip lies the Iveragh Peninsula home to the Skellig Coast. This region is home to the UNESCO World heritage site Skellig Michael, Megalithic monuments - Stone Forts & ancient Churches, Beautiful lakes such as Lough Curran and Specular beaches such as Derrynane, Waterville, Ballinskelligs & St. Finian’s Bay.   The Skellig Coast part of the Wild Atlantic Way is 70km long stretching from Cahersiveen to Caherdaniel. This section of the legendary cycling trail is considered to be the most beautiful because of the abundance of amazing, picturesque views and other activities you can do. Being part of the Wild Atlantic Way, a cycling loop was developed within the area and is called Skellig Ring Cycle. This ring intertwines with part of the Ring of Kerry route starting in Cahersiveen and ending in Caherdaniel. The cycling loop covers amazing places such as the villages of Portmagee, Valentia Island, St. Finian’s Bay, Ballinskelligs, Waterville and Caherdaniel, Scenic sites: Cromwell Point Valentia Lighthouse, Colourful Fishing Village Portmagee, spectacular Kerry Cliffs, Coomanaspic Pass, UNESCO site Skellig Michael viewing point, 12-century Ballinskelligs Abbey and the panoramic beaches of Derrynane & Caherdaniel.     Sights And Activities When Cycling The Skellig Coast On The Wild Atlantic Way Kerry The southern coast of the Iveragh peninsula is the start of the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry. Here you will find the Beara Peninsula on the left and the majestic Mcgillycuddy’s Reeks on the right. The mountain range includes 9 out of 10 of the tallest mountains in Ireland, including the highest Carrauntoohil. You will also find your way to Portmagee where you will find the departure point for Skellig Michael (Skellig Rock) and its 6th century monastic settlements, a UNIESCO World Heritage site. When you reach the coastal village of Portmagee, visit Valentia Island.   CAHERSIVEEN Cahersiveen is the gateway to the Skellig Coast and the birth place of the Liberator Daniel O'Connell. In the centre of the town you will find the most dominant feature the Daniel O'Connell memorial Church (the only church in Ireland to be named after a layperson. Other points of interest; the Royal Irish barricks 1870's, Ruins of Ballycarbery Castle, Megalithic stone forts Cahergall & Leacanabuaile & the old pilgrim path to Conac na dtobar marked by 14 stations of the cross leading up to an imposing celtic cross on the summit of the plateau...Rio de Janerio Christ the redeemer eat your heart out - 360° vista radiates over the Skellig islands, West Cork, Carrauntoohill, the Blasket islands and the Dingle Peninsula.  Just outside of Cahersiveen - Renard Point - a ride on Ferry can be taken to access Valentia Island alternatively take the N70 anf turn off right for the R565 Portmagee/ Valentia route.   VALENTIA Valentia is where you will find Cromwell Point Lighthouse built in 1841 on a 17th century fort and is in operation for 180 years. Another historic site to visit on Valentia Island is the Cable Station, first telegraph link (transatlantic cable) between Europe and Newfoundland, Canada can be found “The Birthplace of Global Telecommunications”. Follow the transatlantic cable route around the Island. Other points of interest, Bray head tower, Tetrapod trackway a monumentus turning point in evolution representing the transition of life from water to land, Glanleam garden & beach (Tropical garden built by the Knight of Kerry), Knightstown (developed in 1840's as a planned town/village by 18th Knight of Kerry featuring a Town clock & Royal Hotel named after Queen Victoria's son Prince Arthur.   WATERVILLE Don’t forget to visit the town of Waterville, a town nestled between the beautiful lake Lough Currane and the Wild Atlantic Ocean. Waterville know for it's beautiful Golf courses (Hog's Head Golf course / Hotel & Waterville Golf Links, waterfront promanade, megalithic tombs, Charlie Chaplin statue and of course home to the the legendary Mick O'Dywer. Lough Currane covers an area of 10 km2 and is home to Church Island the 6th century monastery founded by St. Fionán. The oak church (oratory) was replaced in the 12th century by a Romanesque stone building called a Clochán (beehive hut), some of which survives today. To access Church Island why not hire a kayak / paddle board - Sea Synergy provide a 2-hour kayak tour or paddle boarding on the lake. Certified instructors accompany you on this beautiful trip where you can enjoy unique views of the local landscape and biodiversity and savour the bliss of being on the water. No experience necessary, all equipment provided. https://www.seasynergy.org/   After visiting Lough Currane, take time to cycle back the Lake Road (quite but narrow ) to soak up views of the lake & listen to nature. Head southwest towards Hog’s Head golf clubhouse on the N70, turn off for the Lake Road on the left hand-side opposite the clubhouse. This 8 km cycle captures beautiful views of the lake & forestry. Looking for unique accommodation with only the sound of the oceans waves crashing to send you to sleep – Book the Smugglers Inn Boutique Accommodation & gourmet restaurant just 1.5 km from Waterville village; overlooking Ballinskelligs Bay and 200 meters from Waterville Golf Links. Smugglers Inn’s 15 bedroom guesthouse, sport storage facilities & 50+ seater restaurant overlooking the sandy beach of the Inny beach is the perfect location to base your stay on the Skellig Coast Way. Contacts T: +353 (0) 66 947 4330 or info@thesmugglersinn.ie.   DERRYNANE / CAHERDANIEL If beach views are more of your thing, you can stick to the coastal areas and travel the N70 southwest towards Caherdaniel / Derrynane or back on the Skellig Ring road towards Ballinskelligs / St.Finian’s bay, good places to visit to soak up the salt air. Derrynane beach is the Copacabana of Ireland, it’s protected, dune-backed beach soft, white sands & the ruins of a medieval church on Abbey Island. Why not take a splash to cool down in the crystal clear waters on this blue flagged beach.   BALLINSKELLIGS / ST. FINIAN'S BAY Ballinskelligs (R566 / R567) rests to the South West of the Peninsula. Overlooking McCarthy’s Castle & Ballinskellig Abbey, this Blue flag beach is one of the best kept secrets in south Kerry and is a favourite with families for many years. Reenroe beach adjacent to the Inny beach (Waterville Golf links) but separated by the Inny estuary is a 1.5 km beach due to its low gradient offers shallow waters for smaller swimmers and vast expanse of golden sand. St. Finian’s Bay in The Glen is well worth a visit, lies half way around the Skellig Ring and hosts fantastic views of Skellig Michael. The beach here is small and suitable for Surfing but be aware for the strong rip currents!   PORTMAGEE Continue your cycle on the R567 towards Portmagee – this part of the cycle will be the toughest, 2.5 km of Steep Mountain cycling averaging between 15% gradient (Max gradient 26%) which will really work those calves. It will be worth the climb when you reach the top of Coomanaspic the views from this incredable height is breathtaking Skellig Michael, The Blasket Island, Kerry Cliffs & the colourful Fishing village of Portmagee. Kerry Cliffs are just at the end of the mountain so make sure not to pass the entrance without stopping at "one of Ireland most spectacular Cliffs". Portmagee is the next port of call, named after the 1700's Theobald Magee Ireland's most notorious smuggling goods from France & Portugal. Here is the main departure point for trips to Skellig Island. A substantial meal is required after your trek – why not stop off in the Smugglers Café Portmagee to refuel and sample some of Head Chefs Henry Hunt’s gourmet food (Chowders, gourmet sandwiches, Fish n’chips, open seafood mix or some artisan coffee & cakes).   The Skellig Ring Coast is a great trail that every cyclist should consider. Lots of discovery you will find when you cycle in this portion of the Wild Atlantic Way with amazing landscapes and ocean views you can truly enjoy. To make your cycling more fun, don’t forget to visit ancient forts, Skellig Rock, lighthouses and watch towers. When you want to have some down time, take time to have a picnic at any of the sandy beaches you can find along the way.   Important Things to Consider Cycling around the Wild Atlantic Way in South West Kerry an absolute must. Before you plan out your trip to this part of the trail, there are some things consider first. •   There are some parts of the Atlantic Way in Kerry that have steep and narrow roads. These roads are more suitable for more experienced cyclists.   The Skellig Coast on the Wild Atlantic Way has a 70km stretch and can be done within a day if you’re up for the challenge. If you want it more relaxed, however, you can break your trip down into three days.   The Skellig Coast section of the Wild Atlantic Way can be busy in the middle of the year. To have the place virtually by yourself, plan your visit August onwards.   As they say, the Wild Atlantic Way on the Skellig Coast is the most rewarding part of the 2000km-long trail. If you happen to pass by the place, drop by at the Smugglers Café, Portmagee for the best coffee in Kerry or Smugglers Inn Boutique Guest House & Restaurant, Waterville for exquisite gourmet seafood, steaks & wines.


3 GENERATIONS OF CHEFS It's no wonder I became a chef, when there is a long line of classically trained French Chefs stretching back to my Great Grand-Uncles Frank Hunt. My Grand Uncle Frank Hunt was Executive chef (1957-1977) in the Hotel Leofric in Coventry, United Kingdom. It was at this acclaimed 5-star hotel, where my uncles Raymond Hunt & my father Harry Hunt trained as apprentice chefs under Frank's eye. The Hunt's had moved from Portland Street, North Dublin, Ireland like so many Irish families at that time to secure work.   For its been said, that Grand-Uncle Frank would have refused entry to the kitchen, if any chef arrived in the kitchen with a dirty uniform. He ran his kitchen like a military camp. He believed in cleaniness, good hygiene & a well groomed chef were key to good hygiene & food safety. Frank Hunt trained as a chef in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin back in the 1920's and following this enlisted as a cook based in North Africa from World War II.   Raymond & Harry continued their apprenticeship in the Hotel Leofric for 5 years until they set their sights on a bigger world. Paris France was the first destination for two young chefs who were eager to learn from the classical French Cusine. In the 1960's Raymond Hunt moved to Waterville follwowed shortly by his brother Harry. In the 1980's Raymond owned and operated the Huntsman Restaurant with his wife Deirdre Hunt overlooking Waterville village. Harry Hunt owned and operated the Smugglers Inn Guesthouse & restaurant with his wife Lucille Hunt, on the Cliff Road overlooking Ballinskelligs Bay & Waterville Golf Links.   The Smugglers Inn Guesthouse & Restaurant a long established business celebrated 40 years in business in 2020. Harry's son Henry worked along side his father in the kitchen at a young age took over the operations of the business in 2007. Henry worked with his Dad Harry for a number of years learning the ropes before attending Ballymaloe Cookery School and studying Hotel Management. He is widely experienced in International Cuisine having worked in The Smugglers Cove in The Grand Cayman, Bondi Beach Hotel in Sydney and in Surfers Paradise - a Greek Style Restaurant where Henry first came across one of his signature Ketafi Pastry dishes .   Henry has also worked in l'Ecrivan in Dublin, The Old School House in Ballsbridge and Halo Restaurant in The Morrison Hotel. He also has The Hilton in Switzerland, No Escapes in Chamonix and The Fat Duck with Heston Bloomenthal to add to his repertoire. So with the history behind The Smugglers Inn and the vast experience gained by Henry in the last few years it is no wonder that The Smugglers Inn is one of the top Seafood Restaurants in all of Ireland backed by Awards from Good Food Ireland, Yes Chef Ireland & Taste of Ireland and Georgina Campbell.

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