Fun Things To Do In Ireland: Jaunting Cars in Killarney

Jaunting cars, Jarveys, horse-drawn carts -- no matter what you call it, there is nothing like a ride through Killarney National Park with a local on a horse-drawn cart. This traditional mode of transportation goes back many years, offering guests an historical look into Killarney but also the story-telling that goes with it -- only available from a Killarney Jarvey.

My first experience with a Jarvey was in 1994 when I was touring Killarney with some friends and we hired a Jarvey for an hour, taking us through Killarney National Park and giving us the history. The ride remains one of the highlights of my trip and I'm not sure if it was because it was my first trip to Ireland or my first time negotiating a horse-drawn cart ride... I can't tell you. The fact remains the jaunting cart ride was a highlight.

Fast forward to 2005 and I was hosting a bus tour and our driver was able to arrange a cruise on the Lakes of Killarney and then a jaunting cart ride for everyone. Not an easy task with a full tour bus and at the last minute.

After our lake cruise we were greeted with a row of Jarveys waiting for us. The drivers instructed us on how to board, 6 passengers facing each other in the back and two up front with the driver. I was able to sit upfront so I could take photos of everyone, the designated trip photographer I suppose.

Our trip was quite short but the driver entertained us and stopped a few times along the way so we could take photos. The weather wasn't great but you'll find that often in Ireland -- and the photos came out just fine, really showing the beauty despite the weather. We also had the chance to see some red-tailed deer just as we were finishing our ride.

So while the Jarveys are typically designed for tourists to see the park, it really is a great experience for anyone visiting Killarney. It's a chance to get away from the town a bit and see the beauty of Killarney

Recommended Jaunting Car & River Cruises in Killarney

Billy & Mark at +353 (0)87 2571492
Tel. +353 90064 33960
Fax +353 (0)6433960
Email: billytangney@vodafone.ie
Website: http://www.vacationkillarney.com/Jarvey.htm
  • Loading up the Jarveys for a ride through Killarney National Park.
  • 6 passengers in the back of each Jaunting Cart in Killarney.
  • Our Jaunting Cart ride started at Ross Castle, after a Lake Cruise.
  • Our Jaunting Cart driver entertained us the entire time.
  • While the day was dismal, the views were still gorgeous in Killarney National Park.
  • Another view of the Lakes of Killarney on our Jarvey ride.
  • We caught a glimpse of deer in Killarney National Park.
  • Continuing our journey through Killarney National Park via Jarvey.