Waterfront 4 star camping on the Wild Atlantic Way
One of the most sought after camp sites in the country, Wave Crest is located just outside Caherdaniel on the Ring of Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way. For our family, the location is the biggest draw because it’s so close (10 minutes drive) to Derrynane beach, in our opinion the best beach in the country (more about Derrynane later).
Wave Crest occupies an elevated position along a rocky south-facing hill benefitting from glorious views of the Atlantic ocean as well as the majestic mountains of Kerry. Pitches are a mix of hard stands and grassy plots arranged in terraces, so they are very varied. Higher up perches have better views overlooking the expanse of ocean, or you may prefer to be more sheltered and closer to the water. Tent plots are mostly enclosed with natural cliff edges and vegetation.
So with location and gorgeous views covered, the other thing I love about Wave Crest is that it’s so well run. Spotlessly clean, great showers and laundry, proper shop on site – facilities are really good, but it’s not “overly organised” if you know what I mean. I find some camp sites can overdo the activities offered, curfew enforcement, tokens, lockers, kids clubs etc…. so it starts to feel busy and rulesy. A subjective thing that’s hard to explain – for me Wave Crest gets it just right.
This is a very popular camp site, plus it’s pretty remote, so you don’t want to run the risk of showing up without a reservation and no room at the inn.
If you want to get a spot here in the peak season summer months, you need to think about booking in the early Springtime. Enquire through the web site – if bookings aren’t open yet they will get back to you once they open. To confirm your booking, you will need to pay a deposit.
This summer (2023) we were a large group of 6 families, so we enquired early in January. We heard back individually around March/April that we’d secured a slot and it felt like winning the lottery!
Watch the Weather
As this is quite an exposed site on the west cost, you need to keep an eye on the weather forecast as it can get very windy. Especially if you’re tent camping. Just chat to the lady in reception who is super friendly and keeps abreast of weather news.
Wave Crest is located just outside the tiny village of Caherdaniel on the Ring of Kerry and Wild Atlantic Way on the Iveragh peninsula in County Kerry. It is 25 minutes from Waterville to the northwest and Sneem to the northeast.
Cork airport: 2 hours 25 minutes. Dublin airport: 5 hours
Hot showers (€1 for 5 minutes). Laundry (wash €2, dry €3) open 24 hours daily. Wash up room and microwave. Fridge/Freezer for ice packs only. Chemical disposal & grey water disposal. Picnic benches and covered outdoor seating area. Deli and shop. Playground and a small games room with table tennis table but no bats or balls. Tourist info office selling maps, books, camping and fishing supplies.
The Glaise Rinn onsite shop has a good array of supplies including freshly baked bread, meats, wine and a great deli serving sandwiches, rolls and my perennial favourite – a half cooked chicken. As in half of a fully cooked chicken! Very handy when arriving hungry or for picnics. They also sell swimming and camping gear, boogie boards, sun hats etc.
For bigger shops you’ll need to drive 25 minutes west to Waterville or east to Sneem.
- The Pompeii Pizza van at Wave Crest opens every evening during the summer and at weekends only in low season.
- The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel has an excellent and very varied menu including chowder, burgers, fresh fish, etc. Everything we tried was good.
- The Tea Rooms at Derrynane House do delish toasties, soup and home baked treats.
- O’Carroll’s Cove Seafood restaurant has a good reputation, haven’t tried it.
- Lots of restaurants to choose from in Sneem and Waterville (both 25 mins drive)
- Derrynane beach – an absolute must-do is spend a day (or twenty) here. It’s just bonkers beautiful. It’s three beaches in fact, all joined together and pristine clean. Two of them are sheltered and perfect for swimming, the other is ideal for surfing on a windy day.
- Follow the old ‘Mass Path’ from Derrynane Pier along rock-steps and through lush native woodland to Bealtra Pier.
- At low tide wander over to Abbey Island and visit the most picturesque cemetery in Ireland as well as the ruins of a former monastery.
- At high tide jump off the jetty or hire a kayak/SUP board and explore the many caves and little coves along the coast. Surf boards, kayaks etc can be rented at Derrynane Seasports who also run kids clubs during the summer.
- Within walking distance in the other direction is the beautiful sandy beach of Carroll’s Cove (also a restaurant and gastropub). Or for surfing beaches check out Ballinskelligs and Finian’s Bay.
- Check out a traditional music session at The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel village.
- Take a boat trip to spot basking sharks and dolphins with Skellig Coast Discovery
- Visit the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell at Derrynane House.
- If archaeology is you thing, visit the prehistoric Staigue Fort or the proud Ogham stone at Derrynane.