The picturesque village of Sneem is situated midway between Kenmare and Waterville on the northern side of Kenmare Bay on the Ring of Kerry. The village is immaculately kept with its traditional buildings, pubs, restaurants and craft shops, painted in an array of beautiful colours. It is a past winner of the “tidy towns of Ireland” competition. The Irish name for the town is “an tSnaidhm” which translates as “knot” and probably a reference to the winding Sneem river which flows through the village and into Kenmare bay. Sneem is set in idyllic walking country and also enjoys the mild currents of the Atlantic gulf stream which give rise to sub-tropical vegetation. It is the perfect location for relaxation, gathering ones thoughts and resting the mind. No hussle and bussle allowed here.
The holiday choice of the Rich and famous
Sneem has played host to a number of dignitaries over the years who have chosen to holiday in this beautiful village. The late Princess Grace of Monaco, also a film star, holidayed with her family in Parknasilla in 1961 while the late President Charles de Gaulle, of France holidayed in Parknasilla in the late 1960's.
Other visitors to the area over the years included President Chaim Herzog of Israel and the Dutch Royal Family. Of course our own ex-President of Ireland Cearhbaill O Dalaigh retired to Sneem in the late 1970's and is buried there.
Sneem Sculpture Park
Accessible all year round, the Sneem sculpture park is located outdoors just behind the village. If you are not into sculpture then you will walk right through the square and not even notice it. However if you enjoy sculpture then it's a very nice bonus. Amongst the exhibits are “the peaceful Panda” donated by the People's Republic of China, Arbor Chalybeia Immaculate (from Israel) and the Goddess Isis (from Egypt).
Also ocated in the square in Sneem are sculptures of former President of Ireland, Cearbhall Ó Dalaigh who lived in Sneem for many years and Steve “Crusher” Casey (World Champion wrestler 1938 to 1945).
The Garden of the Senses
A serene walkway down the banks of the Sneem river is the location for The Garden of the Senses. The gardens, while small, are awash with colours, fragrance and aromas. The gardens also include a bird island and a dedicated picnic and barbecue area.
If corals are your thing then one of only two coral beaches in Ireland can be found near Gleesk pier in Sneem.