Here are just some of the activities we recommend on a trip to the Gap of Dunloe…
Walking & Hiking
Walking is one of the best ways to appreciate the sheer beauty of the Gap of Dunloe up close. Either park your car at Kate Kearney’s Cottage or take the Killarney Shuttle Bus from Killarney town. Start early in the day to make the most of the rugged mountain scenery with vistas opening on each side of dramatic cliff faces and pristine lakes. The entire route through the Gap is 14km, taking you between Purple Mountain and the McGillycuddy Reeks as far as the Upper Lake and Lord Brandon’s Cottage. From here, board one of the traditional open boats for an enchanting trip through the three Lakes of Killarney back to Ross Castle in Killarney.
Pony & Trap Rides
If you would prefer somebody (or something) else to do the walking, you can either hire a pony and ride on horseback or take a trip via pony & trap through the Gap of Dunloe. You’ll find the ponies for hire at the head of the Gap, just after Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Don’t worry if you’ve never been on a horse before: The horses have been doing this trip for years and don’t require any direction. Your only problem will be getting them to move if they find a nice patch of grass along the route!
If you are a rock climbing enthusiast, you probably know that the old red sandstone of the Gap of Dunloe offers the best inland rock climbing in Kerry. The two recorded crags on the east side of the Gap are called Céim and Bothán, but most climbing is on the northwest side of the valley. You can park at Brennan’s Leap or at the bridge and follow one of two paths running up to the west side of the valley. If you are not an experienced climber, be sure to use a qualified guide.