The Gap of Dunloe is one of these beautiful places that you just
can’t miss if you tour the Ring of Kerry. This breathtaking valley is
lined by rugged mountains on either side: the MacGillicuddy Reeks on the
western side and the Purple Mountain to the East. This valley formed by
the last ice age has 5 lakes fed by the river Loe.
A narrow pass road leads through the valley. Starting point for a
Gap of Dunloe tour is Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a traditional Irish Pub
and restaurant. This place comes with a long history of 150 years.
Famous Kate Kearney is said to have offered her strong home-brewed
poi-tin to visitors and guests.
Enjoy this short video about this stunning valley.
A Tour Along The Gap Of Dunloe
This beautiful mountain valley can be enjoyed on foot, by bike,
jaunting car or on horseback. Horses or jaunting cars are available near
Kate Kearney’s Cottage.
Special Tip: This place can be very busy and touristy during
the high season (June to September). If you would like to enjoy the
beauty of the valley with a bit more peace and quietness pick a nice
summers evening for this tour (if you don’t want to hire a pony trap or
How To Get There
This place is easy to find and well signposted. Follow the signs from the Ring of Kerry coming out of Killarney towards Killorglin. You can use this map for directions.
Hiking along the Gap is comfortable and easy. The narrow road
is well surfaced, but it can be busy with jaunting cars and horses. The
tour is about 11 km long and should take about 2.5 hours (don’t forget
that you also have to walk back!).
You can rent a bike in Killarney and do the 55 km loop
through the Gap, Black Valley and back to Killarney through the National
Park. This is a stunning tour that will lead through remote areas of
the Kerry mountains. You will need to bring some food and water. There
are some steep inclines so be prepared for some leg work!
Here is a map for this cycle tour:
Jaunting Car Or Horseback
Jaunting cars or horses are available from Kate Kearney’s Cottage. They take you on a tour along the valley. This is ideal if you are not so good on foot. You can also book a tour from Killarney that will bring you to Kate Kearney’s by coach. You can then do the Gap by pony and trap up to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. From there a boat will take you through the Killarney lakes back to Ross Castle. This unforgettable 5-hour trip is a great experience! Highly recommended!
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