Snaking through a glacier-carved valley in Ireland’s County Kerry, the narrow Gap of Dunloe is surrounded by pretty lakes and high mountain peaks. For hikers, cyclists, horse riders, and photo-seeking tourists, the mountain pass’s dramatic scenery makes it a must-visit. Here’s what you need to know about touring from Killarney.
Travel along the mountain pass on foot or by traditional jaunting car (pony and cart).
Marvel at the majestic peaks of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Purple Mountain, and Bull Mountain.
Pass by five scenic lakes along the winding pathway.
Pause at Wishing Bridge, a gray-stone arch bridge located around the halfway point of the pass.
Some tours from Killarney include a boat ride to or from the Gap of Dunloe via Gearhameen River.
Combine a trip to the Gap of Dunloe with a visit to nearby Killarney National Park to view sights such as Ross Castle, Muckross House, and the Lakes of Killarney.
Things to Know
The Gap of Dunloe is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Killarney town center. The drive takes about 30 minutes.
Gap of Dunloe tours from Killarney typically last between five and six hours.
The gap itself stretches for just under seven miles (11 kilometers), running between Kate Kearney’s Cottage at the north end to Lord Brandon’s Cottage at the south end. A one-way hike should take about 90 minutes.
The narrow road through the gap is paved, though it can be uneven in parts. Those who aren’t able to hike can opt to go by jaunting car instead.
Wear sensible shoes and layers, and bring a camera and water.