Killarney National Park, Lakes & Gap of Dunloe
Embark on an incredible Irish adventure with a unique 14-mile tour through County Kerry. Set out by open boat from Killarney National Park’s 15th-century Ross Castle, passing islands and beneath old stone bridges along the Lakes of Killarney. The Gap of Dunloe day tour is a journey which encompasses Killarney’s entire National Park. During the tour, passengers will see such sights as the Kate Kearney’s Cottage, the Gap of Dunloe, the Old Weir Bridge and Ross Castle. Walk the 2-hour trek through the Glaciated valley along a sealed narrow road, between two mountains and an abundance of deep quarry lakes.
- Boat trip through the 3 lakes of Killarney
- The gap of Dunloe walking trail
- Experience one of Irelands oldest tours
- Traverse through a rugged glaciated valley
- Navigate through The Lakes of Killarney with your boat man
- Discover protected habitat areas of Killarney National Park
- Capture exhilarating views stretching beyond the eye
- Experience the wild nature of Ireland
Your local Irish Guide
All transport around Killarney
Boat trip from Ross castle to the beginning of the trailhead
Get lost in your thoughts while walking your own pace along the Glaciated Valley
Explore the colourful town of Killarney
|Departure Point||Cork – 8.15am entrance to Castlewhite Appts on Western Rd, Cork – 8.00am the entrance to Dunnes Stores on Merchants Quay|
Our first stop of the day is at Ross Castle. From here you take the traditional open boats. You are then taken through the three Lakes of Killarney passing by Innisfallen Island, Bricin Bridge, Colleen Bawn Rock, Torc Mountain, Old Weir Bridge, The Meetings of The Waters just to mention a few. The boat journey is 14 miles long and takes approximately 2 hours.
Arriving at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, we take some time to enjoy some snacks and relax before the 2 hours trek through the famous glaciated valley.
Leave the modern world behind you and begin your journey into the Gap of Dunloe. The road slowly rises into the gap at first before settling into a familiar undulating pattern. The Gap is guarded on both sides by the magnificent McGillycuddy Reeks mountain range. To the west is Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil. Soon will we arrive at the base of Strickeen mountain. Strickeen is a popular walking route that has a well-defined path that zig zags its way to the summit. On a clear day, the views from Strickeen are well worth the effort of climbing to the top. It is also the location for one of the many spectacular stages of the Killarney Adventure Race.
Continuing through the gap, we meet one of the bridges that cross over the river Loe and the five lakes that it flows through. These glacial lakes are dotted throughout the Gap of Dunloe and the Black Valley. The formation of these ‘pater noster’ lakes are one of the many visible signs of Ice Age activity in the area. Watch out for great boulders perched precariously after being dropped unceremoniously as the glaciers melted. Abandonment from more recent times can be seen in some of the ruined homes from the Famine era. The rugged, remote nature of the Gap is a beautiful, scenic wonder but it must have been a difficult place to survive in famine ridden 19th century Ireland. As we approach the Head of the Gap, the road rises up steeply in a series of hairpin bends. If you’re using your own horse power, you’ll feel it on this stretch! The views back down the gap from here are magical so remember to look over your shoulder as you reach the top.
After the scenic walk, we will make our way to Killarney town for some free time to grab a bite to eat and maybe some delicious Murphys ice cream.
All good things must come to an end, we make our way back to our departure point, with our funny guides telling jokes and playing music along the way to keep you entertained.