The Gap of Dunloe Killarney

The Gap of Dunloe is a very unique and iconic Killarney day trip. Your departure point is from Kate Kearney's Cottage a charming country pub where you can begin your adventure with an Irish coffee while choosing your mount to start your trek through this rugged glacial mountain pass. The more leisurely choice would be jaunting car, where the local guide will regale you with the legends and tall tales of the area. Or, choose to ride you own pony over the gap! As you venture into this beautiful valley, you'll be surrounded by geological evidence of the battle between the great forces of glaciers from the north as they clashed with these immovable mountains. The MacGillycuddy Reeks of Kerry dominate one side of the pass, bearing the scars of the struggle, with the Purple Mountains on the other. From the top of the pass you are treated to your first glimpse of the Black Valley, so called because it remained untouched by modern technology until the early seventies. The Black Valley was the very last place in Ireland to receive electricity, in 1977. Telephones weren't available here until the 1990s!

At Lord Brandon's Cottage, a light lunch is served before you continue your adventure by boat. Prepare for awe-inspiring views of exhilarating beauty over the three famous Killarney Lakes. The encircling mountain slopes and woodlands are home to a fascinating array of wildlife, including Red deer, Sika deer, otters, badgers, foxes and hares, whilst hawks and majestic eagles hover overhead. The Old Weir Bridge links the middle and lower lakes and here the boats "shoot the rapids", stopping at the romantic Dinis Cottage for afternoon tea.

Lough Leane is the last of the lakes and here your journey becomes more serene before your final stop at the towering Ross Castle, where swans paddle peacefully. Once the stronghold of local chieftain O'Donoghue, legend has it he still emerges from the lake on his trusted steed each May Day at sunrise. For further information don't hesitate to contact our Guest Services Manager, Mary MacMonagle, and her team via email at