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.