Gap of Dunloe

Welcome to my blog post about the stunning Gap of Dunloe! If you’re seeking a breathtaking adventure in Ireland, look no further.

The Gap of Dunloe is in Killarney National Park and is a must-visit destination, filled with picturesque lakes, magnificent mountains, and hidden gems waiting to be explored.

Walking the Gap of Dunloe
Gap of Dunloe

Whether you prefer driving through scenic landscapes, embarking on a hiking adventure, or experiencing the area’s rich history through traditional modes of transportation, the Gap of Dunloe has something for everyone.

Join me as I delve into the beauty and excitement that awaits in this enchanting region.

Where is the Gap of Dunloe?

Exploring the Stunning Gap of Dunloe

This beautiful natural wonder is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and photography enthusiasts alike.

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Gap of Dunloe Lakes, which offers a tranquil setting surrounded by majestic mountains. The crystal-clear waters and serene atmosphere create a perfect environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Taking a Traditional Bus, Boat Tour & Jaunting Car of the Gap of Dunloe

This day trip is the perfect option for those who want a hassle-free way to explore the stunning landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the convenience of transportation and expert commentary from knowledgeable guides.

On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds as you explore the Gap of Dunloe by land and water. Hop on a comfortable bus and soak in the panoramic views of the countryside as you make your way to the starting point of the boat trip.

2 Small boats moored at Ross Castle
Boats moored at Ross Castle

Once you reach the starting point, you’ll board a traditional boat at Ross Castle. Admire the Lough Leane lake and surrounding mountains as you glide along the tranquil waters.

Throughout the boat tour, your knowledgeable guide will provide interesting commentary about the history, folklore, and natural wonders of the area.

Picture of 2 trees taller than the ruin of Innisfallen Abbey
Innisfallen Abbey

You will pass O’Donoghue’s prison, Mouse Island, Innisfallen Island, Tomies Mountain, and Dinis Cottage as you make your way under Brickeen Bridge towards Muckross Lake.

Once you reach the middle of the lake, take a moment to look back and admire the beautiful Muckross House.

Muckross House
Muckross House

Finally, you will continue your journey by going under the Old Weir Bridge. The boat driver may need to exit the boat near the shallow top and manually steer it.

Arriving at Lord Brandon’s Cottage (which is at the bottom of Black Valley) you can pick up some refreshments before you tackle the next part of the journey.

At the end of the boat trip, you will hop onto a 12km Jaunting Car ride to bring you through the Gap of Dunloe arriving at Kate Kearney’s Cottage (a craft shop & restaurant).

Kate Kearney's Cottage
Kate Kearney’s Cottage

As you traverse this scenic route, one of the highlights is the two wishing well stone bridges that you will encounter along the way.

One of these bridges is a picturesque stone structure that gracefully spans the River Loe between Coosaun Lough and Black Lake.

Its elegant design and tranquil surroundings make it a perfect spot for visitors to pause, make a wish, and take in the serene beauty of the landscape.

Beyond the bridges and scenic vistas, there are other noteworthy aspects of the Gap of Dunloe. The route is steeped in history and folklore, with tales of ancient settlements, mythical creatures, and heroic deeds. The landscape itself seems to echo these stories, adding an air of mystery and intrigue to the journey.

Additionally, wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to spot various species of birds and animals that call the Gap of Dunloe their home.

The area is known for its diverse ecosystem, providing a habitat for a range of flora and fauna. I encourage you to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of wildlife during the drive. So sit back, relax, and embark on a journey through nature’s masterpiece as you traverse the Gap of Dunloe.

At the end of the Pony & Trap Ride, you’ll hop back on the bus and be transported back to your starting point.

Driving Through the Scenic Gap of Dunloe

This iconic drive offers you the opportunity to witness stunning views of the stunning countryside from the comfort of your own car. As you navigate the narrow mountain pass, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and picturesque lakes.

One of the advantages of driving through the gap is the flexibility it offers. You can stop and admire the landscape at your own pace, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the area. Whether you want to take a leisurely drive or stop for a scenic picnic, the choice is yours.

Discovering the Gap of Dunloe on Foot

Lace up your walking shoes and get ready to explore the stunning landscape on foot. As you make your way through the gap, you’ll be surrounded by nature.

The Gap of Dunloe offers a variety of walking trails but is only suitable for a moderate level of fitness and experience.

As you traverse the trails, you’ll be rewarded with picturesque views of the lakes and mountains. Capture Instagram-worthy photos to share with your friends and family.

Biking Adventures in the Gap of Dunloe

Biking through the mesmerizing Gap of Dunloe is a must-do for any thrill-seeker. Strap on your helmet and get ready to conquer the scenic route and challenging terrains on two wheels.

As you pedal your way through the picturesque valley and mountains, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking views that will leave you in awe. Feel the rush of excitement as you navigate through the winding trails and experience the thrill of conquering each uphill climb.

Discovering the Gap of Dunloe by Jaunting Car

Experience the timeless charm of the Gap of Dunloe with a jaunting car ride to Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Sit back and relax as you journey through the stunning landscape, pulled by a traditional horse-drawn carriage.

Picture taken from Jarvey ride through Killarney Park
Jaunting Car ride through Killarney Park

The jaunting car ride to Kate Kearney’s Cottage is a unique and memorable way to immerse yourself in its beauty. As you travel along the winding roads, your guide will regale you with enchanting tales and folklore of the area.

Enjoy the leisurely pace of the jaunting car as you take in the breathtaking views and listen to the rhythmic clip-clop of the horse’s hooves. You will have to arrange your own way back to Killarney from Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

What to Pack for Your Gap of Dunloe Adventure?

  • Comfortable clothing: Choose breathable and lightweight clothing that allows freedom of movement. Layering is recommended to adjust to changing weather conditions.
  • Suitable footwear: Opt for sturdy and comfortable footwear such as hiking boots or walking shoes. Make sure they are broken in before your trip to avoid discomfort.
  • Camera or smartphone: Capture stunning landscapes and memorable moments with a camera or smartphone.
  • Snacks and water: It’s important to stay hydrated and refuel during your adventure.

Safety Tips for Visiting the Gap of Dunloe

When visiting the Gap of Dunloe, it’s important to prioritize your safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow designated trails and paths: Stick to the marked trails and paths to ensure your safety.
  • Walk on the right-hand side of the public road so you are facing oncoming traffic.
  • Check the weather forecast: The unpredictable Irish weather conditions can affect your experience, so dress accordingly and be prepared for changes in temperature, rain, or wind.
  • Be respectful of wildlife and habitat: The gap is home to various wildlife and natural habitats. Be mindful of your surroundings and respect the environment, ensuring that you don’t disturb or harm any of the flora or fauna.


The Gap of Dunloe is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Whether you choose to drive, walk, bike, or take a traditional bus and boat tour, there are endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this stunning landscape.

And with the convenience of transportation options like jaunting cars and boats, getting to Lord Brandon’s Cottage is an adventure in itself.

So, whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, the Gap of Dunloe in the Killarney National Park has something for everyone.