Things to do in Cappanalea


About 10 km south of Killorglin lies Cappanalea, or the National Centre for Outdoor Education and Training. The center is dedicated to personal development through adventure sports.

It has several trained and knowledgeable instructors who conduct a range of programs with varying activities for all levels of physical fitness and different interests.

Each of the programs is designed to help visitors identify and hone their skills as well as foster team building. Furthermore, these programs are developed to enhance learning through outdoor experiences and blend adventure with learning to promote personal development.

Even if you’re not quite the adrenaline junkie, Cappanalea offers a range of activities to keep you engaged and entertained.

Their activities are designed for all age groups and levels of physical fitness, right from the basics to more strenuous activities, such as rock climbing and bouldering (Teams are given a goal to move along the shoreline clinging onto rocks)


SUP: Stand Up Paddle Board

Man on a SUP
SUP Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Recently, Cappanalea has begun arranging SUP activities for visitors. As part of this activity, instructors guide you on how to safely paddle in Caragh Lake, assist in still water rescue, and understand the effect of wind and the tide while in the water. They even have an activity where you try yoga on the SUP.


Woman kayaking looking the mountains
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

When at Cappanalea, you can try your hand at sea kayaking, flat-water kayaking, and white-water kayaking. The instructors here are renowned paddlers, and the beautiful lakes and rivers around offer plenty of opportunities to try these activities.

Sea kayaking requires a certain level of skill, but as a beginner, you can try flat-water or white-water kayaking. They typically have a half-day of full activities, and you can advance to different lakes/rivers once you get the hang of it.


Canoe Polo
Image by Paul Henri Degrande from Pixabay

Cappanalea has a vast canoe fleet and qualified staff teaches beginners the ropes. They also offer a canoe camping experience, where you can set camp after a day of rowing. You can even learn canoe sailing or how to practice yoga while on a canoe.


small boat sailing
Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay

When in Cappanalea, you can acquire a new skill sailing. The instructors here are skilled at teaching sailing to even those who’ve never tried it before.

More importantly, there’s no age limit anyone and everyone can join their courses (level 1, 2, or 3) depending on the existing skill level. Sailing courses are held in June, July, and August weekday evenings and weekends for adults and weekdays for children.

Rock Climbing

Rock features are a common sight in Ireland, and thus, there are many venues where one can try rock climbing. With Cappanalea, you can try rock climbing at any of these features, depending on what best suits your physical fitness level.

The Gap of Dunloe
“Gap of Dunloe” Image by Paul Bates from Pixabay

Try abseiling at the Gap of Dunloe. The center provides all necessary gear and equipment for the activities.

Apart from these activities, they arrange sessions for Windsurfing, Hillwalking, Orienteering, Raft Building.

Summer Camps

Cappanalea offers a range of programs that club several of these activities together as one excursion. These are designed keeping in mind different fitness levels and interests to keep everyone in the group engaged.

Many activities are even clubbed under a program so visitors learn a specific skill. Some of these programs include the multi-activity program, hillwalking and rock climbing course, and kayaking and canoeing courses.

Cappanalea’s summer camps are extremely popular. The centre has been organizing these for 38 years, and each year, youth from all over Ireland head here to participate in an adventure program, where teams compete in a range of outdoor activities. Instructors oversee all activities to ensure they are conducted in a healthy and safe way.


Cappanalea ( only 33 km from Killarney) is an outdoor adventure centre that organizes a wide range of activities enjoyable for people of all age groups.

What’s more, you’re assured of qualified instructors who not only ensure you enjoy these activities while being safe, but are also very knowledgeable about many of these activities.

Moreover, the Cappanalea valley is set against a beautiful backdrop of rolling green hills and clear blue waters, so you’re bound to enjoy the scenery around even if you’re not quite into adventure sports.

While the centre guarantees fun for practically everyone, I most certainly recommend it for large groups, scouts, and families. They also cater to individuals as well.

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.

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