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Gap of Dunloe (Bearna an Choimín)
Gap of Dunloe (Bearna an Choimín)

Gap of Dunloe (Bearna an Choimín)

Gap of Dunloe National School Gap of Dunloe National School Gap of Dunloe National School Off the R562 Road To Killorglin,Killarney National Park, Killarney

The Basics

The pass can be traversed on foot, by bike, or by traditional jaunting cart (pony trap), and can be seen as part of guided and self-guided half- and full-day Gap of Dunloe tours from Killarney. The Gap of Dunloe is bookended by two pubs: at the south end is Lord Brandon’s Cottage, while Kate Kearney’s Cottage—supposedly named after a previous resident who poured out poitín (a traditional moonshine popular in Ireland) to parched travelers—is at the north end. Due to the narrowness of the road and the presence of walkers, sheep, and horses, driving is not advised. Private tours from other destinations along the Ring of Kerry, including Kenmare, Cahersiveen, and Sneem, can incorporate the Gap of Dunloe as well as Ross Castle in Killarney National Park.

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The Gap of Dunloe Full-Day Tour from Killarney
The Gap of Dunloe Full-Day Tour from Killarney
star-4.5
$46.86 per adult
Traveler Favorite
One of the best experiences I have had.
The walk is about 7 miles of fantastic views and a feeling of getting back to nature, the gap is such an idealic place, everyone should visit once to take in the atmosphere of this wonderful place x you can also use a jaunting car from the beginning of the gap. There is parking at the beginning of the gap at Kate Kearneys house. Brilliant day out.
Maria C, Aug 2019

Recent reviews from experiences in Killarney

star-4
Amazing trip
Gerard_M, Jul 2021
The Gap of Dunloe Full-Day Tour from Killarney
We had a great day out, the scenery was amazing and staff very helpful and friendly. Would have liked more information on the menu selection at the cafe near the boats as my wife is gluten intolerant however we always bring food with us. The boat trip was brilliant and very enjoyable especially after a 7 mile walk. The price was very reasonable for the trip.
star-4
Beautiful Lakes and Gap of Dunloe
Valerie, Jul 2021
The Gap of Dunloe Full-Day Tour from Killarney
Ben our Jarvey was brilliant as was our boat tour guide. Lots of fun facts and local legends and expert knowledge of the terrain. Hottest day of the year too, only downside was bus was incredibly hot, we asked for Aircon but the driver didn't seem to know how to operate it for the passengers. Beautiful, would recommend this trip to friends and family.
star-5
Amazing!
179debb, Oct 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
Schavonne was fun, informative, and we lived her pony Mickey Mouse. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide in the beautiful mountains and valley!
star-5
Don't Miss This
fred3660, Sep 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
Wonderful trip through the mountains and lakes. Mary was fun and informative. Even the most didn't dampen our enthusiasm.
star-5
Amazing
Q2636TQlindaj, Aug 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
This was by far the best experience we had in Ireland. Getting to be in Killarney national park was wonderful
star-4
Amazing way to experience The Gap of Dunloe!
Taylor F, Jul 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
My husband and I had an amazing time on the jaunting tour in the Gap of Dunloe - such a beautiful, magical Irish experience. The boat tour was also a great way to experience Killarney. One thing to consider - as a parent myself, I would not recommend the boat part of the tour for young children - as it ruins the experience for others. There were 2 small children on the boat that screamed and complained the entire time, and it was very distracting. Outside of that, we had an incredible time!
star-5
Take the tour!
Kyle_H, Jul 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
Excellent service. Excellent experience. Our guides were great and catered to our 4 and 2 year olds.
star-4
Breathtaking views and wonderful experience
Constance_V, Jul 2018
The Gap of Dunloe Full-Day Tour from Killarney
My adult daughter, husband and I did the Gap of Dunloe tour in June 2018. We were a little confused as to where we would meet the bus but found it without trouble. Bus left on time and driver was very friendly and accommodating. Arrived at Kate Kearny's cottage where you can either walk or hire a jaunting cart. We had already decided to hire jaunting cart since we are 65+. Be aware the walk is challenging...many steep hills to climb. It's doable since many people do it but you need to be in decent shape. The jaunting cart people descend on you as soon as you exit the bus so we didn't get to see the cottage (probably our fault for not allowing ourselves to be pushed). They told us the three of us could ride in the cart for 100 euros or find a fourth person to share the cost which we did. The man was very pleasant but he was a good sized man so it was very tight in the cart. If we did this tour again, I would rather stay with the 3 passengers and have a little more elbow room. The ride was just breathtaking scenery and we had a beautiful day. The Gap of Dunloe was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Our driver was nice but not very talkative. It bothered me a little that our horse had a runny nose and skinned knees (perhaps he needed a day off). The cart dropped us off at Lord Byron's where you could get lunch and refreshments and walk around the area until the boat arrived. The boat arrived at the scheduled time and the driver was very informative and friendly. Again, the beautiful day and views made the trip awesome. We were dropped off at Ross Castle where you catch the bus to return to Galway. We opted to hire a horse and buggy to take us back to town (not part of tour). We would definitely do this tour again with the changes I mentioned above. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
star-5
Gorgeous
Katie M, Jun 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
This tour was amazing. These were some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. One of my favorite parts of my trip to Ireland.
star-4
Rich experience
Terry_G, Sep 2018
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
Experience included a small boat ride up the lakes with a fun and funny local boat driver and a cart and pony over the gap with interesting stops along the way. We went in the direction starting from Ross Castle so had to get a cab ride there but on the way back at the end of the trip the driver stopped in Killarney, a short walk from our hotel. Actually enjoyed this more than the more popular Ring of Kerry. Recommend them both.
star-5
Amazing scenic experience
Ajay_B, Aug 2018
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
A fantastic experience, entire family including teens loved it, would recommend it to anyone visiting Ireland.
star-5
Views, and Travel Like a Victorian Adventurer
LizDitz, Jun 2019
The Gap of Dunloe Adventure Day Tour from Killarney
This was a lovely day out, and gives an excellent view of the Irish countryside. The views are astonishingly beautiful. The driver of our pony cart, Niamh, is the fourth generation in her family to drive tourists about, and had some good stories. The lunch stop is standard Irish sandwiches and soup but the cakes and pastry on offer were excellent. Then you get in a small (12 passenger) boat, and motor down the chain of lakes, back to Ross Castle. Our pilot was Dux, who is quite the character and story-teller. But even if you have a more reserved pilot, the views and being on the tranquil lakes is quite lovely. I say, "travel like a Victorian adventurer" because this trip has been ongoing since the 1880s, and is well worth your time.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • A one-way walk along the length of the pass, from Kate Kearney’s Cottage to Lord Brandon’s Cottage, typically takes about 2.5 hours.

  • Wear comfortable footwear and bring rain gear in case of showers.

  • Choose to end your tour on a high note by adding an optional boat ride across the Lakes of Killarney.

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How to Get There

To get to the Gap of Dunloe, follow the Ring of Kerry (N72) west from Killarney for about 4 miles (7 kilometers) before turning left onto the Gap Road. Free parking is available at Kate Kearney's. Organized tours allow visitors to walk, cycle, or travel by horse and cart along the whole length of the pass without having to double back to their car.

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Gap of Dunloe Tours from Killarney

Gap of Dunloe Tours from Killarney


When to Get There

The gap sees most footfall in July and August, when the parking lot at Kate Kearney’s often fills up by late morning. If you want a quieter experience, go in early morning or outside peak tourist season, either in spring or autumn.

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Tips for Crossing the Pass

Crossing the pass on foot requires a moderate level of physical fitness. If you don’t feel up to the full hike, simply turn back at the head of the gap. It’s also possible to take a jaunting car from Kate Kearney’s to Lord Brandon’s and walk back from there, or join an organized tour that includes pickup, either by bus or by boat, at the end of the route.

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