One of the highlights of cycling around Killarney National Park is to take a round trip to the Gap of Dunloe. It’s not your average cycle route, but then Killarney National Park isn’t your average park.
The total cycling distance depends on which modes of travel you use. Go for the land route via the Muckross Estate and fabulous Torc Waterfall and you’ll clock up about 45km. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the last native Irish red deer that live in the area.
A less strenuous trip takes you through the native oak woodlands to the 14th Century Ross Castle. From the banks of Lough Leane wait for a ferry to spirit you and your bike through the lakes, passing Innisfallen Island and its 7th Century monastery. The boat travels into Muckross Lake and through the Meeting of the Waters. Then it’s up Long Range and into the Upper Lake where the boat stops at Lord Brandon’s Cottage.
After this, head up the Black Valley. It’s a steep climb but it’s worth it as when you reach the top it’s downhill almost all the way to Killarney.
Take your time though as this valley is known for its rugged beauty. The Gap of Dunloe was forged by an ancient glacier while Carrauntuohil - Ireland's highest mountain, overlooks it from afar. Don’t forget to stop at Kate Kearney’s Cottage for a well-earned pint or something to eat.
It’s another 12km back into Killarney on national roads. Here you’ll find all you need in terms of accommodation, restaurants and bars. Read more...