A trip to the Gap of Dunloe makes for a unique day out in Killarney. Kate Kearney's Cottage, a country pub with an abundance of charm is the starting point for your voyage through the Gap of Dunloe. Enjoy an Irish coffee before departing for a journey through this mountain pass rugged glacial features. For a more leisurely journey enjoy a jaunting car ride, where you will hear the legends and tall tales of the area from your local guide. Alternatively you can ride your own pony over the gap or enjoy a day long hike! Geological features will surround you as you enter into this beautiful valley, you will see first hand the battle that occured between the great forces of glaciers from the north as they clashed with these immovable mountains. The Purple Mountains lie on one side of the valley with The MacGillycuddy Reeks, which bear the scars of the struggle, dominating the other. From the top of the pass you are treated to your first glimpse of the Black Valley, so called because it remained untouched by modern technology until the early seventies. The Black Valley was the very last place in Ireland to receive electricity, in 1977. Telephones weren't available here until the 1990s!
Lord Brandon's Cottage lies at the other side of the Gap of Dunloe where a light lunch is served before you continue your adventure by boat. Prepare for awe-inspiring views of exhilarating beauty over the three famous Killarney Lakes. The encircling mountain slopes and woodlands are home to a fascinating array of wildlife, including Red deer, Sika deer, otters, badgers, foxes and hares, whilst hawks and majestic eagles hover overhead. The Old Weir Bridge links the middle and lower lakes and here the boats "shoot the rapids", stopping at the romantic Dinis Cottage for afternoon tea.
Lough Leane is the last of the lakes and here your journey becomes more serene before your final stop at the towering Ross Castle, where swans paddle peacefully. Once the stronghold of local chieftain O'Donoghue, legend has it he still emerges from the lake on his trusted steed each May Day at sunrise.
After your journey through the Gap of Dunloe, visit Kissane Mountain Sheep Farm where you can experience Sheep Dog Demonstrations, pet lambs, sheep shearing, beautiful walks and you might just find yourself adopting a sheep.