Exploring the Gap of Dunloe & Lakes of Killarney in County Kerry
County Kerry is home to Killarney National Park whose skyline is dominated by the Macgillacuddy Reeks mountain range. This area is home to the Gap of Dunloe glacial valley, which attracts visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy a vigorous walk or cycle ride along its gruelling paths, whilst also taking in the scenery from the many viewing points available.
A tour through the Gap of Dunloe can be arranged on horseback or by pony and trap, before a boat ride takes visitors to Ross Castle, across the Killarney lakes. Ross Castle was built in the 15th century, but has since been restored to offer informative guided tours. Boat trips also take tourists out onto Lough Leane and Inisfallen Island where monastic ruins can be found that date back to the 6th and 13th centuries.
Killarney National Park is located in the southwest corner of Ireland, with its nearest town, Killarney, one of the Irelands most popular locations. Although small, the town and the areas flourishing tourism industry means that the population increases considerably during the summer months. Over one million visitors are estimated to flood in to Killarney every year, with many guests spending time within the National Park.
Central to the Park are the famous Lakes of Killarney, which cover about a quarter of the Parks total area. There are three lakes, the Upper Lake, Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, which occupy a broad valley that stretches south between the mountains. The Lough Leane is the closest lake to the town of Kilarney and is strewn with small islands.
A wooded cape separates the Lough Leane from the Muckross Lake. The Brickeen Bridge and the sub-tropical vegetation of Dinis Island lie at the tip of the Muckross Peninsula. A narrow straight, called the Long Range leads to the Upper Lake and is surrounded by vegetation and small islands.