The Gap of Dunloe was probably one of our favorite things we got to do while on our recent trip to Ireland. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and offers some crazy beautiful views.The gap is a 7 mile hike located in County Kerry in the wonderful Killarney national park. It starts at Kate Kearney's Cottage and ends at Lord Brandon's Cottage right by the black valley, and has long been a popular tourist attraction. For us, the best option of completing the gap was taking a small group "tour" to the start of the gap then hiking it. We decided to do this because the "tour" took care of getting us to the start, and at the end of the 7 mile stretch, took us on a canoe ride back through of of the lakes in Killarney national park over to Ross castle, where we met our small van which took us back to the hotel. If we didnt do this, we would have had to hike the 7 miles back through the gap again! When you get to the start of the gap you have the option of either driving (not reccamended, the street is VERY narrow and filled with hikers and horse drawn carriages. Driving would be more of a stress, as you would miss all the sites as the road isn't large enough for you to stop to take photos), walking, or trap and pony. The trap and pony can get a bit expensive as the drivers want 20 Euro cash each way per head, now that doesn't sound that bad but a lot of times what the drivers neglect to tell you is that each carriage fits 4 people and if you don't fill the carriage up, you may still be expected to pay for the empty seats... so all in all, that can come out to a total of 80 Euro for the pleasure of taking a horse drawn carriage about 15 miles.... as long as you have the means, use your legs, you'll love it!
Second to the Guinness brewery, the ring of kerry is is probably Irelands most popular tourist attraction. Basically, the ring is a beatuful 179 kilometer scenic drive around the Peninsula in county Kerry. It's very similar to The Road to Hana in Maui (see our Road to Hana story here), or driving the Pacific coast highway in California. There are many different stops along the ring, and also a couple variations. Our suggestion is that you leave your hotel, or B&B going counter clockwise. So to put this in reference, if your in Kenmare, head toward killarney, if your in Killarny, head AWAY from Muckross house and hit it on your way back. The reason we suggest a counter clockwise route is because the road can tend to be quite narrow in places and if your going against the grain of the large tour busses traversing the ring, you are gonna have a rough time. While this was a beautiful way to spend the day, you should be prepared to be gone for a good 8 hours, possibly more if you decide to take the car ferry to Valentia island as we did (driving the valentia ring is the easiest way to get a nice look at the skellings, and should add a good hour to 2 hours onto your trip). so if car sickness is something that bothers you, you may want to stay in killarney and get a EXCELLENT meal at Bricin boxty house instead.