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Best way to see Killarney National Park

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
12 posts
136 reviews
Best way to see Killarney National Park

Hi there. My husband and I are taking a trip to Ireland in the spring of next year. We have about 2 days to visit Killarney National Park/Gap of Dunloe and we are a little confused about the best way to explore the area! We are road tripping Ireland so we will have a car and can use that but many people told us about biking, horse carriages, and even boating through this area.

As I have never been before, I’d love to hear which way is the best experience and which way gives you lots of options to see things.

For background, my husband and I are both in our mid 20’s. Active people who love hiking and the outdoors! Thanks!

5 replies to this topic
Cork, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Cork
Level Contributor
4,172 posts
70 reviews
1. Re: Best way to see Killarney National Park

Personally, I would recommend hiring bikes, cycling to Ross Castle (get there before 10:30am), taking the boat to Lord Brandon's Lodge and cycling over the Gap of Dunloe and back to Killarney. It's mostly on quiet country roads, with only the stretch from Fossa back to Killarney (where there is a cycle lane) on a busy road.

The slower pace of the boat and cycling allows greater appreciation thanjust driving.

I'd try to make time to get out to Muckross and Ladies View separately though as it's not on that itinerary and is worth it.

You could build them into a cycle, but unless you are quite fit, Moll's Gap and the Gap of Dunloe on the same day is probably a bit too challenging.

Yellow Springs, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,867 posts
71 reviews
2. Re: Best way to see Killarney National Park

First of all, Irish National Parks are much different from the National Parks in the US. You won't find Visitor's Centers or a lot of organized information. This is not a slam against their system; it's just different.

I'd recommend that you do some of it on foot and some of it by bicycle and some of it by jaunting cars.

Torc Waterfall, Muckross Abbey and Muckross House would be easily done on foot. There is a lot of great walking in that area and it's all well-signposted and a great walk. There are a number of bike rental shops around Killarney and that's a great way to see the area. You can also pick up a jaunting car (horse drawn carriage) in the Killarney/Muckross area and see a lot of the Park that way.

I prefer to drive the Gap of Dunloe but you need to prepare to share the road with the jaunting cars who, right or wrong, claim the right of way. I usually go in from the south just down from Moll's Gap. I usually don't go all the way to Kate Kearney's Cottage but turn back at Lord Brandon's Cottage.

upstate NY
Level Contributor
137 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Best way to see Killarney National Park

I second the bike/boat route for Gap of Dunloe. You can also bike around the park and Muckross House, there is a one way path that is around 13 or 14 miles if you do the loop from town. (If you walk you can take the path in either direction, there is a nice tea house on the route) Both are very enjoyable.

I was able to bike up to the Gap via Kate Kearney's, return to Killarney and then do the Muckross Loop in a day...but only because I rented an E-bike. I'm 50 and really liked that extended capability, I'm lucky to do one of those routes with a regular bike.

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Seminyak
Level Contributor
5,848 posts
119 reviews
4. Re: Best way to see Killarney National Park

Ooh, like the sound of the e-bike and so will my husband as he'll be able to do the trip on a standard bike. Can you pls tell me where to hire one from? Thank you.

upstate NY
Level Contributor
137 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Best way to see Killarney National Park

Pretty sure it was Lyne's rent-a-bike. The location on google maps looks right, but not the name or web page. The picture of just 'rent-a-bike' up the road matches the place. but they don't show a web page.

Anyway, it was 30 Euro for a day. If you e-mail Lyne's, I'm sure they'll set you straight if google mislabeled something.

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