One of Kerry’s most popular tourist destinations, the Gap of Dunloe is one Killarney highlight that you will not want to miss. Formed twenty-five thousand years ago during Ireland’s last ice age, this glacial u-shaped valley which stretches 11 kilometres from Kate Kearney’s to Lord Brandon’s Cottage, holds the most awe-inspiring views in the South West of Ireland with an abundance of lookout points.
The narrow mountain pass which separates the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, in the west from the Purple Mountains in the east, is as steeped in history and folklore as it is in beauty. The name Dunloe, derived from the Irish term ‘Dún Lóich’ meaning fort or stronghold of Lóich, was said to be named after Mac Lóich, the father of five chieftains who conquered Ireland and divided the land into five provinces for his sons.
Legend also states that the famous Wishing Bridge, which sits between the first two lakes of the valley, Coosaun Lough and the Black Lake, makes all wishes which are made upon it come through. The scenery of the Gap of Dunloe and its neighbouring Black Valley are best experienced by the old traditional method of transport, pony and trap as well as cycling and walking.
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