We decided to stay in Killarney for 3 full days and nights and we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision. Killarney is an awesome town that apparently is pretty well known because it was very crowded and the prices for lodging reflected its popularity. I started researching lodging options at least a month ago. We finally had to settle on a 6 person dorm which is in a good area but it’s still a room with 6 people sleeping in it. Come to find out, that Monday was a bank holiday so that probably had something to do with it. But the town and the surrounding area is amazing, so prices will probably stay put. Here’s what we did while in Killarney.
Day 1 - When we arrived in Killarney we left immediately to hike The Gap of Dunloe. This was an AWESOME hike which is a narrow mountain pass that separates the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the west, from the Purple Mountain Group range in the east. There are a couple of ways to go about this hike. Unfortunately the morning shuttle had already left when we got there so we had to take an Uber to the starting point, which is Kate Kearney’s Cabin. From there we hiked along the only road through the pass. It’s impossible to get lost or confused. Apparently there is a hike that goes off the road that is classified as difficult, but we never saw an entrance. The road will go all the way to Brandon’s Cottage which is around 2 1/2 - 3 hours one way. From there you can take a boat back to Killarney or hike back the same way you came, which is what we did. We highly recommend this hike.
Day 2 - On our second day we got on a shuttle bus at 10:30 AM and drove the Ring of Kerry until we got back around 5:00 PM. We unfortunately did not have great weather on this trip but we were on a bus the whole time so the only thing it affected was some views and that is to be expected in Ireland. We also thoroughly enjoyed our tour guide who was 60+ years old and has lived in the area his whole life. He had so many great facts and stories to keep us entertained even when the views were affected by the weather.
When we returned from the tour we decided to go on a walk because our daily steps were embarrassingly low. Sometimes our favorite experiences are the ones that we stumble upon (didn’t read about in a blog) because it feels like we discovered it and that was the case with this hike. There were no people on this path and it took us to an INCREDIBLE view of the lakes at the base of the mountain range in the Killarney National Park. Plus there were at least 50+ deer.
Day 3 - Day 3 had rain in the forecast but we weren’t going to let that stop us! On Day 3 we set off early and made our way to the Torc waterfall and mountain. It took us about 2 hours to get to the waterfall and on the way we walked along Lough Lake and saw the Muckross mansion. After the waterfall we continued to Torc Mountain, which was another hour and a half of hiking. There’s not much to say except the views were awesome and we’ll let our pictures tell the story. In all we hiked almost 8 hours and 30,000+ steps so it’s a longer hike. But you can shorten it by starting at the car park and not from the middle of town.
If you are looking for a town that has a whole bunch of hiking and outdoor activities then it’s hard to beat Killarney.