Self-guided hiking - Gap of Dunloe

Apr 23rd, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Self-guided hiking - Gap of Dunloe

My husband and I will be vacationing in Ireland next month. We will be based in Kenmare. We were going to spend one day hiking the Gap of Dunloe. We are not interested in a tour group. There does not appear to be too much info on doing this without a guide. From what I understand, it is a 7 mile hike, which should take us about 2 hours. We plan to park our car at Kate Kearney's Cottage, do the hike, and end up at Lord Brandon's Cottage for lunch. We then plan on taking the boat across the lakes to Ross Castle. I have a few questions that I hope I can have answered here:

I have found a couple references to the boat leaving for Ross Castle at around 2pm. Is this the only time the boat leaves? Where do I buy tickets and how much are they? Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can get back to our car at Kate Kearneys?

I promise to write a very detailed trip report when I get back and will promise to be very thorough on this topic! Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!!
knwolf is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 09:10 AM
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Pick up is in town center, Killarney -- we parked in the lot next to the Tourist Office -- and they bus you to kate Kearney's and pick you up at Ross Castle to return you to their office. The boat ticket is included.

It is basically just transport -- you are on your own through the Gap, but the boat operator DOES have a 'Tour Group' banter ...

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Alternatively, you could hire a bike. You can put your bike on the boat and enjoy some wonderful quiet country lanes. Here's a photo of my Spanish friend Mariola on a bike in the Gap of Dunloe.
JeremyinFrance is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 12:38 PM
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I second Bob's recommendation. The Deros tour isn't really a "tour" through the Gap - they just drop you off at Kate Kearney's. You hike to Lord Brandon's, eat lunch, and then the guide/boat operator picks you up and takes you to Ross Castle via the three lakes. He does do some "tour guide" stories, but I enjoyed it. (It's a small motorboat, or at least was when we did it - I think there were a max of ten people in our boat. Anything bigger wouldn't fit through some of the places we went!) Anyway, someone is waiting at Ross Castle to pick you up and take you back to town. I think our trip left at 10 or 10:30 and got back to town around 3:30 or 4:00. Much more convenient, I think, than messing with driving yourselves and getting back to your car.
jent103 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 05:49 AM
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Thanks for the great replies! I was expecting the tours to be "touristy", so it is great to know that they are not. I am also hesitant to book a tour because I am worried that we may get too tired of being busy and decide to stay in Kenmare to relax. It is nice to have that freedom. JeremyinFrance, thanks for the beautiful pictures! Looks like you had a great time. I had thought about biking, but 2 days after this trip we will be hiking Slea Head in Dingle. I was hoping to mix things up a bit =) Thanks again! PS- how do you do the smiley faces Bob?
knwolf is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 06:38 AM
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Type in these, without spaces
: - )
Ricardo_215 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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We just booked our tour the day before, and that was the first week of June (i.e., more tourists than your time frame). If you can resign yourself to that level of commitment, I think you'll be fine.

Oh - you can also do : ).
jent103 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Testing, 123 testing...
knwolf is offline  
Sep 12th, 2010, 04:28 PM
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knwolf, did you go to the Gap of Dunloe without a tour group? My husband and I will also have a rental car and want to avoid tour groups and buses.
lovetotravel427 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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lovetotravel, if you don't want to hike (or bike/ride the cart) the Gap twice, a "tour" is really your only option. As we said above, it's very very different than a big tour bus tour. It's not a circular trail; if you drive to one end, you have to cover the same ground twice to get back to it.
jent103 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2010, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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FWIW, my wife and I biked the Gap a few years back. It was one of the favorite parts of our trip, beautiful scenery.
The first third of route is pretty steep, but walking your bike just gives you more time to check out the rental is right next to tourism office. You also see a bit more as you keep biking past Kates' cottage back into Killarney.
bdokeefe is offline  

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