If you are a keen explorer, this route is a great fun driving route. The route is not part of the WAW. But if you are on the Iveragh Peninsula, then it would be a shame not to see these passes over and through the mountains.
There are wonderful views here of the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil.
In fact, you will notice that many of the icons are blue on this route, indicating plenty of cool views.
But BEWARE: many of the roads are single-track with bends and limited passing points. So you need to be a competent driver to travel the Gap of Dunloe by car, and be able to reverse out of difficult situations.
During busy periods you may well get held up, and accidents do happen here.
The time estimate is based on an empty road. So be aware – it WILL take you longer!
Gap of Dunloe Map / Ballaghbeama Gap Map
Approx. 101km / 2 hrs 22 minutes driving time
Read: How to use the route files in Google Maps, before you download the route files.
Download the route map with ALL points of interest included here: Gap of Dunloe and Ballaghbeama Gap
Situated between the Iveragh and Beara Peninsulas, Kenmare is a great spot to start or end your adventure on the Wild Atlantic Way or the Ring of Kerry.
This crossroads, on the ring of Kerry, has a shop and cafe situated on the corner.
This is a good place to stop along the ring irrespective of which direction you are travelling. We once stopped for some very tasty scones there.
The views are spectacular from the cafe when the restaurant is open upstairs.
There is a good parking spot here to park your car and explore the Lough. Lovely views of the mountain behind the Lough.
A really beautiful road winding up through the mountains, between Blackwater and Glencar.
Some areas are very windy and mostly single-track, so you need to be aware of the passing places for traffic from the other direction.
I visited here out of season and there was not much traffic, but there was some and this does slow you down as you will need to pass at the passing spots.
Watch out for hikers, sheep, cyclists and other road users. This is not a road to be driving fast on, despite the temptation.
Lough Acoose View Point
A beautiful and serene lough with great views across to the unspoiled mountains.
Kate Kearney’s Cottage
A popular spot to stop for refreshments before (or after) tackling the Gap of Dunloe.
You can hire a jaunting car (horse and cart) here to travel the Gap of Dunloe.
It was very busy when I passed here late on a Sunday afternoon with people dressed up in their Sunday best, so I assume that they do a good roast dinner.
Wishing Bridge, Gap of Dunloe
There are a few stone bridges along this road which take you over the river that flows between the lakes.
This is the view from one of them looking over Black Lake.
View of Augher Lake
From this spot there is a great view to Augher Lake and back across an unmarked lake to another of the bridges.
Stone Bridge, Gap of Dunloe
Another of the stone bridges on the Gap of Dunloe.
Head of the Gap of Dunloe
The head of the gap of Dunloe is the highest point before the road descends to Kate Kearney’s Cottage in the North , or Black Valley to the South.
Watching the single-track road wind down into the valley is wonderful.
Make sure you look for passing places along the way for traffic coming in the other direction. Quite often in the summer, there are jaunting cars with tourists (horse and cart) touring the Gap. These will slow you down. You will need to be considerate of all other road users.
I drove this route anti-clockwise and think there were more cars going in the other direction, but I may be wrong.
Beware there will be sheep, walkers, cyclists and other cars on the road, so do not take this road if you are in a hurry to get somewhere. You will need to plan in some extra time for your journey.
Bridge in Black Valley
There is a pretty little bridge in the valley here crossing the river.
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Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Gav