Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley Cycling Loop from Killarney, Kerry

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: August 28, 2012
  • Updated: December 12, 2017
Location: Kerry
  • DistanceInstructions
  • Distance73.65 km
  • Time0 s
  • Speed0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude17 m
  • Peak263 m
  • Climb774 m
  • Descent774 m

This is strenuous but rewarding 56km (3 to 4 hour) loop cycle taking in the world famous Gap of Dunloe, the remote and scenic Black Valley and the stunning views from Molls Gap, Killarney, Co Kerry and is considered one of the best and most scenic cycles in Ireland. Use our online map below and/or our free smartphone Apps to follow the entire route. All photos by Valerie O'Sullivan. 

If you don't have your own bike, start by renting a bike in Killarney Town. Some roads on this route may be quiet but be aware of traffic at all times. From the  town centre you can take road to Killorglin on the Ring of Kerry route. Alternatively you can take a more secni start by cycling into the National Park at any number of points around the town, including Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Leane. 

Ross Castle, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland

From here you can take the new cycle and walking path from Knockrear near the Cathedral all the way to the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club where you will rejoin the Killorglin Road, taking the first major left turn to the Gap of Dunloe. 

Aerial Cahernane Lough Lein, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland Valerie O'Sullivan

Take the turn off of the Gap of Dunloe and Kate Kearney's Cottage. If you wish you can stop here for refreshments at Kate Kearney's. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you cycle through the Gap of Dunloe.....there is no need to rush. The end of the Gap of Dunloe is fairly steep so it might be a challenge to stay on the bike...test yourself as many do during training sessions for the 180km Ring of Kerry Cycle. 

Turn Pike Gap of Dunloe

When you reach the Head of the Gap your first climb of the day is over and it's downhill for the next few km's into the remote Black Valley. As you can see below, from the Head of the Gap of Dunloe, there is a steep but exciting decent into the Black Valley so take care. Test your brakes because this downhill section can be as fast as you like it to be! It is a pleasant reward for the tough climb. 

Aerial view of the Head of the Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley, Kerry, Ireland

Continue down the hill and but do not take the road to Lord Brandon's Cottage (Cul De Sac) unless you want a detour for lunch and refreshments or you want to shorten your day and take the Famous Lake Boat Trip to Ross Castle (you can take your bike). Take the road to the right and continue into the Valley on the peaceful narrow roads, soaking up the wild nature of the hidden valleys beneath the MacGillyCuddy's Reek Mountains which surround you. 

Black Valley, Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland Valerie O'Sullivan

From here, continue for 7km along some of most remote, scenic and car free roads in Ireland. Its just one of the most peaceful cycles you will ever experience. After 7km turn left and head towards Molls Gap on a very steep but very rewarding climb. Once at the top of Molls Gap you have a glorious cycle to Killarney the majority of which is downhill with scenic viewing of the Lakes of Killarney along the way, at Ladies View and other spots. 

Killarney Valley

What a day! Don't forget to take your time and soak in the views. There are plenty of other cycles and tours in the area so please find one that is right for you or your group. Please remember that you are only as fast as the slowest member of your group! Use our Map of Ireland and Sat Nav tool to get directions to the start point and our detailed maps and GPS on our ActiveME iPhone App and Android App to find and follow the route live on screen.