A memorable road trip to Gap of Dunloe in Kerry

Gap of Dunloe is a mountain pass at an elevation of 246m (807ft) above sea level, located in County Kerry, in Ireland. It may be difficult for those who get car sick and for those scared of driving narrow mountain roads.

Gap of Dunloe

Can you drive a car through the Gap of Dunloe?

Tucked away in the peninsular southwest region of the country, the road is totally paved but in very poor condition. The pass is 9.6 km (5.96 miles) long, running north-south from Dunloe to Hollywood. You’ll need to be a very confident driver on single-track roads, hairpin bends, and tight bridges.

How do you drive the Gap of Dunloe?

Situated between two stunning mountain ranges, the road is not easy, with narrow and steep parts, hitting a 19% maximum gradient. It’s difficult for vehicles to pass, so the most popular form of transport for tourists is the horse-drawn trap. The road is so narrow that traffic between oncoming cars and horses can become surprisingly congested. It’s a difficult drive for larger vehicles. If you’re a nervous driver or you’re not used to driving on very narrow roads, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy the scenery. There have been fatalities over the years of cyclists.

Is the Gap of Dunloe worth it?

Set high among the highest mountains in Ireland, the road is a popular tourist attraction, especially during the summer. It's not recommended to try driving it yourself, as you will just get in the way of others using the road and won't get to appreciate the beauty nearly as much. It is one of Kerry's most popular tourist destinations due to its scenery. Along the way, you’ll be richly rewarded by some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in Ireland. Within The Gap, there are five lakes. Driving it during the day, while possible, should be avoided, as the area is packed with walkers, cyclists, and jaunting cars (horse-drawn wagons). The Gap of Dunloe is part of the iconic Ring of Kerry, one of the best scenic drives in the world that attracts both local and international travelers.