Glencar, Gleann Chàrthaigh, Glen of River Caragh
Caragh Lake and the Glencar region, just a short journey from Killorglin, are settings of incredible natural beauty, with lakes, rivers, rugged mountains, forestry and wild bog-lands. Relax and enjoy the leisurely pace of life that is rural Ireland at its scenic best. Take a panoramic drive around Caragh Lake, enjoy a stroll on the river bank near Blackstone’s Bridge in Lickeen Wood, or watch the salmon jump in the River beneath you, a veritable Heaven on Earth!
One American writer says of the area: “Most Magnificent - The trip was to Waterville in Kerry, the last part of which, from Killarney on, takes you over the mountains through Glencar, which I here and now declare to be the most magnificent scenery on the face of God’s earth." From the Irish Echo New York, 4 March 1989.
Explore the seemingly lost and mystical worlds of the Bealach Óisín and Ballagh Beama gaps. The early ecclesiastical site at Cloon has some superb examples of early Christian rock carvings, including a Cross Slab with a swastika, a pagan symbol used by the early Christians. These valleys and passes are a landscape devoid of settlements, where your only company will be herds of sheep, raucous ravens soaring over the vast valleys or the infrequent walker. These mountain passes serve as short cuts linking Mid Kerry with Sneem and Waterville in South Kerry and offer the most extraordinary experiences of times gone by.
Anglers will delight in the wonderful salmon and trout fishing here in both the Caragh River and Caragh Lake. Local fishing guides will show you the best fishing pools, supply fishing permits, and give an insight into the history of the area, guaranteeing a memorable experience in an unforgettable location. Hunters will find a land of plenty with local hostels offering guided shooting and hunting packages during open season.
The green landscape provides a home for wildlife and is a fascinating place for nature watchers. Many rare flowers and plants can be found among the hedgerows, roadsides and bog lands.
Hikers will glory in the local loop and linear walks, the famous Way Marked Way, the Kerry Way, and a labyrinth of quaint country trails. Glencar is the ideal place for wild mountain scenery and for folks who love climbing, hill walking, fishing, hunting or just relaxing in unspoilt mountains among friendly people.
With a backdrop of the McGillycuddy Reeks and Carrantuohill, Ireland’s highest mountain, this dramatic landscape is great for adventure sports. Cappanalea Outdoor Education and Training Center, in the heart of this wild place, is great for all ages offering canoeing, kayaking, sailing, rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering and mountain climbing.
Back on the Ring of Kerry road, visit the Red Fox, an old style country pub next to the famous Kerry Bog Village. You can take a trip back in time to the 18th century, catching a glimpse of old rural life. The Kerry Bog Pony, a rare indigenous species is here along with Irish wolf hounds and wild mountain goats.
There is a range of top class country houses, bed and breakfasts, hostels and self catering accommodation scattered throughout the region. Be it adventure, be it romance, be it the perfect location to “step back in time”, Glencar and Caragh Lake are nothing short of an undeclared National Park. Prepare to be amazed!