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 a combination of lakes, rivers, rugged mountains, forestry and wild bog-lands. Relax and enjoy the more 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. ” (Irish Echo New York Mar 4th 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 or cyclist. These mountain passes serve as short cuts linking Mid Kerry with Sneem and Waterville in South Kerry but 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 Lake. Local fishing and angling guides will ensure a trip of a lifetime, showing you the best fishing pools, supplying information on boat hire, fishing permits, and an insight into the history and folklore of the area, guaranteeing a truly memorable experience in an unforgettable location. Here too, hunters will find a land of plenty with local hostelries offering guided shooting and hunting packages during open season.
The varied landscape provides a haven for wildlife and a fascination for nature watchers. Many rare and beautiful flowers and plants can be found among the hedgerows, roadsides and bog lands.
Walking buffs will glory in the variety of 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 all those who appreciate wild mountain scenery and love climbing, hill walking, fishing, hunting or just relaxing in an unspoilt area of mountains, rivers and lakes among friendly welcoming people.
With a backdrop of the McGillycuddy Reeks and Carrantuohill, Ireland’s highest mountain, this dramatic landscape is ideal for adventure sports enthusiasts. They are sure to be thrilled with the myriad of activities on offer. Cappanalea Outdoor Education Centre, in the heart of this wild place, is a must for individuals and groups of all ages offering canoeing, kayaking, sailing, rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering and mountain climbing.
Back on the Ring of Kerry road, visit the Red Fox which is an old style country pub adjacent to the famous Kerry Bog Village. Here you can take a trip back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries, catching a glimpse of rural life as it was. The Kerry Bog Pony, a rare indigenous species can be seen 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!