Lakes of Killarney
The World Famous Lakes of Killarney offer the most spectacular views of Killarney's amazing scenery. Killarney Lakes consists of three main Lakes- Lough Leane, Muckross Lake & Upper Lake which are all part of Killarney National Park and are surrounded by rugged slopes of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks. They are studded with islands and on the shores lie some of Killarney’s most stunning historic landmarks; Ross Castle, Muckross House & Muckross Abbey.
Panoramic views of the lakes can be enjoyed from both Aghadoe and Ladies View. The latter can be accessed on the Killarney to Kenmare road (N71) and is one of the most scenic tourist spots for viewing the Lakes. Located just 12 miles outside Killarney, there are numerous facilities such as Bathrooms, Gift Shop, Cafe, and Bar for refreshments. Top Tip: If you continue walking up the road from the viewing point, you’ll find another parking area and a path that leads to an amazing view of the Upper Lake.
The best way to experience the Lakes is to take an organised Lake tour or cruise with a company such as Killarney Lake Tours or Mor Active Tours. You can avail of short, Hour Trips or take in a longer tour of all of the lakes with a Day Trip. You can also choose a pony and trap tour with Killarney Day Tours and travel through the world famous Gap of Dunloe in the Summer season to view the Upper Lake which includes an open boat cruise along the Lake. Children especially love the Jaunting Car Trip, a 2.5 hours trip through the Muckross Estate where the Middle Lake or Muckross Lake lies. For the adventurous, bicycles can be hired at several locations in Killarney. There are many cycle tours and paths to suit all levels and it’s a great way to not miss a single piece of beauty on your trip! Whichever tour you decide to take, you will not be disappointed by Killarney’s mystical Lakes.
The Meeting of the Waters is a beautiful spot where all three lakes converge into an oasis of sheer tranquility. Here you will find Dinis Cottage and The Old Weir Bridge. You can get to the cottage by taking a lovely walk along by the lake from the car park on the N71, approx 6 kilometres from Killarney Town. Boat trips also operate to Dinis Cottage from Muckross Boathouse which is located close to Muckross House.
The stunning Ross Castle sits on the edge of the Lower Lake. The 15th Century Tower House was built by O’Donoghue Mor and is an impressive historic landmark. Scenic tours of the Lower Lake departs regularly from Ross Castle. Private charters are also available.
Inishfallen Island, located on Lough Leane, today is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey and Monastery which was founded in 640 by St. Finian the Leper. Boat trips to the Island operate from Ross Castle or you can take a Kayak Tour with Mor Active Tours.
Muckross House, a 19th century Victorian mansion which lies on the edge of Muckross Lake or the Middle Lake. The spectacular gardens and stately mansion are perfect for exploring as you take in the beauty of one of Killarney’s Lakes.
Muckross Abbey is just a few minutes walk from Muckross House and Gardens. The well preserved ruins of the Franciscan Friary built in 1448 are open to the public for viewing.
For more information, our staff are happy to help you plan your Tour of the Killarney Lakes and assist you in every way possible to ensure that your trip to Killarney is the most memorable.