Killarney and the best viewpoints….

Ireland Luxury Tours likes its clients to get the best out of their tours to Ireland.

Ladies' View is a place to pause for an unforgetable vista across the lakes of the National Park towards the Gap of Dunloe. The 'ladies' were Queen Victoria and her ladies-in-waiting, who presumably caught this view on a fine day and were duly impressed.

The Gap of Dunloe is Killarney's other great tourist attraction, a rugged glacial pass between the mountains, providing magnificant views of tarns and cliffs. It lies on the west side of the lake and is reached by heading north from the centre of Killarney. From Kate Kearney's Cottage, vehicular traffic is banned, so you must walk or hire a pony or faunting car. Mot of the tourists head no further than the spectacular Gap itself, but if you want more seclusion you can continue on foot through the lonely Black Valley, and down past Lord Brandon's Cottage (a handy tea-shop) to the lakeshore. There you can pick up a boat to carry you past the caves of Middle Lake, and over to the romantic ivy-clad tower of Ross Castle.

Ross Castle is a firuin dating from the 15th century; a tower-house and later dwelling house still remain, containing 16th - 17th century furnishings. Home of the local cheiftans, the O'Donoghues, Ross Castle was the last place in Munster to fall to Cromwellian forces in 1652. The story goes that General Ludlow, hearing of a superstition that Ross Castle would never be taken by land, brought ships to sail up the lake, whereupon the defenders, hitherto defiant, immediatly gave up their arms.

From Ross Castle, it is possible to take scenic boat tours of the lake, or to hire a rowing boat for landing on Innisfallen Island. Here, against a landscape of gentle valleys and dark wood, are the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey dating from AD600.

Worth seeing on a tour of Ireland.