In reply to globetrott. I don't think you will be "harassed" by "hundreds" of ponymen. Just the locals asking if you want a ride as they have been doing for about one hundred years so if you don't like it then trott on somewhere else.
In reply to globetrott, no there is not "hundreds"of ponies harassing you. If you knew your facts only people who have land in the gap of dunloe are allowed to operate ponies and traps in the gap of dunloe area and that is the way it has been for about one hundred years so if you don't like it then go somewhere else on holiday.
Gap of Dunloe is place that I call a tourist-trap because hundreds of horses will be waiting for customers there and you will have no chance at all to pass by them without telling their owners 100x that you like to walk and dont intend to take a horse or a carriage. Your "no, thank you" will never be accepted by them and once you get rid of one person, the other one starts the same questions again.
On the other hand Gap of Dunloe is also a Must ! It is a scenic and narrow valley, not far from Killarney, that was formed by glaciers millions of years ago and today you see a small river and a few small lakes there, surrounded by a breathtaking mountain-scenery.
Tourists will mostly enter the Gap of Dunloe at Kate Kearney's Cottage,where they will be able to park their cars and go on walking or rather horseback-riding or in a horse-carriage.
The first 10 minutes of walking are absolutely boring, but the rest of it is really great !
The road through the valley is closed during the day for private cars, but in the evening you will be able to drive up the valley there, when all of the carriages and tourists are gone.
I entered the valley from the upper side and left it again at Kate Kearney's Cottage , the road was quite bumpy, but not really dangerous.
There are a lot of different ways to do this trip.
You can walk or ride a mountainbike through the gap but you can also go through it on horse and carriage.
If you, like I did, rent a bike make sure you start early cause then you can book yourself on a boat trip over the lakes (your bycicles go on the boat) which will bring you to Ross Castle from where you can cycle back to Killarney.
The boat leaves at 14:00 or if you go the other way around at 11:00 at Ross Castle.
Anyway....no matter how you do it The Gap of Dunloe is breathtaking!!!!
No, there is no retail Gap outlet on this tour, but the young people in your group will not be disappointed. We began our day with the boat trip through the many lakes of the area. The small boats afforded fantastic views. We stopped at the midway point for the day and had a barbeque with more views. The afternoon treated us to a jaunting cart ride/walk thru the beautiful Gap of Dunloe. This is one of the reasons for being at Killarney. It's a tour well worth your time when in Killarney. Take your camera and take it all in.
The Gap of Dunloe near Killarney is an absolutely wild and beautiful spot and was surprisingly un-crowded, even though I was there in June. I was expecting to be trailing along in the wake of hordes of other tourists, and there were quite a lot of people when we started off, but as everybody was going at his/her own pace there was hardly anybody in sight anymore after the first mile or so. You will have to leave your car at the entrance, as cars are not allowed in the Gap (just as well), and you can travel through the Gap either with a pony trap, go horse-riding or simply walk the 10 km and back. Alternatively you can book a day trip in Killarney where you will be dropped off with a bus and you make your way through the Gap to the Lakes of Killarney. There you will be taken for a boat trip around the lakes, and your bus will pick you up again on the other side and bring you back to Killarney.