River Laune Paddle - Killarney Lakes to Killorglin
The River Laune links the Lakes of Killarney to the ocean just beyond the town of Killorglin. It offers 20km of pleasant Grade 1 paddling through woodlands and farmland with some spectacular views of the MacGillycuddy Reeks to the south. The journey can be broken into two main segments.
The first segment is a short stretch from Tomies on Lough Léin (Leane) to Beaufort Bridge. This is a twisting and winding journey of about 3km, with small rapids and a great river view of Dunloe Castle. Herons, egrets and the occasional red deer can be seen along this stretch. Parking and snacks are available at Beaufort Bridge.
The second segment is from Beaufort Bridge to Killorglin. This is a pleasant 17km stretch of calm paddling with straightforward navigation. The river winds its way through areas of farmland that fill the space between the mountains and the sea. The busy N72 Ring of Kerry road is never too far away to the right-hand side, but it may as well be on Mars, as the only thing that can be heard is the splashing of oar blade slicing the calm water. From here, the journey is shared with fishermen and swans.
After about 6km the 16th-century Ballymalis Castle can be seen on the right bank. On the left is the Gaddagh River, which drains the Hag’s Glen, a vast valley in the Reeks. There is a sense of fulfilment and achievement in that first glimpse of the stone arches of Killorglin’s bridge. This hillside town is home to the famed King Puck festival, and the right bank sees a statue of King Puck welcome visitors.
Options for disembarking are on the left bank around 50m upstream of the bridge or immediately after the bridge on the right. Paddlers should select the second or third arch from the right and float under the bridge to just before The Fishery Bar & Restaurant.
The Bianconi is one of the best renowned Inns in Ireland and one of a few luxury hotels on the Ring of Kerry. For over 30 years, The Bianconi Inn has been pioneering traditional Irish and European fusion dishes. This award winning restaurant is renowned throughout Kerry as offering excellent quality, local produce at an affordable price.