Having been an avid visitor to County Kerry for the past seven years now, I am finally proud to call myself a permanent resident of the Kingdom! A title that comes with many perks, including insider knowledge to the best kept secrets in the county. My favourite local gem? Caherconree Mountain!
Having tackled Carrauntoohil and braved the Devil’s Ladder, I concluded the highest peak in Ireland was not for me. Though I cling to the traits of an outdoorsy gal, I still find the 1,038m mountain too strenuous for my liking.
I was on the search for something physical, but not too arduous; something easily accessible but off the tourist trail.
And then I found it: Caherconree Mountain! A peak totalling 835m, it’s a steep climb but even those with a moderate level of fitness can challenge themselves with this one.
LOCATION OF CAHERCONREE
The local secret of Caherconree Mountain is an ideal option for the weekend explorer or those less experienced hikers. This climb takes about two hours (depending on experience) and easily fits into a jam-packed day of activities.
Tucked away from the main tourist hub, this small mountain is located in the Slieve Mish Range, in the Dingle Peninsula and offers almost 360 degree views of cerulean-coloured sea below.
There is light traffic on this peak, as it is largely only used by locals. On a clear day climbers will be treated to breathtaking scenery below of Inch Beach, Castlemaine Harbour, Dingle Bay and Castlegregory.
Find the exact location on Google Maps here.
CAHERCONREE INSIDER TIP: Climb Caherconree Mountain in the evening! It is easily one of the most stunning sunset points in the entire country!
HISTORY OF CAHERCONREE
It’s not just breathtaking views that await you at the top of Caherconree. The mountain top is also drenched in Irish mythology.
The fort of Cú Roí mac Dáire (King of Munster) sits at the summit of the mountain. This is the highest promontory fort in Ireland, and is still somewhat intact.
Legend has it, Cú Roí, arch nemesis of Cú Chulainn, was able to make the fort spin around in the dead of night to stop attackers finding its entrance.
In the story of Aided Con Roí, a king’s daughter called Bláthnat (lover of Cú Chulainn) is kidnapped by Cú Roí and held in the fort.
Orchestrating her rescue, Bláthnat taunted Cú Roí that his fort was too small for such a magnificent chieftain. He flew into a rage and tore down his walls to build a bigger fort.
She then poured milk into the mountain’s stream, turning it white – a signal to inform Cú Chulainn the time was right to strike. Cú Chulainn and his men attacked and defeated Cú Roí, rescuing his love from the mountain top.
ARE DOGS ALLOWED ON CAHERCONREE?
The land belongs to a farmer in the area who is happy enough to have hillwalkers on his property, but be mindful there will be livestock around you. Dogs are allowed but MUST be kept on a lead, as sheep roam the green landscape.
HOW TO GET TO CAHERCONREE MOUNTAIN
Caherconree Mountain is easy to reach, once you know where you’re going! Take the R561 road from KIllorglin to Dingle. This is a beaut of a drive where you will be treated to some fabulous sea views to your left.
Look out for a sign on the right for the very narrow road to Camp. Once you get to the bottom of a steep road, you will see a Trail Head Map Board where you can park your car. These roads are narrow and used by farm machinery so park close to the ditch and watch your wing mirrors.
Caherconree is the perfect addition to any Kerry trip. Experienced hillwalkers and novice climbers alike will enjoy this mountain for its spectacular scenery and unique Irish folklore.