A detour from Cork to Black Valley Hostel


Stunning mountain roads, seaside villages and calm rivers.

March 13 marked my birthday and the second day of our 9 day long road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way. A great way to celebrate if I say so! I am ever so lucky that Imke has such a great internship and I get to go with her to many places and hostels!

We had spent the night in Sheila’s hostel in Cork, the same hostel I had stayed in 2 years ago when visiting Cork for a weekend trip. One thing I remembered about that trip was how helpful one of the guys working at the hostel was, and by chance he was there again when we arrived in the hostel! Paddy, a friendly man with lots and lots of good information of what to do around Cork. This time around, he gave us tips on which route we should take to Black Valley; our next stop. We had planned to drive straight to Black Valley, only stopping at Killarney National Park along the way.

However, the route we had been advised to take would take us a bit longer but would show us some beautiful scenery. So we decided to go with that; and now we’ve seen it with our own eyes I would advise anyone to take that detour!

waterside lunch spot
I could easily imagine where all the folklore and fairy tales came from in a surrounding like this!

He had told us to first follow the N22 and leave the big road to follow the signs to Toonsbridge. From there we followed to road to Inchigeelagh, a really beautiful road along the river where we found an amazing spot to have lunch.

To continue our way we drove past Lough Allua, a lake in the river Lee and continued down to Ballylickery. Here we followed the coastline upwards and on until Adrigole, where we took a turn inward towards Lauragh. This route would take us over the Tim Healy Pass and gave us a stunning view of the Caha Mountains and its surroundings.  On the pass we had a short break for second lunch and stretch our legs.


After we reached Lauragh we followed the coast up towards Kenmare again. Now if you would be travelling straight to Black Valley hostel there is a road leading straight up to it from Moll’s Gap. But we wanted to check out Killarney National Park and thus decided to take the roundabout route.

We made a short stop at the Torc Waterfalls and the Ladies view point (a view point named after Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting who fell in love with the view from that spot). Then went straight up to Killarney to get some of the world famous Humphrey’s ice cream.

killarney park

After that we followed the road towards Beaufort where we took a left turn to Dunloe and followed the road straight down to Black Valley Hostel. I would advise anyone to take this route for sure!

It takes you right along Gap of Dunloe with loads of small lakes and rivers, between the high mountains on both sides until finally you reach a ledge and you have an amazing view from up high over the valley where the hostel is located.

black valley

Just be careful with all the sheep on the road! I am ever so grateful that Paddy pointed this route out to us. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!


Here’s a map with the route we took for those who would like to drive it as well! View directions here, or ask Paddy behind the reception in Cork Sheila’s Hostel!

One thought on “A detour from Cork to Black Valley Hostel

Leave a Reply