Mount Brandon – (Cnoc Breanainn – Bernard Hill) – located on the Dingle Peninsula, this mountain is 952 meters above sea level and is the highest peak in Ireland beyond MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in County Kerry and is second in the ranking of Ireland’s most important summits – just after Carrantuhill (https://www.eirego.com/carrantuohill//).
The name comes from Saint Bernard Navigator, who was born in Tralee in 484 and according to the legend he was the first European who saw America – still close to 1000 years before Columbus, and Christopher Columbus based his travels partly on the history of St. Bernard.
Another interesting, although not very rewarding fact of this mountain is that during the Second World War in 1940 – 43 four planes crashed on its slopes and to this day you can find their remains.
There are several trails leading to the top, I chose the trail from the end of the 17 km long “Cosan na Naomh” route – officially this route ends at the foot of the mountain, but it is a good place to climb to the top.
The trail starts from the parking lot at Baile Berac and is marked with large crosses in stone bases (there are 15 of them), and relatively recently added white cones that lead you to the very top – so you do not have to be a good navigator because you can not get lost.
And that the weather is really unpredictable on the Dingle peninsula, and the summit itself is very often clouded, so on this March day I had 4 seasons – from the beautiful sunny weather at the foot of the mountain, through windy and rainy weather on the way up to the summit, until for a strong wind and snowstorm at the very top.
The whole route to the summit and the return road is 8.5 kilometers and took appromatly 3.5 hours.
So if you fancy a good trip then this is really worth your attention because Mt. Brandon is one of the most impressive trails along the Wilde Atlantic Way, there is a beautiful 360 degree view of the nearby peaks, lakes and the coast, when in good conditions in the distance we will see the Skellig islands (https://www.eirego.com/skellig-islands/)
So if you hit the weather like me – grab the camera and do not forget to have space on the memory card!