The Dingle Peninsula
Be prepared for this stunning Wild Atlantic Way headland in County Kerry to capture your heart
It would be simple to come on the Dingle Peninsula and not leave the town of Dingle itself. Bohemian, creative, and really friendly, Dingle is renowned for its hardware bars (where you can get a pint and some wellies) (where you can buy a pint and some wellies).
But go out beyond the town and you’re presented with a magnificent 6,000 years of history and the Kerry coastline with its pounding surf, salty winds, stunning cliffs and vast racing sky.
There’s Gallarus Oratory, an Early Christian chapel overlooking the shimmering blue waters of Smerwick Harbour; there’s Coumeenoole Beach, with its eerie vistas of the Blasket Islands; and there’s the Conor Pass, the highest mountain route in Ireland. Exceptional is daily here.
Skirting Slea Head
To get the most out of the Dingle Peninsula, take out on the Slea Head Drive, a beautiful driving path that swirls and turns along the coast from Dingle.
After you start out, next to Dún Beag, you’ll visit the Fahan Beehive which contains a fine collection of clochán, medieval stone dwellings previously occupied by monks.
These cone-shaped buildings can be seen along the Slea Head Drive, and if they appear familiar there’s a good reason why — the beehive cottages on Skellig Michael featured as Luke Skywalker’s refuge in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Arguably Kerry’s greatest beach, Coumeenoole is all windswept beaches, pounding Atlantic surf and jagged black rocks. It’s pure drama — little surprise it appeared in the David Lean picture, Ryan’s Daughter.
More heart-stirring landscape awaits at Dunquin Harbour, with its famed curving road that leads down to the water. From here, you may get a boat to the uninhabited and lyrical Blasket Islands, the most westerly island group in Europe.
Beyond the shore
The coast is such a powerful presence in this part of the world that it can be easy to forget that there’s more to the Dingle Peninsula than the sea. Just look at the Conor Pass.
This single lane mountain-pass twists and turns relentlessly from Dingle town to Brandon Bay.
Stop at the summit and you’ll be treated to stunning views of the whole peninsula and its terrain of rust-colored mountain, sweeping green valley and inky corrie lakes.
A taste of Dingle
Sean Murphy from Murphy’s Ice cream in Dingle shares the recipe for one of their most popular flavors.
A Dingle town adventure
A great base for any stay on the Dingle Peninsula, Dingle is arguably one of the island’s more charming towns. Eclectic little fashion and jewelry shops on Green Street give way to intimate and cozy pubs, such as Ashes and Foxy John’s.
There’s great Irish-style tapas to be had in Solas, fine dining Dingle-style in The Chart House, and some of the best ice cream on the island of Ireland at the much-loved Murphy’s.
And don’t miss an outing with Dingle’s most famous dolphin, Fungie, in the gorgeous surrounds of Dingle Bay. Jump aboard one of the boat cruises and take to the waters for an experience you won’t forget.
The 5 reasons why you should visit the Dingle Peninsula
Touring the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland, shows numerous delights to its audience. From secret beaches to the rich legacy of the region, here are the top 12 reasons you should consider visiting the Dingle Peninsula to your next Irish vacation.
1. Explore lovely beaches.
Touring Ireland you will notice Mother Nature endowed the Dingle Peninsula with the greatest beaches on the Emerald Isle. From little coves buried between craggy cliffs to broad beaches that extend for miles, you’ll find a location that matches your mood.
If you want to envelop yourself in pure wildness, explore Ireland’s westernmost jewel, Coumeenole Beach. High cliffs shield this small cove from the wind, and green water licks the golden beach.
This is a site of raw beauty and has been hailed by National Geographic as one of the most magnificent places on earth.
If you fancy enjoying watersports or wandering on expanses of golden sand, come to Inch Beach. Framed by undulating sand dunes and affording stunning views out into Dingle Bay, this vast beach is one of the most cherished sites in Ireland.
2. Sample Irish handmade cheese at the Little Cheese Shop.
A great trove of locally produced cheese. This modest boutique in the village of Dingle is stocked with delicious cheeses created by Maja Binder, a recognized artisan. Inspired by the location, she designed a line of cheese that is as unique as it is tasty.
From seaweed-flavoured blocks to the Dingle Truffle cheese laced with pepper and garlic, all the goods is manufactured traditionally.
When visiting Dingle, come in, taste some samples, and find out what all the hype is about.
3.Tour Dingle Distillery.
Grab your whiskey glass and drink ‘uisce beatha’, the river of life, in Dingle. Established in 2012, this artisan Dingle distillery resurrected the heritage of independent whiskey production in Ireland.
Tour their factory and drink award-winning whiskey with aromas of marzipan and almonds, or delicate traces of citrus and vanilla. And if you want a different drink, try their gin blended with Irish botanicals or high-quality vodka.
4. Catch the sight of Dingle’s Famous Resident.
The Dingle’s renowned resident gets the title of the most lovely inhabitant in the region, beating the likes of Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell. He’s lively, full of energy, and… he’s a dolphin.
Fungie, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, was first observed off the shore of Dingle in 1983. And since then he’s become a renowned local whose frolics have drawn hundreds of tourists.
He’s become one of the primary tourist draws for the Dingle and various cruise companies provide a boat journey to view him. But remember, no matter how nice towards humans he is, he’s still a wild animal and he’s best left alone.
So, exchange a cruise for a set of binoculars and attempt to find Fungie from the beach. Alternatively have a selfie with his statue in the waterfront.
5. Spot the Blasket Islands.
The Blasket Islands have intrigued humans for hundreds of years. Surrounded by reefs and crowned with majestic cliffs, these six islands were home to an isolated, traditional Irish society.
When living grew too harsh, the people evacuated their dwellings and went to the Dingle Peninsula in 1953.
Remember to pause and observe the Blaskets Islands and meditate about the narrative of tough people while you tour the area.
Topic: Dingle Peninsula