Dingle Peninsula

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The Dingle Peninsula is the smaller and northernmost of the two peninsulas that make up County Kerry, in Southwest Ireland.

The landscape is wild and beautiful from the eastern spine of the peninsula in the steep Slieve Mish (mountain of phantoms) to the western end where the land breaks into a scattering of uninhabited and dramatic islands and cliffs and beaches alternate around the coast. Dingle town (An Daingean in Irish) is small enough to walk and big enough to be lively.

Regions[edit]

  • Northern Dingle. A land of low hills and windswept beaches, and lots of sheep. The most popular activities here except for swimming and windsurfing. Arriving into this region from Dingle Town takes you through Connor`s Pass; a treeless area of majestic rugged beauty, and highest point on the peninsula.
  • Western Dingle. The most visited part of the peninsula; this region abounds with dramatic cliffs, terrifyingly breath taking drives, lovely beaches, and countless historical sites. Popular locations include; Dunberg Fort, Gallus Oratory, Slea Head, Riasc, and Kilmakedar.
  • Dingle Town. Located in a perfect natural harbour, this pretty town is the main hub for the peninsula. most of the buildings date from the 1800s, and all are awash with riotous colours, as the houses slope up and down the hills on which the town is built. This is a very artsy town and a centre for many great handicrafts.
  • Southern Dingle. Containing some of the most eye splittingly green scenery in Ireland, Southern Dingle is a land of rolling hills. There are a few historical sites, and a fantastic beach and Inch. Great views of the Iveragh Peninsula across the water.

Other destinations[edit]

  • Mount Brandon. At just under 1,000 metres, this is one of Ireland's highest mountains, and it offers wonderful panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding country-side. There are various routes to the peak, though due to its close proximity to the Atlantic, weather conditions are unstable and prone to sudden changes. Therefore, it is advisable to check weather forecasts before setting out and to carry rain gear and other provisions.
  • Slea Head. This magnificent head is located at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula and is the site of the most dramatic scenery in the area. Towering cliffs drop straight in the water, and the most dramatically situated beach in Ireland beckons invitingly. Great views of the Blasket Islands.

It is possible to follow a trail to the tip of Slea Head; one of the most westerly points in Europe (excluding islands).

Understand[edit]

The Great Blasket island to the west, which was evacuated in the 1950s produced at least three well-regarded Irish language writers, the most well-known being Peig Sayers.

The peninsula has an association with St Brendan the Navigator who sailed from Brandon on the north of the peninsula to America, by way of Iceland and Greenland in the Dark Ages, in a corracle made of laths and hides. Tim Severin replicated this journey in the 1970s, demonstrating that the story was plausible.

Once described by the National Geographic Traveler as “the most beautiful place on earth”, the Dingle Peninsula is a place of intense allure, with a plethora of green landscapes, rocky hills, long sandy beaches and staggering cliff edges. The warm Gulf Stream reaches the peninsula, giving it a wonderful mixture of sometimes rare and unusual flora and fauna.

Dingle is one of Ireland’s Government-protected Irish (Gaelic)-speaking areas, called “Gaeltachts”. Dingle's Irish name is Daingean Uí Chúis which, to fit on signposts, is generally abbreviated to An Daingean. Despite this, everyone calls the town Dingle and you will be extremely hard pressed to find a single person who calls it An Daingean

Many of the towns and villages in the region have Irish names too and, as many maps use the anglicised versions of these names, visitors are advised to purchase maps that give both the Irish and English versions of all place names.

Talk[edit]

The western part of the peninsula is Irish speaking, although no-one will expect you to speak any. However all road signs referring to Irish speaking areas are in Irish only, so they might not look as they sound.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  • IrishDolphins (Find out about interactive dolphins in Ireland). Charting and supporting interactions with solitary interactive dolphins around Ireland, including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
  • Fungie the dolphin. Fungie is a male bottle nose dolphin who has taken up residence in Dingle Harbour. He has been there for about twenty years, during which time he has become something of a local celebrity. Boat trips run from Dingle to see Fungie, which are fee refundable if he doesn't show up. Wet suits are also for hire, so it is possible to swim with Fungie.
Inch Beach in the Dingle Bay

Do[edit]

  • Cycling. Cycling the Slea Head Drive route is a great alternative to driving. The full route (about 40-50 km) should take no longer than 5 hours at an easy pace and there is a shorter route (about 25 km) that takes 3 hours or less. Follow the R559 for the shorter route, make a left in Murreagh for the longer one. Rentals are available for 12 euro in Dingle.
  • Fishing. On the Dingle Peninsula, you're never too far from the sea, and the fishing here is spectacular!
  • Horse Riding. Horse Riding on the Dingle Peninsula.
  • Dingle Golf Club +353 66 915-6255fax: +353 66 915-6409, e-mail: . The Dingle Golf Course is highly recommended!

Eat[edit]

  • Murphy'sStrand Street (Near the pier),  +353 66 915-1450, e-mail: . Murphy's Pub offers excellent food at very reasonable prices. Has an extensive menu so suit all tastes.
  • The Dingle PubMain Street (Across from the Bank of Ireland),  +353 66 915-1370, e-mail: . Great value food with excellent service and Irish humour
  • The Doghouse (The Best In The West), Strand St. The best hotdogs in Ireland. Try the Chilli Dog, its fabulous!
  • Harrington's Family Restaurant (Harrington's), Strand St. Warm, cozy, and reasonably-priced, Harrington's makes the BEST seafood chowder in Ireland (and that's saying something)! Look for it just across from the tourist center on Strand St.
  • Spillane's Bar & Restaurant (Spillane's), Fahamore, Castlegregory, Co. Kerry (North Side of The Dingle Peninsula),  +353 66 7139125. Spillane's serve great Seafood and Steaks in a relaxed family friendly atmosphere. Close to stunning beaches and numerous outdoor activities.

Drink[edit]

  • The Dingle PubMain Street +353 66 915-1370, e-mail: . For the best craic try out The Dingle Pub
  • Murphy'sStrand Street +353 66 915-1450, e-mail: .
  • The Blue Zone Jazz Wine Bar. live jazz & blues, gourmet pizzas, great atmosphere, Green Street, right opposite the church.
  • The Doghouse (The Best In The West), Strand St. The best hotdogs in Ireland. Try the Chilli Dog, its fabulous!
  • Foxy JohnsMain Street +353 66 915316. Buy a bag of 2 inch nails whilsts having a pint. Traditional hardware store one side bar the other. Step through the door and back in time. Recently extended at the back
  • Spillane's Bar & Restaurant (Spillane's), Fahamore, Maharees, Castlegregory (North side of Dingle Peninsula),  +353 66 7139125. Spillane's serve great Seafood and Steaks in a relaxed family friendly atmosphere. Close to stunning beaches and numerous outdoor activities.

Sleep[edit]

  • Murphy's Pub. Facing the pier. Offering excellent food/accommodation and music all year round.
  • The Dingle Pub. Very famous bar located in the centre of town offers delightful accommodation. Your host Tom will make your stay as pleasant as possible. Offering excellent food/accommodation and music
  • Ballintaggart House. A 300 year old Manor at the entrance to Dingle Town overlooking the Bay, The Skellig Rocks, Valentia Island and the Ring of Kerry, all set within its own private grounds.
  • Mount Brandon Hostel. A beautiful hostel in an even more beautiful landscape. Open all year, self catering kitchen, laundry, all rooms en suite, linen included, 2 very nice common rooms, small shop,pub next door. Shiatsu, massage and Cranio Sacral Therapy on request! Quiet place, ideal place for mountain tours. Dormitory €16 or twin room €18 per person, single room €25.
  • The Lighthouse Dingle. A great B&B just a short walk (uphill) from the centre of Dingle. The house has well-furnished rooms, a terrific breakfast (good for both a full Irish Breakfast or lighter fare), and is run by a very helpful local family.
  • Torann Na DtonnSlea Head Drive. A Country home beside Ventry Village with views of Ventry Harbour and Dingle Bay
  • Ashes. Open all year - Charming six bedroom townhouse with non smoking rooms, all en suite with television. Full traditional Irish Breakfast menu.
  • Allan's Bed & Breakfast - turn left as you approach the town centre (as if turning into the Skellig) for a modern, homely B&B with fantastic views of the town, the bay and the mountains plus a great Irish breakfast!
  • Heatons Guest House - Situated on the shore of the renowned fishing town of Dingle
  • There is an official An Oige hostel at Dunquin near Slea Head.
  •    Moan Laur Bed and BreakfastSlieve East, Camp (N86),  +353 66 9158957. Cosy traditional Irish cottage in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula with great views of the Slieve Mish Mountains. Within walking distance of the Dingle Way. 28.
  •    Dingle Town Bed and BreakfastDingle Marina (Opposite Dingle Marina),  +353 66 9150800. Check-in: 11, check-out: 10. A modern town B&B overlooking the harbour of Dingle town 35.
  •    Bolands Guesthouse (family run accommodation dingle kerry), goat street,dingle (just up of mai street),  +353 66 9151426. bolands guesthouse accommodation is located in the heart of dingle town.Beautiful views of dingle bay.The kerry accommodation is only 2 mins walk to pubs,restraints,shops etc.
  • Castlewood HouseThe Wood, Dingle, County Kerry +353 66 9152788. Luxury guesthouse accommodation over-looking Dingle Bay.

Go next[edit]

  • Visit the small village of Ventry (Ceann Trá), four miles west of Dingle.
  • Dingle is conveniently located near the Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park
  • The Maharees is a hidden gem on The Dingle Peninsula. Off the beaten track, it's stunning beaches and sand-dunes offer miles of playground for walking, cycling, swimming, surfing, birdwatching etc. World Famous as a windsurf location. Great Bars & Restaurants. Plenty of self-catering accommodation.
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