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Jutting in the Wild Atlantic Ocean on the south coast of Ireland is the Dingle Peninsula. This remote section of Ireland has a rugged coastline, rich culture and a stunning landscape. All of these things make Dingle the perfect place to escape for the weekend.
Entire Place: 8 Guests
An authentic and rustic wooden cabin located right on the sea. This cute bungalow is located near the village of Ballyferriter on the eastern end of the Dingle Peninsula, it has a private beach and guests are encouraged to avail of the kayaks on offer. There is also a private sauna that fits up to 4 people that overlooks the beach.
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Entire Apartment: 7 or 5 Guests
A modern building with stunning views of Dingle Harbour and the surrounding hills. Located a short walk from Dingle Town, this is a brilliant option for those looking to avail of the evening buzz that Dingle has to offer or those looking to have a family getaway while remaining close to the many amenities in Dingle town.
Bed & Breakfast: 2 or 3 Guests
This luxury and award-winning B&B is family owned and offers guests the feeling of home. Located a short walk from the heart of the bustling Dingle town, Greenmount House has offered a comfortable, spacious and friendly environment to its guests since it opened in 1977. The breakfast here is exceptional and is sure to set you up for a brilliant day of exploring the very best that Dingle has to offer.
One of the most famous roads in the country is Slea Head. Most people explore this stunning 50km road by car but it makes a brilliant cycle as well. It is relatively flat and, with the exception of busy weekends and bank holidays, the roads are relatively quiet. With stunning views out to the Atlantic Ocean as well as a number of historical sites along the route, the Slea Head Drive deserves to be on your to-do list for your time in Dingle!
The highest mountain pass in the country, Conor Pass, is known for its epic views over Mount Brandon and its unique construction. The road is carved out of the side of the mountain and offers an incredible way to traverse the peninsula. As is the case with the Slea Head Drive, many people drive over Conor Pass, but we would encourage you to cycle over it for the added feeling of accomplishment!
Offering whale, dolphin, and bird-watching tours around the Blasket islands off the coast of Dingle, marine wildlife tours are definitely something to consider. Between April and October MarineTours.ie run morning afternoon and all-day tours starting at just €59 per person. Sightings can include basking sharks, humpback whales, and the ever-popular puffins! There are loads of marine wildlife tour providers in Dingle.
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The west side of the peninsula offers some of the most incredible stargazing in the country. Thanks to the minimal amount of light pollution you are likely to experience some of the most incredible views. For more information check out Kerry Dark Skies!
Offering 55km and 120km routes and taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery in Ireland, this is one event that’s sure to be a sell-out every year. The 2023 running of the event was a great success and we can’t wait to be there again for 2024!
The Dingle Adventure Race (DAR) is a must-do for all those interested in adventure racing. The DAR, much like many other adventure races in Ireland offers a few different distances to tailor the experience for all levels of racers. The DAR Full is an epic 73km race that includes a 35km on-road cycle around Slea Head followed by an epic 15km run that takes in the epic Mt Brandon assent before jumping back on the bike for a quick 10km cycle to the final 2km kayak! It’s an awesome route, put together by a team that loves multi-sport racing.
September 29th – October 1st
If you are a foodie this is a must-visit. Dingle is well known for its food and this weekend serves as a celebration of that. The Dingle Food Festival takes place on the first weekend in October every year. It is organised by a group of local people on a non-profit making basis. The weekend includes workshops, cookery demonstrations, street entertainment, and of course lots of local food!
August 4th – August 7th
Féile Lios Póil (Lispole) is held just east of Dingle Town in the quaint village of Lispole. The festival features something for all ages, including arts, crafts, Irish dancing, a table quiz, a car treasure hunt, Gaelic football competitions, tug of war competitions, athletics, hill race and hill walking.
You can’t really talk about hillwalking on the Dingle Peninsula without mentioning Mount Brandon. The highest mountain in Ireland outside of the McGillicuddy’s Reeks, Mount Brandon is 952m high and offers some incredible views over the surrounding landscape. While there are a few ways to climb Mount Brandon our favourite approach is from the Faha car park on the east side of the mountain. We think that the traverse trail before the steep climb is one of the nicest sections of trail in the country and is a must-do!
The Dingle Way is a 182km long-distance trail around the Dingle Peninsula. If you are not feeling up to a mad distance like that, don’t worry it can easily be split up into more manageable chunks. The Dingle to Dunquin section is one of our favourites, but at 20km long, it will take you a good seven hours to complete. The Dingle Way is waymarked but be sure to carry an OS map with you for safety. Enjoy the views of Mount Eagle, the Blasket and Slea Head.
Distance: 24 km
Last but not least we have an out-and-back from the birthplace of polar explorer Tom Crean Annascaul to Maghanabo and back. We are reluctant to include an out and back but this one is well worth doing. Starting in the town of Anascaul you can make your way towards Anascaul Lake before beginning to climb. The terrain is a mix on this route but good hillwalking footwear is recommended as the open mountain at the top of the climb is very wet. You can descend down into Maghanabo. Waterfalls, and beautiful wild mountains, this is one for the list!
If you’re looking for a more relaxed family-friendly forest walk then head to Glenteenassig Forest Park. There are a few different route options to choose from once you are there. A short walk around the Lough Caum boardwalk Trail or the full loop. At a relaxed walking pace, this took about 90 minutes and offer some very nice views of the mountains. This is definitely a good bad-weather option.
One of the most incredible and underappreciated historical sites in Ireland Loch a Duin has loads of ancient stone structures that date back over 2000 years. Meaning “the lake of the fort”, Loch a’Dúin has an extraordinary history, and all of it can be found at your leisure if you have the time and the eye for it.
A classic fish and chip shop with a twist. Offering sit in and take away, The Fish Box is located in central Dingle and offers some of the best fish and chips you’ll ever have! With massive portion sizes, locally sourced seafood and a pub-like atmosphere The Fish Box is worth visiting for a casual big feed after a day exploring Dingle!
With a menu that changes daily depending on the catch of the day, Out of the Blue is a special place to dine. Out of the Blue can be found in the Michelin guide for the past 15 years. The food is exceptionally fresh and the attention to detail is unparalleled in our experience. This place is not a cheap eat but it is bound to be one you will remember.
A national treasure. Murphy’s Ice Cream was founded in Dingle in 2000. Ever since, they have been making some of the best ice cream in the country. Over the years a few Murphy’s ice cream stores have popped up around the country, but you can find the original store in Dingle town. A post-dinner Murphy’s is somewhat of a tradition in Dingle.
Our favourite coffee shop in Dingle. Serving a variety of breakfast and lunch options, as well as some top-quality coffee, Seed & Soul quickly became a favourite of ours. We particularly like their açai bowl paired with an oat milk flat white!
Located on the north side of the peninsula in a town called Anascaul, The South Pole Inn was established by polar explorer Tom Crean when he concluded his expeditions. The pub is still operating and is decorated with memorabilia from Crean’s expeditions. At the South Pole Inn they serve Tom Crean beer on tap which is definitely worth trying, we particularly like the Surf and Turf IPA!
By Matthew McConnell
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