Dingle Peninsula - Dawson Travel

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The Dingle Peninsula

Unlike the Ring of Kerry, where the cliffs tend to dominate the ocean, it's the ocean that dominates the smaller Dingle Peninsula. Dingle Peninsula culminates in Europe's westernmost point, gazing across the sound at the ghost town on Great Blasket Island. The peninsula has something to offer to everyone. Among other things: sandy beaches safe for swimming, walking routes for all abilities, a thriving Irish language community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, sea angling, arts and film festivals, talented craftspersons and some of the best surfing in Ireland.

 

What to do:

  • The city of Dingle: Pushed out towards the bay by a modest set of mountains, 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.
  • West of Dingle town lies a staggering coastline. Take the road to Ballyferriter village and go for a walk on Beál Bán beach, which is only really known to locals. Once you see the views of the vast Atlantic you’ll see why they’ve kept it to themselves.
  • If weather permits, take a ferry to the Great Blasket. The beaches verge on the tropical and the insight into grueling island life until it was abandoned in 1953 is something you won’t forget in a hurry.
  • Walking: The Dingle Peninsula is a kind of paradise for walkers. There are lots of lanes and pathways away from traffic where you can walk for hours, along cliffs, up and down mountains and hills, on beaches and near the sea.
  • Cycling: Cycling the Dingle Peninsula has always been recognised as the ideal way to experience the area's breathtakingly beautiful views while pedalling through a combination of dramatic mountain climbs or flat valleys that stretch for miles. There are a number of established bicycle rental outlets dotted around the peninsula where bicycles can be hired by the day or for longer periods.
  • Surfing: The Dingle Peninsula has become a popular destination for surfers. The energy of the Atlantic Ocean is released in the large swells that break on the West Kerry coast, leading to good suerfing conditions at most times of the year.
  • Whale-watching: The Dingle Peninsula is a renowned whale-watching spot that offers fantastic opportunities for the keen observer. A diverse range of cetaceans from Ireland's smallest, the harbour porpoise, up to some of the biggest, the baleen whales, can be seen at different times of the year.
  • Fungie the Dolphin: Boats run by the Dingle Boatmen's Association cooperative leave the pier daily for one-hour dolphin-spotting trips of Dingle's most famous resident, Fungie. It's free if Fungie doesn't show, but he usually does.

 

How to get to the Dingle Peninsula:

  • Regular buses serve Dingle town from Killarney and Tralee, but service to the rest of the peninsula is limited to community buses running once or twice a week.
  • For drivers, the N86 from Tralee to Dingle town has little to recommend it other than being faster than the Connor Pass route. By bike it's less demanding.
  • On foot, the Dingle Way runs near the road for the first three days. The thicket of lanes on the north side of the Dingle Peninsula is matched only by the even thicker network of walking paths.
     
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