DESTINATION OVERVIEW As the prime destination on Ireland’s west coast, the Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) is rich in coastal pathways, pristine beaches, rugged mountain passes, deep green valleys, phenomenal archaeological sites and traditional dwellings as well as colourful communities. Home to Fungie the dolphin, Brandon Mountain and the vibrant Dingle Town, the peninsula is brimming with great eats and fine pubs.
The colourful fishing town of Dingle boasts many attractions and there is always something fun to do with cultural events throughout the year including food, music, film and arts festivals. The town is surrounded by natural beauty with beaches, mountains and rivers to explore.
With over 50 pubs in the town, there is always a bit of craic to be had and live music every night. Dingle was named Ireland’s Best Foodie Town in 2014 so food lovers will be in heaven! There are so many good restaurants especially serving freshly caught seafood it is hard to just name a few, but you’ll find some of our favourites on the Stay YNA App. The Dingle Food Festival takes place every year over the first weekend in October and attracts thousands of visitors for its taste trail, demonstrations, wine tasting, workshops and entertainment. There is also farmers market on Fridays with all the award winning local produce Dingle has to offer on sale.
Dingle has long been associated with the arts too; it has the Beehive theatre, an arts cinema, numerous bookshops & literary events and its fair share of successful galleries showcasing local artists and artworks. The town is also an outlet for the very best of contemporary and traditional Irish art, craft and design in the south-west of Ireland. Visitors can buy handmade ceramics, glass, crystal, Jewellery, Wooden crafts, Prints, linen, knitwear and woven goods as well as traditional Irish musical instruments.
Dingle is in the gaeltacht (Irish speaking region) of the Peninsula and you will hear the Irish language spoken all over town and the surrounding villages out west. There are so many cultural activities in Gaeilga, every year students come from all over Ireland to join in the rich programme of events.
Not many visitors would leave dingle without an encounter with Fungie the bottlenose dolphin. He arrived in the harbour back in 1984 and decided the make the town his home. He has become a major attraction for visitors and locals alike and while most dolphins swim in pods, Fungie seems to prefer hanging out with humans rather than his own species and accompanies every boat that sails in or out of the harbour.
Castlegregory is a renowned Irish seaside destination overlooked by Beenoskee and Stradbally Mountain. Castlegregory has something for everyone, families will love the long sandy beach at Brandon Bay, the Maharees need no introduction to surfers and the village itself has great nightlife with friendly lively pubs. Ferriters and Bolands are known for traditional music while Fitzgeralds has DJs most nights in the summer and weekends throughout the year. Castlegregory also has a supermarket, chemist, laundrette, The Beach Box (gift & toy shop), hairdressers, furniture shop, and is home to a surfboard shaper. Just outside the village there is a workshop for windsurf sail repairs. There are some excellent restaurants in the village serving fresh fish, quality Irish meat and vegetarian dishes and even Chinese food. Check out the Stay YNA App for our top tips
Castlegregory is a gateway to the sandy peninsula called the Maharees, a unique warren of sand dunes that connects every aquatic environment you could wish for – from the sheltered waters of Tralee Bay to the wild seas of Brandon Bay that are open to the North Atlantic and often receive long rolling swells, which can provide excellent surf given suitable wind and tide conditions making the area is a mecca for watersports, there’s great surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, it hosts many competitions throughout the season. In contrast the other side of the spit, the blue flag beach at Sandy Bay offers activities for kids with snorkelling, dinghy sailing, kayaking, jet-skiing, a sea trampoline, pedal boats, etc. and is less than a 5 minute drive from the village.
At the end of the spit lie the Seven Hogs islands which are littered with dive sites that have featured in National Geographic. A 5 star PADI certified Waterworld dive centre is located at the fishing harbour at Scraggane Bay. The dive centre has it’s own restaurant, Islands Seafood, famous for its fresh seafood and organic vegetable dishes complete with breath taking scenery. Waterworld and Jamie Knox Surf schools are found at Dumps beach just past Sandy Bay on the left. On the right of the spit you will find O’Conners Stables, here you can rent horses to trek through the sand dunes or gallop along the endless 13 km beach of Brandon Bay.
The Maharees peninsula is a very special place, you feel like you are on an island and it almost is, at one point only a small bridge connects it with the mainland. It is dotted with campgrounds and caravan parks and has the atmospheric Green Room Pub in Kilshannig and the famous Spillanes Bar in Fahamore which has epic seafood & steaks and has always been a popular spot for visiting surfers.
A nine hole links golf course and clubhouse is also located nearby, to the west of the village on the shores of Lough Gill, a freshwater lake. This stunning lake is just 3 mins walk from the centre of the village and is an important wildlife spot with wildfowl, whooper swans and the main breeding ground of the rare Natterjack toad. Just 10 minutes drive from the village into the woods of Glentenassig you are rewarded with the most spectacular lakes in the mountain. Curan lake has a wooden boardwalk all the way round that takes about an hour of a leisurely walk. The perfect place for a picnic.
Mount Brandon dominates the villages of Cloghane and Brandon, a welcoming community with a rich heritage of music, language, and dance. There are numerous walks to lakes, waterfalls, creeks, beaches, cliff walks and of course the unforgettable walk/climb up Mount Brandon. The beaches are so varied from the secret beach ‘Tra Bhan’ to Brandon Bay, the longest beach in Ireland which starts in Cloghane and runs for 13km to Castlegregory and the Maharees Peninsula
Cloghane has two great bar/ restaurants serving pub food. Brandon is centred around the activities of the Pier, swimming, fishing, drinking, eating, dolphin spotting, socialising. It’s a very special place and in the summer months full of activity with kids and sometimes adults jumping off the Pier, hiring boats, rowing curragh’s (traditional Irish boats made of heavy canvas and tar).
Fishing in the area is superb. The Owenmore River flows from its source in Mullach, down through the valley to the estuary of Cloghane and into Brandon Bay. The river is bursting with salmon and sea trout. The estuary, reached from Cappagh beach and Drom on the opposite side along with Fermoyle Beach are perfect for shore anglers looking for sea bass. There is nowhere as social to fish though as the pier in Brandon where you can get a refreshing pint of Guinness and a crab sandwich while reeling in the mackerel.
There are over 2,000 archaeological sites on the Dingle Peninsula and the valley of Loch a’ Duin near Cloghane is one of the largest. It contains over 90 structures dating from the Bronze age including rock art, standing stones and wedge tombs. The site is a bit overgrown but it’s good fun hunting for the structures. If you don’t find any, the stunning walk which begins where the Connor Pass road meets the Cloghane road rewards you with a stunning waterfall and lake.
The idyllic Dunquin (Dún Chaoin) village is at the western tip of the peninsula, steeped in history and intense beauty it is the gateway to the mesmerising Blasket Islands. The area around Dunquin is known for it’s strong Irish culture and wild, untamed landscape. The village is spread out around the Dunquin Pier with it’s steep, picturesque slip that’s become an iconic image of West Kerry.
Coomeenole Beach is a popular stop, It was used as one of the locations for the filming of ”Ryan’s Daughter”. It is the closest beach to Dunquin and has dramatic views (The currents here are extremely dangerous and only for experienced surfers, visitors should not enter the sea). In the other direction there is Clogher strand with stunning white sands but also dangerous for swimming. Go a bit further through Ballyferriter to Wine Strand for fantastic swimming beaches.
The Blasket Islands are a group of islands that comprise of The Great Blasket Island (An Blascaod Mór), Beginish (Beiginis), Inishnabro (Inis na Bró), Inishvickillane (Inis Mhic Uileáin), Inishtooskert (Inis Tuaisceart), and Tearaght Island (An Tiaracht).
Inishtooskert is also known locally as An Fear Marbh (the dead man) or as the sleeping giant, due to its appearance from the mainland. There are wonderful children’s storybooks available, telling the fantastical story of the sleeping giant.
When you round Slea Head towards Dunquin and gaze across the sea to The Great Blasket Island, at the village of houses above a perfect white strip of sand, you long to visit this peaceful island full of pieces of the past. It’s not sure how long the island was inhabited for but there were 160 islanders living there in 1840, the island was abandoned in 1950.
It is well worth visiting the Blaskets, the boat trip is exhilarating and you can’t fail to admire the natural beauty of the place.
There is a lovely walk from the pier along the cliffs to The Great Blasket Centre (an interpretative museum detailing the unique community who once lived on the Blasket Island before they relocated in Dunquin) up towards An Ghraig then around to Kruger’s pub, a favorite with locals and visitors alike. It is named after Muiris “Kruger” Kavanagh, a local lad who migrated to the US but returned to Ireland set up Kruger’s, to which he drew many friends from Broadway. Although Kruger passed on, his pub carries on as an entertainment hub with weekend performances of sean-nos singing (an old Irish unaccompanied style) and step dancing.
Dunquin is only 20 minute drive west of the lively town of Dingle with all it’s amenities and a 5 minute drive from Ballyferriter with it’s great pubs, restaurants and world famous links golf-course Ceann Sibeal. It is on the famed Slea Head drive, one of the most scenic drives in Ireland on windy cliff edge roads, it takes you through breath-taking scenery to the neighbouring villages of Ballyferriter, Ballydavid and Ventry. On the drive towards Ventry, at Fahan you will find Clocháns (known as Beehive huts) which are fascinating dry stone circular huts with unknown origins. A little further; the Celtic and prehistoric Museum has a large collection of artefacts, dating from 500 million years ago until the middle ages. It has the oldest mammoth head found in Europe plus dinosaur egg fossils. The nearby Stone House restaurant serves an all day with a menu of wonderful dishes and a unique experience in this large stone roofed building full of local art.
The coastal road around the Slea head drive is fairly flat therefore a perfect route for cyclists, the whole loop would take about 5 hours but you can also just enjoy a leisurely local ride. Bikes can be hired at Foxy John’s on Main st, Dingle or Gorman’s Restaurant in Ballydavid.
The Gaeltacht region of Ballydavid (Baile na nGall) is a majestic area that comprises of the three adjoining villages Ballydavid, Feohanagh and Murreagh. There, Mount Brandon overlooks the north shores of Smerwick harbour with its stunning cliffs, dramatic seas and tranquil untouched beaches. There is something for everyone with archeological sights, incredible walks, great swimming and snorkelling at the Pier, windsurfing, surfing, fishing, excellent fish restaurants and lively pubs.
The Slea head drive takes you ‘Out West’ as it is fondly referred to by locals, through Dunquin, Ballyferriter, Ballydavid and then loops back to Dingle. A slight detour off the drive takes you to the quiet fishing village of Ballydavid with its memorable Pier, a well loved spot with a great atmosphere on summer days. There are two pubs/restaurants that overlook the pier and beach with tables outside where you can relax and take in the Three Sisters, Dun an Oir and the white sandy beaches. All of the restaurants in the area have quality seafood and are located close to the sea to incorporate the stunning cliff and sea views. The area is great for cycling as it is quite flat, you can rent bikes at Gormans Restaurant between Murreagh and Feohanagh.
The Dingle Way meanders through Feohanagh’s wonderful cliff and beach walks. There are stunning trails around the cliffs and coves of Brandon Creek and up Mount Brandon, Irelands second highest mountain range which has 360° views across the Dingle Peninsula. Brandon Creek is known to be the place from where Saint Brendan set sail across the Atlantic Ocean to discover North America in the 6th Century. There is a wonderful walk from the Brandon Creek along the cliff to a 16th century look out tower on the hill above Feohanagh. the views up there are breathtaking.
Murreagh village has a shop, a community hall, a national school and is also the home of the Gaeltacht Football team with its proud tradition of Gaelic Football. In Carraig, Teach Siamsa is a training centre for the famous Siamsa Tíre whose goal is to preserve traditional culture in the areas of dance, music and song.
One of the most famous landmarks on the Dingle Peninsula is Gallarus Oratory, believed to have been built between the 6th century as a place of worship for early Christian farmers of the area. Shaped like an upside-down boat, the simple dry-stone structure has remained waterproof and in perfect condition to the present day. Close by is Gallarus Castle built by the FitzGeralds in the 15th century. It is one of the few surviving castles on the Dingle peninsula stone. Kilmalkedar Church is an early Christian and later Medieval site with a few gems worth a visit. Amongst them, the Alphabet Stone, a holed ogham stone, a sun dial, a large stone cross and two Holy Wells.
In the last decade there has been a gastro revolution on the Dingle Peninsula. Ten years ago this guide could be written on the back of an envelope. Today, it’s a case of where to start. The more established restaurants are still producing amazing award winning food, but you can really notice the difference at the cheaper end of the market. There are so many cafes and pubs serving great food and making the most of the world class produce caught, reared or grown on the Peninsula that you will easily find the perfect gem to suit your taste.
If you choose to dine in, there is an abundance of choice when it comes to local artisan food. The farmers markets are a must, Friday morning in Dingle town, Saturday morning in Milltown at the old church and Sunday morning in the clubrooms, Castlegregory. If you miss these you can always go to The Little Cheese Shop on Green lane, Dingle where they stock not only their own award winning cheeses, but a fine selection of breads, sausages and pates all made locally.
We have chosen ten of our favourites Great Eats for you to try out…
Out of the Blue – The Marina, Dingle
Dining in Out of the Blue is a very special & unique experience. Seafood is cooked & served to the highest standard. Everything depends upon the catch of the day and nothing but the best will do. If there’s no fish, the restaurant doesn’t open. The menu, given on blackboards, changes every day offering a huge variety of whatever is available from the boats that morning. The restaurant is compact and cosy with modern rustic decor and wonderful artworks. Anyone who is lucky enough to get a table will be delighted. To book call 066 9150811.
Milesian – Main Street, Castlegregory
If you are going for a drive to or staying in Castlegregory you must try the Milesian. Enter through the doors and feel like you have stepped back in time. It is a traditional old style cottage restaurant with contemporary rustic food. Serving a limited number of dishes but oh so good and presented perfectly on big wooden platters. The beauty and authenticity of Ireland can be found in the delicious menu full of local produce and the unrivalled atmosphere. The only negative I have about this restaurant is that it’s not open all year round. Summer season only. To book call 087 9794337.
The Phoenix – Keel
Halfway between Inch and Castlemaine, The Phoenix is an award winning, Organic restaurant with its own farm. Mainly a vegetarian menu with a few fish specials. The food is a blend of dishes from around the globe bringing together the best from all cultures. In between courses you can take a walk around the beautiful gardens. There is always plenty of gluten free, dairy free and sugar free dishes to choose from as The Phoenix specializes in catering for dietary needs. All their tasty produce is also available at the Dingle market on Fridays. Open all year, call 066 976 6284 to book.
The Half Door – John Street, Dingle
Menus go with the seasons but whatever is available is perfectly cooked and generously served without over-presentation. We love going here all year round especially in the winter as it stays open all year. The service is always friendly and very professional. It’s decor wonderfully traditional witha great atmosphere. Known for it’s fresh seafood lobster, oysters, mussels, prawns, scallops, crab claws etc. but it is also serves great meat & vegetarian dishes. Good traditional puddings or Irish farmhouse cheeses to follow. To book call 066 9151600
Blue Zone – Green St, Dingle
A funky restaurant with a late night bar that does fantastic pizzas and salads, there is often live music sessions of jazz and blues. Perfect for large groups or family meals, it’s a great place to relax in the afternoon or after a night in the pub if you are looking for a somewhere laid back and fun. Open all year, to book call 066 915 0303.
The Grays lane Bistro – Grays Lane, Dingle
The best breakfasts/ brunches in Dingle, relax into the day with a scrumptious plate from their menu, a coffee and newspaper. Now open in the summer evenings too, the atmosphere is casual, the food is tasty with a great global menu serving all our favourite dishes from French toast to Lamb Tagine and a good vegetarian selection. A café environment and prices but with food of a high quality restaurant, the staff are extremely friendly. Open all year round, you won’t regret dropping in. To book call 066 9152770.
The Junction Bar – Camp
With amazing views across the Tralee Bay, The Junction has made a name for itself serving top quality bar food, homemade burgers, local freshly battered cod, hand cut chips as well as lamb from their own flock. The fresh local produce is all prepped to order at a very reasonable price. Open all year, to book call 066 713 0120.
Reel Dingle Fish – Bridge Street, Dingle
The best Fish & Chips take-away on the Peninsula … with a great selection of freshly battered local fish, tasty sauces and proper chips. You can grab your take away, sit on the Harbour and soak up Dingle. What more could you ask for? Call 066 9151713 to pre-order.
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Al fresco wild dining with sunshine and nature. Whether it’s a romantic afternoon, a day with the family or a group of friends looking for adventure, the Dingle Peninsula has many perfect places. We are going to fill you in on the best spots to lay back and indulge…..PLUS if you don’t want to shop for it, we can also prepare you an artisan food basket with everything you need for the perfect picnic and deliver it to your cottage….check out our pop up chef service. If you want to source the picnic yourself, we recommend The Little Cheese Shop and Crinkle both on Green Lane, Dingle. Bread from the Bacus bakery in Cloghane (can also be bought from The Little Cheese shop, Dingle)
At Drom beach if you park the car and walk around the corner to the left on the beach you will spot a grassy bank. Go through the longer grass to the short grass and here is a perfect spot sheltered from the wind with a gorgeous blossom tree for you to stretch out on the grass under and munch away. One time we hung bunting from the tree for a birthday picnic, it was so idyllic. Leaving Cloghane in the direction of Brandon Bay, keep left on the scenic road. Go over two little bridges then take a left down to Drom beach. Its a 6/7 minute walk from the carpark.
On a sunny afternoon, the low wall of Brandon Pier heats up and makes a great spot to sit and have your picnic. You can get refreshments from Murphy’s bar and just take it all in. There is always so much activity to watch with kids jumping off the pier, boats coming in and out, toddlers playing on the beach below, people fishing for mackerel off the high wall and the view of brandon bay under the mountains is stunning. It’s a very special place. We once cooked mackerel straight from the ocean on a disposable BBQ on the pier wall and it was the best fish I have ever eaten washed down with a pint of Guinness. Bliss!
Coumeenole beach west of Dingle is on the stunning Slea head drive. At the top by the road, there are picnic tables overlooking the cliffs. You can park up and enjoy your lunch in the most dramatic scenery. After dining you can stroll down the steep track to the beach where Ryans Daughter was filmed. Be aware that Couneenole is not for swimming as there are very strong currents.
Whatever the weather, a drive up to Glentenassig wood and lakes is a great day out. There are picnic tables by all three lakes, in the carpark and our favourite which is by the huge boulder near the start of the wooden boardwalk on the top lake. The wooden boardwalk around the lake takes about an hour. Best plan is to do the walk and work up an appetite then enoy your grub by the shimmering lakes surrounded by gorgeous woodland. Great fishing here to but get a permit, ask at Castlegregory tourist office by the SPA in Castlegregory. To get to the lakes turn right on the Dingle – Castlegregory Road after you’ve passed Castlegregory and are heading towards Tralee before you get to the seven hogs pub.
When in Dingle town there is a great walk from the Skellig hotel out towards the lighthouse where you pass a little folly. It’s a great spot for watching Fungie frollic around the boats while enjoying your picnic on the grass. There is a little pebble beach there which is great for swimming from. You don’t have to walk from the hotel with your basket/lunch as the first right turn as you drive out of Dingle towards Lispole on a sharp bend takes you down to a small carpark where is only a 5 minute walk from.
Great Blasket Island
Usually one of our favourite days out every summer is to get a few friends and their kids together and take a boat out to the Great Blasket Island. The white sand beach or grassy banks above are just amazing picnic spots. The kids swim with the seals while we can take a stroll through the historic derelict village and then all enjoy a bite to eat before heading back on the boat to the mainland. Boats leave from Dingle, Ventry and Dunquin.
If you are planning trip, why not let us put together an artisan picnic basket full of local goodies for a day out with a difference? The basket will be delivered to your cottage on your chosen picnic day, crammed full of treats such as fresh cheese, chutneys, cured meats, olives, salad, fresh fruit, local bread, handmade chocolate and prosecco.
The Wild Atlantic Catch & Cook!
Jump on board a fishing boat, head out into Dingle Bay, drop your line and reel in a fish. Then it’s time to perfect your fish skills in this session where you prepare, cook and enjoy a hard earned meal. What a day! 1/2 day experience
Wild Atlantic Way Experience… Food from Land & Sea.
Enjoy fresh fish from the sea teamed with natural ingredients from the landscape and also learn how to make Salt Grass Lamb. Create, Cook and Savor the best of local produce from the land and sea on this ½ day experience.
Traditional Irish Cookery. Food of our Forefathers.
This is a a journey back in time through to modern day Irish cuisine. The influence of the monks, the Spanish and the Normans on the Dingle Peninsula food heritage will help understand the use of grains, honey and herbs found in local artisan ingredients. An abundance of flavours and tastes on this ½ day experience.
A Unique bar with a cool crowd at the top of the town with tonnes of craft beers and great folk musicians on a Friday night. Often throughout the summer there is a marquee out the back with DJ’s.
Dick Mac’s is a whiskey bar (Best in Ireland two years in a row) and probably the most popular pub in Dingle. Full of character and characters with two snugs, cosy fires and lots of memorabilia from the old shoe shop, with two back bars and a large courtyard it easily caters for the fun crowd. DJ’s most weekends. A slice of Hollywood awaits when you step outside with stars on the pavement with the names of famous people who have visited such as Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, and Julia Roberts.
No trip to Dingle would be complete without a trip to Legendary Foxy Johns bar and hardware store, you can get a pint along with a new spanner. A drink in the small front bar is like stepping back in time but it leads into a large modern back room with a cool courtyard.
Dingle Benners Hotel
A great wine and food menu in a relaxing grown up environment.
Changed hands this year from the Brewery gate. The best music venue in town and rapidly becoming the place to be. Bar leads out to Nelly Fred’s garage with stage. 2 Spa Road Dingle
Music Pubs Dingle Town
O’Sullivan’s Courthouse pub
Trad and folk music throughout the year and every night from 9 pm, in the summer months. A popular pub with a great courtyard area.
Droichead Beag (small bridge)
Trad music nightly from 9 pm and a great atmosphere, there is often a set or a jig on the cards. As Dingle’s only late bar closing at 3 am, the Droichead is a lively spot with two dance floors and three bars.
Music Pubs Cloghane
An Tintean Ceol
A wonderful evening of music, song and storytelling. In days gone by neighbours in rural areas all across Ireland would gather together in each other houses for an evening of storytelling music and song to pass the night. In replica of the traditional old Irish cottage kitchen with an array of instruments from the tin whistle to the Uilleann pipes, the talent of young and old is incredible. It’s an evening to cherish, put a sod on the fire, tell us a story or sing a song and listen to others with tea and fresh scones. Monday and Thursday evening from 7.30 pm.
Pubs out of Dingle
Murphys Pub Brandon
A little piece of heaven… All who visit Murphy’s on Brandon Pier return. On a fine day there is no other place to be with kids jumping of the pier, young and old fishing for mackeral, kids playing on the beach below. Sitting outside enjoying a crab sandwich with the perfect pint of Guinness taking in the beaches of Brandon bay where the mountains touch the sea.
O’Connors Cloghane – Love this pub as its old Ireland. Best place to grab a bite in the area and a lovely family run it.
The Dingle Peninsula is a walkers paradise with a wide range of walks for all abilities. There are so many to choose from but here are some of our favourites.
West of Dingle
The Old School House, Dunquin
An easy walk with great views of the Blasket Islands, perfect for kids too. Park in the car park of the Blasket Island centre in Dunquin. Turn right and walk down to the small pebble beach. On the right, there is a style leading to a field, walk along following the cliff until you see the old school house. An impressive ruin,which was the set for the 1960’s film Ryan’s Daughter starring Robert Mitchum. The walk is just over an hour, return journey.
One of our favourite views on the Peninsula is from Croaghmarhin Hill. Head west out of Dingle town towards the slea head drive, turn right at Paudie O’Sheas pub and shop which is a minute or two’s drive past Ventry. Head up the hill and park by the RTE mast at the top. To the right of the mast is a track. about 25 to 30 minutes only to the top and it’s spectacular, a 360 degree view of the west of Dingle.
Ballydavid Cliff Walk
A lovely cliff walk from Ballydavid Pier (Baile na nGall) that loops back along the road and takes about 2 hours. Walk along the little lane to the right of the pier in front of Tigh T.P’s bar and restaurant. This leads you past some houses and onto a coastal path that hugs the cliff edge. On the western edge of Europe with only the Atlantic between you and Newfoundland, this is a fantastic walk any time of year. When the path meets the road at Dooneen Strand you can turn right onto the road and walk back to Ballydavid Pier for a refreshment.
From Dingle Town
Dingle Harbour Walk
Walking from the town, take a left at the harbour and you will arrive at a roundabout, turn right down the laneway opposite Moran’s Garage, at the end of the lane there is a gate, to the left of this you will see the coastal path. Follow this around to the left, you will see Hussey’s Folly ahead. Just after the Skellig Hotel go through a stile on to the grassy path that lead’s you to the Folly or further towards the light house. You can turn back at the lighthouse or carry on along the cliff path to Beenbane Beach. Here you can even continue on to the next beach Doonsheane.
Hill over Dingle
Walk up Main Street and Goats Street until on your right you see the Large chimney of the fire station. Turn right here and just past the fire station is a lane heading up the hill. Go over the gate and follow a lovely path up the hill with wonderful views over Dingle Town.
Looking out from Dingle across the Harbour you will see a tower, similar to a giant Dalek, the Eask Tower on top of the hill. You can drive out to the bottom of the hill (10 minute drive)or you can make it a day trip and walk from the town. Its about a 5 hour walk return journey. Head right along the Harbour past the Aquarium to the Milltown roundabout where you turn left. Head up the hill and until you reach the second left turn with a sign for Holden bags. Follow this road until you see the little kiosk to the Eask Tower (If driving park here and take the 30 minute walk to the tower). A donation of €2 is requested to head up the hill. There are 360 views back towards Dingle and out to the Atlantic.
Over the hill
Sauce Creek, Brandon
Sauce Creek is a loop cliff walk that takes around 3 1/2 hours. Walk up the cliff at Brandon Point and follow the path to Sauce Creek, a dramatic circular cove where three families lived in the 19th Century. Then loop back down to Upper Teer (there is a little sign directing you back towards Teer) and back down into Brandon. You can add the deserted fishing village of Arraglen to make a 4 1/2 hr walk (it’s signposted after Sauce).
Loch a Duin, Cloghane
Loch a’ Dúin and Loch Cruite can both be reached from Cloghane. Loch a’ Dúin starts where the Cloghane road meets the Conor Pass road, there is a style across the road. Go through it and head towards the waterfall. The ruins of the Loch a Duin settlement is the largest archaeological site of Bronze age monuments in Kerry, most are overgrown but fun to try and spot them.
Loch Cruite, Cloghane
To reach Loch Cruite take the 1st right after Cloghane towards the Glen. There is a sign for Loch Cruite Cottage, take that right up towards the cottage. Go through the gate and follow the river up towards the lake. This is the large lake you see on Mount Brandon from the Conor Pass. A lovely walk.
Brandon Mountain, Cloghane/Brandon
The walk up Mount Brandon is a must, you pass through amazing Corrie lakes and the views are incredible. Take the first left after Cloghane in the Brandon direction. Take another left at the top of that road and it leads to the car park. Follow the posts to begin and then yellow arrows on the rocks. With breaks and a stop at the top its 4 ½ to 5 hours return. Walking boots, rain gear, warm clothing for the top and food is essential.
The Cahir Road, Castlegregory
A lovely beach walk that heads back to Castlegregory through Cahir. Starting at Castlegregory back beach which is a right turn after SPA heading towards the Maharees, walk right along the beach. There are lovely views of Tralee bay and Fenit across the way. Walk past the rocky area known as ‘the Lough’ till you meet the Owenmallagh River, It is usually shallow enough to cross, but it’s more fun to use the huge stepping stones which bring you to a short path which you follow to the road. Turn left along the Cahir road over a few small bridges back towards Castlegregory. The marshlands either side of the road provide an abundance of flora and fauna. Can be achieved in about an hour and a half.
We asked the local kids about their favourite days out on the Peninsula. Here are their top 10….
PIER JUMPING Both Ventry and Brandon are perfect spots for a bit of exhilarating fun. Brandon Pier is a hive of activity and usually has kids and adults queing up to jump off the high wall. Ventry Pier, just a short drive from Dingle is also a great spot for it. Do not attempt to jump at low tide.
GEOCACHING This is a great family day out for all, which includes exercise and a bit of exploration. Geocaching is a real life treasure hunt where you use the GPS on your phone or mobile device to hide and seek containers called ‘caches’ anywhere in the world. The Dingle Peninsula is rich with them, they are hidden everywhere and in some of the most beautiful places. www.geocaching.com
DINGLE’S SECRET GARDEN This is a walled garden in the heart of Dingle town. At the side of the church go through the gates and to the end of the lawn past a small graveyard, there is a arched doorway in the high brick wall that leads through to two secret gardens. With a little hobbit stage made of trees and benches all around its a great location for a picnic and to escape the wind on a sunny day.
CLIMBING WALL and HIGH ROPES are in Dingle and Killarney. Kids love climbing and with indoor & outdoor facilities both these centres have so much to offer. The indoor climbing wall in Dingle is great for a rainy day – they also have Archery for the over 12’s, a Bungee Jump and an outdoor Assault Course 15/35 foot high up. Great fun for all ages! www.playatheight.com
THE GREAT BLASKET ISLAND This is a great day trip for kids and adults. The boat leaves from Dingle or Dunquin, Bring some food and swim gear because it’s an action packed day including a scenic boat trip, a derelict village rich with history and intrigue, a swim with the seals on the most perfect white sandy beach and if leaving from Dingle you will spot Fungie on the way back. You may even glimpse a pod of Fungie’s friends, basking shark or mink whale.
HORSERIDING on the beach or hacking through a rich valley is a great way to spend a day. With several to choose from across the peninsula, one of our favourite is to go out with Katie & Sean at Sea View Equestrian. The stables are set in the most beautifull valley of Ballinloghig between Dingle and Ballydavid. They cater for all levels and really take care of you. www.seaviewequestrian.com
UNDERWATER Activities on rainy days include the brilliant PADI Bubblemaker which allows kids to experience the underwater world of scuba under close supervision or PADI Seal Team where kids get to dive with flash lights, take pictures or float effortlessly like an astronaut all for over 8’s at the Water world Dive Pool in the Maharees.
Great for little ones and even adults Dingle Ocean World Aquarium is great fun on a rainy day. Sharks, penguins, rays and many more underwater creatures are not just available to view, but have feeding times that are really fun and informative. The lively penguins are a firm favourite of ours!
GLENTENASSIG FOREST This hidden forest is a kids dream with three big lakes surrounded by a wooden boardwalk….so much fun to run around and shout echoes, the large lake at the top takes about an hour. It’s an incredibly beautiful spot in any weather and again bring a picnic as there are tables scattered around the lake.
THE SEA is an endless source of entertainment for children and it costs nothing. They can splash around for hours. The Peninsula has some very safe beaches for body boarding, snorkelling and swimming, but ask your local YNA manager at the meet & greet as some can be dangerous. If they want to go a step further, we can link you up with surf schools for surfing, windsurfing, kayaking and kite boarding.
THE SAND DUNES In the Maharees near Sandy Bay’s blue flag beach are sand dunes called the Warren as there are so many. With their high peaks and huge sand banks, kids love exploring them, Wading through the marram grasses and rolling, jumping down the slopes (take goggles if they are daredevils to prevent getting sand in their eyes). Perfect memories.
For something completely different, why not join an agri tour? These tours are individually desgined for your group and offer a variety of different experiences.
Take part in a farm tour and see a working stud farm at first hand, find out more about Ireland’s passion for horse racing, or learn about the importance of the Irish mussel industry and try local caught sea food ! A great opportunity to discover authentic Irish rural life
WATERSPORTS & ACTIVITIES
Windsurf in the Maharees (Castlegregory) with Jamie Knox
Irish Surf Association Recognised, fully qualified instructors and O’Neill Wetsuits will insure you have the best surf experience. Qualified instructors will teach you the basic’s on the beach before hitting the water. Most of the lesson will be done in waist to chest depth water. At the end of the lesson you’ll be ready to hit the waves on your own to master the techniques.
The group beginner lessons are for people who are new to the sport of surfing. First time surfers can expect to learn the easiest and correct methods of standing up on a surfboard, basic surfing techniques, safe board handling in the water, and general water safety awareness – essential knowledge and skills for taking your surfing to the next level. If you have already covered the basics then the lesson can be adapted to focus on more advanced surf techniques. There is a 7:1 instructor/student ratio ensuring that you get supervision for the duration of your lesson. The price includes board and wetsuit hire, FREE transfers from Dingle town to the beach and 2 hours of full tuition. There really is nothing quite like catching that very first wave!
Sea Kayaking with Irish Adventure Kayak with Fungi Enjoy a half-days sea kayaking in Dingle Harbour, see Fungi the Dolphin at the mouth of the harbour and explore some the many sea caves. This trip is available to all, beginners to advanced paddlers, not very strenuous but a great trip to introduce you to sea kayaking, covers basic kayak skills.
Beach horse riding on the Maharees (Castlegregory)
Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Maharees whilst trekking on the beach.
Now the picturesque town of Dingle has a long been a mecca for those who appreciate a tipple or two; the town has over 50 pubs! It is also a gourmet haven with some of the best food on the Emerald Isle. So an artisan distillery, carefully crafting the finest Irish whiskey couldn’t find a better home! You’ll find Dingle Gin and Dingle Vodka in every pub in town but why not head down to the Dingle Distillery and see how it’s made? Tours take place several times a day in summer with plenty of time for tasting too
Dingle Storm Festival
Over a weekend in early February there are many themed activities to bring people together with sing songs, talks on historical storms and windy tales, photography, theatre, a shipwreck walk, treasure hunts for storm chasers, a colourful welly comp and much more.
Dingle Film Festival
If you’re a film buff then a trip to Ireland could be the perfect treat for you. The Dingle Film Festival is taking place between 23rd to 26th March 2017. Ranking as one of the best boutique film festivals it features screenings and workshops based in and around Dingle Town.
Feile n Bealtaine
In Dingle May Bank Holiday is time for the annual Féile na Bealtaine, possibly the most highly anticipated event in the local calendar. There is a packed schedule of events with exhibitions, concerts, readings, lectures, films, street theatre and a whole lot more. As you can imagine, this being Dingle it is also the perfect excuse for a massive party!
Dingle Adventure Race
Now in its 5th year this exciting event organised by Noel and the Irish Adventure team in Dingle town combines running, kayaking and cycling. The DAR “Mini” is made up of 1km run, 1 km kayaking, 7km cycling, 5km beach run, 6km cycling and a 1km run to the finish line! If this 21km challenge sounds too easy for you then the DAR Sport adds in some tough mountain runs bringing the total distance up to 43km and the DAR Total covers a total of 48km, by which time you will probably be ready to collapse in a heap in the nearest pub…lucky there are so many of them around then!
The Dingle Way Challenge
The challenge in June is a 45km staged trek taking in a mixture of beach walks, grass paths and road walking. The Ultra Dingle Way Challenge is a 57km trek which begins in the foothills of the Connor Pass and includes an extra 12 km of mountaineous route across the pensinsula before joining up the the Dingle Way Challenge route
The annual Ventry regatta weekend is in July. Events include a treasure hunt, sandcastle competision, family sports, Cic Fada competion, Feis rince and a horseshoe-throwing competition
Dingle Horse Races
Ireland’s Largest & Best Horse & Pony Meeting. Every year in August, the field at Ballintaggart changes into an enormous racetrack filled with horses, jockeys and horse racing enthusiasts from all over Ireland and the rest of the world. No less than 20 races are held with a total prize fund of €40,000!
Dingle Food Festival
The food festival, now in its 11th year takes place over 3 days at the end of September and draws huge crowds of visitors from all over Ireland and beyond. Farmers markets, demonstrations and a fantastic taste trail.
The Dingle Marathon is held every September.
A half and full marathon takes place around the spectacular Dingle Peninsula, including the Slea Head Drive. This is a ‘must do’ event guaranteeing a once in a life time experience.
The marathon is famous for its breath taking scenery and beautiful rugged coastline. Over 17 miles of the route is on or next to the sea.
Dingle town comes alive this weekend with an incredible buzz and atmosphere guaranteeing some great memories.
An Féile Bheag Filíochta
The Féile Bheag Filíochta is a poetry held in Ballyferriter every November, it is a popular winter even with workshops, readings, lectures and open mic events. The festival is run in the Irish language but quality poems in any language are welcome
Other Voices is one of Ireland’s most unique music events. The annual gathering, which started in Dingle, has since its inception in 2002 evolved to establish itself as a true ‘one of a kind’. Now stretching along the Atlantic Way from West Kerry North to Derry, Other Voices attracts an expanding array of artists from across the musical spectrum to perform at this intimate musical event which is transmitted worldwide online and as a television series.
New Year in Dingle
Dingle has been voted one of the top 10 places in THE WORLD to experience New Years celebrations. There’s plenty to do with a huge celebration on the streets to welcome in the New Year. From 10pm you can catch some spectacular fireworks over the bay from The Pier. And there’s no way you’ll miss the moment that the clock strikes 12 because everyone will have gathered on The Bridge for that big countdown. Times Square eat your heart out. The town’s Fife and drum band march into the early hours. A great atmosphere!
If it's your first time booking with STAY YNA then we'd like to give a EURO 20 discount on all homes to say welcome!