Ringed by sandy beaches and steep cliffs, Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland’s most stunning areas to visit. The Atlantic coast in the southwest of the country is home to one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever come across. For a small, quaint village, ‘Darling Dingle’ has a lot going on and what better way to dive into the action than to spend a weekend exploring all its nooks and crannies. Gorge on fresh fish, immerse yourself in a landscape unlike any other and taste a slice of the authentic Irish culture. Here’s how to spend 48 hours getting to know the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry.
1. Slea Head Loop
See some of Kerry’s most visited attractions in a matter of hours from the comfort of your car. Venture down the narrow, winding roads of the Irish coastline and stop along the way to witness some of the country’s most attractive natural landmarks. Starting and ending in Dingle town, the route can be driven in a few hours or over the course of a day, depending on how much time you want to spend at each spot. Discover famous sites such as Ventry beach and its idyllic harbour, Dunbeg Fort dating back to the Iron Age, the Blasket Islands – Ireland’s most western point and the curious Beehive Huts synonymous with the Kerry landscape.
2. Fungi the Dolphin
Head out to sea to meet one of Dingle’s most famous faces, Fungi the Dolphin. A permanent resident of Dingle Bay since 1983, the pride of the town attracts thousands of visitors every year from far and wide. Hop on of the many boat tours leaving the pier and see if you can spot the creature that craves human affection. Book in with Dingle Dolphin Tour, Dingle Harbour Cruise or Dingle Sea Safari to spend an hour with the Bottlenose dolphin in its natural habitat. The animal also familiarly known as the Dingle Dolphin, is so popular with the locals that they commissioned a statue to be built which stands on the water’s edge in the village. A great one for all the family to enjoy, you’ll fall in love with Fungi immediately.
3. Mount Brandon
Dust off your walking shoes and spend the morning hiking up Ireland’s highest peak. The steep ascend to the summit of Mount Brandon is challenging but what greets you at the top is worth the climb. Boasting brilliant views over the Kerry countryside and the Blasket Islands in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, the whole loop takes around 4 hours so make sure to start early enough in the day to give yourself enough time to complete it. The trail is also an immensely popular pilgrimage due to its ties with Irish Pagans and early Irish Christianity. Standing 952 metres above the ground, you can’t visit the Dingle Peninsula and not take on one of the best walks along the Wild Atlantic Way.
4. Dingle Pub Crawl
After all that sight-seeing, quench your thirst in one of Dingle’s many traditional Irish pubs and try the local brews. Walk past any bar in the village and listen as the hum of traditional music pours out through the cracks in the doors. Visit one of the famous watering holes such as McCarthy’s Pub on Goat Street, Foxy John’s or An Droichead Beag and chat with the locals over a pint of Guinness. Take a trip to Dingle Brewing Company, located in a 19th century creamery building on the road towards Connor Pass and enjoy an afternoon of eclectic culture and history.
5. Surfing at Inch Beach
Ireland’s coast with the most is the ultimate surfer’s paradise, so squeeze into that wetsuit and get ready to brave the wild Atlantic. Miles and miles of golden sand give way to a diverse range of surfing opportunities. You’ll find a beach suitable for all levels whether you’re a pro or trying it out for the first time. Start at the beautiful Inch Beach, where the waves are mild and gentle and book a lesson with the local surf school to get you up on your feet. Bordered by the Kerry Mountains, the beach is not only perfect for paddling in the water but also has great views of the landscape.
With a stellar reputation for serving up some of the best grub on the west coast, Ireland’s Foodie Town doesn’t disappoint. Priding themselves on using top-quality local produce, the friendly locals are always more than happy to give recommendations of where to eat during your stay. If you want to fully immerse yourself in the culinary culture of the village, spend some time at Dingle Cookery School where you can join a class or go on one of their food and drink tours. Of course a town on the coast is going to have some great seafood options so book a table in Out of the Blue or The Boat Yard for the best fish dishes in town. Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, there’s a weekly farmers market selling all kinds of fresh produce – take the opportunity to sample some local delicacies while you’re there.
Wake up to the sound of the ocean and views across the bay in some of Dingle’s varied accommodation. Offering rooms in stylish hotels, homely B&Bs, rustic farmhouses and back-to-basics camping, you’re really spoilt for choice. Here’s some of the top picks on the peninsula:
Dingle Skellig Hotel – Emlagh West
Dingle Benners Hotel – Main Street
O’Connor’s Guest House – Cloghane
Barr na Sraide Inn – Grove
Heading to the Dingle Peninsula soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of what to do in Dingle, Kerry using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media feed.
Flights to Knock
- Lucy Norris