What’s there to do in Dingle?

What’s there to do in Dingle?

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Posted Wed 13 Jan 2016 4:51 PM
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Can you give me a list of things to do & see in Dingle?
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Posted Wed 13 Jan 2016 4:52 PM
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There are many things to see and do in Dingle! The Peninsula is home to some of the most spectacular scenery on the island, as well as interesting history and quaint towns. Dingle Town is the main town on the peninsula, where you can find many great pubs, shops and restaurants. Dingle has a strong seafaring tradition, so you could definitely try some of the local (and fresh!) delicacies when you’re there. Dingle Bay is also the home of Fungie: a friendly dolphin who has been living there for over 30 years now, greeting those who come out and meet him. The Dingle Farm Produce and Craft Market is held every Friday, it’s a great way to get a taste of this part of Ireland and meet the locals.

The Dingle Peninsula is great for road trips as well. You could drive the loop within a day (either the R560+ R561 or the N86+ R650, depending on where you start) and there’s also the option of adding the Slea Head Drive (30 km).

The Slea Head Drive is a circular route, forming part of the Wild Atlantic Way, beginning and ending in Dingle that takes in a large number of attractions and stunning views on the western end of the peninsula. The route is clearly labelled by road signs throughout its length. To properly enjoy the drive, a half-day should be set aside for the journey. Travellers usually travel clockwise in order to avoid the large tour buses that frequent the route during the summer. The route is suitable for motorists, but is also enjoyed by cyclists: it is possible to hire a bike at a number of locations in Dingle.

Another option would be to include the Conor Pass – the highest mountain pass in Ireland. It is situated on the road that crosses the peninsula between Dingle Town and the coast on the other side. This road is rather narrow and winding on some points, but the views are simply spectacular! There’s a car park on the pass, to give you even more opportunities to soak up the sheer beauty of Dingle.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Dingle Peninsula might be the perfect destination for you – not surprising, given the tranquil and rugged landscapes! The Dingle Way is a 179 km long hiking and cycling trail, taking you past some truly spectacular panoramic views, interesting historic sites and unspoilt beaches. At the Ceann Sibeal Dingle Golf Club, you can play challenging holes while enjoying the view – what’s not to like! This golf course is located in Ballyferriter, on the northern part of Slea Head, making it the most westerly golf club in Europe. Equestrian enthusiasts can enjoy Dingle’s beaches, mountains and fields as well, as you can book a session with Dingle Horse Riding, just north of Dingle Town.

Dingle can be considered as a treasure chest of archaeologic monuments, such as beehive huts, megalithic tombstones, high crosses and oratories. Some of the best known sites are Gallarus Oratory, the Ballintaggart Ogham Stones, the Dunbeg Promontory Fort and the Beehive Huts just off the southern part of the R559 road (west of Dunbeg Fort). 

Even more historic remnants can be found on the Blasket Islands, just off the coast. These islands used to be inhabited until 1953, and it was a centre of Irish language and culture. You can learn all about this in the Blasket Centre in Dunquin on the mainland, and the Great Blasket Island is still open to visitors. Here, you can discover the pre-historic remains, hilly tracks and the extraordinary bird life. You might also meet the large colony of seals who have made the island their home! It’s also possible to camp the night on this beautiful and rugged island, a great way to get an even better understanding of life on the island.

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What an amazing list, Christoph!

I am sure there are still many people visiting this thread looking for things to do in Dingle.
Since it has not been updated in a while, I would love to add a few unique experiences!

You can go to the Dingle Distillery for a tour, where you can get an insight in how Dingle's popular gin, vodka, and whiskey's are made - and you can of course try a sample and their signature serves.

Straight across from the distillery is the Falconry, where you can watch the falcons take to the skies, and enjoy the falcon show. 

If you walk past the waterfront from the Falconry, you start making your way into Dingle town. On the way in you can find Dingle's former fish factory, where Wave is now located: an immersive underwater experience of the Wild Atlantic Way. You walk through the former halls of the fish factory, and learn a bit about the history of the factory, before entering the spacious halls where the huge screens on the walls show you underwater life. 

Of course, Dingle town itself is always buzzing as well with things to do.
Check out Carol Cronin's art gallery, and let her gigantic oil paint seascapes take your breath away.

Across from the gallery is the church, a central point of Dingle town. You would not think it looking at the front gates, but behind the church are sweeping gardens, with native plants, and beautiful mazes and fairy-like arches based on Celtic mythology.

In the church itself, you can see Harry Clarke's stained glass windows.

Are you looking for maybe a bit more action? As Christoph mentioned, you can visit The Blasket Islands, but you can also do the Great Blasket Island boat tour - you take the boat around the islands to spot marine wildlife. Sometimes, there are even puffins! The boat leaves from Dingle, Ventry Bay, and Dunquin, all during the high season.

There is also the option to do Dingle Sea Safari - you go from Dingle Bay around the peninsula, and if you are lucky you can spot dolphins, seals, and even basking sharks!

Don't worry about getting hungry, because Dingle is a real foodie town! There is Nourish just hidden off Greenstreet, where you can get sandwiches on their homemade sourdough bread. Across from Nourish is the trendy Bean in Dingle, a coffeeshop famous in Kerry.

Looking for something a bit more traditional? Benners Hotel, with their cosy lounge and traditional scones has you covered.
For dinner, Danno's has great traditional Irish food, made with love in their cosy pub.

Something more upscale would be Out of the Blue seafood restaurant, appropriately located on the marina - go here to get impressed by their super fresh seafood and refined flavours (book ahead, especially in summer!)

Looking for traditional music? The Dingle Pub, O Sullivan's Courthouse Pub, and Nelligan's will have you covered! Looking for not so traditional music? The Green Room is a speakeasy cocktailbar and music venue, where they often have dj sets, up and coming artists, and some famous Irish trad musicians. It's hidden in the alleyway next to John Benny's pub, where you go up the stairs.
Lastly, I cannot emphasise doing the Slea Head Drive enough. The stunning views along the route alone are so worth doing the loop, but it's definitely worth stopping at Louis Mulcalhy, where you can do a pottery course, admire the works of art, and have a cup of coffee.

Christoph already mentioned the Beehive Huts, which are similar structures as the ones on Skellig Michael, where Star Wars was filmed!
The same farm that has the Beehive Huts on their land also hosts sheep dog shows, and you can hold their baby lambs during lambing season.
So, despite Dingle being a small town, you definitely won't get bored!


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