Visiting Dingle Town & Peninsula
Dingle, Kerry. Ireland’s scenic Peninsula
Dingle or it’s proper name An Daingean ar Chúis, which means “o’Cuis’s fort”
Is a town in County Kerry that is noted for its scenery and its culture, it is located 30 miles south of Tralee and 40 miles north of Killarney town. It is the main town on the Dingle peninsula, and is very popular as a holiday destination for Irish people and international visitors alike. Which explains why it has 52 bars, a town of 2000 people could not keep them all open without a lot of help. It has been awarded a TripAdvisor award Best destinations 2010 award, which is a well deserved but nevertheless impressive achievement.
Scenery, walks and Drives on the Dingle Peninsula
Dingle is one of Ireland’s most visited tourist destination. It is the main town on the Dingle Peninsula, and boasts a strong vibrant traditional culture, with many of Ireland’s best traditional musicians regularly playing in the area. It also has a strong Gaeltacht community, where Irish is still spoken as the daily language.
Dingle boasts some of Irelands most stunning scenery, with the Slea Head route along the coast of the Dingle Peninsula being considered one of the top 10 most scenic coastal routes in the world and no doubt about it, it is stunning, from the start at Ventry beach, around Dun chaoin pier, which overlooks the Blasket Islands and Skellig Michael, both internationally famous sites. Skellig Michael is a Unesco world heritage site.
Once you head up the coast to Ballydavid, you come to the harbour where St. Brendan sailed forth in the 8th Century and went to Iceland and Greenland, there is also some evidence to suggest that he ventured as far as America or Canada as well. The picturesque mountain that you see from the pier, is Sliabh Brendaín, named after the man himself.
A walk that I really enjoy is the old Ventry road from Dingle to Ventry town. If you want to get away from the busy roads, but are looking for more solitude and peace, then this is the one for you.
Things to do Dingle / Whats to see in Dingle
An Droichead Béag – One of Ireland’s most well know traditional Irish music pubs is located in Dingle. The Droichead constantly has some of Dingle, Kerry and Ireland’s musicians playing there.
Dan Mac’s – My favourite bar in Dingle. I love the little coves and I love having a cracking pint of Guinness in the yard at the back on a summer evening.
Skellig Michael is easily one of the most impressive sites in Ireland. It is a little Island, little more than a barren rock off the Dingle Peninsula. It is a secluded but very beautiful place. In the 5th century, a group of Monks left from near Waterville and established a monastic settlement on the Island, carving out steps to the top of the Island, where they built beehive huts.
There is also an anchorage site, where a monk would have stayed in solitude, when he looked out from his hut, the grey stone, the Irish grey sea and the sky (all too often grey as well) looked as if they were all one. Truly he was close to God and at one with the primal elements, water, air and earth, all merged in to one. It is one of the most spectacular and spiritual places that I have ever been and writing this, makes me eager to go back.
Funghi the Dolphin
Since 1984, a bottle nose dolphin was lived in the harbour area. He has been christened Funghi, why I have no idea. It does not seem to be an Irish word, maybe it is because he cropped up out of the blue. Funghi is an exceptionally friendly Dolphin and has become a major attraction. He is unusual as well as given that he is a bottlenose Dolphin, who usually are very social creatures and travel in pods, he has decided to live alone.
It is believed that he is about 25 years old, which is very old for a bottlenose. There are boats available from the harbour to go see Funghi, and if you do not see him then you get a refund. As you can imagine, they make sure that Funghi turns up, as they loose out if he does not. What a Dolphin will not do for a bucket of fish.
Dingle accommodation/ Dingle Hotels
The Dingle Skelling hotel and Spa, is located just outside the town, on the water edge. The Dingle Skellig Hotel was founded in 1969, it is noted for its location right on the waterfront. Beautiful setting for a hotel and within a few minutes walk of Dingle town center.
O’Gorman’s clifftop Restaurant and House
A really special place, and a great location to get away from it all, it’s award winning restaurant and the spectacular view, make this my favourite stress busting destination. It is also in the heart of the Gaeltacht and gives me an excellent opportunity to improve my Irish.
Benners hotel Dingle
Located in the heart of the Town, it is a mid-sized hotel, that maintains its personal touch and is the most central of all the hotels in Dingle.
Restaurants in Dingle
Dingle is noted for its Seafood and has a wide choice of restaurants and eateries catering to all budgets. Some of the more noted ones are listed below.
• Out of the Blue Seafood
• Fenton’s of Dingle
• An Canteen
• Ashe’s Seafood Bar
• The Goat street Cafe
• Global Village Restaurant
This Photo is looking out across the Slea Head, at the end of the Dingle Peninsula. The Slea head drive has been named as one of the most stunning sea side routes in the world.
Dinlgle is the main town on the Dingle Peninsula but it is buy no means the only other one, there are many villages as well, such as Ventry, Annascaul, Ballydavid, Castlegregory and Camp. Annascaul is home to the “South Pole Inn” , which was owned by the Arctic Explorer, Tom Crean. Many of these are passed when you are walking on the Dingle Way walk.