County Kerry is usually listed as the top of the most beautiful counties in Ireland, and Dingle Peninsula along with the Ring of Kerry are recommended as ‘must see’ in Ireland. The Ring of Kerry, Beara Peninsula and Killarney National Park are long behind us, and we’ve got our eyes for a long time on Dingle. We spent one day there and we already know for sure that we will return to the Dingle Peninsula, because in several places we spent much more time than planned and we didn’t have enough to see everything we listed.
Don’t treat this post as a complete trip plan to Dingle Peninsula, because we had to skip some important places. We believe that we will be able to go back soon and finish what we started. However, we are glad that we managed to find some real gems that you won’t read about in too many places.
Fenit – Dingle Peninsula
The thing with Fenit looks like this – this tiny town isn’t on the Dingle Peninsula itself, but north of it, on the other side of Tralee Bay. Fenit made it here firstly because the view of Dingle from there which is beautiful, and secondly, because we didn’t know where to write about it, and this place is absolutely phenomenal! We were shocked that we had never read about this place anywhere. There is a small beach in Fenit, a marina for boats, and from the waterfront you can see the island with the Fenit lighthouse.
People in Fenit love to swim in the waters of the bay (the sight alone made us shiver), and on the map you will find a place marked ‘Fenit Diving Boards’, this is where diving boards were installed in the past. For safety reasons, the boards were dismantled, but apparently there is a local movement to restore them. Right next to it is the island of Fenit connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. We noticed a lot of tents and campers there, so this must be one of the few wild camping sites in Ireland. We wanted to get by car to the other side of the island where there is a small beach. Unfortunately, the access is private and the road is closed – for this reason, we limited ourselves to drone flights. We don’t recommend driving to the island by car, because the road is pretty rough and we thought that we would lose our suspension there.
Blennerville Mill – Dingle Peninsula
Mills in Ireland aren’t a common sight (we wrote about mills in Skerries here), but as you can see – they do happen to be preserved. The Blennerville Mill is the only mill on the Wild Atlantic Way and the largest mill in Ireland, still operating. The mill can be visited, an adult ticket costs 8 euros. You can find more information about sightseeing and tickets here.
Derrymore Island – Dingle Peninsula
This is a place that looks very intriguing from above at low tide. We recommend drones! We don’t know if the island can be entered legally as it’s nature reserve but privately owned. We saw a car in the pictures from the drone. Getting there is definitely not easy and requires an off-road vehicle.
Fahamore – Dingle Peninsula
To get to Fahamore you have to cross a tiny Maharees peninsula. On the way, we pass several campsites, a beach, and finally nice views. In general, the entire peninsula in the middle of the season (early August) didn’t seem too crowded, and unexpectedly for Ireland there are quite a few amenities for sunbathing. Most of the beaches in Ireland are wild, you won’t find toilets or beach bars next to them. If you go sunbathing or surfing – there is no shortage of infrastructure in this area.
Ballycurane – Dingle Peninsula
Another place on the same peninsula, but on the other side. On the map at the bottom you will find the marked beach we reached. It’s tiny and rocky, but on Saturday morning in high season there was no living soul there. If you want to have a beach just for yourself this is the perfect place! You can see the Magharee Islands from there. To get to the beach, you have to leave your car a bit further, because the roads are narrow and private (marked on the map).
Magharee Islands – Dingle Peninsula
The Magharee Islands are a real gem! We have never heard of this place, and Dawid dug it out of the depths of the Internet looking for places to fly a drone. The Magharee Islands are a group of tiny islands also known as “The Seven Hogs”. The islands have been uninhabited since the 1980s, but in the summer time farmers bring their sheep there. The farm is the only building on the islands. On the largest island, Oileán tSeannaig in Gaelic, there are the ruins of an early Christian settlement founded by Saint Senan in the 7th century. Magharee Islands is a perfect place for diving and snorkelling, watching pictures from the drone we are not surprised at all – the water has an amazing colour and is very clear. Apparently you can take Island Tour from Scraggane Ba but we haven’t found more information.
Cappagh Beach – Dingle Peninsula
Another gem we haven’t read about anywhere. Cappagh Beach is long and wide, covered with rocks in some places. On a sunny day, at low tide, it’s reminiscent of tropical beaches rather than cloudy Ireland. There were a few people outside of us in the middle of the season, and at lunchtime, everyone took off and we were left alone. Little rocks are a great place where you can have a picnic without worrying about sand in food.
Brandon Point – Dingle Peninsula
Great vantage point on the ocean and surrounding beaches. We climbed only a bit up from the road, but you can do a short trek there.
Conor Pass – Dingle Peninsula
Conor Pass is a picturesque mountain with good quality road. It’s the highest mountain pass in Ireland and is served by tarmac road. The views are fabulous! We recommend stopping at the viewpoint at Lake Doon. It’s home to the Conor Pass waterfall and overlooking the nearby lakes in the valley. From this point, you can also walk a bit to Lake Doon, and the views are even better there!
Slea Head Drive – Dingle Peninsula
A “loop” through Slea Head is one of Ireland’s most scenic routes. You just have to travel this road, there is no question about it!
Dingle – Dinle Peninsula
Dingle is a pleasant, colourful town where you must stop for the only artisan ice cream in Ireland – Murphy’s. Ice cream isn’t cheap, but it’s worth trying, we recommend the sea salt flavour. In Dingle, you can also grab a boat and go see the local superstar – Fungie dolphin. Fungie is a full time resident of the bay, he has been appearing in it since 1983 and used to “escort” fishermen to the port. An hour-long trip costs 15 euros per person. We didn’t have time, but next time we will definitely go to see how Fungie is doing.
Dunmore Head – Dingle Peninsula
Dunmore Head is one of the westernmost points in Europe. The cliff on Dunmore Head is very picturesque. Great place for landscape photos! Star Wars scenes are said to have been filmed on Dunmore Head, but it’s not as popular for fans of the series as the Skelling Michael Island.
Dunquin Harbor – Dingle Peninsula
Dunquin Harbor is definitely one of the most picturesque places we have seen and without a doubt the hottest Instagram spot in Ireland. Two dramatic rocks emerging from the ocean and a rocky, winding road going down to the waterfront make a really big impression. This stone winding road is called The Sheep Highway. In the 1950s, the inhabitants of Blasket Island who ran farms were evacuated from Blasket Island. Since the resettlement, the inhabitants have started transporting sheep to the islands and back (the sheep are just going on a grazing trip to the Blasket Islands), and the stone road is used to bring them to a small port. A few years ago, the internet circulated a photo of an SUV stuck on that narrow stone road … Also remember, Sheep Highway is a sheep only road!
Blasket Islands – Dingle Peninsula
The Blasket Islands are an archipelago of small islands located two kilometres from the Dingle Peninsula. The islands are currently uninhabited, but the largest of them, Great Blasket Island, can be reached by boat.