Here are some of our favourites.
A. The Banks.
This favourite walk of the people of Dingle is a gentle stroll along relatively flat fields. During winter and wet weather you will cross some very wet farmland. Departure point is outside the Skellig hotel. The Walk brings you along the banks of the harbour, where you see boats passing in and out, wildlife, farm life, sea birds, seals and the famous Dingle dolphin, Fungie. The main part of the walk brings you first to Hussey’s Folly, a watch tower built during famine times, just below this is Sladeen, a safe swimming spot and a great place to spot Fungie.
The walk continues from here out along the mouth of the harbour at the Lighthouse. From here you get great views from the harbour. At this point you can decide if you want to continue along the cliffs to Been Bawn beach, which is a half mile further on. This part of the walk involves some climbs over fences and narrow cliffs paths at points. Been Bawn is a beautiful sheltered beach that is a favourite swimming spot for Dingle people and also a great spot during stormy conditions to see massive waves crashing against the land. To complete the walk , but only for the energetic, the path crosses the car park in the lower end and a steep walk brings you to the top of been Bawn head. This is a steep challenging walk but well worth the effort. The 360 degree views out over the harbour east to Dun Sion over the MacGillycuddy Reeks and over the harbour mouth back into Dingle are your reward for this climb. This is the end of the trail. You then retrace your steps home.
B. Eask Tower
A short drive out of Dingle towards Ventry on the Slea Head road, you will see a turn off for the left for Holden leather goods and Burnham riding stables. Taking the left here, first take an immediate left into Colaiste Ide (Irish Speaking Boarding School) to see close up great ancient Ogham stones. Coming back out of the college take a left and head approx 2 miles along the road to almost the end, where you will meet a widening on the road at a farmstead. You will see a little wooden shed just by the field on the right. Park the car here and leave a small financial contribution, as stated at the shed, for the farm owner.
The walk takes you straight up through farmland to Eask tower. This first part of the walk zig zags upward giving you fantastic view across the harbour back over Dingle town. When you reach the top (approx 30 min walk), you will be greeted by sheer cliffs on the south side and amazing views over Dingle and Ventry harbour. The tower itself was built in 1847 as a famine relief programme. It was a pointer for fishermen for the ‘blind harbour’ entrance below. It is 35 feet in height, 14 feet in width and 42 feet around.
C. Siuloid na Cille (Cill Ghobnait Loop walk)
Parking your car in the Blasket Centre, you head back up towards the main road crossing at the hostel. Heading straight up to almost the end of the road, here you will come across a ‘yellow man walking’, turn left with him. This takes you along the top of the hill towards the highest point with the road on your left below. You can climb to the point or just head down to the road crossing. Here you will head left towards the fields to the cliffs (or extend your walk by an hour by heading right up to the cliffs on Clogher head). This brings you lazily down the cliffs past the school house for the movie, Ryans Daughter. Further along the cliffs you will come to the pier under An Carraig Dubh ‘the black rock’, a great place for wave watching during high seas. You will come back to the Blasket Centre, where your car is parked. This is a relatively easy walk just over 5km and has the most beautiful scenery of the Blasket islands.
D. Siuloid Chuas na hEigne
Start: Clogher Strand, Ballyferiter. 8 miles west of Dingle.
This beautiful cliff walk is an easy walk less than 2 miles long. The walk is flat and has 3 or 4 stiles. The walk starts and finishes in the public car park at Clogher beach. This is a stunning beach but not suitable for swimming. On the right hand side of the beach, 400 million year old fossils are clearly visible on the cliffs. The car park offers stunning views of the sleeping giant (Inis Tuaisceart) and offers exciting insights into the energy of the wild Atlantic on stormy weather. Walk back up the road from the car park and turn left at the blue and white markers.
The views as you walk along the cliff face above the beach of An Tireacht and Inis Tuaisceart are stunning. Further on is Poll Na gCaorach (blowhole) and Poll no Toirni and Cuas Na Nao. Continuing northwards and with Ceann Sibeal (Sibeal Head) towering over you on the left, a little gravel beach comes into view below you, Cuaisin na Miongan bui. A little further on is a little slipway, Cé Bhaile an Chaladh. For the final part turn right and follow the small paved track back westwards towards Ballyferriter/Dunquin road (R559), and take in the views on a short walk towards the car park at the beach.
E. Cosan Na Naomh
This famous cross terrain walk (Pilgrimage route) is a serious walk, as it covers 18km and a high level of fitness is required. Also a bit of pre-planning in terms of transportation, proper equipment and snacks needs to be arranged. The trek starts at Ventry beach just under the village (4 miles west of Dingle).
The tradition of pilgrimage to Brandon Mountain dates back to the earliest times, before the pagan deity Crom Dubh was reputedly ousted from the mountain by the great St Brendan the Navigator (d. 577 or 583). The medieval Christian pilgrimage was probably adapted by the Church from a pagan celebration. The route follows the Saint’s Road from Ventry Strand to the grotto at the foot of Brandon Mountain and winds its way among the fuchsia-hedged fields between the sea and the mountain.
The area is rich in bird and plant life, and heritage sites along the route include the famous Gallarus Oratory, a corbelled structure that may have been built to shelter passing pilgrims. The dry stone oratory, described by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney as ‘a core of old dark walled up with stone a yard thick’, has remained watertight since its construction at some time between the seventh and twelfth centuries. A little further along the route, there is an Ogham stone beside the Romanesque church at Kilmalkedar. The church is dedicated to the local St Maolcéadair and is surrounded by fascinating historical remnants, including a twelfth-century sundial.
A nearby holy well is dedicated to St Brendan, as is a collapsed oratory of the Gallarus type. Lying against a wall on the far side of the main road is a bullaun, a stone with man-made cavities, which was probably designed for use in blessings and healings. Although the traditional pilgrimage extended to the summit of Brandon Mountain, the route now ends at Ballybrack.
F. Mount Brandon
A tough steep walk to the summit of Ireland’s second highest mountain will take approx 4.5 hours. A good level of fitness and suitable clothing for challenging quick changing weather conditions is required. It has an elevation of 953 meters. The mountain is hazardous, has steep cliffs, and is prone to sudden disorientating mists. Walkers proceed to the summit entirely at their own risk.
The trek starts at the car park in Baile Breac. To get to the summit you follow the Pilgrims′ Route and ‘The Stations of The Cross’.
Walkers make regular trips to the mountain. Christian pilgrims also follow the ancient path now known as The Saints Road, which is marked with many small white crosses along the path. At the summit there is a large metallic cross to mark the end of the walk. This path greatly pre-dates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and some historians believe it was originally a pagan pilgrim path for the greatest of all Irish deities, the Sun God Lug Lámh Fada (Lug of the Long Reach). No doubt pagans still walk this track to the ridge of the mountain to this very day.
G. Siuloid Luibe Com Dubh, Annascaul.
Annascaul Village (8 miles to the east of Dingle).
This gentle, circular walk, starting in Annascaul village, is well marked by red signposts. It travels along the minor roads and lanes and should take approx 90 minutes, but allow more time if visiting the lake. Distance 8.5km.
The walk takes you to the glacial valley containing Annascaul Lake with its steep cliff walls, through forestry plantations, and a large ring fort. It takes you past the birthplace of Sculptor Jerome Connor, past Ballinacourty Graveyard and Tom Creans grave, past the stone built tower that was the water tower for the Tralee- Dingle Railway
We have so many other walks to suggest but please ask and we will provide the necessary maps and suggestions. The weather on the peninsula is very unpredictable, so for longer walks appropriate clothing is necessary.
Don’t forget your walking boots, maps, packed lunch, and our suggestions on the best stops and sights for your route and we can also give you an idea of the forecast each morning.
What we provide: Maps, drying and clean down room, packed lunches and the all important wine menu for that after walk “feet up by the fire”.
For your own personal guide, please contact Kevin & Claire at celticnature.com,. Tel: 00 353 (0)87 6247230 or [email protected]
For all walking equipment:
Mountain Man Shop Strand St, www.themountainmanshop.com +353 (0)66 9152400
If you do not have a bike then don’t worry, there are plenty of places to hire one in town. We can provide maps, packed lunches or whatever else you need for a great day.
Shorter cycles to Ventry, Eask tower & Ballydavid are also great. For those looking for a challenge, a climb up the Conor Pass will please. The descent makes up for the climb.
What we provide: maps, packed lunches, recommendations on stops and activities, details on the weather conditions and secure storage for your bikes and equipment, and a Hot Tub for your sore muscles after your cycle.
Paddys Rent-a-bike, Dykegate St, +353 (0)66 9152311 [email protected]
Rothai, (Cycle tours & Hire) Strand St, +353 (0)66 9152400 [email protected]
Foxy Johns Bike Hire, Main St., Dingle. Tel: 00 353 (0)66 9151316 or [email protected]
A morning’s gallop along the beach and an afternoon in the hills getting lost in the mist, or a full week trekking the peninsula. There is something to suit every schedule and every level.
It is well worth booking your Horse Riding pre-arrival to avoid disappointment. We can happily help with these arrangements.
Check out the following stables:
Dingle Horse Riding Ltd, Ballinaboula www.dinglehorseriding.com +353 (0)66 9152199
Long’s Ventry www.longsriding.com +353 (0)66 9159034
Sea-View Equestrian Centre. Sean & Kathy 00 353 (0)87 1338084 or [email protected]
Dingle Golf Links, Ceann Sibeal are located in Ballyferriter Village. The 18 hole Par 72 course is a truly traditional links. It is known as St Andrews of the South West and is situated in one of the most spectacular locations in Europe.
Also as part of golf on Dingle Peninsula, you have the Superb 9 hole Links course in Castlegregory.
Within an hour’s drive we have the world famous Arnold Palmer-designed Tralee Golf Club, another Links course recognised as one of the top 10 ocean courses. Killarney Golf Club, past host of the Irish Open on numerous occasions, offers the challenging Killeen Course lapping along the lakes of Killarney. Dooks Golf Course in Glenbeigh is another challenging Links course with spectacular views.
Not forgetting a little further afield, The Famous Ballybunion and Waterville courses.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more courses that we would gladly recommend.
Dingle Golf Links/Ceann Sibeal, Ballyferriter, www.dinglelinks.com +353 (0)66 9156255
Castlegregory Golf Links www.castlegregorygolflinks.com +353 (0)66 7139444
Covering the Mesolithic Period, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the early Christian period, the Viking and Medieval period and from the 1600’s to modern times, the Dingle Peninsula is a historical and cultural paradise. If this is your interest, we strongly recommend you to take a fabulous trip with Tim and Michael Collins. Contact details below:
Sciuird Archaeological Tours [email protected] +353 (0)66 9151606
Dingle is within an hour of the Killarney & Listowel races courses. These courses run frequent meetings across the months of May to September.
Check out their websites for exact dates:
There are regular boat trips daily all year round. They depart from the pier and take an hour. The entertainment provided by Fungie and the beauty of the harbour is a fantastic way to pass an hour for all ages.
Dingle Dolphin boat Tours. www.dingledolphin.com +353 (0)66 9152626
Dingle Bay Charters. 00 353 (0)87 6726100 or [email protected]
Surfing is one of the fastest growing and most popular sports in Ireland over the past 10 years. The Atlantic continually smashes against the rugged Dingle peninsula coast creating ideal surfing conditions. It is right up there with the best in the world in terms of surfing locations. What is best about Dingle is that it is unspoilt, never crowded, and plain fun. All types of surfing conditions can be found within a small area, from waves suitable to the beginner right up to the professional.
When to come…
The autumn is your best bet for consistent waves. The major swells start to push in from mid-September onwards. In the winter months the water temperature can take a dive, but the north swells start firing. In spring the swells are more spread out but we usually still have decent waves up to around Easter and beyond. In the summer the swells are at their lightest and the prevailing south-westerly winds often make for messy conditions that are perfect for beginners.
What we provide
- Recommendations on the best spots based on your levels of experience.
- Wash down and Drying room for wet suits and boards.
- Secure Storage.
- Packed Lunches.
- Bookings for those who want to take lessons and take part in surfing camps.
For Lessons and Equipment Rental:
Dingle Surf. Tel 00 353 (0)87 7578988 or [email protected]
Wild SUP Tours. 00353 ( 0)83 476 6428 or [email protected]
Jamie Knox water sports, Castlegregory. www.jamieknox.com +353 (0)66 7139411
Sunset Sea –Kayaking on the peaceful waters of the bay at its most tranquil hours is also worth organising your day around.
Pre –booking is essential.
Contact Irish Adventures on +353 (0)87 4190318 www.irishadventures.net
Inshore Fishing provides the opportunities to fish Cod, Pollock, Ling, Mackerel & Rays. Off-shore there is opportunities to catch Tuna and Shark. Pre-booking for this is essential to find out what suits you and your party. Make sure to bring sun screen, warm clothing & hat or woolly cap, even on the good days. Dingle Bay Charters www.dinglebaycharters.com +353 (0)87 6726100 Deep Sea Dingle. www.deepseadingle.com +353 (0)87 2213900
Inshore Fishing provides the opportunities to fish Cod, Pollock, Ling, Mackerel & Rays. Off-shore there is opportunities to catch Tuna and Shark.
Pre-booking for this is essential to find out what suits you and your party. Make sure to bring sun screen, warm clothing & hat or woolly cap, even on the good days.
Dingle Bay Charters www.dinglebaycharters.com +353 (0)87 6726100
Deep Sea Dingle. www.deepseadingle.com +353 (0)87 2213900
Unique diving can be found off the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands to suit every level of experience and interest, from novice to expert. Diving and snorkelling enthusiasts have discovered the unexplored underwater paradise lying just offshore.
Diving packages are usually sold on a half day basis with all equipment provided. It normally consists of 2 dives, one deep dive followed by one shallow, after the required surface interval.
Dingle Marina Dive Centre, [email protected] +353 (0)66 9152422
Waterworld, Castlegregory www.waterworld.ie +353 (0)66 7139292
Dingle Sailing Centre at the marina, run excellent training courses for all ages. The Dingle Sailing club is a small, friendly club and are renowned for their great training.
Dingle Sailing Club at the Marina www.dinglesailingclub.com +353 (0)87 3904816
Ventry, Inch and Brandon Bay are all quiet and long windy beaches. Therefore they are very popular Kite surfing spots. There are also great Kite Surfing instructors on the peninsula.
Dingle is the perfect place to learn kite surfing. Come for a few days with your lessons pre-booked, and enjoy the morning on the sea and the afternoons touring the peninsula.
Within a mile of the town there are 3 beaches and approx 20 more beaches of all sizes on the peninsula. If you are a Sea Swimmer we can direct you to the safest and most beautiful spots. If you are a wave watcher, and sea and bird life photography is your passion, our knowledge of the Dingle peninsula will guide you to the best vantage points.
Or if you are looking for a simple day on the beach with a picnic and blanket, followed by a jog along a sandy beach, then this is the place to come.