Walking over 130 kilometres and completing the Dingle Way in Ireland was a fantastic experience, stretching from Tralee to Cloghane, with stops in Annascaul (the home of the famous explorer Tom Crean), Dingle, Dunquin and Ballydavid. Here, I will delve into some of my highlights of this long-distance trail around the scenic Dingle Peninsula in Country Kerry.
Discovering the Irish hospitality
The best part about this trip was meeting the locals and being welcomed into their accommodation, most of which were small B&Bs and also their homes. Our hosts wanted to make us feel at home, and they had the best recommendations for restaurants and pubs. As you can imagine, pubs are very popular in Ireland, and I would suggest not to miss the Railway Tavern in Camp for some great craic (great fun).
Seeing Dunmore Head and Coumeenoole Beach
There is little wonder why National Geographic stated that the Dingle Peninsula was ‘the most beautiful place on earth’. From day one, you are blown away by the beauty of the landscapes. However, as you walk from Dingle to Dunquin, Dunmore Head and Coumeenoole Beach are of another level. Dunmore Head is one of the most westerly points in Europe, and you do somehow feel on another planet. The cliffs are majestic, and the colour of the water is indescribable (the Maldives would be jealous!). You can also admire the Blaskets Islands, a stunning archipelago.
Staying in Dingle town
I enjoyed staying in charmful Dingle. Every local there can tell you about Fungie the dolphin, which used to be Dingle’s most famous resident. Unfortunately, Fungie passed away in 2020, but it has its own statue outside the Tourist and Information Office. Dingle is a colourful town, with plenty of bars and restaurants. I highly suggest getting a crepe at McCarthy’s; it is the best treat after a long day of walking!
(Somehow) Learning Gaelic
‘Failte’. You probably have no idea what this means if you are like me. Well, rest assured you will go home knowing a few words of Gaelic. Gaelic is widely spoken on the Dingle peninsula; we even found shops where the opening times were only given in Gaelic! Speaking with our local taxi driver, we learnt that you often need to talk some Gaelic to acquire a house on the peninsula. 'Failte' means welcome, by the way!
The Dingle Peninsula is, as expected, a rural place with many farms. We crossed many green fields, some divided with hand-built dry-stone walls. I don't think I have ever seen that many sheep in my life, and yet I live in Scotland! We were lucky to walk the Dingle Way during the lambing season and see many cute faces. If you are like me and love animals, it was delightful.
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