Fringed by dramatic cliffs and hidden beaches, the Dingle Peninsula protrudes into the Atlantic Ocean off the south-west coast of Ireland. It is renowned for its links to Irish-language storytellers, poets and writers. The offshore Blanket Islands are particularly famed for their memoirs documenting 19th-century rural life.
Things to do in Dingle Peninsula
Majestic landscapes, centuries-old ruins and monuments steeped in mystery - the Dingle Peninsula has it all.
Photograph the MV Ranga. In 1982, this Spanish cargo vessel lost power during a storm and became wrecked at Dunmore Head. While the crew was rescued, the ship was written off and broke into two, with only the bow still visible today. Coincide your visit with a stop at nearby Coumeenole Beach, which offers scenic views of the Blasket Islands.
Drive Conor Pass. At 455 metres, Conor Pass is one of the highest paved roads in Ireland and offers spectacular views along its winding route. It takes in dramatic cliff faces and high corrie lakes, with several spots to stop along the way. From the pass, you can view both the northern and southern coastlines of the Dingle Peninsula.
Explore the ruins of Rahinnane Castle. Constructed on the site of an ancient ringfort is this 15th-century castle, which is located in the west of the Dingle Peninsula. Listed as a National Monument, it is believed by some to be the last piece of land in Ireland to be held by the Vikings. Rahinnane Castle was finally ruined during the Cromwellian conquest in the mid-17th century.
Witness the Gallarus Oratory. Built from red sandstone, this centuries-old oratory is one of Ireland’s best-preserved early Christian churches and an impressive example of ancient drystone construction. It overlooks the harbour at Ard na Caithne, not far from the early monastic settlement of Reask.
Getting around Dingle Peninsula
Kerry Airport serves as the main aviation gateway to the Dingle Peninsula and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Buses connect to towns and villages throughout the Dingle Peninsula, although renting a car gives you greater freedom to explore the area.