DINGLE PENINSULA: best things to do and info 2023

Discover the majestic Dingle Peninsula, one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Here is our guide to the best things to see and do.

DINGLE PENINSULA: things to do and info 2023.

The dramatic landscape and sweeping sea views make the Dingle Peninsula unique, but it doesn’t stop there. 

Together with the rich history of the area, the vibrancy of Dingle town, and the feeling of being among wild nature, the Dingle Peninsula has proved to be one of Ireland’s top attractions, and it’s hard not to see why.

If you are overdue for another visit to this stunning part of County Kerry or are planning your first-ever visit, keep reading for the best things to do and essential info for 2023. 

IB4UD’s fun facts about the Dingle Peninsula:

  • This famous Irish peninsula has been home to various tribes and populations for over 6,000 years.
  • Much of the peninsula is a Gaeltacht region where the Irish language is widely spoken in the home, at work and at school. 
  • Dingle’s unofficial mascot has long been the bottlenose dolphin Fungi, who sadly disappeared from Dingle Bay in October 2020 after 38 years of living there.
  • One of the peninsula’s most famous residents was Tom Crean, a well-known Antarctic explorer whose legacy remains. 

The best things to do on the Dingle Peninsula in 2023 – unmissable activities

5. Dunquin Pier – not an ordinary pier

Dunquin Pier is one of the best things to do on the Dingle Peninsula.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Known locally as Dun Chaoin Pier, this is one of the top things to do on the Dingle Peninsula, and it is a spectacular sight to see, so a fully charged camera is a must.

This scenic pier is the main departure point if you are taking a boat tour to the iconic Blasket Islands. 

Nevertheless, with or without a tour, stopping off here and taking a stroll down is advised, but not before enjoying the view from above. 

Bear in mind, like many of the region’s attractions, the pier can get jam-packed in the summer months. So, try to arrive early to have the place to yourself and take memorable photos.

Address: Ballyickeen Commons, Co. Kerry, Ireland

MORE: Dunquin Pier: when to visit & things to know

4. Inch Beach – one of the country’s best beaches

Inch Beach is one of the country's best beaches.
Credit: Flickr/ Andrew Bennett

Inch Beach is undoubtedly an exciting stop-off for many, especially those who have never driven on a beach before. 

As well as being a drivable beach and a popular place for families and friends to swim and picnic on sunny days, the beach provides a stunning backdrop surrounded by high mountains. 

One of the best things to do before reaching the beach is to pull in at a safe layby to take a photo and enjoy the panoramic view from above, and this drive alone is incredibly scenic.

Whilst on the beach, you can park, stroll, or swim on one of Ireland’s best beaches

Address: Ardroe, Co. Kerry, Ireland

3. Mount Brandon – a must for mountain lovers

Mount Brandon is one of the best things to do on the Dingle Peninsula.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

One of the best things to do on the Dingle Peninsula is to summit Mount Brandon, ensuring you get the best views over the peninsula. 

There are plenty of options for summiting the mountain, which stands at 952 m (793 ft) and is the eighth-highest mountain in the country, so choose the right one for your skill level. 

The six to seven-hour hike is considered one of the most beautiful in Ireland, and if you are looking for an active and rewarding activity between driving and soaking up the pub atmosphere, this is for you. 

One top tip is to check the forecast beforehand, as the Irish weather can be unpredictable even in summer.

Address: Faha, Co. Kerry, Ireland

MORE: Mount Brandon Hike: best route & when to visit

2. The Slea Head drive – one of Kerry’s most scenic drives

One of Kerry's most scenic drives.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

The Slea Head loop is stunning, albeit not for the faint-hearted. This narrow, windy road, which welcomes brave bus and motorhome drivers, offers one of the best views in the country. 

The drive starts in bustling Dingle town and continues for 46 km (28 miles), taking you through quaint villages, past historical sites and stunning beaches. 

Driving here can be a little scary if you are not used to the small roads, so it is advised to go early or outside of peak times to avoid too much traffic and enjoy stopping occasionally. 

It takes around two hours to complete, but it can easily handle all day with several stop-offs. 

If you decide to take this route on a clear day, you might be able to see the silhouette of Skellig Michael, aka Luke Skywalker’s sanctuary in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

1. Great Blasket Island – step back in time

Great Blasket Island is one of the best things to do on the Dingle Peninsula.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Visiting the Great Basket Island, the biggest of the Blasket islands, is one of the most popular things to do on the Dingle Peninsula.

The island is steeped in history and gives you a glimpse into island life in Ireland, with its rugged terrain and traditional thatched houses. 

The beaches here are stunning, so pack a swimsuit and enjoy the adventure of an Irish dip while you are there. 

Getting here is easy; just take a pre-booked boat from Dunquin Pier, which takes just twenty minutes. Make sure to book this well in advance, especially in the summer season.

Address: Co. Kerry, Ireland

RELATED ARTICLE: Young couple to be the next caretakers of Great Blasket Island

Essential Information for your visit – tips and tricks

  • Allow at least three days to explore the Dingle Peninsula fully. If can only fit in two days, check out our 48-hour Dingle Peninsula Itinerary.
  • It is best enjoyed in the shoulder season when there are fewer crowds.
  • It must be driven clockwise as the roads are so narrow and sometimes feature large vehicles.
  • Pre-book all your activities and boat tours, as this is a very popular region in Ireland, especially in summer.
  • Dingle town has plenty of excellent accommodation, ideal as a base for exploring. 
  • The closest airport is Kerry Airport, while regular bus connections allow easy access to the town.
  • If you are planning on staying in Dingle, check out our list of the best hotels in the area.

Notable mentions

The pubs are one of the best things to do on the Dingle Peninsula.
Credit: Instagram / @roryjsheehan

Dingle pubs: Visiting Dingle without stepping foot in a Dingle pub is a crime in Ireland, so make sure to enjoy some live music, pub grub and a creamy pint of Guinness. Foxy John’s and Dick Mack’s are a couple of our favourites.

Dunmore Head Viewpoint: The Dingle Peninsula is all about the views, and Dunmore Head provides one of the best, so add this to your list of things to do. 

Conor Pass: If you thought Slea Head was an adventurous drive, Conor Pass needs to be experienced. This narrow pass runs from Dingle to Brandon Bay and is an incredible experience. 

Gallarus Oratory: History buffs won’t miss out on visiting Gallarus Oratory, which dates to the 11th century and is steeped in legend and Irish folklore. 

Wildlife tour: This area is known for its abundance of wildlife, including birds, dolphins and whales. Why not take a boat trip for the experience of a lifetime?

Your questions answered about the Dingle Peninsula

Your questions answered about this area.
Credit: Flickr / Ron Cogswell

If you still have questions, we have you covered! In this section, we’ve compiled some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions and popular questions that have been asked online about this topic.

Which is better, the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula? 

These two are best when combined, but the Dingle Peninsula is shorter and full of gems, while the Ring of Kerry is much longer but features more attractions. 

Is Dingle worth visiting? 

Yes, Dingle is one of the most significant towns in Ireland for its pub culture, music scene, gastronomy and love of the Irish language. 

What is Dingle Town known for? 

Dingle Town is known for its lively pubs, great restaurants, the Dingle Distillery, and the legacy of Fungi the Dolphin.

So, now that you’ve seen what the Dingle Peninsula has to offer, what are you waiting for?

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