24 Hours on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula: Beaches, Ancient Ruins, and Lots of Coffee

In June, I traveled with a group of five to Ireland and Scotland for two weeks. I’ve written all about my travels, including tips on what to do, where to stay, and how to get there, in a series of blog posts

24 hours on Dingle Peninsula what to see and do

Visiting Dingle Peninsula was at the top of our list for places to see in Ireland. National Geographic Travel deemed it “the most beautiful place on earth.” Often described as a less-touristy alternative to the Ring of Kerry, Dingle is known for its unspoiled coastline, friendly locals, and ancient sites.

We stayed in an Airbnb in Annascaul, a small village on Dingle Peninsula and a short drive from Dingle town. Since there were five of us traveling together, most of the places we stayed in were booked through Airbnb. The prices in Ireland were low—our place on Dingle cost $100 a night. We stayed on Dingle for one night before driving to the Ring of Kerry for three days.

The colorful buildings of Dingle Town, Ireland.

The colorful buildings of Dingle Town, Ireland.

Inch Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline with beautiful views of the mountains on the Ring of Kerry and Dingle. Unlike the beaches near me, you can drive on Inch Beach.

Slea Head Drive, officially part of the Wild Atlantic Way, hugs the coastline of Dingle Peninsula. The narrow road begins in Dingle Town and makes a loop. We traveled clockwise to avoid having to pass large tour buses. Make sure to take Euros with you, as many places do not accept cards.

In Ireland sheep always have the right away.

Dunbeg Fort is an Iron Age fort built on a sea cliff overlooking the Dingle Bay. We went in the early morning and had coffee in the cafe across the street (some people in our party didn’t realize Irish Coffee contains whiskey and ordered larges!).

Dingle Peninsula what to see Ireland

We were unable to visit Skellig Michael on our trip (a place recently made famous by Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Visiting the Fahan Beehive Huts on Dingle Peninsula was the next best thing. Dating from the 12th century, these dry stone huts were once single family dwellings. For a couple of euros each we were able to explore the ancient village.

Ancient beehive huts on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula.

 

Gallarus Oratory is an ancient early Christian church in Ireland. Built entirely of stone, the structure has been altered very little for centuries.  This was our last stop before leaving the Slea Head Drive.

Dingle Peninsula things to do

Christians have made pilgrimages to this site for centuries.

Dingle Peninsula things to do

Historians believe this small church was used as a peaceful refuge for prayer.

Ireland's Dingle Peninsula

 

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