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Ready for an epic adventure along Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula? This rugged stretch of County Kerry boasts some of the most jaw-dropping scenery you’ll ever see.

In our guide, we’ll lay out the best stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive, complete with maps and practical tips.

Drawing from our own experiences, we’ll point you to must-see spots and hidden gems along the way. From historic sites to stunning viewpoints, the Dingle Peninsula has it all.

The Dingle Peninsula: Practical Details and Route Options

  • Route Details: 
    • The Dingle Peninsula is approximately 30–40 miles around and about 10 miles wide.
    • Driving clockwise takes about 3-4 hours depending on how many stops you are going to add to your itinerary.
  • Differentiating the Dingle Peninsula Drive and the Slea Head Drive:
    • The Dingle Peninsula Drive is often mistaken for the Slea Head Drive.
    • The Slea Head Drive is a section of the main Dingle Peninsula, encompassing the main attractions on the peninsula.
  • Location and Access Points:
    • The drive can be started from either the Tralee side or the Killarney side, with some preferring to begin at Inch Beach and then follow the coast clockwise.
    • It’s approximately a 1-hour and 10-minute drive from Killarney and a 1-hour and 45-minute drive from Kenmare.

Map with 16 Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive

Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive


Inch Beach

The first stop that you can’t miss on the Dingle Peninsula Drive is the spectacular Inch Beach, alternatively referred to as Inch Strand.

It spans an impressive 5.5 kilometers along the coastline of County Kerry.

Inch Beach on Dingle Peninsula

Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula 

Situated on a sand spit extending into Dingle Bay, this beautiful beach is a perfect spot to stretch your legs and go for a little stroll.

Inch Beach is renowned for its Blue Flag status with stringent European standards for bathing water quality. In the summer months, you will see lifeguards stationed along the shore and plenty of swimmers, surfers, and, beachgoers.

Inch Beach on Dingle Peninsula

Inch Beach Is a Perfect Spot to Go for a Stroll

Inch Beach on Dingle Peninsula

Aerial View of Inch Beach with the Surfers in the Distance


Minard Castle

Next on the itinerary of the Dingle Peninsula Drive is the Minard Castle.

Situated on a hill above Kilmurry Bay, this ancient fortress, built by the Fitzgerald clan, is the third castle to grace the peninsula’s rugged coastline.

Minard Castle on Dingle Peninsula

Aerial View of Minard Castle on Dingle Peninsula

Despite its current state of ruin, Minard Castle once stood as a formidable stronghold, boasting four stories with vaulted ceilings on its lower levels. Tragically, the castle fell victim to a siege by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1650, leaving no inhabitants alive.

Today, you can see picturesque ruins and the beautiful rocky beach below, considered one of the finest in Ireland.

Minard Castle on Dingle Peninsula

Aerial View of the Minard Castle and the Rocky Beach Below


Town of Dingle

Your next destination is the town of Dingle located right on the scenic shores of Dingle Bay.

Dingle is known for its colorful buildings, bustling harbor, and some very lively pubs.

It is also a great spot to grab some food. My go-to places are either Out of the Blue Seafood or The Fish Box. Both of these places are little gems and the seafood is simply amazing!

Town of Dingle

Colorful Buildings in the Town of Dingle


Start of Slea Head Drive

After immersing yourself in the cozy atmosphere of the town of Dingle and a delicious lunch, it is time to prepare for one of the highlights of the Dingle Peninsula Drive: the renowned Slea Head Drive.

Ahead of you on this section of the iconic drive lies a stunning landscape of sheer cliffs, secluded beaches, and ancient ruins.

As you continue along the winding road, each bend will reveal a new vista that will leave you in awe of the beauty of the peninsula!

Slea Head Drive on Dingle Peninsula

Aerial View of Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula


Ventry Bay Beach

The next stop is Ventry Bay Beach. It is located just a short 10-minute drive from the town of Dingle.

Stretching over 3 kilometers, Ventry Strand boasts the largest expanse of golden sand in the area.

Recognized with the Blue Flag award, Ventry Bay ensures pristine water quality. Its sheltered position is perfect for swimming and paddleboarding.

Ventry Bay Beach

Ventry Bay Beach on Slea Head Drive


Dunbeg Fort

The next stop on the Dingle Peninsula exploration is the Dunbeg Fort. Perched dramatically on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this ancient stone fortress offers a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s past.

Dating back to the Iron Age, Dunbeg Fort served as a strategic defensive stronghold, protecting its inhabitants against potential invaders.

You will be able to wander through the remains of the fort and appreciate its stone walls.

Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive

Dungle Fort on the Dingle Peninsula Drive


Beehive Huts

The next stop on the Dingle Peninsula is beehive huts also known as clocháin. Here you can discover a unique piece of Ireland’s ancient past.

These conical stone structures are crafted using the ancient drystone corbelling method, a technique where rings of stone are meticulously stacked on top of each other, forming a snug, pointed roof.

Dating back over 1,400 years to the Neolithic period, these huts are characteristic of the area’s rich Celtic tradition and are commonly associated with religious sites.


Beehive Huts on Dingle Peninsula

Beehive Huts on the Dingle Peninsula 

Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive

Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive 


Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head) Viewpoint

The next stop is Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head), a promontory on the Dingle Peninsula.

It is located in the westernmost part of the Dingle Peninsula and connects the rugged landscape to the small villages of Ballyickeen and Coumeenoole.

Slea Head Viewpoint

Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head) Viewpoint

The viewpoint offers stunning views of ancient forts, beaches, historic churches, and the Blasket Islands.

Ceann Sléibhe is renowned for its role as a filming location in movies such as “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far and Away.” Additionally, it is part of the Wild Atlantic Way, a scenic coastal route spanning the entire west coast of Ireland.

Sle Head Viewpoint

Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head) Viewpoint


Cross at Slea Head

As you continue your drive on Slea Head, you’ll come across a stone cross marking the westernmost point of Europe before America.

This simple memorial stands as a reminder of the area’s maritime history and its significance along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Cross at Slea Head

Cross at Slea Head


Radharc na mBlascaoidí / Blasket's View

The next stop on the journey is Radharc na mBlascaoidí, also known as Blasket’s View.

This scenic viewpoint offers breathtaking vistas of the Blasket Islands, a group of rugged and uninhabited islands off the coast.

The viewpoint offers a stunning perspective of the island’s dramatic cliffs, rolling hills, and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Blasket’s View is in my opinion a highlight on the drive where you can soak in the natural beauty of this remote and wild coastline.

Blasket's View on Dingle Peninsula

Blasket’s View on the Dingle Peninsula 


Coumeenoole Beach

Next stop, it’s time to stretch your legs and take a break at Coumeenoole Beach.

The beach is framed by towering cliffs and dramatic rock formations making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Coumeenoole Beach on Dingle Peninsula

Beautiful Coumeenoole Beach on the Dingle Drive


Dunmore Head

Continuing the drive, our next destination is Dunmore Head, the westernmost point of mainland Ireland.

Dunmore Head offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the nearby Blasket Islands.

It’s a popular spot for hikers and photographers, with its rugged cliffs and panoramic vistas providing a glimpse into the beauty of the Irish coastline.

Dunmore Head on Dingle Peninsula

Dunmore Head on Dingle Peninsula

Dunmore Head on Dingle Peninsula

Dunmore Head on Dingle Peninsula


Dunquin Pier

The next stop is another highlight of the drive, Dunquin Pier, also known as Dun Chaoin Pier.

Dunquin Pier is a historic landmark situated at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean offering stunning views of the coastline and the nearby Blasket Islands.

Dunquin Pier has served as an important transportation hub for centuries, providing access to the islands and serving as a lifeline for the local community.

Aerial View of the Dunquin Pier on Dingle Peninsula

Aerial View of the Dunquin Pier


Clogher Head

Clogher Head offers panoramic views of Clogher Beach, Sybil Point, the Three Sisters, and the majestic Mount Brandon.

Additionally, if you decide to hike the hill in a westerly direction, you will be rewarded with vistas of the Blasket Sound and the iconic Blasket Islands.

Clogher Head on Dingle Peninsula

Clogher Head on the Dingle Peninsula Drive 


Gallarus Oratory

The next highlight on the Dingle Peninsula Drive is Gallarus Oratory. It is one of the finest examples of early Christian architecture in the country.

Gallarus Oratory

Gallarus Oratory

This ancient stone structure, dating back to the 7th or 8th century, is renowned for its remarkably well-preserved corbelled roof and dry-stone construction. The oratory is shaped like an upturned boat, with a small entrance on its western side.

Gallarus Oratory stands as a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of its builders, who constructed it without the use of mortar.


Conor Pass

Head of you is the drive to the town of Dingle and then your journey will continue to the famous Conor Pass.

Conor Pass stands as Ireland’s highest mountain pass, reaching an impressive height of 456 meters above sea level.

The narrow and twisting road spans approximately 12 kilometers between Dingle Town and Kilmore Cross, boasting an average gradient of 5.6% and bridging a vertical ascent of 399 meters.

Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive

Conor Pass

Along the way, you will be treated to stunning views of a glaciated landscape, with mountains, serene corrie lakes, and the sprawling expanse of Brandon Bay. The lakes scattered throughout the valley are remnants of the last ice age, known as kettle holes.

However, navigating Conor Pass can be a challenge, as the road is narrow enough to be daunting when encountering oncoming traffic, especially when positioned on the outside edge. Despite this, the awe-inspiring views and rugged beauty of Conor Pass make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Dingle Peninsula.

Connor Pass

Conor Pass

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Best Stops on the Dingle Peninsula Drive

When time is limited, it’s important to prioritize key stops on Dingle Peninsula Drive. The following stops offer a condensed yet unforgettable experience, allowing you to make the most of your time amidst the many attractions available:

  • Gallarus Oratory: With its unique architecture dating back centuries, the oratory offers a glimpse into Ireland’s early Christian heritage. Its simplicity and historical significance make it a must-see, even for a brief stop.
  • Conor Pass: Ireland’s highest mountain pass provides unparalleled views without requiring an extensive hike. Take in the breathtaking vistas of mountains, lakes, and the coastline from the comfort of your car or a quick stop at one of the viewpoints.
  • Coumeenoole Beach: Spend a relaxing moment on this picturesque beach, soaking in the tranquility and natural beauty. Even a short walk along the shoreline can provide a refreshing break and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Clogher Head: For sweeping panoramas without a lengthy trek, head to Clogher Head. Its elevated position offers vistas of Clogher Beach, the Three Sisters, and beyond. A brief stop at the viewpoint allows you to capture the essence of the peninsula’s rugged coastline.
  • Dunquin Pier: Visit this historic pier to experience the coastal charm of the area and catch a glimpse of the nearby Blasket Islands. While time-limited, a quick visit provides an appreciation for the maritime heritage and stunning coastal views.

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