We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Washington DC...
1 post
Save Topic
For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

My boyfriend and I want to drive the Dingle Peninsula, but being it's our first time to Ireland, we are not familiar with the drive. We want to make sure we hit the key archaeological sites and places of interest. Are these fairly easy to find from the main loop? Or does it take a certain amount of local knowledge to know where to pull off to find places of interest? We would hate to do the loop without ever encountering a castle, old farmhouse, etc--all the places of interest you see in people's photos.

Our question is: do we rent our own car and see it ourselves, or hire a driver to show us around?

Ventry, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle Peninsula
Level Contributor
7,225 posts
124 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Many of the key archeological sites are either on the main routes or signposted from them. Others are more difficult to locate without detailed directions.

I would always prefer to drive, but there is an advantage in taking local tours that have very knowledgeable guides. There is one company which specialises in archeology and that is Sciuird Archaeological tours. Otherwise I'd recommend Denis Ryan or Diarmuid Begley (www.dingleshuttlebus.ie). Denis is a retired local policeman, and Diarmuid is a native Irish speaker

Edited: 3:01 pm, May 03, 2013
Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
9,935 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Sciurd do a good trip, but I always prefer to travel at my own pace.

County Dublin...
Level Contributor
25,114 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Best you drive yourself.

Florida
Level Contributor
1,015 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

We enjoyed touring with Denis Ryan, as we pretty much set the pace--- decided how long to stay at a stop, for example--- the beehive huts--to really explore them and ask questions

I'd rather see fewer things in depth than speed tour a lot of places And Denis knows exactly where things are

Ellen

Level Contributor
40 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Rick Steve's Ireland book as the Dingle drive labeled by tenths of km. Just set your car's tripometer and it tells you right where you're at.

Canada
Level Contributor
123 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

We did it ourselves and loved it. We had the EyeWitness guide and the Dingle

Tourism office gave us a very detailed map and we spent 4 hours doind the loop.

Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
9,935 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

My ultimate Slea Head trip

The entire Dingle peninsula is rich in ancient monuments and places to see

Just at the edge of the town in the Briain de Staic jeweller’s workshop, worth a stop to see his Ogham Stone(ancient script, written on stones) and fuschia jewellery (the lovely red/purple flower that grows in hedgerows all over the peninsula) as well as pendants based on other local stone monuments

Leave Dingle as signposted for Slea head. Shortly after you turn left at the roundabout, just beyond the graveyard, in a field on the left are stones known as the “Gates of Glory.”About another mile out, you will see a sign to the left for Colaiste Íde stables. Follow this left turn and then drive down the avenue (again a left turn) to see the collection of Ogham stones and tree ferns gathered by Lord Ventry (the “big house” where they once lived is now a girls' boarding school) When you are leaving the college turn left out the gate and continue right down to the water’s edge if you want to visit Holden’s Leather.

Back on the main road, you should really get out for a stroll on Ventry beach, scene of the historic battle between the Fianna and The King of the world -there's a small car park right by the beach and during the summer there is a lifeguard on duty, if you fancy a dip in the Blue-flag waters.

The daughter of Bolcán , the king of France, ran off to Ireland, because she fell in love with Finn Mac Cumhaill. However, she was the wife of Dáiri Donn (Dairi Donn), the self-titled "King of the World". Dáiri Donn gathered an incredible army from all over Continental Europe to retrieve his wife. A great battle took place on the beach and surrounding areas.

www.dingle-peninsula.ie/ventry/v-history.html

Just as you turn left to get back on track, you will see a little pottery (The Bradán Feasa) which does mugs with names on them, might be nice presents for someone. It has a small cafe too, but for me the big attractions are the paintings on Irish history on the walls.

Just a bit up from the pottery, the main road winds to the left, take the right fork (careful, it's a bit blind) and drive up the road to see Rathinane Castle, a brooding ruin built inside an ancient fort. It’s said the blood of the slaughtered locals was mixed with the mortar of the castle walls.

Ok, back down the road to Ventry again, rejoin the main road. This will bring you to the little church and Paidí Ó Sé's pub (former Kerry Gaelic footballer)

Not a fan of the place, or indeed the man, but there are lots of interesting photos to see. Leaving here turn left and continue on the main road

You will pass a school building on your right, keep a close eye to your right then and you will see the fort at Cill Mhic’ A’ Domhnaigh. The author Peig Sayers’ parents lived nearby originally but blamed the fort for their bad luck and moved to the other side of the hill Sliabh an Iolair (The mountain of the eagles) to Dúnchaoin

Continue on the main road, go to Dúnbeg and the beehives-if you are willing to pay to see them.

Once more back on the road you will see that a stream runs across the road at Fán. Just beyond this is a car park on the left. Pull in for a minute here, just below the wall here was where the "house" Tom Cruise "lived in “in the film "Far and Away" -nothing remains though!!

On again and most people stop at the crucifix to take in their first proper view of the islands and Dunmore head. Watch out for cheeky seagulls!

Just up the road you'll see a large building on the right, Tig Slea Head, also a cafe and has Irish goods on sale (it belongs to Quills who also own Strand street house) To your left you will see the beautiful beach of Com uí Neoil. Lovely to walk on, but not safe for swimming. It was used for the gun-running scene in "Ryan's daughter." The hill before you is Dunmore head; you might choose to walk it. It is the most westerly point in Europe, hence the saying “next parish America!”

Back on the road, on to a wider stretch (new road, the old one, close to the cliff fell into the sea in the last few years) The graveyard here is the burial place of Peig Sayers. As you drive on you will see the sign to the ferry on your left, even if you choose not to go to into the island ,keep your eyes peeled to the left and you will see a monument to the Spanish Armada ships that were lost in the area.

Back on the road; keep your eyes out for a little road to your right. This was the old road to Ventry and it's worth driving up to the top of the hill for the stunning views out to the Iveragh peninsula on one side and the Blaskets on the other. Turn around, down the hill ,turn right onto the main road again. You will come shortly to a four cross roads. The right fork will take you to the little Catholic Church, the rather rough burial ground is the burial place of the "Island man" Tomas ó Criothainn, whose statue you will see outside the Blasket Centre.

The Ionad (centre) is excellent- and I usually hate these places. The bookshop at the entrance is run by the man who owns the excellent bookshop, An Cafe Litheartha in town. There's food to be had here, but I'd skip it.

Back on the main road, a few hundred yards along, the road winds to the right. If you pull into the little lane on the left(don't block gates) you can see the "schoolhouse" built for Ryans Daughter. There is also a tiny holy well here dedicated to St Gobnait. The hill you see to your right was where the Ryan's Daughter village was built and then dismantled, all that is left is the stony surface of what was the street.

You will be driving inland for a small bit, but as you approach the sea again, you really must pull into the left to take the view, down to Ferriter's cove and Clothar beach-both unsafe for swimming. The rough tracks parallell to the road here is where the Far and Away village was-and also where the scene from Ryan's Daughter where they wait for the bus at the end of the film was shot.

By now, it must be lunch time and the wonderful Tigh Áine is worth the stop, for the view alone-and of course the Murphy's Ice-cream. The view from Clothar beach out to the island known as "An Fear Marbh" -the dead man or the Sleeping Giant is fantastic and the crash of the waves on the beach is almost hypnotic. Back to the road, you will see the Louis Mulcahy pottery ,with its trademark Fuschia design, again worth a look.

Back on the road, you move inland, away to your left you will see the holiday homes and golf course at Dún an Óir (The fort of gold).The English forces massacred Spainish sailors here and a field nearby is still known as “Gort na fola”

If you fancy it, drive down to the fort itself, slippy and not for the fainthearted, but you can see it from the carpark.

Back to main road, you come Baile an Fhéirtearaigh. There is a small museum here,there is a large carved stone in front of it-except it's made of fibre glass-and was used in Ryan's Daughter. Continue on, you will come to a t-junction, the right turn will bring you back to Ventry,your left turn will take you to Riasc, where you will find the pub Brics ,stop here, have a coffee or pint and listen to the locals talk Irish. Beyond the pub, the narrow road to your right brings you to the remains of Riasc monastery.The left turn at the little bridge before Brics brings you to Wine Strand.

Back down to the mainroad and continue straight on, you will find a turn to the left at the hotel here. This turn will take you to another t junction(there's a campsite in front of you. ) Skip the first "entrance" and drive up the narrow road to the free parking-and down to the oratory. If you feel brave on narrow roads, keep on this little lane and it will bring you to another pottery.

http://www.sineadloughceramics.com/

If you take this route, at the top of the hill after the pottery you will turn left and soon come to Kilmalkeader.If courage fails, go back to the main rod, turn right, you will pass the local Gaelic football ground home to the Gaeltacht team. Follow the road around to the right and turn right up by the shop and you will come to Cill Mhaolcheadair.

Be sure to climb through the narrow window at the back of the old church as it is said that anyone who does so will go straight to heaven when they die! The tall stone in the graveyard with a hole through it was a marriage stone, each party stood at a different side of the stone and put their index fingers through the hole, as the fingers met, the couple were declared married! There is also a sundial to be seen here

Back down the hill and turn right, you will pass through Carraig with its church and shop and follow on this road towards Feothanach. You descend a hill with a sharp bend right, at the t-junction by the Cúinne pub, turn left and then right, follow this road and you will come to a cross roads signposted for Cuas. Drive down this road to your left and you will see a monument to St Brendan, who was supposed to have sailed from this little inlet to discover America. Walk down to the little pier, there is a special atmosphere here. The mountain of Brandon towers over you, it may be climbed from this side but is usually climbed from the other side.

Back up to the cross roads and keep straight on, you will rejoin the main road, turn left and this will bring you back to the roundabout outside of Dingle. You will pass “Play at height” indoor climbing on your right, in an industrial estate. At the roundabout take the left turn and this will bring you to the top of Main street and down Green street.

The windows in the Díseart-park in the church carpark- are well worth seeing

http://www.diseart.ie/visitor/harry2.html

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
Level Contributor
18,382 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Make that a GoList Harvey, gets a tick on the like button.

Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
9,935 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Don't know how, Tony!

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
Level Contributor
18,382 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: For those of you who have driven the Dingle Peninsula...

Neither do I . SG's the girl to sort that..