Welcome to West Kerry

. ©Michael Diggin @ copyright Lakes at Conor Pass. ©Kevin Dwyer AIPPA www.kevindwyer.ie Slea Head. ©Valerie O'Sullivan

West Kerry – high mountain passes, hidden valleys, dramatic cliffs and offshore islands, dramatic, mystical and pure magic!

Under the shadow of the Slieve Mish Mountains, Tralee Bay opens up and brings you to Camp. The Dingle Way makes its way through Camp and you can enjoy safe sandy beaches here or the challenging Caherconree trail with its magnificent views across Munster.

Camp offers you a combination of routes south and west whether taking the stunning mountain pass route through the Slieve Mish mountains to Inch, the panoramic route over Gleann na nGealt to Annascaul. or the coastal road towards the Brandon Mountain range.

Staying on the coastal road at Aughcasla, visit the Glannteenassig Forest where you can enjoy walks, cycling and fresh water fishing. Another detour will take you to Castlegregory and out to the tip of the Maharees taking in the sand dunes and scenery.

Heading further west through Stradbally, you will enjoy the breaking rollers of Brandon Bay on to the strands of Cappagh and Fermoyle. Entering the Gaeltacht, visit Cloghane and Brandon  under Brandon Mountain and on the shores of Brandon Bay. There is plenty of beauty here with glacial lakes, valleys, waterfalls, mountain passes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Heading up the Conor Pass is like a geography class field trip. At the little waterfall, stop and climb to Pedlar’s Lake with its craggy mountain peaks and vistas over the glacial valley and hanging lakes below. At the top of the Conor Pass, enjoy the stunning vistas of Brandon Bay, the North Kerry coastline and Loop Head to the north and to the south, you will see Dingle harbour and bay, the Iveragh Peninsula and on a clear day, the Skellig Rocks.

Dingle’s fishing port is at the heart of the town. Its traditions and heritage are still vibrant and it offers plenty to do. Just strolling around town is enjoyable with colourful  shops, pubs and cafés. Traditional Irish music is a key feature every evening. Ventry Bay opens up as you head along the Slea Head Drive. With its glorious crescent shaped blue flag beach, swimming, shore angling, walking and horse riding are popular here. You might also spot a pod of visiting dolphins. Driving on to Dunquin, you can visit a range of archaeological sites from beehive huts to forts and cottages to museums. Cycling and walking in this area is amazing with incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and Blasket Islands.  At Slea Head, you are now looking across at Ireland and Europe’s most westerly point, Dunmore Head.

The Blasket Island Centre is located in Dunquin and is a great introduction to the history of the islands and their Irish Literary tradition. Ferries to the islands are located here and in Dingle. Driving on you will marvel at the spectacular coastal scenery and stop in Ballyferriter village, the heart of the Gaeltacht, and spend time at Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne

Stop at the incredible sites of An Riasc, Gallarus Oratory and Kilmalkeadar Church. Make your way back in to Dingle via  Ballydavid and take in the scenic character of Feohanagh as you visit Brandon Creek where St. Brendan departed for America. Here you are under the western slopes of Mount Brandon you can climb to the summit from 2 starting points. Back in Dingle, heading east towards Killarney, you will drive through Lispole. Lispole is bounded on the north by mountains and on the south by Dingle Bay and has two parishes, Kinard and Minard.The Dingle Way passes by the castle and Lispole village where you can still see the Lispole Viaduct, an impressive relic of the Dingle and Tralee Railway.

Annascaul and Inch lie in the southern foothills of the Slieve Mish Mountains. This range forms the backbone of the Dingle Peninsula and rises to peaks of over 2,000 feet. The "Dingle Way" passes through Inch and Annascaul and there are also local  loop walks. Wherever you walk, the views are breathtaking, the countryside unspoilt, and the routes unfrequented.  Annascaul was home to Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer, and famous sculptor Jerome O’Connor, and storiesof figures from Irish folklore such as Cu Chulainn who is said to have lived here.

Inch Strand is 3 miles of sandy beach ideal for swimming, surfing, windsurfing and shore angling. Apart from providing a beautiful strand, Inch sand spit and coastline is an area of geographical and ecological significance hosting an extensive range of wildlife.The drive to Boolteens and Castlemaine is relaxing with the Slieve Mish mountains on your left and Castlemaine Harbour on your right.

The National Geographic once cited the peninsula as ‘the most beautiful place on earth’; Trip Advisor has voted it among the top 100 destinations in the world; and CNN recently recommended it as a  favourable winter destination,each village and region creating its own sense of charm.

 

Things to See & Do

Activities

The Dingle Way / Slí Chorca Dhuibhne

Pilgrims’ Way Walking Route / Cosán na Naomh

Mountain & Rock Climbing

Cycling

Bird Watching

Kayaking & Canoeing

Sailing

Golf

Pitch & Putt

Cookery & Pottery Making Classes

Irish Language Courses

Fungie The Dolphin Tours

Blasket Island Tours

Dingle - Valentia Ferry Crossing

Eco Tours & Boat Trips

Deep Sea Diving

Lake, Shore & Deep Sea Angling

Blue Flag Beaches

Swimming

Surfing

Windsurfing

Kite Surfing

Horse Riding

Archery

Over 2000 Archaeological Sites – many are on private property. Please request permission with the landowner before entering the site.

 

Amenities & Attractions

Inch Beach & Coum Uí Neoil Beaches – Ryan’s Daughter Film Locations

Minard Castle

Oceanworld Aquarium

An Díseart

Seal Sanctuary

Art & Craft Galleries

Slea Head Drive

Ogham Stones – Coláiste Íde

Celtic Pre-historic Museum

Dunbeg Fort

Beehive Huts

Famine Cottage

The Blasket Island Archipelago

Dunmore Head – Ireland’s most westerly point

Blasket Island Interpretative Centre

Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne

Dún an Óir

An Riasc Monastic Settlement

Gallarus Oratory & Visitor Centre

Kilmalkeadar Church

Cathair an bhFionnúrach

Conor Pass, Ireland’s Highest Mountain Pass

Pedlar’s Lake

Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest mountain

Loch a’ Dúin

Lough Gill

Glanteenassig Forest Park

Farmers Markets

 

Did You Know?

That the stretch of beach that runs unbroken from Cloghane through Fermoyle, onwards to The Maharees and ending at Castlegregory is Ireland’s longest beach at 12 miles.

That in the course of the French Revolution, legend has it, that Dingle Town and more specifically Rice House at the corner of Green Street and Main Street was to be Marie Antoinette’s place of refuge but the plan fell through at the last moment.

That the saying: “Ní bheidh ár leithídí arís ann” (“Our likes will never be seen again”) comes from the Great Blasket Island writer Tomás Ó Criomhthain and his book ‘An tOileánach’.

That there is a belief that Saint Brendan, The Navigator, departing in 535 A.D. from Cuas a’ Bhodaigh, 5 miles west of Dingle, was the first European to reach America.

That Tom Crean, the Antarctic explorer hailed from Annascaul.

 

 

West Kerry
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