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 before you bringing you to the village of Camp. The Dingle Way makes its way through Camp and you can also enjoy safe sandy beaches here or the challenging trails locally such as Caherconree 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 Glannteenassig Forest where you can enjoy wonderful walks, quiet cycling roads and fresh water fishing. Another detour further on will take you to the village of Castlegregory and out to the tip of the Maharees taking in the stunning sand dunes and majestic scenery.
Heading further west through the village of 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 both with a superb setting under Brandon Mountain and on the shores of Brandon Bay. Natural beauty is home here with glacial lakes and valleys, waterfalls, mountain trails and 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 majestic 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 strong and it offers so much to see and do. Just strolling around town is most enjoyable with its colourful variety of shops and cosy 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 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 the quiet fishing village of Ballydavid and take in the scenic character of Feohanagh as you visit Brandon Creek where St. Brendan is said to have departed for America. Here you are under the western slopes of Mount Brandon and should you wish to climb to the summit, there are two locations from which to set forth.
Back in Dingle, heading east towards Killarney, you will drive through the village of Lispole. Lispole is bounded on the north by mountains and on the south by Dingle Bay and consists of 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 renowned sculptor Jerome O’Connor, and stories abound of 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 to your left and Castlemaine Harbour to 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 very favourable winter destination - each village and region creating its own sense of charm.
The Dingle Way / Slí Chorca Dhuibhne
Pilgrims’ Way Walking Route / Cosán na Naomh
Mountain & Rock Climbing
Kayaking & Canoeing
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
Over 2000 Archaeological Sites – many are on private property. Please request permission with the landowner before entering the site.
Inch Beach & Coum Uí Neoil Beaches – Ryan’s Daughter Film Locations
Art & Craft Galleries
Slea Head Drive
Ogham Stones – Coláiste Íde
Celtic Pre-historic Museum
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
Cathair an bhFionnúrach
Conor Pass, Ireland’s Highest Mountain Pass
Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest mountain
Loch a’ Dúin
Glanteenassig Forest Park
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.