Europe, International

Exploring Ireland Solo – Dingle Peninsula

I’m back with another trip about my amazing road trip around Ireland. Today is going to be a long post so grab a coke or cup of coffee and get comfy.

I’d read a lot of books/travel blogs saying that the Dingle Peninsula is THE place to be if you’re road-tripping around Ireland. Some of them said it was better than the Ring of Kerry which I’d heard so much about. I decided to devote an entire day to the drive and to be honest, I wish I’d had more time! The peninsula itself is only about 30 miles long but I made quite a few stops! I started from my B&B outside of Newmarket on Fergus (between Ennis and Shannon). If you’re going to do this drive in a day, I would recommend staying somewhere closer like Tralee. I followed Rick Steves’ route around the peninsula which you can find here in great detail. Since he already did the hard work, I just get to show you pretty pictures and give my opinion on each stop.  😉

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

You’ll start off with views like this one of rolling green hills which are just breathtaking. I swear, I stopped at every little pull off to take photos. There was a couple from the B&B I stayed at the night before who were also doing this drive. When I saw them later at a gas station, they asked me if I was having car trouble because they kept seeing me on the side of the road! Haha!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Keep driving and you will catch a glimpse of the sea along with larger hills!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

The view of the sea will go away as the road starts climbing high into the mountains through Conor’s Pass. Make sure to stop at the road side turn off (has a parking lot on the left) to see this waterfall and the dramatic views across the road. The light was just amazing up there that day but I’m sure it would be just as beautiful if it was cloudy!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Oh yeah, you’re not wrong. Conor Pass is a one lane road cutting through and around a mountain. Quite terrifying really. My recommendation is to just get behind another car and make them do all the work of looking around the next corner 🙂 I was behind a larger van and whenever there was a blind curve or tunnel, they would honk their horn. I just stuck behind him and my drive was a whole lot less stressful!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

I made it over the mountain and was rewarded with a really breathtaking view of the sea and Dingle. Once you’re though the pass, the road becomes two lanes again. I made it through the scariest part and it was smooth sailing from there!

Ireland Road Trip - Due Midwest Ireland Road Trip - Due Midwest

The drive around the peninsula is a loop which starts and ends in Dingle town. I decided to stop on my way through the first time and get lunch. I ate at a cute little spot called Pie Cafe (48 Green Street) where I had a delicious toastie sandwich.  I would recommend leaving time to wander in and out of the shops in Dingle as there are a lot of cute places there! I bought one of my favorite souvenirs in Dingle… a cute little thatch roofed cottage made from clay. Oh and I HIGHLY recommend heading to Murphy’s ice cream (Strand Street) for dessert. It is handmade in Dingle and seriously some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I had one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of Dingle sea salt and the hardest time narrowing the flavors down! It was pretty busy with a line out the door but the workers were quick and I didn’t end up waiting very long at all. Totally worth it!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Once you leave Dingle, you’ll head out on the Slea Head drive. Just follow everyone else and you’ll be fine 😉 The first stop after Dingle I recommend is these beehive huts, or clochans.  It is a small fee (2-3 euros) and a short walk uphill. You can walk all around and inside the huts but make sure to have good shoes on since the ground is uneven stones.  I’m sure it is probably slippery in the rain!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

View from Slea Head

This is just a random pull off the road but yielded a really beautiful view and lots of pink flowers! I’m pretty sure these are the Blasket Islands but don’t quote me!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Dun Chaoin

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Dun Chaoin beach

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Pull over at the stop marked with the stone Dun Chaoin. Can you believe the ocean in Ireland is this color?! I mean, that blue is straight out of the Caribbean. I walked down a little road to the beach but I did see some cars that drove down it. It looked too steep to drive for me so use your own judgement! I took a walk on the beach, watched the waves crash and just enjoyed how cool this place was!

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

This is a pretty well photographed spot but I almost missed it! Make sure you watch for the sign Dun Chaoin pier and park in that lot. This is where you would pick up a boat to head to the Blasket Islands if you were so inclined. However, it is an amazing view regardless. I spent quite a bit of time taking pictures here since the best vantage point was covered with “professionals” for a while. Just wait your turn and you’ll get some great shots once they move!

Ireland Road Trip - Due Midwest

This was seriously my favorite part of my whole trip. Rugged coastline, rolling green hills and cute towns that just scream Ireland to me. When I go back, I think I’d stay in Dingle since it was so cute. That would leave me more time to explore the town and not feel as rushed doing the drive. My friend Christine over at Ireland Travel Guides has a great list of 25 Things to Do in Dingle so if you want more, check out her post!

If you have any questions about this drive, let me know in the comments below!

If you want more on my trip to Ireland, check out my other posts here.  For my complete 6 day road trip itinerary, click here!

Exploring the Dingle Peninsula - Due Midwest

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  • Reply Kayla Diercks

    You convinced me. I’m coming to Ireland.

    January 11, 2017 at 6:09 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      You should! It such a beautiful country and you can get some really good deals!

      January 12, 2017 at 4:38 PM
  • Reply Jen Radke

    Great pictures. Just breathtaking! I really appreciated the tips and look forward to taking a trip around Dingle Peninsula.

    January 11, 2017 at 10:45 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thanks Jen! I hope you have a great time if you go there. It really is breathtaking!

      January 12, 2017 at 4:39 PM
  • Reply Darcy

    This is so cool and your photos are just so beautiful. Girl, you gotta take me with you next time!

    January 12, 2017 at 1:19 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thanks so much Darcy! I will definitely let you know when I go back!

      January 12, 2017 at 4:39 PM
  • Reply Jona

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    Do you’ve any? Please allow me realize in order that I may just subscribe.

    February 2, 2017 at 7:11 PM
  • Reply Michael

    Great Article! Thanks you for your sharing!

    February 28, 2017 at 11:31 AM
  • Reply Due Midwest - How to Spend Six Days in Ireland

    […] Spend the whole day exploring the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula. This was by far my favorite part of my trip. If I had more time, I would have stayed the night in Dingle. The town of Dingle was so cute but I just stopped for lunch and didn’t spend too long exploring. In addition, it would allow for more of a leisurely exploration of the peninsula which would be nice! I did feel like the day was full but definitely doable. For a whole rundown what I did on the Dingle Peninsula, see the full post here. […]

    May 21, 2017 at 2:20 AM
  • Reply Ann

    I have only been to Dublin, so far, but I really want to explore Ireland some more. I have to admit that I had to google a bit of the countryside of Ireland after reading your post, and it looks absolutely amazing!

    March 25, 2020 at 1:21 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Glad I inspired you a bit! The west coast of Ireland and Dingle in particular was one of my favorite parts of the trip. You should definitely check out more of Ireland. I think I’ve heard the Irish have a saying that Dublin isn’t Ireland or something like that. I don’t know if I believe it but there is so much more to see!

      March 25, 2020 at 8:41 PM

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