Walking The Dingle Way!

Walking The Dingle Way!

Written By: AlyT

The Dingle Way on Ireland's west coast is a stunning area to make the most of a hiking/walking holiday. We booked the trip through Wonderful Ireland - one of the many walking holiday companies in Ireland. The company book all your accommodation along the Dingle Way, all included a hearty breakfast and a packed lunch. A couple also included dinner.  We were given maps, instructions and a mobile in case you have a problem or just run out of steam and want picking up!! They also collect your bags each morning and transport them to your next stop making life very stress free!

They picked us up from Kerry Airport and drove us to our first night’s accommodation in Dingle. We booked an extra night in Dingle having heard what a fun place it is, with loads of live music and more pubs (32) per capita than anywhere in the world!!

Dingle, is one of the most beloved towns in Ireland. Set in a natural harbour this sheltered bay is blessed by the some of the best food, live music and artisan shops to be had in the west. Dingle is also a lively fishing village and there is also a thriving traditional music scene, with bands playing nightly in the local pubs. We enjoyed a local circular walk along Dingle Bay as a warm up before starting the Dingle Way proper. 

We loved the place and would definitely recommend a couple of days there. A must do is a boat trip out into Dingle bay to see Fungie, the resident dolphin - resident since 1983. He does not disappoint, he races alongside your boat at speed, almost like playing games with you!! 

A trip to Dingle is not complete without a visit for a drink to Foxy John's Pub!! Amazing place. It is half pub and half hardware store!! Meaning you can stop by for a cheeky pint en route to pick up those nails, twine or whatever DIY essentials you’re lacking!!!!!

Day two we left Dingle enroute to Dunquin. This was a 20km walk, the second half was moderately challenging and extremely rewarding. The route takes you along the coast to Ventry where you walk along a great sweep of sands before climbing up along Slea Head where we experienced stunning views. The Blasket Islands come into view as you begin your descent back towards the coast and the remote and strongly Irish speaking village of Dunquin. The harbour is wow!! There were several ideal places to stop and enjoy a coffee and cake or lunch to break up the trip. The local pub is reportedly the western most pub in Europe, unfortunately anything but special!

In contrast to Day two's hike, day three is relatively flat and if you feel inclined you can visit the Blasket Island centre and Louis Mulcahys pottery as well as some of the great beaches and coves dotted along the coast. The 28k route is along minor roads, boreens and a coastal path. It is an outstandingly scenic day and you can see some of the best beaches in the country. We stayed in a pub at the foot of Mount Brandon, a location of religious significance for many Irish Catholics, Ballycurrane. 

Day four, 21km was the most challenging of the Dingle Way and in many ways it’s most rewarding. A steep ascent gives way to 360 degrees views of the Conor Pass, the roaring Atlantic Ocean, Slea Head, Dun naOr and Brandon Bay. The descent which was quite challenging took us to the cosy hamlet of Cloghane located in the shores of Brandon Bay, with its charming guesthouse, restaurant and pub.  Our accommodation this night was another pub where we met up with several people all doing the same walk as us, we all ate pub grub together and enjoyed some traditional Irish music from a local band - a fun night!!

Day five - our last day on the Dingle Way we walked along the longest beach in Ireland. The views were wonderful with Mount Brandon as a back drop. The beach walk is 10km and takes about 2.5-3.5 hours to walk. A driver met us at the end of the walk at Spillane's Pub and took us to Killarney which we had booked to extend our trip. 

Killarney was definitely worth a visit. We walked Muckross Gardens, took a long walk to the lake and Ross Castle on the shores of the lake. 

At this point we had walked far enough so caught one of the horse and carriages back to the town for tea and cake!!


Home for a rest!!

 

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Countries: Ireland
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