Dingle is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Ireland. The rugged coastline, rich history, epic mountains, and sandy beaches attract people from all over the world to this small fishing town. There is so much to do in Dingle, and you’ll find something for everyone here! This guide will bring you through the best places to stay, where to eat in Dingle and some of my favourite things to get up to in the area!
WHERE TO STAY IN DINGLE
This might be my favourite accommodation that I’ve ever stayed in in Ireland, and I’ve stayed in a lot! Greenmount House is a luxurious, award winning, family run B&B located just a 10 minute walk to the main town.
The rooms are beautiful and spacious, the breakfast is delicious, and the staff couldn’t be friendlier. As Dingle is so popular, it can often be quite expensive. Greenmount house gives you all the luxury of a 5 Star Hotel, without the expensive price tag.
WHERE TO EAT IN DINGLE
Dingle is renowned as an outstanding destination for Food and Drink, and a past winner of the Irish Restaurant Award ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’. Seafood is a specialty in this area, with restaurants offering some of the best, locally sourced shellfish in Ireland. When planning to eat out in Dingle I’d strongly recommend booking in advance, as the area gets very busy, particularly during the summer months. Here are some of my top picks for places to eat in Dingle:
The Fish Box
You can’t go to Dingle without visiting The Fish Box! It is a family owned business, and they serve fresh fish caught on their trawler! If you’re looking to eat here, you should book in advance as the place is always packed!
The vibe is casual, relaxed dining, and I’d recommend the Crispy Chilli Monkfish, it’s divine!
Solas is a delicious Tapas and Wine bar in the heart of Dingle. The food is as good as it looks, the staff are super friendly and the sangria is incredible!
Solas pride themselves on their locally sourced produce, which means there is a lot of delicious seafood on the menu.
James Long Pub
You can’t come to Dingle for the weekend and not head out to the pub for a pint! The James Long pub is in the heart of Dingle, overlooking the harbour. It has the best of both with an Irish pub atmosphere, and delicious food.
They serve classic Irish “Pub Grub”, including burgers, fish and chips, and pizzas, as well as vegetarian options.
LOOKING FOR MORE?
If you’re looking for a good coffee spot, I love Bean in Dingle. They have great specialty coffees and delicious homemade pastries. And if you just can’t get enough of the amazing food offers in Dingle, why not head out on a Tasting Tour of the town?
WHAT TO DO IN DINGLE
DINGLE SEA SAFARI TOUR
To make the most of your stay in Dingle, you’re going to want to get up early and head to Dingle Sea Safari for a tour of the Dingle Peninsula by boat. The trip costs €55 per person, and usually lasts about 2.5 to 3 hours. This has been voted the #1 activity in Dingle, and is a must do when you are in the area!
This tour brings you around Dingle’s spectacular, rugged coastline. You’ll see sea caves, epic cliffs, an up close view of the Great Blasket Islands and maybe even some Dolphins! Your captain will have great knowledge of the area, and will fascinate you with some great stories along the way.
SLEA HEAD DRIVE
HOW DO I GET TO SLEA HEAD?
Drive from Dingle Town towards the Dingle Distillery. From here, you’ll want to keep following the road towards Ventry. As most people complete the loop clockwise, it would make the most sense for you to do the same. This way, you reduce the chances of you meeting a large tour bus head on! You’ll also have the best views over the Atlantic Ocean from this angle.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
If you were to do the Slea Head drive without stopping, it would take you about 1 hour to complete. The length of time you spend here is totally up to you, I’ve heard of some people taking 6 hours to complete the 47km route. There’s a lot to see here, so I would recommend setting aside 3-4 hours to see the highlights.
WHAT CAN I SEE AT SLEA HEAD?
The Slea Head drive is one of Ireland’s most scenic routes, and it immediately springs to mind when I think of the Wild Atlantic Way. Some of the main highlights include:
Head to Killarney.
I know what you’re thinking, Niamh? Isn’t this meant to be a weekend in Dingle? And you’re not wrong! Buuuuut, it would be a shame to come all the way out to Kerry, that is assuming you don’t live in Kerry, and not visit Killarney! Plus, you’re probably going to be heading home via Tralee, so why not stop off on the way at one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland!
THE GAP OF DUNLOE
The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass that separates McGillicuddy’s Reeks from the Purple Mountain Group range. The glacial valley has beautiful lakes surrounded by tall mountains, and has some most untouched beauty in Ireland. Although you can technically drive through the Gap of Dunloe, I’d strongly recommend avoiding this. As this spot is extremely popular with cyclists and walkers, your best bet is to park here and enjoy the area by bike, by foot, or by horse and cart!
HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND HERE?
You could spend up to five hours walking around the Gap of Dunloe and back. However, I’d recommend heading as far as the Wishing Bridge and back. It should take about an hour to get to the bridge, soak in the sights, and head back. Here, you’ll find a cute little horse box selling coffee and treats, don’t get too greedy because our next stop is lunch.
LUNCH IN KILLARNEY
Ireland’s food truck culture has exploded in 2020, and Eleven77 has become one of my favourite places to eat in Ireland. They have a lovely outdoor seating area, and a wide selection on their menu. They serve pizza, sandwiches, fish and chips, and lots more. I had their fish tacos, and I’ve been dreaming about them ever since!
KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK
If you have a bit of time, I’d strongly recommend renting a bike and heading around Killarney National Park. The journey can take between one to three hours, depending on how long you spend at each destination. You can enter the park via Ross Castle, a beautiful 15th Century Castle which sits on the edge of Killarney’s lower lake. If you have some time, why not take a boat tour around the lake and enjoy the views!
Another great stop in Killarney National Park is Torc Waterfall. This waterfall is approximately 20 meters high, and is a very short walk from the carpark.
If you have a bit more time, I’d also recommend checking out Ladies View for one last look at Kerry before heading home!
TIME TO GO
And that’s it for a weekend away in Kerry! I hope you have a great time, and I hope you’ve found this guide helpful!