Driving along the coastline of Dingle Peninsula is an absolute must when visiting the County Kerry area of Ireland. The Dingle Peninsula loop trip is about 47 km with numerous small towns, B&B’s, old estates, and churches along the way. From Killarney, we headed towards Dingle which is the only town on the peninsula. After a delicious lunch at The Boat Yard Restaurant in Dingle, we started our clockwise drive of the peninsula along the Slea Head Drive. First village along the drive is Ventry with a long beach suitable for swimming and water sports.
Kite surfing at Dingle Peninsula
Driving along Slea Head Drive that loops the tip of Dingle Peninsula
Driving thru the lush green landscape
The 4-mile long beach at Ventry Bay
Continuing westward about a quarter of the way, we arrived at Dunbeg Fort built during the Iron Age which looks like it is ready to fall into the sea.
Walking down the hill to Dunbeg Fort
What remains of Dunbeg Fort from 500 BC
All along the coastline, houses look like they are ready to tumble down into the sea.
Further along the drive, a sign will point you to a group of beehive huts a short walk uphill like the ones on Skellig Michael. These mysterious stone igloos are clustered together within a circular wall.
Short uphill walk to the beehive huts
Inside one of these stone huts
We saw blue skies for a change…though it only lasted for about 20 minutes or so :(
Scenic Slea Head Drive with a view of the Blasket Islands
Another place of interest towards the end of the drive is the Gallarus Oratory shaped like an upturned boat. It was built 1,300 years ago and is one of the best preserved early Christian churches. It is a small structure, probably can only fit a dozen monks at a time, and very dark inside.
From the Gallarus Oratory, we arrived back in Dingle for our return journey to Killarney. We made a short detour to Minard Castle en route. The 16th century castle ruins sit on a boulder beach and we were told that the boulders have been rounded by rolling on the sea bed and then thrown up by the sea during storms.
This concludes our brief visit to County Kerry. From here, we drove north to County Clare and Galway. Stay tuned!
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