Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula

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Routes: The Blasket Islands/Camp to Annascaul Lake/Annascaul to Dingle/Dingle to Dunquin/Dunquin to Ballycurrane/Ballycurrane to Cloghane/Cloghane to Castlegregory/Castlegregory to Camp

Grade: Walking – moderate

Duration: 7 days with option of shorter multi-day trips; 4-5 hours of walking daily

Dates: All year round; contact us for details

Description

The Dingle Peninsula is renowned throughout the world for its rugged beauty, colourful towns and villages and ancient history. These walks showcase perhaps the finest scenery and richest archaeological heritage of all of Ireland’s 32 Waymarked Ways. They combine wild coasts and clifftops with superb uplands and beautiful, peaceful and fertile countryside. You are welcome to choose from one of our day tours or to combine your favourite options over a number of days. All these great walks are equal in beauty and their description is only a taste of what our Dingle Peninsula day tours have to offer.

The Blasket Islands

The Blaskets lie on the western-most edge of Europe, separated from the mainland by the Blasket Sound, a narrow but treacherous strip of water. We will travel by boat from either Dingle or Dunquin to the Great Blasket. On a clear day, the views from our walk to Cro, the modest summit, are glorious and panoramic. Even in poor weather, the visit to the abandoned village is still of great interest and later we can relax in the cafe, a restored ruin. We visit the sandy beach of White Strand where seals bask and play offshore. This island is steeped in history and has many wonderful sites just waiting to be explored, from its ruins to its fort, from its summit to its sandy beaches. Its spectacular views over the Dingle Peninsula are not to be missed.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 10km approx – easy grade

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Camp to Annascaul Lake

We walk along an old disused road, across moorland and through small conifer plantations, with the western outline of the Slieve Mish Mountains by our side. We walk by peat bogs and through river valleys to find the long sweep of Inch Strand lying before us. Descending on a narrow rocky path with the Iveragh Peninsula in view, we reach the strand with its shop and cafe close by. After a short rest we continue west to Annascaul, walking past ancient standing stones and along rugged coastline. We shortly reach the hometown of Tom Crean and stop at the South Pole Inn where we can immerse ourselves in the stories left by Tom Crean and his world-famous Polar adventures before we leave on our short walk to the picturesque Loch an Scail, or Annascaul Lake.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 20km approx – easy grade

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Annascaul to Dingle

Quiet country roads lead to a picturesque cove and the ruins of Minard Castle, sitting prominently on a hill overlooking a gorgeous little bay with views across the Irish Sea to the Iveragh Peninsula. It is one of three of the mid-16th Century Fitzgerald’s Castles on the Dingle Peninisula with substanial remains. After a brief tour, we leave to pass by St John the Baptist’s Well and continue over country roads and farmland until we reach an old railway viaduct on the right. We then pass through the hamlet of Lispole and continue to the Garlinny and Owenalondrig Rivers where we turn and walk north for a short while. The roadside is dotted with ancient ruins as we walk up steep ground to open views over the Iveragh Peninsula and Skellig Michael. Walking over rough pastures and by farmhouses we end up in the colourful fishing and market town of Dingle. We take plenty of time to explore its world-famous streets and harbour.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 20km approx – easy grade

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Dingle to Dunquin

From Dingle to tranquil Ventry, we walk along undulating roads until we reach its gorgeous beach. We continue on over mixed terrain for some time and on to steep ground on the exposed hillside, behind us the views reach to Ventry and Dingle harbours. As we continue westward we start to see the most southerly outlines of the Blasket Islands, followed by Great Blasket itself. After cresting another ridge, we dip into a wide valley, filled with archaeological remains – over 500 features including many clochans. We then cross the watercourse via stepping stones and head for the rocky shoulder of Mount Eagle. We descend over a stile to a craft shop before we aim for Slea Head. Walking directly above Coumeenoole Bay, overlooked by the jagged cliffs of Dumore Head, we pass by old stone cottages to the shingle shore where we cross a stream, walk uphill and then arrive at the Great Blasket Centre. This walk is one of the most beautiful walks on the peninsula and is steeped in history. An option available is to take the ferry to the Blasket Islands from Dingle Harbour and complete the Blasket Island Tour, returning by ferry to Dunquin later in the evening.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 20km approx – easy grade

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Dunquin to Ballycurrane

Travelling on minor roads and boreens leading to coastal paths, then fine beaches and clifftop pathways, this is an outstandingly scenic walk and one of the most memorable you will ever experience. The secluded beach walks, rich history, spectacular views and rugged landscape are so beautiful and rare that it will leave you wondering if you have found heaven. We choose between a number of routes to the town of Ballycurrane and walk along the sandy shore of Wine Strand after visiting Dun an Oir, an Iron Age fort. Then we find ourselves in the fishing port of Ballydavid, not far from breathtaking coastal pathways and magnificent views. Our walk then heads inland to Feohanagh and on to Ballycurrane.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 28km approx – easy grade coastal walks

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Ballycurrane to Cloghane

One of the tougher routes but equal to the others in its beauty and richness. With a steep ascent of 650m and long descent, this route is by far the most dramatic and challenging of all those on our tour. Crossing the shoulder of Brandon Mountain and descending to Brandon Bay, we are rewarded with more magnificent views of stunning rugged beauty. When we look back from the lower slopes of Mount Brandon, we can see Ballydavid Head, but we keep walking along an old British military pathway, onto the col near the summit of Masatiompan. We cross a stile and wander to the Ogham stone on its far edge where learn its story. We descend some steep ground into the wide valley and head towards the Owennafena River. We continue on tarmac to Brandon Point overlooking Brandon Bay. We finish with an easy walk to the village of Cloghane, via Cappagh, all the while admiring the stunning views towards Castlegregory.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 21km approx – moderate to strenuous

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Cloghane to Castlegregory

We walk along quiet country roads, the shores of Brandon and Tralee Bay and on to the town of Castlegregory. We walk along Ireland’s longest beach with its fine seascapes including The Maharees lying offshore. At the start, we cross small rivers, flowing down from the surrounding mountains to our right, and find ourselves on this sandy beach heading towards Scraggane Point, some 12km ahead. The beach is full of interest, with seaweed, shells, pebbles, drifts, crab skeletons, flotsam, oystercatchers, and perhaps horses racing. It is lined with sand dunes covered in marram grass and set in the background are superb mountain views. Once we leave this beach, we head for Scraggane Bay, where nearby traditional naomhógs (boats) are still made. We then leave the beach at Kilshannog where a ruined church holds a 7th Century cross with Greek engravings. We continue along Castlegregory’s sandy beaches for a number of kilometres until we reach Fitzgerald’s shop. Here we rest after an amazing day!

Tour details:

Date: All year – weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 21km approx – moderate

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

Castlegregory to Tralee

This walk takes us through Camp and along the lower slopes of the Slieve Mish Mountains, into Blennerville and on to the town of Tralee. We pass through fields and brambles to make our way by the enigmatic Aughacasla standing stone. We continue along a beach and head eastward around the broad head of Carrigagharoe Point where we turn right through a gap in the cliff. We walk along varied terrain and landscapes until we reach the tall holly and birch around the long-deserted hamlet of Killelton with its historic church. Then come more streams, gates and stiles, boreens, roadways and paths all the while admiring views over Derrymore Island. After a short climb we come to the valley of Curraheen River with Blennerville Windmill as a landmark. From some points we might see Mount Brandon as we look back towards Catlegregory, but we keep walking to Blennerville where we rest shortly before finding a canal path which will lead us into the beautiful town of Tralee.

Tour details:

Date: All year, weather dependent

Duration: All day

Meeting point: Killarney

Walk distance: 27km approx – moderate

Price: Group rates available (minimum of four per trip); please contact us for details

GEAR

What you wear when you are out in the hills and mountains is very important, especially when conditions are challenging. It is important to ensure that you are warm, dry and comfortable in your clothing and footwear and that you have some basic equipment with you to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience and that you return home safely. The following is a list of basic gear that you should own if you are a regular hillwalker or climber:

Clothing:

  • Lightweight long thermal underwear
  • Short and long-sleeved t-shirts
  • Fleece jacket
  • Fleece or cotton trousers (no jeans)
  • Jacket – waterproof and breathable; with attached hood
  • Over-trousers, waterproof and breathable

Headwear:

  • Sun hat with good visor for summer
  • Balaclava/facemask – 1, lightweight
  • Woolly hat
  • Sunglasses – UV & IR protection

Handwear:

  • Gloves – 2 pairs, lightweight and heavier for the cold 

Footwear:

  • Light hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Socks – warm trekking socks (2-3 pairs) 

Trekking equipment:

  • Daypack – 25-35 litre (optional)
  • Waterproof pack cover
  • Ski poles – 1 pair collapsible spring-bound ski poles (optional)
  • Sunscreen – SPF 30-40
  • Lipscreen – SPF 20-40, at least 2 sticks
  • Sunblock
  • Personal First Aid kit

Miscellaneous items:

  • Spare boot laces, bulbs, batteries, memory cards, headtorch
  • Cold water detergent and some toiletries
  • Small sewing kit
  • Penknife and small scissors
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper – it is good practice to bring your own, but it is provided to anyone if needed
  • Baby wipes/hand wipes
  • Hand gel
  • Personal medication
  • 1 x flask with hot drink (optional)

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