Dingle Peninsula, Dingle
Never ever ask Irish people to show you the way!! The answer will always start with :"Ohhh, but that is easy, Love, just....etc. etc.." and that particular day I simply had to do it......the roadsigns aren't always that clear....
Anyway, I drove in the wrong direction, noticed it but drove on, knowing that there was a lighthouse at the end of LOOP HEAD ......
It really seemed to be the end of the world and if ever I would have had a puncture there or something else with the car (or me!!) I would have been completely lost! and not missed........
In the end there was the lighthouse and see those raindrops on my lense.....huge, fat, enormous drops........
I turned back and found the right way that time but had to have a break for something substantial and warm.....and that is easy to get in Ireland and soon I was in a warm pub, surrounded by families who were keeping an eye on Dad and/or Husband.......the races, you know, the races and gambling.......
Well I enjoyed my meal and disappeared again.....
Even my scanner thinks the photos are black & white, the day was black & grey and each time I have to correct the thing and tell it: this is a photograph taken in GREENGREENGREEN IRELAND!!!
I reached KILLIMER and was so lucky that I didn't have to wait for the FERRY to take me to the other side.......
Rain, rain, rain and of course the same LIGHTHOUSE I have already seen several times during earlier made trips.....
never ever have I had a sunny bright day there!!
This is that particular lighthouse......and believe me I was soon back inside.....
The main tourists' routes of the west of Ireland's SHANNON region are linked via this KILLIMER-TARBERT CAR FERRY!
This pleasant (!), 20 min. journey across the SHANNON ESTUARY will save 137 km. from ferry terminal to ferry terminal, providing a launching-point to the many attractions of CLARE, KERRY and adjoining counties!
Whatever your reason for visiting the west and south west of Ireland (a VT meeting perhaps???) plan on taking the SHANNON FERRY across Ireland's finest river.
As you make the short journey, you MAY be in for an added bonus......you may catch sight of the resident schools of dolphins, which regular display their talents for the passengers.
Wit our new state-of-the-art ferries, we can assure you of a relaxing trip and a warm welcome, even on a rainy day, (as I experienced myself, more than once!!)
The wind was blowing extremely hard and a walk along the shoreline was quite a job, although a challenge...
But in the end it was great to be able to walk back through the dunes and to my surprise there were some fine, deep valleys where it was good to have a rest, take off my coat and enjoy the warmth of the sun......
Very welcome that was and also the hot tea with cake in the little restaurant at the end of the beach.
It was a pity that CARS were allowed on the beach here: a SHAME......
If you have only one day in this part of Ireland, I would definately recommend the Dingle Peninsula over the Ring of Kerry. The roads are not nearly as crowded and the views are just as good, if not better in some areas. The peninsula also has plenty of things to see and places to stop. We actually had worse weather for this drive then the Ring, and still enjoyed it more.
Almost all villages north and west of Dingle make up the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht, one of the last places in Ireland where the Irish language still is spoken as the first language. The area is very scenic and attracts many visitors in the summer, particularly in August, so you may want to visit some other time of the year. The small villages of Dún Chaoin, Baile na nGall and Ceann Trá are particularly attractive.
This island, off the Dingle coast, is known as the Sleeping Giant because it looks like a body - with the head, beer belly, and then down to the feet! The Irish legend has it that a giant fell into the sea at this point, creating the island.
Hop on a bike and get ready to push down on the peddles a few hundred times. If you have the will bike the entire Dingle Peninsula. It took me about 4 hours to do, and I was exhausted when I got back, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes scenic coastal biking.
Make sure to leave yourself some extra time to be able to see the bee hive huts and some of the old church building along the way.
**Disclaimer: cars will whiz by you only inches from your handle bars. At times you may think you are going to die, don't worry everyone has the same feeling and from talking to locally it seems that people are rarely clipped.
Famous for the one and only Dolphin named Fungi. Boats take you out to see Fungi. A bit of a tourist rip off but the whole town relies on Fungi to bring the money in. So practially everywhere you go you will find shops that sell anything and everything with his name on it. Better off spending your money in one of the nice restaurants or bars and its more exciting and Dingle has a lot of really nice restaurants.
The three sisters..
The part of the peninsula west of Dingle is a Gaeltacht, or Irish speaking area. Meaning all road signs etc will be in Gaelic as it is the main language in the area rather than English
Parts of the Dingle Peninsula have been used as movie sets over the years. This area was close to where the opening scenes of "Far & Away" were filmed and "Ryans Daughter" was filmed in this area as well
courthouse & jail....
Experience the harsh prison system of the 1830s......
The 1830s were difficult and upsetting times in Ireland.
Punishment was handed out often and...harshly!
Visiting this place you will follow the horror of the judicial regime of that period and the plight of one poor soul!
THOMAS DILLON, who suffered under the system.
This is an experience of the past - the scenes, sounds and character expressions all recreate the authentic atmosphere ot that awful era.
It must have been horrible to be "SENT DOWN" in the Bridewell of the 1830s.
It is terribly awful but yet a good experience.....
Do drive the winding road around the Penninsula that goes up and down the mountain. It is breath-taking. As always, the road are EXTREMELY narrow which is nerve wracking to say the least when driving on the edge of a mountain with only water below you! Sends shivers up my spine just thinking about it. It is worth it though. There is not much traffic and whenever another car around the bend, we just pulled over into the bushes if need be. Praise the good Lord, we did not encounter any tour buses on these roads.
Look for the 'sleeping giant' - an island that you can see from one of the mountain roads that looks almost exactly like a sleeping giant. There are a number of islands to see. Near the islands, you will also encounter a very large and very white crusifix facing the setting sun and the islands. It is amazing!
On Slea Head Drive, look for the Bee Hive Huts. The cost of admission is 3 euros and then you have to hike a bit up the hill to them but they are absolutely fascinating and the scenery is breath-taking.
There is also a fort on the same road (I think) that is situated on the edge of a mountain as are a lot of things in Ireland. I imagine it was for protection. It is also breath-taking as the water is just below.
Also look for the famine huts on the same road. Interesting but get there early as it closes early in the day.
Along the drive, you will find a relatively new restaurant (just opened in June 2009) that is actually very good. We stopped in when looking for the fort and had some coffee and dessert.
While I do not think it is as dangerous as some of the other reviews, you DO have to watch out for sheep in the road (right around that next corner!) so drive slowly and you should be fine. Got a pic of the map before starting out----also had a very nice lunch in Dingle proper at a local pub.
This photo is of your typical old Irish faithful "Sheep Dog". I love this shot, the textures and color.
Dingle’s surrounding country side, its hills and lakes are some of Ireland’s finest. Use the village as a base for a night and drive around the peninsula for a day.