If you’re in search of the best things to do in Dingle, this guide should come in handy.
The mighty Dingle Peninsula is home to endless attractions, from the spectacular Slea Head Drive to beaches, hikes and ancient sites.
Below, you’ll discover what to do in Dingle at any time of the year (along with a handy Google Map with the attractions plotted).
The best things to do in Dingle Ireland
You’ll find the magnificent Dingle Peninsula tucked away in County Kerry, just below Tralee and just above the Iveragh Peninsula (home to the Ring of Kerry).
The peninsula is the northernmost of Kerry’s major peninsulas and, interestingly enough, it’s the westernmost point on the island of Ireland. Here’s heaps of places to visit in Dingle at any time of the year!
1. The Dingle Peninsula Drive
If you only have a day, the Dingle Peninsula Drive is a good way of seeing the best the area has to offer in one big swoop (if you have more time you can split it up into chunks).
If you’re starting from Killarney, aim for Inch Beach and kick-it-off from there. You’ll need the guts of a day to tackle this spin, especially if you fancy doing the various walks.
Over the course of the spin, you’ll conquer Slea Head, see Dingle Town, travel along Conor Pass and tick-off many of the best things to do in Dingle.
2. The Slea Head Drive
The scenic Slea Head Drive is one of the top things to do in Dingle and it rivals the Ring of Kerry as one of the best drives in the county.
It kicks off just outside of Dingle Town and it follows a 46km route that takes in breath-taking scenery, historical sites and lovely little towns and villages.
The Slea Head Drive can take around 1 to 2 hours to finish. However, leave at least twice that if you’re looking to take your time and stop off multiple times (here’s a guide with a map)
3. Conor Pass
A spin along Conor Pass is arguably the most unique of the many things to do in Dingle, as you can see from the photos above.
The pass here runs from Dingle out to Brandon Bay and Castlegregory. At 410 m above sea level, it’s one of the highest mountain passes in Ireland.
The tight, bendy road weaves its way alongside a rugged mountain on one side and a big ass drop on the other.
Now, if you’re reading this and you’re driving in Ireland for the first time, relax. Although this road may seem daunting, once you take your time you’ll be fine.
There’s a spectacular view from here over the valley below, also. Keep an eye out for the pull-in area (it’s on the Dingle Town side) and you’ll be able to park and admire the scenery.
4. Dun Chaoin Pier
Dun Chaoin Pier is the very unique looking departure point for the Blasket Island Ferry. Now, if you’re not getting the ferry, don’t worry – you can still stroll down for a look.
You’ll find Dun Chaoin (pronounced ‘Dunquin’) Pier in a gorgeous little Gaeltacht village of the same name on the Dingle Peninsula at the northern end of a little secluded bay enveloped by jagged cliffs.
You can take a stroll down the pier itself (you’ll feel the burn in the quads on the way back up) or you can admire the view from above (don’t get too close to the edge).
The quirky road combined with the gorgeous rocky peaks that jut out from the water in front of the pier make for a wonderfully unique scene on County Kerry’s dramatic coastline.
A visit here is one of the more popular things to do in Dingle, so it can get busy during the summer months.
5. Trad pubs
Dingle’s home to many a fine pub. From the very popular Dick Mack’s to the very unique Foxy John’s, there’s a pub that’ll tickle every fancy.
In our guide to the best pubs in Dingle, you’ll find everything from pubs with live music to places that look like they haven’t changed in 70 years.
If you’re visiting the town and you’re looking for things to do in Dingle with a group, head for a long hike in the morning and head off on our Dingle pub crawl in the evening.
6. Coumeenoole Beach
There’s a handful of beaches near Dingle that are well worth a saunter along. However, always check locally to see whether it’s safe to swim.
While the water at Coumeenoole Beach looks inviting, there’s dangerous currents at play here so please keep your feet on dry land.
This is one of several filming locations for ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ and you access it via a winding path from the parking area above.
7. Dunmore Head viewpoint
You’ll find the lookout point for Dunmore Head a short distance from Coumeenoole Beach, so make sure you keep an eye out for it.
This is another one of those things to see in Dingle that tends to rock you a little bit. When you step out of your car and gaze out, the sound of wind and wave combined with the view that you’ll be treated to is immensely special.
Spend time here. Soak up the sights and sounds. Put down the phone and focus on capturing this little chunk of bliss in your mind forever.
Dunmore Head is one of a number of Dingle attractions, like Dun Chaoin, that has graced the cover of many a postcard over the years.
Related read: Check out our guide to 45 of the best things to do in Kerry (hidden gems and tourist favourites)
8. Clogher Strand
If you’re wondering what to do in Dingle to doge the crowds, carve out some time to visit the mighty (and often-missed) Clogher Strand.
The bay at Clogher is circular and the little beach is surrounded by rugged cliffs. If you visit, look out towards the sea and you’ll see ‘Fear Marbh’ (‘Dead Man’ in English).
Fear Marbh is the most northerly of the three Blasket Islands. If you arrive on a clear day, hop out of the car or off the bike and head for a ramble. This is another ‘no swim’ beach.
9. Eask Tower
Next up is another of the more unique things to do in Dingle. Few of the Dingle attractions, in my opinion, are as overlooked as Eask Tower. Now, personally, the history of the tower doesn’t interest me too much.
It was built in 1847 as an aid to help guide boats into nearby Dingle Harbour. History aside, it’s the views from its position up on Carhoo Hill that make it worth a visit.
You park at the bottom of the hill, pay €2 into the honesty box and then take the short climb to the top. You’ll be treated to glorious views on a clear day.
10. Inch Beach
You’ll regularly see Inch Beach listed as one of the best beaches in Ireland, and it’s for good reason!
Inch is almost like a peninsula in itself (as you’ll see from the snap above) and it’s long expanse of sand makes a great destination for a ramble.
Kick-off your visit with coffee from Sammy’s (beside the car park) and then head for a stroll. You’ll have mountain views in front of you and likely plenty of surfers attempting to tame the Wild Atlantic Waves.
Keep in mind that as this is one of the few beaches near Killarney, it can get very busy when the weather’s good!
11. Mount Brandon
You’ll find one of the best views on the Dingle Peninsula on the Mount Brandon hike. There are several different options for reaching the summit of Mount Brandon.
The only one that I’m familiar with starts at Faha, a stone’s throw from the village of Clogane. This is a pretty strenuous walk that can take between 4 and 5 hours.
You kick your ramble-off in the car park near Faha Grotto (where you’ll be treated to a fine view on a clear day).
Interestingly enough, the summit of Mount Brandon is the highest point of the Dingle Peninsula. One for the hardy hikers among us.
12. The Great Blasket Island
The historic Great Blasket Island is the largest island in a group of three that can be found off the tip of the Dingle Peninsula (several Dingle tours will take you to it).
The island boasts over 1,100 acres of unspoiled, mainly mountainous terrain and is roughly 6.4km long by 0.8 km wide.
Many associate the Great Blasket Island with Peig Sayers. Peig was an Irish author who moved to the island in 1892 after marrying an island native.
She’s best known for her autobiography ‘Peig’. If you want to visit the island, you’ll need to take a ferry from Dun Chaoin Pier. There’s a 1km crossing and it takes a handy 20 minutes.
A visit to the Blaskets is one of the more off-the-beaten path things to do in Dingle, but the island is well worth exploring.
13. Glanteenassig Wood
If you’re wondering what to do in Dingle to take you away from the crowds of tourists, aim for Glanteenassig Forest Park.
You’ll rarely see this place mentioned in guides to Kerry, for some reason, which is bizarre as the scenery here will knock you on your ar*e!
Glanteenassig is home to nearly 450 acres of lakes, woodland and mountains. Parts of the walking trails here also offer views Brandon Bay, the Maharees and Tralee Bay when the weather is good.
14. Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory is arguably one of the best known of the many Dingle attractions. It’s believed that it dates back to the 11th or 12th centuries.
The interior of the oratory is just 4.8m long by 3m wide and is illuminated by a single window.
There’s a local legend that says that anyone who climbs through the little window will be guaranteed access to heaven (this is frowned upon now, though, so best not to try).
15. Outstanding food
If you’re fond of a decent feed, you’re in luck – there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Dingle that’ll make your belly happy.
If you fancy a pocket-friendly bite, Fish Box is outstanding (and nice and casual). For some finer more formal dining, give the Chart House a crack.
There’s some great places for breakfast in Dingle, like My Boy Blue and there’s heaps of lunch and dinner spots that make the most of the fishing vessels that land back into the pier on a daily basis.
16. The Dingle Distillery
If you’re wondering what to do in Dingle when it’s pouring down, earmark the Dingle Distillery for a visit – this is one of the most popular whiskey distilleries in Ireland for good reason.
A favourite of local and visiting whiskey lovers, the Dingle Distillery offer a tour of their fully functioning production facility.
You’ll get an introduction to the history of Irish whiskey and the rigorous distillation process in practice at the distillery.
And, of course, you’ll also experience the many sights and sounds of a working distillery. The tour here lasts around an hour and includes whiskey sampling.
This is another handy one for those of you looking for things to do in Dingle with a large group. The tour here is supposed to be the business!
17. Caherconree Scenic Route
The Caherconree Scenic Route is another of many things to do in Dingle that tends to get overlooked. However, a glance at the photos above may tell you why.
The road here is very narrow in places and can be off-putting to some drivers. Similar to the likes of the Ballaghbeama Gap near Kenmare, this route is wild, unspoiled and remote.
Care is needed but, for those that brave it, you’ll be treated to glorious views that many tend to miss.
18. The Blasket Centre
Another of the Dingle activities that’s handy for those rainy days is a visit to The Blasket Centre. Here you’ll be immersed in what life was like for those that inhabited the Blasket Islands.
The centre takes visitors on a journey back to the years leading up to 1953, when the last of the islanders were evacuated.
Aside from the immersive insight into what island life was like, you’ll also soak up spectacular views of the Blaskets from inside the building.
19. Ceann Sraithe
If you’re a fan of Star Wars our next stop might look familiar – the area overlooking Ceann Sibeal (pictured above) was used to recreate the beehive huts from Skellig Michael.
Although this is one of several Dingle attractions that shot to fame 6 or 7 years ago, no dedicated parking area was added, so you’ll need to safely park in off the hard shoulder.
The views from where you pull in are pretty much what you can see above, but you can walk out a little for a closer look.
20. Annascaul Lake
A spin out to Annascaul Lake is one of the more popular things to do in Dingle amongst those fond of tracks and trails (and peace and quiet!).
You’ll find the lake near the town of the same name. On the way, keep an eye out for the South Pole Inn – the pub once owned by Antarctic explorer Tom Crean.
Now, you can drive right up to the lake, but please keep in mind that the road is a proper old country road – i.e. narrow, so care is needed.
21. Minard Castle
Minard Castle boasts the title of one of the most scenic castles in Kerry, arguably only pipped to top spot by Ross Castle in Killarney National Park.
You might recognise this location from the movie ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ – the castle was used to depict ‘The Tower’. Minard is one of several castles on the peninsula that was built by the knights of Kerry.
It’s stood at the top of a little hill and the location is nice and dramatic when the weather is wild and the waves crash against the stoney beach below.
22. The Dingle Way
Walking the Dingle Way has been on my bucket list for what seems like forever at this stage. If you’re not familiar with it, the Dingle Way is a 176km walking route.
It takes walkers around the coast of the Dingle Peninsula over the course of 8 days and is a path generally taken by seasoned walkers, considering the time that it takes to complete.
This is one of the more strenuous Dingle activities so, if you don’t feel up to it, you can always tackle the trail in chunks over several visits.
23. Wine Strand
And last but by no means least in our guide to the best things to do in Dingle is the gorgeous Wine Strand (it’s part of the Slea Head Drive).
You’ll come to this place right before you reach Gallarus Oratory and it’s a nice sandy spot for a ramble after the drive around the coastline.
The beach offers beautiful mountain views and you’ll often share it with horse riders.
24. Glanteenassig Forest Park
Glanteenassig Forest Park is one of the more overlooked things to do on the Dingle Peninsula.
It’s around a 40-minute drive northeast from the town of Dingle and it’s home to numerous trails of varying difficulty level.
The most notable routes are the Lough Caum (long), River Walk (medium), and Lough Slat (short) trail.
25. Things to do near Dingle
If you’re looking for things to do near Dingle, hop into our guide to County Kerry or our guide to the best things to do in Killarney.
There are heaps of attractions on the Dingle Peninsula, but there’s also plenty a handy spin away. So, conquer the bits and pieces outlined above and then explore the rest that this county has to offer.
What to do in Dingle on a handy map
If you’re wondering what to do in Dingle and in which order, our map of Dingle above should help. It has all of the ‘main’ attractions plotted and it’ll give you a sense of where you’ll be focusing your efforts.
If you’re picking a base to explore from and you want to be near the action, there’s some great hotels in Dingle and there’s heaps of excellent B&Bs in Dingle, too.
To use our Dingle Peninsula map, just click into it and zoom and you’ll find loads of things to do near you.
What places to visit in Dingle Ireland have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant places to visit in Dingle from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about Dingle activities
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What to do in Dingle when it rains?’ to ‘What Dingle attractions are tourist traps?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Wednesday 29th of June 2022
Really really useful article, thanks for taking the time to do it!
Saturday 16th of April 2022
Hi Keith, I’m visiting Ireland for the first time. I’ll be staying in Dingle for 2 nights, but debating whether or not I should stay for another or check out Kinsale. Thoughts? I could really use the help, my brain hurts from planning overload.
Friday 22nd of October 2021
Amazing article. Thank you 🙏🏻
Thursday 2nd of September 2021
Great article :) thank you
Monday 24th of February 2020
This is such a great site, thanks!