24 Deadly Things to do in Dingle: A Locals Guide To The Mighty Dingle Peninsula

What to do and where to grab a post-adventure pint

things to do in dingle ireland
Photo left: Kim Leuenberger (via Tourism Ireland). Right: Joe Dunckley

There’s no end to the number of things to do in Dingle.

In fact, this little corner of the county is home to many of the best things to do in Kerry, in my opinion!

In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from tourist favourites, like Fungie the Dolphin and the Slea Head Drive, to lesser-known Dingle attractions that lay slightly off the beaten track.

So, g’wan – get scrolling and discover heaps of things to do in Dingle, Ireland at any time of the year!

The best things to do in Dingle, Ireland

You’ll find the magnificent Dingle Peninsula in the beautiful County 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.

Named after Dingle Town, the peninsula is home to a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area), an abundance of walk and hike routes and an almost endless clatter of scenery.

The Dingle Peninsula has also played host to a number of blockbuster movies over the years, like Ryan’s Daughter and Star Wars. Ok, I’ll stop rambling! Dive on in below!

1. Fuel up with a coffee from Bean in Dingle (or My Boy Blue)

Bean in Dingle
Photo via the lads at Bean Dingle

I’ve been (terrible pun not intended) into Bean in Dingle several times over the last year or so, always to grab a pre-drive-back-to-Dublin coffee.

The coffee in this place is strong and tasty. And the service is warm and friendly. I’m in no way affiliated with these lads, but if you’re looking to fuel-up pre-adventure, get yourselves in here for a piping-hot sup-to-go.

Or, if you fancy trying somewhere else, I’ve heard lots of good stuff about My Boy Blue, also.

2. Grab a mighty view from the summit of Mount Brandon

summit of mount brandon
Photo by Colm K (Shutterstock)

You’ll find one of the best views on the Dingle Peninsula at the summit of Mount Brandon, a mountain which takes its name from St. Brendan.

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.

Traveller tip: This hike is one of the best things to do in Dingle if you’re looking to ditch the car and explore by foot. Here’s a guide to follow if you fancy trying it.

3. Head off on the Slea Head Drive (not the Dingle Loop)

Slea head road
Photo by Lukasz Pajor/shutterstock.com

‘The Dingle Loop’ is the incorrect name often given to the Slea Head Drive. Where it came from, who knows (although there’s a big US website that wrote a guide to ‘Driving the Dingle Loop’ in 2007, so I’ll point the finger there!)

The Slea Head Drive is one of my favourite drives in Ireland. It kicks off just outside of Dingle Town and it takes visitors and locals along one of Ireland’s most scenic coastal roads.

The road stretches for around 46km and 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.

A guide to the drive: Fancy giving this guide a lash? We’ve created a detailed guide with all the stops that you can follow right here.

4. Watch the sunset over Ceann Sibeal

Ceann Sibeal at sunset
Photo by Valerie O’Sullivan via Failte Ireland

If you’re looking for things to do in Dingle, Ireland, to round off a day in style, get yourself to the spot above (listed in our map at the end of this guide) for sunset.

If you can’t make it here as the sun starts to drop, don’t worry – the view is just as spectacular on a clear day.

Now, if you’re looking at Ceann Sibeal (the headland in the snap above) and thinking that it looks familiar, it’s because you may have copped it at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The lads filming the movie used the area here to recreate the beehive huts from Skellig Michael

5. Drive the slightly mental road at Conor Pass

conor pass dingle
Photo via Shutterstock

The narrow road at Conor Pass 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.

6. Take a ferry to the Great Blasket Island

blasket islands
Photo by Madlenschaefer (Shutterstock)

 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.

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 Dunquin Harbour. There’s a 1km crossing and it takes a handy 20 minutes.

7. Tantalise your tastebuds at the Dingle Distillery

Dingle whiskey tour
Photo by Fennell Photography via Failte Ireland

Next up is the Dingle Distillery – a favourite of local and visiting whiskey lovers. Those that enter can embark upon 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 in the rain. The tour here is supposed to be the business!

8. Experience Dingle Bay from the sea

sup dingle
Photo by Wild SUP Tours

If you’re in search of fun things to do in Dingle, this should tickle your fancy. Those that join the lads at Wild SUP Tours can experience Dingle Bay…

… from the sea! If you’re looking to see the Dingle Peninsula from a very unique perspective, then this’ll do the job.

There are several companies now offering tours of the Dingle Peninsula via the icy waters of the Atlantic.

If you fancy seeing the Dingle Peninsula from a very different angle, consider climbing aboard a Stand Up Paddleboard.

9. Spend the night in a gaff with a view

rooms at pax house in dingle
Photo used with the Permission of Pax House Dingle

There are a handful of places to stay in and around Dingle Town that offer a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.

One of those places is PAX Guesthouse (pictured above) and the other is the Dingle Skellig Hotel.

In fact, you can flake out in a hot tub at the Dingle Skellig and admire the view from the comfort of some piping hot water.

If you’re fond of unique places to stay, hop into our guide to the funkiest Airbnbs in Dingle (I’d happily retire in some of the places!).

10. Whittle away an evening in the snug in Dick Mack’s

dick macs bar dingle
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

If you’re in Dingle Town and you’re in search of a pub that serves a fine pint, get yourself to Dick Mack’s. 

If you arrive mid-week or on a quiet day, try and nab the little snug area. Another great spot is the little section of seats just to the left as you come in the door).

You’ll be sat behind an old school desk and you’ll be able to watch the comings and goings of those seeking refuge inside the warmth of this well-known pub for a few hours.

Have a nosey at our guide to the best pubs in Dingle for loads more advice on where to grab a pint in the town.

11. Coumeenoole Beach (the Dingle Beach that featured in Ryan’s Daughter)

Annual leave Ireland 2020
Photo via Tourism Ireland (by Kim Leuenberger)

Right, I’ll level with you – if you offered me €14,000 right now I couldn’t even begin to tell you how to pronounce ‘Coumeenoole’. 

This mighty Dingle beach featured in the movie ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. Now, I’ve never seen the film, but there’s no real mystery around why they chose this as a location for one of the scenes.

Coumeenoole Beach is simply incredible. You can park up and take a short stroll down a little winding hill to watch the waves crash on the golden sand.

12. Visit the pub once owned by an Antarctic hero

The south pole inn dingle
Photo by valentinvdb (Creative Commons licence)

If you’ve ever visited the little village of Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, the chances are you’ll have been to (or you’ll at least have seen) the South Pole Inn.

The pub was once owned by a renowned Antarctic explorer by the name of Tom Crean, who originally hailed from Annascaul.

Tom left the village to join the Royal Navy and participated in three Antarctic expeditions over the years. He returned to Annascaul in later life and opened The South Pole Inn in 1927.

13. Soak up a fine view of Dunmore Head

dunmore head viewing point
Photo via Google Maps

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. Who cares how long. Soak up the sights and sounds. Put down the phone and focus on capturing this little chunk of bliss in your mind forever.

Related read: Check out our detailed guide to driving the mighty Ring of Kerry (contains stops, a map and more).

14. Walk the winding road down to Dun Chaoin Pier

Dun chaoin pier kerry
@ Tourism Ireland photographed by Tom Archer

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.

15. Have the buzz with Fungie

dolphins near the blasket islands
Photo via Ireland’s Content Pool

I feel like I’ve been hearing people talk about Fungie the Dolphin for as long as I’ve lived. If you’ve never heard of him, Fungie is a wild Bottlenose Dolphin that lives in the waters around Dingle Bay.

It’s said that Fungie has been exploring the waters of the Dingle Peninsula for over 32 years and according to Dolphin experts, he’ll have a lifespan of between 40 and 50 years.

There’s a 1-hour boat trip out to see Fungie and it departs several times over the course of the day. This regularly tops the list of the top things to do in Dingle with kids!

When you finish up with Fungie, you’ll be back in Dingle Town. If you fancy a feed, try one of the places in our guide to the best restaurants in Dingle.

16. Try your hand at rock climbing (one of the more unique Dingle activities!)

Rock climbing dingle peninsula
Photo via Ireland’s Content Pool

So, this is an activity for those of you looking to get the adrenaline pumping. The lads at Irish Adventures offer rock climbing lessons at the sea cliffs of Dunsheane.

You’ll find them a handy 4km from Dingle town, where they offer a wide range of rock climbing routes, from handy climbs to more extreme ones.

If you’ve never tried anything like this before but you fancy giving it a bash, there are plenty of routes that are perfect for novices. 

Related read: Discover the best places to stay in Dingle in our Dingle accommodation guide (ideal for those of you fond of hotels with incredible views).

17. Walk the Dingle Way

dingle way walk
Photo via Hillwalk Tours

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.

If you’re looking for active things to do in Dingle but you don’t have 8 days to play with, you could easily tackle one section of the route.

18. Grab a bite to eat by the sea at Inch Beach

inch beach county kerry
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

I took the photo above at Inch Beach back in the winter of 2016. We had driven from Dublin and arrived at the little restaurant/cafe on Inch just as the sun began to set.

There’s something immensely special about being on Inch Beach for sunset. Especially when there are groups surfing off in the distance and the mountains aren’t covered by clouds.

If you’re peckish, the cafe here does a ridiculously good burger. I visited again in 2019 and the food was cracking!

19. Have a gander at Gallarus Oratory

gallarus oratory in kerry
Photo by Chris Hill via Ireland’s Content Pool

Gallarus Oratory is arguably the most well known man-made tourist attraction on the Dingle Peninsula. 

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).

20. Rat poison, pints and live music at Foxy John’s 

foxy john's bar in dingle
Photo by Andrew Woodvine (via Creative Commons)

Foxy John’s is one of the best pubs in Ireland. It’s definitely the most unique, anyway! Foxy John’s is a hardware store, a bike hire spot and a traditional Irish pub all rolled into one.

You can literally buy rat poison and a pint at the same time. If you’re looking to listen to some live music during your time in Dingle town, you’ll find some here at the weekends, also.

The last time that I spent an evening here was a Friday in 2018. The music kicked off at (I think) half 8 and the place was hopping. If you can arrive here early, do – it can get pretty packed.

21. Listen to the waves crash at Clogher Strand

Clogher strand
Photo via Ireland’s Content Pool

Clogher Strand is the Dingle Beach most often missed by those driving along Slea Head for the first time. In fact, it wasn’t until my 3rd or 4th time that we stopped here and went for a ramble.

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.

22. Grab a mighty view from the car park near the Faha Grotto

Faha Grotto
Photo via Google Maps

If you’re planning on hiking Mount Brandon from the side near the Faha Grotto, then you’ll end up parking here.

This is a bit of a random one and it’s a good bit off-the-beaten-track, but it’s places like this that make Ireland special.

Places that rarely (if ever) grace the covers of tourism booklets or guides yet are none the less beautiful. Take a spin out here and admire the view.

23. Make your belly happy with some Brown Bread ice cream

murphys ice cream dingle

Round off your spin around the Dingle Peninsula with a trip into Murphy’s. This place is expensive, but the ice cream is tasttttty!

I was here last summer and tried the Caramelised Brown Bread (sounds dodgy, but it’s class!) and the Dingle Sea Salt. Both were insanely good!

24. Hikes, walks, history and loads of things to do near Dingle

geokaun mountain and cliffs
Photo by mikemike10/shutterstock

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.

A map of the Dingle Peninsula with stops

You’ll find a clatter of things to do in Dingle in the Google Map above. To be honest, most things are grand and handy to find.

However, there’s a handful of stops, like Dun Chaoin, that are easily missed, as they’re accessed by narrow roads.

FAQ about what to do in Dingle

We get a fair few emails from people asking about what to see in Dingle. Below, I’ve popped in the most frequently asked questions that we’ve received.

If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, give me a shout in the comments section and I’ll try to help you out.

What are the best things to do in Dingle?

  • Do the Slea Head Drive
  • Climb Mount Brandon
  • Visit the Blasket Islands
  • See Dun Chaoin Pier
  • Walk the Dingle Way

What is there to do in Dingle with kids?

  • Take them out on the boat to see Fungie
  • Bring them into the aquarium in Dingle Town.
  • Get them an ice cream or a hot chocolate from Murphy’s
  • Head for a paddle on one of the many beaches

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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