This article is sponsored by Ford Ireland
It’s hard to bate a fine day on the Dingle Peninsula.
Home to Slea Head, lively Dingle Town and countless beaches, coves, hikes and scenic spins, the Dingle Peninsula is a mighty little corner of Kerry for a weekend break.
Although I’ve spent many-a-weekend in Dingle over the years, this visit came with a difference – I’d be exploring via the comfort of the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid which boasts:
- 18″ Rock Metallic alloy wheel
- Full LED headlamps
- Hands-Free Power Tailgate
- Partial premium touch Sensico sports seats with red stitching
- B&O Premium audio system
Some quick need-to-knows about exploring the Dingle Peninsula
Here’s a quick overview of this road trip to have a flick through before we get into the various places to visit.
1. Distance from the main cities in Ireland
I’m going to use the different cities listed below as our point ‘A’ and Inch Beach as our point ‘B’ to calculate the distances:
- Cork City: 1 hr 57 min
- Limerick City: 1 hr 49 min
- Waterford City: 3 hr 23 min
- Dublin City: 3 hr 50 min
- Belfast City: 5 hr 20 min
- Galway City: 3 hr
- Kilkenny City: 3 hr 19 min
- Derry City: 6 hr 12 min
2. We did a combo of the Slea Head Drive and the Dingle Peninsula Loop
3. A hybrid road trip
We were hitting the road in the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid, which combines all electric driving with a petrol engine. The Kuga PHEV has a choice of driving modes, so you can decide whether to run on all electric power for up to 45-63km*, the petrol engine or a combination of both. You can seamlessly switch from petrol to electric at the touch of a button which is handy for road trips.
Places to visit around the Dingle Peninsula
There’s plenty to see and do around the Dingle Peninsula – below, you’ll find some of our favourite stops along the way.
Just keep in mind that these aren’t in chronological order, so you can pop them into your itinerary based on where you’re starting your trip from.
1. Conor Pass
At an impressive 410m above sea level, Conor Pass is one of Ireland’s highest mountain passes, and it can be the stuff of nightmares for nervous drivers.
However, you don’t have to drive it. If you head up to it from the Dingle side, you’ll reach a car park before you hit the narrow road.
From here, you can soak up views of the surrounding valley and watch the cars navigate its narrow bends from afar.
However, if you do decide to drive it, it’ll likely be an experience you’ll remember for many years to come – just take it nice and slow!
2. Minard Castle
Now, if you’ve ever watched the 1970’s film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’, you might recognise Minard Castle, which was referred to in the movie as ‘The Tower’.
The castle here is finely plonked on a little grassy hill that overlooks the water, commanding breathtaking views on a clear day.
Minard Castle dates to the 16th century and it is one of several ‘Fitzgerald castles’ that were built by the Knight of Kerry on the Dingle Peninsula.
3. Slea Head
The Slea Head Drive is one of the most popular driving routes along the Wild Atlantic Way and it’s dotted with places to stop and admire the scenery.
As you meander along bendy roads you’ll be treated to views of the rugged coastline that the peninsula is famous for.
The Slea Head Drive is very handy to follow, but you’ll find some of the main stops along the way below.
4. Coumeenoole Beach
Next up is Coumeenoole Beach – another filming location for the movie ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. However, unlike Minard Castle, this one comes with a WARNING.
No matter how inviting the water looks here, never enter it – the bay here catches the full force of the Atlantic which creates strong and unpredictable currents.
There’s a little parking area next to the beach and you can either admire it from above or walk down the winding track to the sand.
5. Clogher Strand
Our next stop is Clogher Strand – one of many little coves that you’ll find dotted around the Dingle Peninsula.
While swimming isn’t allowed here, Clogher Strand is a gorgeous little beach that’s surrounded by rugged cliffs on all sides.
It can make a nice little stop-off point as it’s generally nice and quiet. There are some trails around here that you can tackle.
On this visit, we headed for a stroll along the sand and watched the waves explode against the cliffs a short distance away.
6. Three Sisters/Clogher Head Viewpoint
If you recognise the area from the photos above, the chances are you’ll have seen it in the Star Wars movie which used Dingle for certain scenes 8-or-9 years ago.
When you pull into the little ‘parking’ area (here on Google Maps), you’ll be given a good eyeful of Clogher Head along with the ‘Three Sisters’ jutting up behind it.
These are some of the more unique headlands on the peninsula and, on a clear day, they almost look like shark fins rising up over the landscape.
7. Dun Chaoin Pier
Dun Chaoin Pier is the departure point for the Blasket Island Ferry and it’s a place that has graced the cover of a million postcards, tourism campaigns and social media posts over the years.
Now, a couple of warnings for this one. The first is to never drive down to the pier. You’ll find a place to park at the top near the ticket box.
The second is to be very careful when walking along the grassy area above. This is an unguarded cliff edge and the long grass can make the edge seem further away than it actually is, so steer well clear!
Learn more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid
And that is a wrap on our mini-road-trip-guide to the Dingle Peninsula. You can discover heaps more places to visit in Dingle in our Dingle guide.
Or, if you’d like to discover more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X PHEV, visit Ford.ie.
*Based on full charge of Kuga PHEV ST-Line. Estimated range using Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Figures shown are for comparability purposes and should only be compared with other vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. Actual range varies with conditions such as external elements like temperature, driving behaviours, route profile, vehicle maintenance, and lithium-ion battery age and condition. 63-km WLTP Overall Range reflects a combined driving cycle and 45-km WLTP Extra High range reflects motorway driving – both tests are conducted in controlled conditions with an ambient temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and no climate or electrical load.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.