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Dunquin Pier (Cé Dhún Chaoin): Parking, Map + Safety Note

Dunquin Pier (Cé Dhún Chaoin): Parking, Map + Safety Note

When you visit Dunquin Pier (Cé Dhún Chaoin), PLEASE do not drive past the little wooden ticket office – you can’t drive down here yet, some still do and their car gets destroyed.

Located along the Slea Head Drive, Dunquin Harbour is one of the stand-out attractions along the Dingle Peninsula.

The departure point for the Blasket Island Ferry, the pier looks like something from Jurassic Park from above. Take not of the warnings below!

Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Dunquin Pier

In particular, please pay careful attention to point 3 about safety – the cliff edge here is unguarded and the ground is uneven, so proper care is needed.

1. Location

You’ll find Dunquin Harbour on the Dingle Peninsula just outside of the little village of Dun Chaoin. It’s part of the Slea Head drive (not to be confused with the Ring of Kerry) so there’s plenty to see and do close by.

2. Parking

You’ll find parking near the ticket booth where you buy tickets for the Blasket Islands (here on Google Maps). Never drive past the ticket booth – you can’t drive down to the pier!

3. Stay back from the edge

To get the view of Dun Chaoin in the photo below, you need to walk across some very spongy and uneven grass near the edge of the cliff – please be careful here. It get’s very windy and there’s a massive drop below.

About Dunquin Harbour

Dun Chaoin

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

You’ll find the little parish of Dun Chaoin finely placed at the most westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula, not far from Dingle Town.

Dun Chaoin (pronounced ‘Dunquin’) translates to ‘Caon’s Stronghold’ and the village is a Gaeltacht (an Irish speaking area).

The famous pier

The village is arguably best-known for its very unique pier which serves as a departure point for the Blasket Island ferry.

Situated at the northern end of a secluded bay surrounded by craggy cliffs, Dun Chaoin Pier is as mesmerising in real life as it is in pictures.

Why it draws so many visitors

You could argue that many people who visit Dunquin Harbour do so without intending to ever board a ferry – it’s the appearance of the pier that draws the crowds.

The quirky road combined with the gorgeous rocky peaks that jut out from the water in front of the pier makes for a wonderfully unique scene on Kerry’s dramatic coastline.

Things to do near Dunquin Pier

slea head drive

So, if you’re driving Slea Head clockwise, you’ll likely have visited Coumeenoole Beach (5-min drive) before you arrived at Cé Dhún Chaoin.

When you leave the harbour, keep on heading along the route and you’ll encounter some of the more popular things to do in Kerry, like:

  • The Blasket Centre (5-minute drive): Learn the history of the islands
  • Gallarus Oratory (20-minute drive): An ancient pre-Christian church
  • Clogher Strand (10-minute drive): One of Dingle’s finest beaches

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Gail Sibley

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

When I was there last October, I saw a gravestone up on the walk from the car park overlooking the Dunquin Pier. It was upside down facing the water. It read Jane Heather Bell 1960-2008. Do you have any information on this?

Mimi Noppenberger

Saturday 21st of December 2019

My husband and I and a friend had the greatest week exploring the Dingle peninsula. We were determined to find the Sheep's Head Highway and drove down a road to the Blasket Visitors center. Along the way we stopped to ask two local road workers where it was and they said "never heard of it". So then we said Dunquin pier and they said " oh just down the next road". When we told them it was a famous place as we walked away one of them said " you learn something every day". We laughed about that many times!!

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