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The 2023 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

The 2023 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

Day 11 (Kerry) – Beaches, the Slea Head Drive and some of the best pubs in Ireland

Day 11 is a little bit more relaxed than day 10.

We’re going to make our way from Cahersiveen up along the coast towards Dingle (with several stop-offs on the way), before tipping on to conquer the Slea Head Drive.

Get a bit of a lie in and get on the road for 10:00.

1 – The long aul drive to Dingle

// Cahersiveen to Dingle – 1 hour and 30-minute drive (aim to arrive for 13:00 with stops) //

We’ve a decent drive to get us to Dingle, but we’ll be breaking it up with a couple of stops.

Stop 1: Rossbeigh Beach 

rossbeigh beach Kerry

Photo by S. Mueller (Shutterstock)

Our first stop, Rossbeigh Strand, is around a 30-minute drive from Cahersiveen, so you’ll escape the car before cabin fever starts to sink in.

If you fancy doing a hike that’ll treat you to a spectacular view out over Rossbeigh, check out our 48 hours in Kerry guide.

Stop 2: Coffee and a stroll on Inch Beach

// Rossbeigh to Inch – 51-minute drive //

Our next stop takes us to Inch Beach.

We’re going to hop out here and grab a cup of coffee while the waves crash away in the distance.

If you visit here at lunch time, get the burger – it’s one of the best that I’ve eaten in years!

inch beach county kerry

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

2 – The Slea Head Drive 

// This Drive takes roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes – we’re going to allow for 5 hours. Start the drive at 14:00) //

slea head ireland

Slea Head: Via Tourism Ireland

Resist the temptation to stop in Dingle – there’s plenty of time to check it out later in the evening.

We’re going to kick off The Slea Head Drive while the day is still young.

The Slea Head Drive is a circular route that starts and finishes in Dingle.

My only piece of advice for this drive is to stop and wander wherever and whenever the feeling takes you.

Coumeenoole beach kerry

By Chris Hill

The best part of this chunk of our Ireland road trip isn’t the many different ‘official’ stop off points. it’s the constant, ever-changing landscape that engulfs them.

Slea Head Stop 1: Coumeenoole Beach

Our first stop is at Coumeenoole Beach, a place that fans of the movie ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ may recognise, as it was one of the locations used in the film.

This is a fantastic little beach that’s surrounded by jagged cliffs and spectacular coastal scenery.

beach in kerry ryans daughter

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Park the car, explore the area and let the wild Atlantic air gush over you.

A place where cobwebs will be banished.

Slea Head Stop 2: Dunmore Head

You’ll find the lookout point for Dunmore Head a short distance from Coumeenoole Beach, so keep an eye out for it.

dunmore head slead head drive

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

When you step out of your car and gaze out, expect to be greeted by the crash of waves combined with a powerful, salty breeze.

Slea Head Stop 3: Dun Chaoin Pier

Dun Chaoin Pier is the wonderfully unique departure point for the Blasket Island Ferry, and you’ll find it at the northern end of a small secluded bay enveloped by rocky cliffs.

dun chaoin pier county kerry

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

When gawked at from above, the narrow, winding road that leads up to the pier can only be described as a charming little slice of architectural madness.

Slea Head Stop 4: the stop that isn’t a stop

In many of our Irish road trip guides where Slea Head features, I try to emphasise that you need to just take your time and enjoy the scenery that envelopes you from start to finish.

Don’t rush it.

Here are some other things you can do along the drive, if you’d like a bit more guidance.

Some other stuff to check out on the Slea Head Drive
  • Beehive Huts
  • The Upside-Down-Bridge
  • Gallarus Oratory
  • Kilmalkedar Church
  • Great Blasket Centre
  • Reasc Monastic Site
  • Dunbeg Fort

3 – Dingle for food and pints

// The Slea Head Loop will get you back to Dingle for around 19:00. //

dingle town kerry

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

It’s been a long aul day. So it’s time to eat, drink and be merry, and what better place to do all 3 than Dingle.

Where to eat in Dingle

Here’s a handful of suggestions:

  • Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant
  • Out of the Blue
  • The Boatyard
  • Sheehy’s Anchor Down Restaurant
  • Paul Geaney’s

Central places to stay in Dingle

€50 to €100

€100 to €150 


Once you’ve checked into your accommodation, dropped off your bags and had a bite to eat, it’s time to sample some of the local pubs.

My two favourites in Dingle are Dick Mack’s and Foxy John’s, but there are plenty to choose from.

dick macs bar dingle

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

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MIchael Katekar

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

A big thank you for all of the time and hard work you have put into this blog. Great information. I don't think we can keep up with your pace but will certainly take up many of your suggestions.

Isabella Dennison

Sunday 26th of March 2023

Good day Keith,

Wow, what an amazing work you've done! I'm forever grateful!!! Please can you email this to me. We are planning to explore Ireland for the first time this year 2023, all the way from South Africa.

Thank you

Keith O'Hara

Monday 27th of March 2023

Thanks Isabell!

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

I've tried to get this converted to PDF on a number of occasions, but the result is very messy due to the volume of photos in it.

If there's any specific questions that I can help with, please fire them on and I'll do my best to answer them.


Jodie Wilson

Sunday 26th of March 2023

First retirement trip. Ireland for a month! Go big or go home. So excited to start this new chapter in our lives - and to hit the roads of Ireland. This guide is perfect - but I’d love a more readable copy if you could email it to me.


Monday 13th of March 2023

Keith, this is an extraordinary itinerary and so detailed. Thank you

Phillip Ennis

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

I'm tipping my hat to you for having the tenacity to put together such a helpful, insightful and thorough guide for all of us to enjoy. Thank you.

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