5 Awesome Places to Visit in Dingle

XcelTrip|4 min read|Nov 6, 2019

Framed by its fishing port, the Dingle peninsula's charming little 'capital' manages to be quaint without even trying. Some pubs double as shops, so you can enjoy Guinness and a singalong among hats and hardware, horseshoes and wellies. It has long drawn runaways from across the world, making it a cosmopolitan and creative place. In summer its hilly streets can be clogged with visitors; in other seasons its authentic charms are yours for the savouring.

Although Dingle is one of Ireland's largest Gaeltacht towns, the locals have voted to retain the name Dingle rather than go by the officially sanctioned – and signposted – Gaelige name of An Daingean.

Gallarus Oratory

Gallarus Oratory is one of Ireland's most beautiful ancient buildings, its smoothly constructed dry-stone walls in the shape of an upturned boat. It has withstood the elements in this lonely spot beneath the brown hills for some 1200 years. There's a narrow doorway on the western side and a single, round-headed window on the east. Gallarus is clearly signposted off the R559, 8km northwest of Dingle town, and is 400m east of the (paid) Gallarus Visitor Centre car park.

Alternatively, free parking for half-a-dozen cars is available on the roadside at the public path leading to the oratory from the south.


Kilmalkedar Church

The Dingle Peninsula's most important Christian site, Kilmalkedar has a beautiful setting with sweeping views over Smerwick Harbour. Built in the 12th century on the site of a 7th-century monastery founded by St Maolcethair, the roofless church is a superb example of Irish Romanesque architecture, its round-arched west door decorated with chevron patterns and a carved human head. In the graveyard you'll find an Ogham stone and a carved stone sundial. It's 2km northeast of Gallarus.


Blasket Centre

This wonderful interpretative centre celebrates the rich cultural life of the now-abandoned Blasket Islands. It is housed in a striking modern building with a long, white hall ending in a picture window looking directly at the islands. Great Blasket’s rich community of storytellers and musicians is profiled along with its literary visitors like playwright JM Synge, author of The Playboy of the Western World. The more prosaic practicalities of island life are covered by exhibits on boatbuilding and fishing.


Glanteenassig Forest Recreation Area

Southeast of Castlegregory, these 450 hectares of forest, mountain, lake and bog are a magical, off-the-tourist-trail treasure. There are two lakes; you can drive on an unsurfaced road up to the higher one, which is encircled by a plank boardwalk (too narrow for wheelchairs or prams). It's 4.5km south of Aughacasla on the northern coast road (R560).

Make sure you're out before closing time (check signs at the car park); there's a call-out fee to have the gates unlocked.


Dingle Oceanworld

Dingle's aquarium is a lot of fun, and includes a walk-through tunnel and a touch pool. Psychedelic fish glide through tanks that recreate such environments as Lake Malawi, the River Congo and the piranha-filled Amazon. Reef sharks and stingrays cruise the shark tank; water pumped from the harbour fills the Ocean Tunnel tank where you can spot native Irish species such as dogfish, mullet, plaice, conger eels and the spectacularly ugly wreckfish.


Travel With Us

Luxury – Imeall Na Mara


Property Location: With a stay at Imeall Na Mara in Ballydavid, you'll be within a 5-minute drive of Gallarus Oratory and Kilmalkedar Church. This 4-star country house is 1.8 mi (2.8 km) from Gallarus Castle and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from St. Brendan's House.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 4 guestrooms. Conveniences include irons/ironing boards, and rollaway/extra beds can be requested.

Amenities: Make use of convenient amenities, which include wireless Internet access (surcharge) and babysitting/childcare (surcharge).

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include wired Internet access (surcharge) and a 24-hour front desk. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


Budget- Dingle Benners Hotel


Property Location: A stay at Dingle Benners Hotel places you in the heart of Dingle, steps from St. James Church and 3 minutes by foot from St. Mary's Church. This family-friendly hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Trinity Tree and 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from The Dillon Gallery.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 52 air-conditioned rooms featuring fireplaces. Satellite television is provided for your entertainment. Conveniences include coffee/tea makers and a turndown service, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Make use of convenient amenities such as complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). Additional amenities at this hotel include wedding services, a fireplace in the lobby, and discounted use of a nearby fitness facility.

Dining: Satisfy your appetite for lunch or dinner at Mrs Benners Bar, a bar which specializes in Irish cuisine, or stay in and take advantage of the 24-hour room service. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served daily from 8 AM to 10 AM.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Free self parking is available onsite.

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