Explore truly breathtaking scenery in this walking tour that covers the Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head, including its famous Ventry Beach and Great Blasket Islands. Walk through and along grassy bogs, forests, rocky coastlines, and beaches while you enjoy views of seal colonies, historic "beehive" huts, mountain ranges, and alpine lakes. Summit Mt. Brandon, listen to traditional Irish music, relax in authentic pubs, and kayak Dingle Bay as you search the horizon for Fungie the famous dolphin.

Highlights

  • Visit "beehive" huts along Slea Head
  • Tap your toes to traditional music in Dingle Town
  • Take a high-speed boat tour of the Blasket Islands
  • Summit the peak of Mt Brandon
  • Kayak on Dingle Bay and say hello to Fungie the dolphin

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tralee - Explore Tralee
Day 2 Tralee to Camp via the Dingle Way Camp
Day 3 Visit Inch Beach as you Hike to Annascaul Annascaul
Day 4 Explore Annascaul's Mountains and Beaches Annascaul
Day 5 Walk to Dingle with Views of Connor Pass Dingle Town
Day 6 Explore the Town of Dingle Dingle Town
Day 7 Speedboat to the Blasket Islands Dingle Town
Day 8 See "Beehive" Huts on the Way to Dunquin Dunquin
Day 9 Visit the Irish-Speaking Village of Ballydavid Ballydavid
Day 10 Cross Brandon Massif to Cloghane Cloghane
Day 11 Summit Mount Brandon Cloghane
Day 12 Cloghane to Castlegregory via Fermoyle Beach Castlegregory
Day 13 Return to Tralee Tralee
Day 14 Goodbye, Ireland!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tralee - Explore

Tralee, Ireland

Welcome to the West of Ireland! Your trip starts in Tralee, the administrative capital and transportation hub of County Kerry. Getting to Tralee is relatively easy, as plenty of bus and train connections operate routes from all major airports in Ireland, including Kerry, Dublin, Cork, and Shannon.

As you settle into your guesthouse, you'll collect your hiking information pack and some tips for navigating the town of Tralee. If you have time, check out the Kerry County Museum. The extensive and seasonal exhibits present information using unique archaeological finds and dioramas. There's also a walk-through medieval experience and a gallery devoted to Antarctic explorer Tom Crean.

Spend your evening exploring Tralee's pedestrian-friendly downtown by enjoying the shops. Pop into a cozy pub to warm up for the night.

Day 2: Tralee to Camp via the Dingle Way

Along the hills
Hiking along the hills

After departing your guesthouse, a scenic backcountry route takes you to the famous Dingle Way trail. The Dingle Way is a very scenic circular route around the Dingle Peninsula. The portion you'll follow today meanders under the beautiful Slieve Mish Mountains and eventually joins what was once an old road to Dingle. Once you pass a fascinating 12th-century oratory, you'll continue to the village of Camp where you'll stay the night.

Walking Details:

  • Distance: 10 miles (16 km)
  • Max. Height: 800 feet (250 m)
  • Terrain: Rocky, muddy mountain and grass tracks. It can be wet underfoot, so boots are essential.

Day 3: Visit Inch Beach as you Hike to Annascaul

Lakes in the distance
Alpine lakes on the Dingle Peninsula

Today's walk begins with a path through a grassy bog where you may even see locals using the bog for winter fuel collection. You'll then turn down the southern side of the Dingle Peninsula and make your way to Inch Beach, best known as the site of multiple films. 

As you continue inland through the countryside, you'll pass flocks of local sheep and eventually arrive in the village of Annascaul where you will spend the night. The village is best known for being the home of Tom Crean, an Antarctic explorer who sailed with Earnest Shackleton and Robert Scott on their expeditions. The pub that Crean opened during his time in the town is still open today; stop in for a pint and a chat with the locals.

Walking Details:

  • Distance: 8 miles (13 km)

Day 4: Explore Annascaul's Mountains and Beaches

Mountains around Annascaul

After a hearty Irish breakfast, you'll explore the area around quaint Annascaul. You can choose from one of the scenic mountain walks in this area, such as the hike to Maghanaboe or across Acres Hill. You can also opt for more relaxed walks out to Minard Castle or back to Inch Beach. Or, if you'd like to have a day to rest, you can enjoy the town of Annascaul. Stroll the river walk and enjoy a meal in one of the pubs.

Day 5: Walk to Dingle with Views of Connor Pass

Walking near Connor Pass

Trade the sleepy village of Annascaul for the livelier town of Dingle. Today's route passes through Minard, so if you didn't make it out to the castle yesterday, you can enjoy the 16th-century structure today. You'll also pass through the picturesque villages of Lispole, as well as Lisdargan and Ballingarruan.

You'll eventually join the old military road below Connor Pass, which will take you the rest of the way to Dingle. This charming fishing town is well known for its famous authors and artists, as well as a variety of delightful cafes and award-winning restaurants.

Walking Details:

  • Distance: 13 miles (21 km)
  • Max. Height: 1,000 feet (300 m)
  • Terrain: Country lanes, grass tracks, and some road walking. Boots are essential.

Day 6: Explore the Town of Dingle

Dingle Town

After breakfast, you'll catch a transfer to Dingle's town center. Instead of hiking, use your steps to explore this charming, colorful village!

The essence of Dingle is its seaside charm. Take some time to enjoy it with a stroll along Dingle Harbor, ending with exceptional views from Hussy's Folly. You can also take a boat trip to see Fungi the Dolphin, the town's world-famous mascot. You can even kayak on the harbor as you search the horizon for Fungi.

If you prefer to stay inland, Dingle is a lovely place to just meander and visit the numerous art galleries and locally-owned shops. Other activities include visiting the Dingle distillery, exploring the aquarium, trying your luck with a class at the cookery school, or an afternoon of horseback riding.

Day 7: Speedboat to the Blasket Islands

Dunquin Port near Great Blasket Islands

Today, a speedboat will take you to the Great Blasket Islands from Dingle Marina where you'll experience the outstanding natural beauty of the Dingle coastline and Slea Head.  Enjoy the fresh sea breeze, breathtaking views, staggering cliffs, and native wildlife.

As you boat through the harbor, your captain will stop to find  Fungie and visit significant geological spots, including cliffs, coves, and rock formations that are millions of years old. You may even see whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea birds fishing in the bay. In settled weather conditions, you will also visit puffins on the island of Inishvickillane. 

Once you arrive on the Great Blasket Island, you'll tour the northern shore in search of the region's local seal colony. Your tour guide will then walk you through abandoned villages and help you to explore the many wonders the area has to offer. As you make your way back to Dingle Marina, settle into the boat with a hot coffee or tea as you take in the last of the scenery.

Day 8: See "Beehive" Huts on the Way to Dunquin

Coast of Slea Head

You'll begin your morning hike just outside Dingle, passing the Early Christian site of Kilcolman and continuing to the glorious sweep of Ventry beach. Long and sandy, Ventry is one of the most attractive and popular beaches on the west coast of Ireland.

From here, you'll enjoy a beautiful and historic walk around Slea Head, finishing in the town of Dunquin where you'll spend the night. This walk offers an opportunity to see "beehive" huts—ancient dwellings made with dry stone—and a full view of the Blasket Islands. 

Walking Details: 

  • Distance: 12 miles (19 km)
  • Max. Height: 1150 feet (350 m)
  • Terrain: Rocky grass tracks with some beach and road walking. Boots are essential.

Day 9: Visit the Irish-Speaking Village of Ballydavid

Walking on the Dingle Peninsula

Today you'll walk from Dunquin to the Irish-speaking village of Ballydavid. The route follows a very scenic portion of coastline through the town of Clogher and to Dún an Óir Fort, the scene of a notorious massacre. This sheltered bay is dominated by the jagged peaks of Sybil Head, the Three Sisters, and Ballydavid Head. 

Continue along a beautiful beach and pass through the village of Ballyferriter to finish your walk in the coastal village of Ballydavid.

Walking Details: 

  • Distance: 12 miles (19 km)
  • Max. Height: 500 feet (150 m)
  • Terrain: Quiet back roads, grass, and muddy tracks. Boots are recommended.

Day 10: Cross Brandon Massif to Cloghane

Walking trails in Western Ireland

Your walk today will take you from Ballydavid and along the northern coast of Dingle Peninsula. With glorious scenery as your company, you'll make your way to the tiny hamlet of Tiduff.  From here, you'll start your ascent as you follow a very impressive old military road to the eastern side of Brandon Massif. You'll finish your walk in the village of Cloghane. 

This route is quite remote, but the scenery is spectacular. This is a very special hike as the area is only accessible on foot. Settle into your Cloghane accommodation and enjoy the peace and tranquility of this sleepy village.

Walking Details: 

  • Distance: 19 miles (30 km) 
  • Max. Height: 2,000 feet (650 m)
  • Terrain: Rocky grass and mountain tracks, plus some road walking.  Boots are essential.

Day 11: Summit Mount Brandon

Mt. Brandon

Today you'll stay in quaint Cloghane so you can take advantage of the nearby trails and guided walks. You also have the option to summit the top of Mt. Brandon, a popular route that sits at 2,750 feet (850 m). From the top, you'll see panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and the surrounding area.

Another popular hike takes you into the valley of Lough an Dun, a lake steeped in history and full of archaeology. This valley is very scenic, sitting at the bottom of Conor Pass and is home to numerous monuments and structures from the Bronze Age (2,000BC – 500BC).

After your day of exploring, return to Cloghane for a peaceful, seaside evening.

Day 12: Cloghane to Castlegregory via Fermoyle Beach

The Local
The local pub

Today features a wonderful walk along beautiful Fermoyle Beach and out to the Maharees Peninsula.  At the tip of this peninsula, you arrive at a small cluster of houses with one pub. Stop in for a quaint Irish experience!

From here, you'll continue around the peninsula and walk along Tralee Bay before arriving at your final accommodation in Castlegregory. 

Walking Details: 

  • Distance: 6 or 11 miles (9 or 18 km)
  • Max.Height: 330 feet (100 m)
  • Terrain: Beach and road walking. Boots are recommended, but not essential.

Day 13: Return to Tralee

Dingle coastline

From Castlegregory, you'll continue along the coast as far as the town of Camp. From Camp, you return to the path you travelled on the second day, which takes you back to Tralee under the incredible views of the Slieve Mish Mountains.

Walking Details:

  • Distance: 15 miles (25 km)

Day 14: Goodbye, Ireland!

Ireland
Farewell Ireland!

Enjoy your final breakfast at a leisurely pace as your prepare for your departure. Whether you plan to head home or extend your trip, the town of Tralee is well connected to all major cities and airports in Ireland. You can find plenty of bus and train connections to Cork, Limerick, Shannon, or Dublin.