Spend 6 days on Ireland's rugged West Coast with this hiking tour. You'll head down the Dingle Way from the country town of Tralee down to Inch Beach and onward to Dingle town, offering great pubs and traditional music in this Gaeltacht, a majority Irish-speaking area. The trail takes you through a landscape that's been inhabited for 6,000 years, full of history and archaeological monuments alongside the crashing Atlantic Ocean.

Highlights

  • Walk in the shadow of the Slieve Mish Mountains
  • Visit cinematic favorite Inch Beach
  • Explore the ruins of the Minard Castle
  • See the ancient beehive huts on Slea Head
  • Hike off the auto route, exploring the peninsula at a slower pace

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tralee Tralee
Day 2 Tralee to Camp Tralee
Day 3 Camp to Annascaul Annascaul
Day 4 Annascaul to Dingle Dingle Town
Day 5 Dingle to Dunquin Dingle Town
Day 6 Depart Dingle  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tralee

Ballyseede Castle
Ballyseede Castle

Welcome to Ireland! Your trip starts in Tralee, the administrative capital of County Kerry. Bus and train connections run year-round to Tralee from Kerry, Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

Your guesthouse hostess will give you your hiking information pack as well as some tips for navigating the town of Tralee. If you have time, take in the Kerry County Museum, home to Kerry's history as told through archaeological finds, dioramas, and more along with rotating seasonal exhibits, a walk-through medieval experience, and a gallery devoted to Antarctic explore Tom Crean. Spend the evening exploring its pedestrian-friendly downtown, restaurants, and pubs before you turn in.

Day 2: Tralee to Camp

Take in the views
Take in the views

After breakfast in the castle, walk outside along back country ways to connect to the Dingle Way. You'll follow the route under the Slieve Mish Mountains to meet up with an old road to Dingle. Take in views across Tralee Bay out to the Loop Head peninsula along the ancient road, which will lead you past a 12th-century oratory and deserted village.

Today's trail ends in the village of Camp. Stop and enjoy a drink in town before you're transferred back to Tralee to spend another night in Ballyseede Castle.

Hiking time: 5 hours
Hiking distance: 11 miles (18 km)
Trail conditions: Rocky and (sometimes) muddy mountain and grass tracks.

Day 3: Camp to Annascaul

A view over the Dingle peninsula countryside
A view over the Dingle peninsula countryside

Hop on a morning transfer to Camp village to start off today's hike up to the village of Annascaul.

The trail starts by taking you through a bog that's still used as a fuel source today, where local farmers harvest and dry blocks of peat to for their fireplaces. Continue around the southern side of the peninsula to Inch Beach, best known as the site of multiple filming locations for major movies shot in Ireland. 

Continue inland over the countryside past local sheep flocks to the village of Annascaul. 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; stop into the South Pole Inn for a pint and learn more about some of the local adventure stories.

Hiking time: 5 hours
Hiking distance: 11 miles (17 km)
Trail conditions: Road walking on quiet back country roads, then onto grassy tracks and finishing on road.

Day 4: Annascaul to Dingle

Saunter past the sea
Saunter past the sea

After breakfast in Annascaul, head for the town of Dingle. You'll pass through 16th century castle ruins in Minard, followed by the village of Lispole, as you make your way along the trail. The terrain will turn into old country lanes as it takes you through Lisdargan and Ballingarraun. Meet up with an old military road below the Connor Pass and continue onto Dingle.

You'll spend the night in Dingle, a vibrant town full of bars and restaurants. Listen for the traditional Irish music coming out of venues and sounds of the native Irish Gaelic language still being spoken as you explore spots like the Dingle Distillery, Louis Mulcahy Pottery, or a traditional cheese shop. If you're torn between all the pubs on offer, try starting at Foxy John's, a combination pub and hardware store, or Dick Mac's Pub & Brewery, which shares its drinking space with a leather goods shop.

Hiking time: 6 hours
Hiking distance: 12 miles (20 km)
Trail conditions: Country lanes, grass tracks and some road walking.

Day 5: Dingle to Dunquin

Don't forget your camera
Don't forget your camera

Start off just outside Dingle this morning as you hike past the early Christian site at Kilcolman onto sweeping Ventry beach. Follow the trail around Slea Head up to Dunquin, passing the ancient beehive huts that served as dwellings from the 6th-12th centuries. These huts, also known as clochán, were built in the area starting hundreds of years ago in the form still used through around the 1950s, which makes dating their original construction time challenging. You can spot them dotted around the countryside in this area, and it's believed this is only a fraction of the construction that used to exist.

Going around the headland, you'll see sweeping views out to Coumeenoole beach and the Blasket islands on the horizon. Return to Dingle for the evening for another night on the town.

Hiking time: 5.5 hours
Hiking distance: 12 miles (19 km)
Trail conditions: Rocky and grass tracks, beach walking and some road walking.

Day 6: Depart Dingle

You'll still have time to watch the scenery out the window
You'll still have time to watch the scenery out the window

Wave goodbye after one last breakfast as you're transferred from Dingle back to Tralee. From Tralee, you can pick up a connection by bus or train back to the Cork, Shannon, or Dublin airport or onward to your next Irish destination.

Map

Map of Self-Guided Dingle Peninsula Walk - 6 Days
Map of Self-Guided Dingle Peninsula Walk - 6 Days