experiences

Adventures in Ireland: Dingle Peninsula

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The day didn’t work out quite as planned. We went to bed at 8PM, thinking we’d wake up early on Saturday and head immediately to Dingle Peninsula. Even after being woken up by our enthusiastic neighbors from 12-2AM, we figured 11+ hours would be more than enough sleep. So we were surprised when we both got up and discovered it was past 10AM!

We checked out of the Radisson Blu Limerick and made a quick stop at Tesco along the way to pick up a picnic breakfast and some snacks (too cheap to pay the 30p for a plastic bag) to eat along the way.

Shawna Tesco Snacks

Despite encountering icy, hail filled roads at one point on the route, we made great time and arrived in Dingle in a little under 2 hours.

Sleet on the drive to Dingle Peninsula

Road into Dingle

Dingle Downtown

We headed for Slea Head Drive immediately to start the clockwise driving tour. There were no set plans, but I had pulled up Rick Steve’s Loop Trip recommendations and we had each identified a few points we wanted to be sure not to miss.

courtesy of stonehouse restaurant

Our picnic lunch was long gone, so I wanted to stop at the Stone House Restaurant, which supposedly combined amazing views with amazing food. Because it was low season, the restaurant was closed, so we could only enjoy the views, which were pretty spectacular.

View from Beehive huts

Next up were the beehive huts which I had taken a great liking to when I first saw pictures. It was €2 a person to visit what turned out to be a very small area. One beehive hut open for exploration, the other under construction. It had great views though!

Dingle Peninsula Beehive Huts

I also liked seeing the “modern” building next to the hut a little farther down the road. Smile

Stone house and beehive hut

The views were lovely, but we were starting to be pressed for time (sunset was at 5PM) so our next stop wasn’t until Coumeenoole at the tip of the Peninsula where we took in the beautiful beach and the Blasket Islands on the horizon.

Keri Shawna Coumeenoole

We stopped again to take in the gorgeous views from Graigue. Where we encountered a few tourists, only the 4th car all day. Interestingly enough it was all pairs of women (like ourselves). The lack of traffic was delightful — most of the time it felt like we had the Peninsula to ourselves.

View from Graigue Dingle Peninsula

The next stop was barely a mile down the road – the Louis Mulcahy Pottery shop in Ballyferriter. The upper story features a café with great food and hot beverage offerings. Perfect since at this point we were ravenous and cold.

Louis Mulcahy Pottery Cafe

Tea at Louis Mulcahy Pottery Cafe

One of their options was a great cheese plate with local selections.

Local Cheese Plate Louis Mulcahy Pottery

The sun was starting to set, so we hustled out of there and discovered one of the most amazing beaches I’ve ever seen in all my travels.

Clogher Beach sunset

We were happy to spend the rest of our daylight soaking in the amazing views and sounds of the waves coming in.

The only downside is it was then dark as we crossed the rest of the Peninsula and I’m pretty sure we missed some amazing rolling scenery as headed inland back to Dingle. All in all, we had probably only spent about 3 1/2 hours on the Peninsula and felt like we got to see some of the best it had to offer without feeling overly rushed.

Ideally we would have not overslept and had the whole day to meander more leisurely, but it was a good illustration of how you can still see a lot even if you have limited time.

Next up: Ring of Kerry

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

1 Comment

  1. rick anderson

    February 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    As usual, great pix.

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