Driving The Dingle Peninsula – Ireland

Road trip the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland

Ireland was our last stop during our trip around the world (at least this portion anyway) and we wanted to make the most of our week on the island. We were obviously going to be taking some time to explore Dublin and drink plenty of Guinness, but getting out and driving around the countryside was something we were looking forward to as well. After some research, we decided driving a portion of the Wild Atlantic Way was exactly what we were looking for!

So, we landed in Dublin, hopped in a rental car and started off toward our Airbnb near Tralee. It turns out we picked a perfect spot for a home base during our days exploring.

Rent a car and road trip in Ireland

Our ride for our time on the Wild Atlantic Way

We again had a great Airbnb experience and the owners (Adah and Seamus) were extremely helpful in giving us direction on what to visit and skip during our time on the road. We spent three days driving around the area and we relied heavily on their recommendations. And we really lucked out with the weather as all three of our driving days were absolutely perfect!

Dingle Peninsula Self Drive Map

Drive the Dingle Peninsula in a clockwise direction – we started in Tralee and our first stop was Inch Beach

After some conversation with Seamus and Adah, we decided to spend our first day exploring the Dingle Peninsula. Seamus explained the right direction to travel (clockwise), otherwise you’ll be driving against traffic and specifically big tour buses. Keep in mind, this is on smaller than usual roads and on the other side of the road. He also told us where to stop for the best photo opportunities, the best eats along the way and where to find the most interesting pubs.

Beautiful breakfast spot at our Airbnb in Tralee Ireland

The perfect place to sip coffee and start your day

We hit the road about 9am after a filling breakfast from Adah and began our way to Inch Beach.

Inch Beach Dingle Peninsula in Ireland

First stop – Inch Beach

Inch Beach was a nice place to grab some early photos and interesting in that you can drive right out onto the beach for parking. However, don’t drive too close to the water, we saw multiple cars get stuck in the sand. 🙂

View of Ring of Kerry from Dingle Peninsula

Ring of Kerry in the distance

On our way to Dingle (the town) we came across a number of beautiful lookout points, which made it difficult not to stop every five minutes to grab pictures. We were able to catch a glimpse of the Ring of Kerry, which we would be driving the following day.

Dick Mack's is a traditional Irish pub in Dingle, Ireland

Dick Mack’s Irish Pub – Dingle, Ireland

Dingle was our planned stop for lunch and grabbing a couple drinks. The Dingle Brewing Company is located here and Seamus told us we should also make a point to stop at Dick Mack’s for a beer. And we did exactly that! Dick Mack’s is an old time Irish pub with an eccentric interior and plenty of beer on tap.

Plus, celebrities tend to frequent the establishment and Russell Crowe and George Lucas were in town. Unfortunately, no sightings for us that day.

Dingle Town is the perfect stop for lunch and shopping

Dingle Town

After finishing our beers, we grabbed some fish and chips at a local food truck near the water. We added a healthy amount of salt and vinegar and headed toward the water to enjoy it. After finishing our catch of the day we walked around town for a bit.

Dingle was a perfect spot for a food break and there are plenty of little shops for people interested in buying some local goods too. After Dingle we headed toward Connor Pass, which also brought more amazing views.

Self drive the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland

A stop along the Dingle

Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula

Slea Head Drive – On the Wild Atlantic Way

Slea Head was another portion of the trip that was really breathtaking. I can’t count the number of times I hit Matt in the arm and asked him to pull over for a photo. The sky was unreal and the green lush landscape was unforgettable.

Dingle Peninsula is a beautiful drive that can be done in a day.

Dingle Peninsula – sheep grazing everywhere

Alana at beautiful Slea Head Drive in Ireland

A quick stop at Coumeenoole Strand

The Coumeenoole Strand was another great spot to pull over and get out for a little walk. You can make your way down to the water, although we forgot our swim suits so we didn’t go the whole way. We saw plenty of swimmers and kayakers enjoying the beautiful water and weather and there were also a number of people out enjoying picnics in the afternoon sun.

Popular look out point while driving Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland

Lots of swimmers and kayakers on the water

Farm near Slea Head Drive Dingle Peninsula Ireland

Amazing scenery and farms on the Dingle Peninsula

Between the water, cliffs, and amazing looking grass along the drive, I’m pretty sure I could buy a small farm and raise sheep for the rest of my days on earth. 🙂

Cliff view on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland

Cliff view on the Dingle Peninsula

Toward the end of the day, we were looking around and decided to take a quick turn off the normal route. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were sure happy we made the decision. We got completely lost and then came to a spot where we pulled over and just sat on the ground for awhile.

These are the moments we will remember from this trip.

You can drive the Dingle Peninsula in a day

Take a wrong turn and get lost sometimes – it makes for a better story and great memories

Are you driving the Dingle Peninsula? Don’t miss nearby Ring of Kerry!

Is Ireland on your bucket list? Pin to Pinterest for later!

Dingle Peninsula Ireland - Great Big Globe - http://www.greatbigglobe.com/dingle-peninsula-ireland/

About Alana

Alana is one-half of Great Big Globe. She loves animals, the Wisconsin Badgers, exploring new countries and chasing the sun.

22 comments

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  2. Ireland is my european dream destination and can´t wait to visit next year. I am into roadtrips so thinkig of renting a car. Great photos btw!

    • Hi Andreja- Definitely budget for renting a car. You will get so much more out of your time in Ireland. Our two road trip days were our favorites.

  3. So, so, so, so beautiful! This is exactly what I picture when I think of the country! I spent a few days in Dublin (loved it) but I wish I got to explore more of Ireland. Dingle definitely seems like the kind of place you want to become a sheep farmer lol. Great photos and descriptions of this awesome part of the world!

    • Hi Katie- We loved Dublin too but Dingle and Ring of Kerry we’re our favorite two days during our time in Ireland. If you make it back, definitely rent a car and check them out.

  4. I wouldn’t mind having this scenic place all to myself. 🙂

  5. I have NEVER visited Ireland, this looks lovely and empty

  6. Now this is the kind of drive I know for sure I would enjoy! I’m the biggest sucker for beaches so I might get stuck in one of those beaches for awhile before getting on though.

  7. Your pictures are awesome and this is such a scenic drive, I wouldn’t mind taking myself .

  8. That is an amazing corner of Ireland, I think we all to often overlook what is on our own doorstep.

  9. Buying a farm in Ireland and raising sheep for the rest of one’s life? It does sound like a nice escape from our busy lives, doesn’t it? We have a friend who recently did a walking trip in Ireland which took in the Dingle Peninsula – she loved it. We’re tempted to visit Ireland and this peninsula too…

  10. I’ve still not made it over to Ireland. You make it sound just as glorious as everyone says it is! 🙂

  11. Wow, looks like you had a great time Alana! I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland but haven’t yet managed to get there. The parents of a friend of mine did pretty much what you suggested, moved out from England to a rural Irish location and they are really happy. Not too sure if they have any sheep or not though 🙂

    • Hi Adam- We really were blown away by Ireland! I hope you are able to work it into your travel plans soon. Definitely budget for a car so you can explore the countryside on your own!

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