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.
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!
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.
We hit the road about 9am after a filling breakfast from Adah and began our way to 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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
Are you driving the Dingle Peninsula? Don’t miss nearby Ring of Kerry!