Dingle Way, 5-day Walking Tour

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Detail

The Dingle Way is a circular route of 179km (112mi) circumnavigating the Dingle Peninsula west of Tralee in County Kerry. It follows minor roads, traditional access routes to turf cutting areas and forest paths. The only high ascent is 600m, crossing the shoulder of Brandon Mountain between Ballydavid and Cloghane. This route is well marked and achievable by all walkers.

The Dingle Way walking route skirts the mountains of the Slieve Mish range, which form the spine of this long peninsula, jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. The mountains are rounded, not as high as their nearest neighbours on the Iveragh Peninsula, and formed from a beautiful old red sandstone that is always visible. Glaciation in the last Ice Age left coums and valleys, the natural harbours of Dingle and Ventry and a gentleness that never fails to impress. The western end is breathtaking – the Blasket Islands rear from the Atlantic calling to the sheltered haven of Dunquin (Dun Chaoin) before the mountains rise to the impressive bulk of Brandon, St. Brendan’s Mountain.

The peninsula is littered with remains from the early Christian period, oratories, beehive huts, megalithic tombstones, monastic enclosures, high crosses, to name a few. It is a spiritual awakening. Beautiful white sandy beaches, a temperate Gulf Stream climate and the profusion of strong colours in the flora – montbretia, fuchsia, purple loosestrife to name a few – make the Dingle Peninsula a wonderful location.

The town of Dingle retains its essential character attributed to a working fishing harbour. The steep streets have been reinvented with colourful tourist shops, craft outlets and a host of restaurants and pubs. There are still many local niches to enjoy the town behind the scenes. It is also the centre of one of Ireland’s most popular Gaeltacht regions, where 43% of households are predominantly Gaelic speakers, which adds a wonderful flavour to the local supermarkets!

Overnight stops (apart from Dingle) are in villages, allowing an opportunity to experience life with the locals and a chance to try Guinness and Gaelic.

To squeeze the best into our itineraries, we don’t include the Tralee to Camp section. We can include the first section for anyone who wishes to walk the full route.

What's Included

Price Includes

  • Bed and Breakfast in comfortable, friendly, locally-run Guest Houses
  • Daily Luggage Transfers
  • Detailed Route Notes, Maps & GPX Tracks
  • 24/7 Support Line
  • Where to Eat & Regional Reading List
  • Packing List, Travel Advice & more!

Optional Extras

  • Airport Transfers
  • Day Trips & Excursions
  • Extended or Customised Itineraries

Pricing

  • Per Person Sharing Room €420
  • Single Supplement €140

Tour Highlights

If you only have a small window of opportunity, this five day walking break on the Dingle Peninsula in southwest Ireland will enscapsulate the very best of the Dingle Way walking route from Dingle Town to Cloghane. Experience spectacular scenery, fine walking and local hospitality. History and culture are an integral part of this most westerly corner of Europe.

  • Live music, shopping & excellent seafood in Dingle
  • Blasket Island Interpretive Centre & Clogher Beach Cliffs
  • Dun an Oir, the Fort of Gold & Ballydavid Head

Difficulty Level

This tour is rated STRENUOUS for one day and RELAXED for all other days.

See how we determine levels of difficulty for each of our hiking tours by visiting our FAQ page.

  • Relaxed: 12-18km (8-11mi), 3-4hrs
  • Moderate: 16-23km (10-14mi), 4-7hrs
  • Strenuous: 22-30km (14-19mi), 5-9hrs

Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to Dingle

Travel to Dingle town. Optional walks today if you have time.

Option 1: Limber up with a local circuit walk on Ballysitteragh Hill. This is a strenuous but rewarding walk, with fabulous views of Dingle town and harbour. On a good day you can see most of the peninsula. It is not compulsory to complete the full round trip, you can walk as far as you feel comfortable with and return the same way. Distance 19km (12mi). Ascents 630m. Approximate walking time 6.5 hours.

Option 2: Dingle harbour walk, a low level easy walk by the shoreline on the eastern side of the harbour.
Distance 6km (4mi). No ascents. Approximate walking time 2 hours.

Overnight accommodation in Dingle town.

Day 2 – Dingle to Dunquin

Minor roads take you from Dingle to Ventry and beyond is some of the most spectacular scenery you could hope to find. Cross the magnificent Ventry harbour, weave through fuchsia hedges and climb an old track on the foothill of Mount Eagle past the early Christian beehive huts at Fahan. Behind are views south to the Ring of Kerry and Valentia Island. Ahead the route opens up to Slea Head and the Blasket Islands. This is the most westerly point in Europe, beyond is North America!

Distance 25km (16mi). Ascents 650m. Approximate walking time 7 hours.
Optional route over Mount Eagle add 5km (3mi) and 2 hours.
We include notes for this climb, only advisable in good weather conditions.

Overnight accommodation in Dunquin.

Day 3 – Dunquin to Ballydavid

Today’s route follows the Norse named Smerwick Harbour and a detour takes you to Dun an Oir, the Fort of Gold where Italian and Spaniard soldiers were besieged by troops of Elizabeth 1 in 1580. Ballydavid is a thriving fishing harbour and a Gaelic speaking community.

Distance 16km (10mi). Ascents 180m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.

Optional route over Cruach Mharthain add 1 hour.

Overnight accommodation in Ballydavid.

Day 4 – Free day Ballydavid

You are in the cradle of early Christian civilization here, with as many as sixty notable sites of cultural and religious development from the 5th to 9th centuries. An optional hike takes you up to the saddle of Mas an Tiompain (the Pass of the Drum) below Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest mountain at 950m. The scenery is superb with Tralee Bay and the Magharees against the hues of the Slieve Mish mountains. There are several local hikes including Ballydavid Head taking in the spectacular 9th century stone fort of  Cathair Fionnurach.

Distance 14km (9mi). Ascents 750m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.

Overnight accommodation in Ballydavid.

Day 5 – Depart from Dingle

Transfer from your guesthouse back to Dingle town. Year round bus services are available from Dingle to Tralee or a seasonal service to Killarney.

Map

REVIEWS

August 2021 – Guido & Alicia, Switzerland

We just went back from ireland yesterday and let me tell: We really enjoyed our hiking tour around the dingle peninsula! Everything was perfect and well organized. Thank you so much.

 

July 2021 – Marie & Hans, Holland

Thank you for making our stay in Ireland so well. The last day we had to take the bad weather tour from Bally David. Everything we was wearing was wet. We got a lift to the pub with the owner and the dinner was super. We took a sticky tofee pudding , we were really worth it. The B&Bs were all very good. The food at Donquin was excellent.

 

June 2019 – Joan & Angelika, NY

Thanks for your note and even more so for arranging the trip. We had an absolutely amazing time. As you know the weather was perfect, as we we heard from everyone we met along the way very unusual and special for Ireland. This made for easy walking and brilliant scenery. It was not hard to imagine really needing “gaitors” along the way from Tralee to Camp! I think the only day that we had even the slightest bit of overcast was as we climbed Mt Brandon. This in fact, was much appreciated as the trails in the US generally have switchbacks, so the breeze and overcast skies made walking straight up just a little easier.  (BTW we had full sun by the time we reached the top!) It did not keep us from dawdling a bit along the way, and we had time enough to take over 250 pics along the way to prove it!  I can’t imagine deleting anything that we saw!

 

June 2019 – Anna & Dirk, Belgium

Just wanted to let you know that we had wonderful holidays in Ireland.
Walking “the Dingle Way” was an amazing experience- we truly enjoyed it.
This is really a gorgeous part of Ireland and the weather couldn’t be better.

 

May 2019 – Debbie & Peter, Auckland NZ

We did have a great trip!!!
We enjoyed hearing spoken Irish which is one of the things we felt made The Dingle peninsula particularly special. The weather was fantastic and we very much enjoyed all our hosts.

 

August 2018 – Tamburro Family, Colorado USA

The trip was great. Really lovely country, great weather, the people at the B&Bs were very nice and welcoming. Thanks much for your help on the trip. It was reassuring knowing we could contact you if there were problems.

 

June 2018 – Karin & 3 friends, Koblenz, Germany

Thank you a lot for the wonderful days in Ireland. It was great! Good description, helpful guide. Nice B&B´s and pubs. Very friendly people! The weather was breezy first, but then very warm. Only 6 hours raining in 8 days!!! We even went into the sea last day- wonderful fresh!

Price
From€420

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