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The Dingle Way Highlights 21

Dingle Way Highlights

Tour details

Rating
Average rating:   5,  4 reviews
Country
Ireland
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
8 days & 7 nights
Difficulty
Moderate
Accomodation
Comfortable
Availability
April - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Camp
Day 2: Anascaul
Day 3: Dingle
Day 4: Dunquin
Day 5: Ballydavid
Day 6: Cloghane
Day 7: Camp
Day 8: Departure

Overview for Dingle Way Highlights

The Dingle Way is situated in the south-west of Ireland, completing a circuit of the Dingle Peninsula. The entire trail is 179 km long. On our Dingle Way Highlights itinerary, you will take in all the best sections of The Dingle Way from Camp in eight days. If you have more time, we recommend our Dingle Way complete itinerary, and if you are interested in a shorter walking break, we have something for you too.

The diversity of landscapes is the reason why the Dingle Way is one of Ireland’s most popular trails. It never takes long before a turn in the path reveals a dramatic change of scenery: from walking in the foothills of Slieve Mish to crossing the shoulder of Mount Brandon; from the crashing waves of the Atlantic at Slea Head to the tranquil setting of pastoral farmland and on to lonesome strands of golden beaches on the Maharess. Some of the richest archaeological sites in Ireland can also be encountered on the Dingle Way. And with friendly hosts at comfortable accommodations and the ease of luggage transfers included each day, the Dingle Way will offer you an unforgettable experience.

Itinerary for Dingle Way Highlights

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Day 1: Arrival Tralee Bay/Camp Village

Travel to Camp via Tralee on scheduled bus service or by taxi (not included). Camp is situated overlooking Tralee Bay to the north with the majestic Gearhane and Caherconree peaks to the east. It has been a historic crossing point of the Slieve Mish Mountains since the first settlers were here in 1700BC. Camp is a small settlement, with plenty of local flavour and you can do a short circular walk to prepare for the kilometres ahead! Overnight Camp.

Day 2: Camp to Annascaul

Hike to the south on turf cutting roads, through the glorious bogland of Slieve Mish – the wilderness of the blanket bog is punctuated with conifer forest and the stacks of drying turf. Walk across Caherconree Mountain (835 m) with its megalithic fort offers impressive vistas, as you gradually climb out of the valley, crossing a saddle between Corrin and Knockbrack peaks. Skirt Ardroe Hill, overlooking the magnificent sand dunes and beach at Inch, with views south to the Ring of Kerry and Ireland’s highest mountain range, before following the “Maum” (pass) down to Annascaul village where you will spend the night.

Walking for the day: 18 km, 5-6 hours, ↑460 m (Optional extra walk over Brackaloon Hill, 5 km, 2 hours)

Day 3: Annascaul to Dingle

Follow Acres Hill to the staunch remains of 12th century Minard Castle, mostly destroyed by Cromwell’s army in 1650. Turn inland again on minor roads to the railway village of Lispole. All the way you are within scent of the seas of Dingle Bay and encircled by the Kerry Mountains. From Lispole, the Way follows mostly sheep farming country before climbing An Cnoc Maol Mor and descending the old green droving road into Dingle town where you will spend the night.

Walking for the day: 23 km, 6-7 hours, ↑560 m

Day 4: Dingle to Dunquin

Minor roads take you from Dingle to Ventry; beyond is some of the most spectacular scenery you could hope to ever 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 mystical Blasket Islands. This is the most westerly point of Europe! Overnight Dunquin.

Walking for the day: 25 km, 7 hours, ↑650 m (Optional shorter but steeper and exposed route over Mount Eagle, 7 km, ↑365 m and 3 hours – only advisable in good weather conditions!)

Day 5: Dunquin to Ballydavid

We recommend a visit to the Blasket Island Interpretative Centre before departing Dunquin. You will pass by Ferriters Cove and the iconic Three Sisters, before the trail swings east to take you along the sandy beaches of 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. Overnight in Boherboy near Ballydavid village or Feonanagh (+3 km / +5 km from Ballydavid).

Walking for the day: 16 km, 5 hours, ↑180 m (Optional route over Cruach Mharthain – add 1 hour)

Day 6: Ballydavid to Cloghane

You are in the cradle of early Christian civilization today, with as many as sixty notable sites of cultural and religious development from the 5th to 9th centuries. This is one of the most remote and dramatic sections of the whole walk, and the most challenging as you reach the highest point. the 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 950 m. The scenery is superb – Tralee Bay, the Magharees against the hues of the Slieve Mish mountains. The descent to Cloghane is nothing short of thrilling on a clear day, and well-earned respite is available in the village.

Walking for the day: 22 km, 7-8 hours, ↑750 m

Day 7: Cloghane to Camp

Back at sea level, today’s walk follows the coast, all the way around the Castlegregory promontory if you desire, or across the neck of the spit via Lough Gill, home to Bewick swans and Natterjack toads. From Castlegregory village, mudflats and turf cuttings, quiet coastal paths give way to farmland and a climb back to Camp where you will spend your last overnight.

Walking for the day: 22 km, 6 hours, ↑30 m (Alternative longer option: 32 km, 8 hours, ↑30 m)

Day 8: Departure

There are scheduled bus services from Camp to Tralee (20 minutes) for onward connections (not included).

Hotels for Dingle Way Highlights

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Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming B&Bs and guesthouses. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Note that it is sometimes necessary to accommodate you a short walk away from the trail itself, as there is not always suitable accommodation close to the trail. Details will again be given in your pre-departure info pack.

Sample accommodations: Camp Junction House (Camp), Annascaul House (Annascaul), O’Neeil’s (Dingle Town), De Mordha (Dunquin), An Riasc (Ballydavid), Benagh (Cloghane)

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse your are staying at or at the village inns and restaurants.

Travel for Dingle Way Highlights

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You are best to fly in and out of Dublin, Kerry, Cork or Shannon airports.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily, so do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

  • Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK with several low-cost airlines covering the route as well as scheduled international carriers. Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin. From Dublin Airport there is a good bus service into Dublin city centre. From Dublin take bus or train to Tralee.

From Tralee to Camp and vice-versa there is a bus service, which takes approximately 25 mins. From Tralee to Annascaul there is also a bus service, which takes approx. 55 minutes. See www.buseireann.ie for details.

  • Kerry Airport: There is a bus (30 mins-1h30) from Kerry Airport to Tralee. For bus timetables, see www.buseirann.ie
  • Cork Airport: Flights are available to Cork Airport from Bristol, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. From Cork Airport it is a short bus ride (20 mins) to Cork Kent train station, then a 2h train ride to Tralee. For train timetables, see http://www.irishrail.ie/
  • Shannon Airport: Flights are available to Shannon Airport from Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, London Heathrow and Birmingham, as well as Boston and New York JFK. From Shannon Airport take a bus (approx. 2h50-3h15, via Cork) to Tralee.

Baggage Transfers

All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).

Travel Insurance

A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads Logo to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.

Buy travel insurance online

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on Ireland is available here

Trip Info for Dingle Way Highlights

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This itinerary is suitable for regular walkers. Most days offer between 6-8 hours of walking on forest trails, board walks and minor roads. The highest point is at 650 m above sea level and typically the route never rises above 350 m, however most sections are undulating. About half of the route is on tarmac roads, because rights of way are almost non-existent in Ireland, and this is common for most Irish trails. The road walking is mostly along quiet and scenic lanes and there are only a few busier stretches where you will need to be cautious with traffic (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

The routes are waymarked, and the itinerary is easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from early April till the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several T-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included for Dingle Way Highlights

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  • 7 nights in private en-suite rooms (B&Bs and guesthouses)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information (road notes, 1:50000 maps)
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (subject to availability); note that single rooms may be of inferior standard to double/twin rooms
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price.

To see the price of the holiday for your desired dates, including the cost of different options and supplements, please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above.

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • All lunches and dinners
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

Reviews for Dingle Way Highlights

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Dingle Way Highlights
Average rating:  
 4 reviews
by Joan A on Dingle Way Highlights

Thanks for arranging the trip. We had an absolutely amazing time. The weather was perfect, as 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 gaiters 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!

by Anonymous on Dingle Way Highlights

Thank you for making our stay in Ireland so well. The B&Bs were all very good. The food at Donquin was excellent.

by Kitty A on Dingle Way Highlights

It was realy wonderful. We enjoyed the walking tour very much. The B&B’s were first class and the hosts were very kind. Very well organized. We recommended you to several friends. We were very lucky with the weather; it only rained the first morning. We both are that enthusiastic that we are planning to come back to Ireland next year or even next September.

by Helen T on Dingle Way Highlights

I’ve been meaning to write since we got back to say how much we enjoyed our trip. We were amazingly lucky with the weather, just the one drizzly morning, and for the last three days, we had glorious sunshine and even came home with a tan! All the B&Bs were great, though I would like to specially mention Ceann Sibéal at Clogher. Nothing was too much trouble, Aine came to pick us up in Dunquin as we were running late, ran us back there next morning so we could visit the Blasket centre, and left us keys to the house so we could pop in for a loo stop and a cup of tea when we walked past there again later. And, although the competition was stiff, her’s was definitely the prizewinning breakfast – including porridge with baileys! Thanks once again for organising a very enjoyable week – and we would definitely be happy to recommend the holiday!

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