Overview for Dingle Way Short Break
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 Short Break itinerary, you will take in the very best sections of the Way from Dingle in five days. If you have more time, we recommend our Dingle Way complete itinerary or the Dingle Way Highlights.
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 Short BreakGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival Dingle
Travel to Dingle via Tralee on scheduled bus service or by taxi (not included). There is also a seasonal service (June, July) from Killarney.
Limber up with a local circuit walk on Ballysitteragh Hill. This is a strenuous but very 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. You can alternatively do a Dingle harbour walk, a low level easy walk by the shoreline on the eastern side of the harbour with a possible sighting of Fungi, Dingle’s resident dolphin since 1984.
Walking for the day: 19 km, 6-7 hours, ↑630 m (Optional shorter harbour walk: 6 km, 2 hours, no acsents)
Day 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: Departure
Transfer from your guesthouse in Cloghane back to Dingle town (10 minutes, included). Year round bus services are available from Dingle to Tralee or a seasonal service (June, July) to Killarney.
Hotels for Dingle Way Short BreakGo to top of page
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.
*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.
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 Short BreakGo to top of page
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.
- 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.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).
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 to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Up-to-date travel advice on Ireland is available here
Trip Info for Dingle Way Short BreakGo to top of page
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).
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 Short BreakGo to top of page
- 4 nights in private en-suite rooms (B&Bs and guesthouses)
- 4 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
- 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