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The Dingle Way
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Walking the Dingle Way

Overview

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 this itinerary you will take in the Dingle Way from Camp in ten days, with an option to climb Mt Brandon, Ireland’s second highest mountain.

The diversity of landscapes is 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.

If you have less time, we recommend our Dingle Way Highlights itinerary, and if you are interested in an even shorter walking break, we have something for you too.

  • Explore a corner of Ireland once called the ‘most beautiful place on Earth’ by National Geographic
  • Enjoy the spectacular landscape, with views of dramatic mountains, rugged cliffs and sandy bays
  • Experience Irish hospitality at its best 
  • Meet the locals, listen to live traditional Irish music and fancy a pint of Guinness in Dingle

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Itinerary

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 | 18 km

Hike to the south on turf cutting roads, through the glorious bogland of Slieve Mish – the blanket bog’s wilderness is punctuated with conifer forest and the stacks of drying turf. Caherconree Mountain (835m) 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 Annascaul village where you will spend the night.

  • Accommodation: Annascaul House or similar
  • 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 | 23 km

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.

  • Accommodation: O’Neeil’s or similar
  • Walking for the day: 23 km, 6-7 hours, ↑560 m

Day 4: Dingle to Dunquin | 25 km

Minor roads take you from Dingle to Ventry; beyond is some of the most spectacular scenery you could hope ever to find. Cross the magnificent Ventry harbour, weave through fuchsia hedges and climb an old track on Mount Eagle’s foothill 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.

  • Accommodation: De Mordha or similar
  • 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 | 16 km

We recommend a visit to the Blasket Island Interpretative Centre before departing Dunquin. You will pass by Ferriter’s 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 troops of Elizabeth 1 besieged Italian and Spaniard soldiers 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).

  • Accommodation: An Riasc or similar
  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 5 hours, ↑180 m (Optional route over Cruach Mharthain + 1 hour)

Day 6: Ballydavid to Cloghane | 22 km

You are in the cradle of early Christian civilization today, with as many as sixty notable cultural and religious development sites from the 5th to 9th centuries. This is one of the most remote and dramatic sections of the 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.

  • Accommodation: Benagh or similar
  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 7-8 hours, ↑750 m

Day 7: Cloghane Circular Walk / Optional Climb of Mt Brandon | 4-8 h

Today you have the option to climb Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second-highest mountain at 951m (only recommended in good weather and to experienced hikers!). There is an alternative walk to the Valley of Loch a Dúin, inhabited from the Early Bronze Age. There are approximately eighty stone structures, wedge tombs, standing stones, cooking sites or fulacht fia and rock art.

  • Accommodation: Benagh or similar
  • Walking for the day: 8 hours, ↑950 m (Mt Brandon climb) or 4 hours, ↑100 m (alternative circular walk)

Day 8: Cloghane to Castlegregory | 13-28 km

Back at sea level, today’s walk follows the coast around the Castlegregory promontory via Brandon and Scraggane Bay’s surfing beaches to the limestone Isles of Magharee. The fishing harbour of Kilshannig is one of the last places where the traditional naomhog is made – a fishing boat with a tarred canvas skin on a light wooden frame. Crabs caught freshly here are transported to the tables of France and Spain. A cross-slab bearing the Greek Chi-Rho symbol of Christ is in the 15th century Kilshannig Church. Castlegregory is a traditional village serving the area.

  • Accommodation: Castle House B&B or similar
  • Walking for the day: 28 km, 7 hours, ↑30 m (alternative shorter option: 13 km, 4 hours, ↑30 m)

Day 9: Castlegregory to Camp | 8-12 km

A lovely coastal route along Tralee Bay to camp. The optional shorter route visits the deserted village of Killelton, its inhabitants evicted by their landlord in the 19th century. There are also the remains of a 12th-century oratory. It is a wonderful place with immense views of Tralee Bay.

  • Accommodation: Camp Junction House or similar
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 3 hours, ↑80 m (alternative shorter option: 8 km, 2 hours, ↑20 m)

Day 10: Departure

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

What to Expect

Accommodation

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.

Click to view default hotels

*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.

Difficulty & terrain

This itinerary is suitable for regular walkers. Most days offer between 6-8 hours of walking on forest trails, boardwalks 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.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Dublin (DUB), Kerry (KIR), Cork (ORK) or Shannon (SNN).

By train or bus
  • 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 to 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.
  • Kerry Airport: There is a bus (30 mins – 1h 30 mins) from Kerry Airport to Tralee.
  • Cork Airport: Flights are available to Cork Airport from Bristol, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. It is a short bus ride (20 mins) to Cork Kent train station, then a 2h train ride to Tralee.
  • Shannon Airport: Flights are available to Shannon Airport from Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, London Heathrow and Birmingham, and Boston and New York JFK. From Shannon Airport, take a bus (approx. 2 – 3 hours, via Cork) to Tralee.
  • See Bus Éireann and Irish Rail for details or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

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

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

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