Destination Dingle

This is a touring holiday but if there is one spot that could be considered a destination, then Dingle is it.  Apart from Dublin this is the only place in Ireland where we are spending more than a single night.  It is far from ideal to be on the move constantly but it was the only way we could visit a few different areas.

I knew that the Dingle Peninsula was the far south-west of Ireland but it is not until you get here that you begin to realise just how remote it really is.

Now matter how brief the visit to Ireland, almost all of the tour itineraries include the Ring of Kerry.  This is a circuit of the larger Iveragh Peninsula which extends to the south-west of Killarney.  We chose Dingle because it offers most of the same features – stunning scenery, ancient stone buildings and remote villages,but without the snaking line of tour buses and hundreds of tourists everywhere you turn.

We spent almost the whole day taking in the sights along the 45km loop around the tip of the peninsula.  We spent an hour or so at the Great Blasket Centre which gives an amazing insight into the history, heritage and literary legacy of Great Blasket Island and its residents. The island was evacuated in 1953 but this centre does a marvellous job of telling their stories.

Here is a taste of what we saw on the Dingle Peinsula.

Ancient stone dwellings and ring forts.

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Derelict farm dwellings abandoned during the Great Famine.

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Secluded bays and wild surf.

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Stunning scenery.

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Gallarus Oratory – an early Christian church from around 7th century.

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Statue of St Brendan, an Irish monk, who probably sailed to America in the 6th century – beating Columbus by nearly 1,000 years.IMG_1273

Boats moored at the marina.

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Later in the afternoon we went on a harbour cruise where we saw Fungi, a dolphin who has lived in the harbour for 30 years.  There was also a very interesting commentary on the maritime history of Dingle and geology of the area.

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These rock formations are really interesting.

We discovered a lot about Dingle and are really glad we came here, where the locals joke that “the next parish over is Boston”!

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