Another amazing weekend spent in my favourite little town in Ireland. Dingle for me is one of the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way. I'm really not one to go back to the same place over and over but Dingle is a unique place with so many things and places to uncover that I cant help but to go back again and again. So when I was invited by the owner of Glor Na hAbhann to stay as a guest in their amazing holiday home in Dingle I jumped at the chance.
The mountains, the coastline, the ancient landscape of prehistoric ring forts, beehive huts, picturesque hamlets, abandoned villages and a great little town full of craic, music and great food make Dingle known worldwide for its beauty, charm, Irish heritage & culture. Cited as the “most beautiful place on earth” by the National Geographic and voted amongst the “top 100 destinations in the world” by Tripadvisor. It's a place that whenever I go I never want to leave. Therefore this little piece of paradise deserves its very own Bucket List.
Things to do:
Drive/Cycle/walk the Slea Head Drive.
Surely one of Ireland's most spectacular coastal drives. You will find yourself needing to pull in after every corner. Make sure to stop at;
Coumeenole beach definitely one of my favourite beaches in the world. During the summer months have a coffee at the nearby caifenatra. At the end of the carpark at Coumeenole beach take a short hike up to Dunmore Head Europe's most westerly point.
Watch the sunset at the famous Duinquin Pier.
Take a trip to the Great Blasket Islands. (April to October only). Step back in time to one of Irelands remote and wildly beautiful set of islands and spend several hours or all day marvelling at its natural beauty.
Say hello to the sheep at the beehivehuts.
Take a drive through the spectacular Conor Pass.
This is Ireland's highest mountain pass and is simply breathtaking. Give yourself some time to park the car at the top and head for a walk starting at the carpark for incredible 360 views over Dingle, Kerry Head and on a clear day there are views as far as the Aran Islands off County Galway.
Enjoy the bustling town of Dingle.
The peninsula's charming little 'capital' manages to be quaint without even trying. Some pubs double as shops, so you can enjoy Guinness and a singalong among screws and nails, wellies and horseshoes. Enjoy Dingle's colourful buildings, the fishing port and cute shops full of local crafts.
Take a boat trip to spot Fungie the dolphin with Dingle boat tours.
Perhaps one of Dingle's most well known tourist attractions. Celebrities, including Pierce Brosnan, Mary Black and Jean Kennedy-Smith, to name but a few, have come to see Fungie.
Places to Eat
Named as one of Ireland's top foodie towns, Dingle has incredible restaurants, markets and gourmet speciality shops around every corner. It is a prime destination for everyone who enjoys good food.
Here are my top picks:
Brunch: My Boy Blue.
Vegan: The Phoenix Restaurant.
It would not be a trip without a little adventure. While on your trip try to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Dingle has some of the most spectacular walks and hikes in the country. Here are just some ideas;
Hike Mt Brandon . Mount Brandon offers dramatic views stretching from Carrauntoohil west to the staggeringly photogenic Blasket Islands and then north to the surreal outline of the Aran Islands. Its The day we completed the hike was 22 degrees and sunny and we all agreed this was one of the finest views to be found anywhere in Ireland.We parked at Ballybrack carpark. The route all the way to the top is well posted. It is a moderate grade hike and took up approx 4 hours.
When travelling Ireland my preference for accomodation is B&B's, Airbnbs & Holiday Homes. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly I get to travel while supporting local businesses & families which is really important to me. I have zero interest in staying in over priced hotel rooms owned by large multi-national companies. When supporting small businesses you are making someones dreams come through rather than making rich people richer. The great thing is that avoiding hotels does not mean you have to compromise on style & comfort. As I get older it is important for me to have a little bit of luxury when I am away. Last time I came down to Dingle I stayed in a cheap B&B. The rooms were cold & the bed wasn't much wider than myself. I honestly think it's worth paying more for higher quality. Also with my current plant based diet staying in houses allows me to bring down all my diet essentials while also saving on money eating out.
I have stayed in some of the most amazing houses in Ireland over the past year and Glor Na hAbhann in Dingle is another great one to add to your bucket list.
Here's 4 reason's why you need to stay at Glor Na hAbhann when your planning your trip to Dingle:
It's 5 star quality . My friends and I were blown away by all the small touches and furnishings in the house. It really felt like we were staying in luxury accomodation. The great thing is this house fits 8 so you can have the luxury for the absolute fraction that a hotel room would cost you. Most importantly the beds are super comfy, every room has an ensuite, the house is warm, cosy and extremely quite.
You don't even have to leave the house to enjoy the beautiful Dingle landscapes. The house is situated only a few mins from one of Irelands most spectacular and highest mountains passes the Conor Pass. Sitting in the living room you can see the dramatic mountains and twisting roads of the pass. From the kitchen I got to glimpse the sun setting over Dingle bay. House goals.
The house is within a very very short walking distance to Dingle town. In all my trips to Dingle I've never stayed so close to the town. It was a real novelty and handy as sometimes parking and getting taxi's can be difficult during the busy period.
There is a fully equiped very large kitchen and the most gorgeous dinning table and outdoor seating area. When you are staying in a house as superb as this I think its great to make the most of it by cooking for the friends or family you have brought with you. For me being in a house is a lot more intimate and easier to catch up with people you might have seen for a while instead of being a noisy busy restaurant.
You can contact Glor Na hAbhann online here to book.
Some more accomodation options in Dingle include:
Beach House, Slea Head Drive. From this house you are looking down on one of the best beaches in the country, Coumeenole.
Spectacular House with hot tub & the best views. * I want to move here right now.
Atlantic Rest- Panoramic views Slea Head. Bonus with this house is the cute dogs and sheep on the property.
Old Style Irish Farmhouse. (Budget friendly).
I really hope this inspires you to book a trip to my favourite part of Ireland and you enjoy it as much as I do. Elaine xoxo