Hiking on the Dingle Way Long Distance Trail, County Kerry, takes you on an approx. 180kms route around one of the most magnificent peninsulas in Ireland. Because of its remote location – and lack of specialised agriculture – it is steeped in ancient Irish history and spectacularly shaped by the ravages of the Atlantic Ocean.
This holiday takes you on just over 100kms of this wonderful hiking trail as you hike from Tralee town as far west as land will take you to Dunquinn before crossing through the heart of the peninsula to finish back in Annascaul village. We invite you to lose yourself in this magnificent landscape and make memories that will last a lifetime.
The most popular multi day tour we offer on the Dingle Way is our 8-Day Tour but there is options to shorten this to 5 or 6 days and extend it to 10 day.
How to get to the start of the Dingle Way
As most of you will be travelling to Ireland from overseas you will be starting your journey from one of our major airports. Access to Tralee from Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports is possible by bus or train.
Travelling from Dublin Airport to Tralee will take you between 4 & 6 hours. You can take the Dublin Coach from just outside Arrivals to Tralee – there will be 1 change on the way. Bus Eireann also offer a service from the Airport to the main bus terminal in Dublin (Busaras) and then directly to Tralee. If you would prefer to take the train you need to take the Aircoach to Heuston Station and from here you can take the train to Tralee – usually involving 1 change.
Hiking from Tralee to Camp
The first day’s hiking takes your from Tralee to Camp – the start of the Kerry Camino Route also. Your walk begins along an old canal, taking you to the village of Blennerville. Here you will see Ireland’s only functioning Windmill. Continuing from here you will take back country roads until you reach the start of the hiking trail in Tonevane. You will continue west from here on the foothills of the Slieve Mish Mountains. The route offers stunning views to the North of Tralee Bay, Fenit Harbour and Castlegregory Strand.
Just outside Camp you will join what was once an old road to Dingle. Here you will come across Killelton Oratory, the remains of a fascinating 12th century monastic site founded by St. Eltan. After exploring here continue to the village of Camp for your overnight in one of our select guesthouses.
Camp may be a small village but it is home to 2 of the nicest pubs you will find for traditional Irish atmosphere and food. Ashes Bar in the upper village and the Junction Bar in the lower village have wonderful open fires blazing all year round, wonderful refreshing Guinness on tap and fantastic local cuisine on offer.
Hike Camp to Annascaul
The next phase along the Dingle Way & Kerry Camino routes takes you across the peninsula to the southern facing side and on to the village of Annascual. You will hike through a fascinating area of bog land where many people still come to cut their winter fuel. Hiking through the centre of the peninsula, you will reach the southern shores at the magnificent Inch Beach. Take your time here to enjoy this beautiful strand, maybe have a swim, or perhaps a “cuppa”. Then continue inland to reach your base for the night – Annascaul.
Annascaul is renowned as the home of the Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean and in the village you will find the South Pole Inn which is a tribute to the man and is full of memorabilia from his travels and adventures.
Annascaul to Dingle Hike
The next hike is very historic, and the final leg of the Kerry Camino. After leaving your accommodation you will make your way back to the coastline. Here you will pass Minard, with its 16th century castle that dominates the landscape along with a beautiful Holy Well nearby. Turning inland, and travelling north, you will continue along to the village of Lispole – home to the remains of the viaduct, part of the 19th Century railway between Tralee and Dingle.
From Lispole you will follow narrow country lanes through Lisdargan and Ballingarraun. Passing through farmland and tiny villages, before joining an old military road below Irelands highest mountain pass, “Connor Pass”, which you follow into Dingle town.
In Dingle the nightlife changes dramatically. You will still find the small traditional bars but you will also have larger pubs where you will find traditional music sessions every night – and some Irish dancers may make an appearance.
Dingle is also a culinary haven with some of the finest seafood restaurants in Kerry to be found here. From the Charthouse to the Fentons Restaurants, the options are endless. If you are lucky enough to visit here in October your stay might even coincide with the Dingle Food Festival!!
Dingle to Dunquin – Slea Head Peninsula
This route takes you to the furthest west point in Europe. The hike starts just outside Dingle, passing the Early Christian site of Kilcolman and continuing to the glorious Ventry Strand to enjoy some beach walking. From here you continue following the “Dingle Way” on a beautiful and very historic hike around Slea Head.
En route you will pass very close to some ancient & famous ‘beehive huts’ and ogham stones while enjoying wonderful views of the Blasket Islands. You can even pet a lamb!!
The trail finishes in Dunquin where you can learn more about the history of the Blasket Islands if you wish at the Blasket Islands Interpretive center. You will overnight again in Dingle – transferring back – where you can visit more of the wonderful bars and restaurants.
Cuas to Cloghane
Transferring to the tiny hamlet of Tiduff (Cuas) to start this hike, you will be following an old military road to the eastern side of the Brandon massif.
The route follows along the shoulder of the stunning Mount Brandon, offering glorious views of Brandon Bay. This is a remote and very spectacular walk – full of history and through country only accessible on foot.
As you descend into the village of Cloghane you will most certainly notice your accommodation, and the only pub in the village, from afar. O’Connors Bar, Restaurant and B&B always stands out with its bight colours!
If you want to add an extra day to your trip there is some lovely short hikes in the area, visiting Brandon Point or even strolling along the beach to Castlegregory.
Cloghane to Annascaul
The final days walking in the 8 day tour takes you off the beaten track, back to Annascaul. You will enjoy a wonderful hike that takes you across the centre of the Dingle Peninsula from North to South, following a spectacular old farmer’s track.
You hike over a plateau, between mountains, passing a deserted famine village and descending to the glorious Annascaul Lake. From here, you continue on small ‘boreens’ to return to the village of Annascaul for your final overnight.
Departure from Annascaul
To depart Annascaul you can either take a public bus back to Tralee – runs hourly in peak season – or a private transfer. From Tralee you have the same options to depart as you had to arrive.
Bus and trains run regularly to all the major airports. If you are travelling to Dublin Airport, or to Germany or the UK, you have he option to travel from Kerry International Airport. The airport is accessible by bus, or a taxi ride would take around 20 minutes from Tralee.
If this sounds like the trip for you please check out:
Our Guided Hikes in Dingle here.
Self-Guided Hike options are here.
The Dingle Peninsula Cycle here.
And, if your trip is shorter, you can enjoy a Guided Day Tour on the peninsula.