Self Guided – The Dingle Way

Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights


Overview

The Dingle Peninsula is a distilled expression of the best of Ireland. Breathtaking scenery scattered with ancient archeological sites awaits, combined with award-winning local foods, cosy traditional pubs filled with music and cheer, and of course, populated by colourful Irish characters.

The iconic and internationally-renowned Dingle Way hiking trail circumnavigates this unique corner of the world. The route takes in quiet country lanes, mountain tracks and miles of sandy beach as it winds its way around Slea Head, Ireland’s most westerly point.

Stay in a perfect combination of small B&Bs in rural villages and the countryside alike. You can relax and enjoy your walking, with transport from Tralee to your first night’s accommodation taken care of, and all luggage transfers prearranged where required. By choosing a self guided trip, enjoy the flexibility of walking at your own pace, starting as early or late as you prefer, stopping for as many photos as you’d like, taking your time over lunch or walking straight through with a quick stop on the trail.

PLEASE NOTE: Total daily distances are given for each stage but will vary slightly as you also need to walk to your accommodation each day which will usually add a short distance.

Highlights

  • Walk the best of the Dingle Way along miles-long sandy beaches, quiet country roads and oceanside trails
  • Pick dates that suit you and leave all the arrangements to us
  • Spend a night in Dingle town - world-renowned for its music-filled pubs and great atmosphere
  • All accommodation, luggage transfers, maps, route notes and Day 1 transfer are included

Day by Day

Day 1 - Welcome to the Dingle Way

Arriving by bus or train to the vibrant town of Tralee, we have arranged a transfer out of town and to the rolling hills of the Slieve Mish Mountains. You will walk this section of the trail on your return to town at the end of the week but for you watch the scenery unfold as you travel. Spend a relaxing evening just off the trail, ready to hit the Dingle Way first thing in the morning.

Day 2 - Village of Camp to Annascaul

Our first day on the Dingle Way takes us right up and over the spine of the Dingle Peninsula to the shores on its southern side. With most of today’s walking on country roads and quiet tracks, we’ll pass Caherconree Mountain while looking out for the impressive megalithic fort perched close to its top. Take in views of the white sands of Inch Beach stretched out below us as we walk towards the teacup-sized Annascaul village. This evening, be sure to stop into the family pub of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, who made attempts at the South Pole with both Scott and Shackleton.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 15 km / 9 miles | 270 m / 886 ft elevation gain

Day 3 - Annascaul to Dingle

This morning, the trail continues along side-roads to the ruins of an impressive 16th century castle overlooking a picturesque little rocky cove. Continuing along small laneways, take in views across Dingle Bay and the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula to the south and spectacular mountain panoramas to the north. Our final destination today is the colourful coastal town of Dingle, renowned the world over for its pubs, traditional Irish music, and, more recently, its fabulous cuisine. Aim to join the locals in one of Dingle town’s many cheerful pubs to experience some real ‘craic agus ceoil’ (‘fun and music’).

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 23 km / 14 miles | 350 m / 1,148 ft elevation gain

Day 4 - Dingle Town to Dunquin

The Dingle Peninsula hosts some of the richest collections of ancient archaeological sites in the whole of Europe. Every day you will stumble across standing stones, ancient tombs and other remains of prehistoric monuments. On your hike today, trade the liveliness of Dingle town for quieter parts of the peninsula. You’ll get the chance to view some truly amazing clochains or beehive huts, dry-stone huts with corbeled roofs that at least 12th century but may be as much as 2,000 years old as we follow alongside the spectacular outcrop of Slea Head overlooking the eerie Blasket Islands. Our hike today will also include a long, beautiful stretch along the white sands of Ventry Bay as you head out towards Ireland’s most westerly point and the tip of the Dingle Peninsula.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 22 km / 14 miles | 370 m / 1,214 ft elevation gain

Day 5 - Dunquin to Ballydavid

Over the years, numerous artists have been lured to the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula, and many have made their home on this remote finger of land, with the wild crashing Atlantic and rolling mountains their inspiration. Most of today is spent following the white sand shores of Swerick Harbour and Wine Strand, the iconic Three Sisters hills and the turquoise waters as our backdrop. 

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 23 km / 14 miles | 100 m / 328 ft elevation gain

Day 6 - Ballydavid to Cloghane via Mt Brandon

Today is one of the most challenging days on the trail, climbing over the foothills of the holy pilgrimage site of Mount Brandon, passing drops of almost 450 meters down to the sea below. According to legend, St Brendan (Breanainn) the Navigator had a vision of a “promised land” while seated at the mountain’s summit. He and his monks consequently set sail for that land and disembarked in 535 AD (over 900 years before Columbus) on American soil! Passing pre-historic Ogham stones and panoramic ocean views, the trail climbs to a saddle between Masatiompan and Piaras Mór before dramatic and panoramic descent on mountain trails to the edge of Brandon Bay and the quaint Brandon Village.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 26 km / 16 miles | 780 m / 2,559 ft elevation gain

Day 7 - Cloghane to Castlegregory

After yesterday’s climb, today’s beach walk comes as a relief as you hike along the length of Ireland’s longest white sand beach. The beach stretches out along a spit of undulating sand dunes known as the Maharees (Na Machairí). The waves here are popular with surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers so there is nearly always entertainment no matter what the weather. The sand dunes create a unique ecosystem, home to the rare Natterjack toad, Whooper swan and the Bewick’s mute swan. Walk the Dingle Peninsula’s northmost peninsulas for incredible views before transferring back to your accommodation.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 26 km / 16 miles | 50 m / 164 ft elevation gain

Day 8 - Finish in Tralee

You will enjoy a final blast of sea air on your walk this morning. The Aughcasla standing stone is worth looking out for as you start to head around Tralee Bay. If the tide is high, you will need to head inland a bit rather than walking along the soft sands of the beach. If you have time, we recommend a short detour to visit the restored early 19th century Blennerville Windmill on the outskirts of Tralee before following the road back into town, where we’ve arranged your final night’s accommodation.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walk Details: 29 km / 18 miles | 300 m / 984 ft elevation gain

Day 9 - Departure from Tralee

This morning, leave Tralee by train or bus at your own leisure.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More

This self guided trip includes the following:

  • 8 nights accommodation in hand-picked, family-run guesthouses, B&Bs
  • Breakfast each morning (barring Day 1) in your accommodation or a local cafe
  • Transfer to the start point of the trail where walking to/from accommodations is not possible
  • All luggage transfers
  • Transfer to Camp (the trail starting point) on Day 1 and short transfer on day 7
  • Route notes, OS maps and trail guides
  • 24/7 phone support