Towns and Villages on the Dingle Peninsula

Bailte agus Sráidbhailte í gCorca Dhuibhne

The Dingle Peninsula has a number of different towns and villages, each with their own personality and ambience. From fishing villages to market towns to seaside resorts, there is so much to explore!

  annascaul
ANNASCAUL
ABHAINN AN SCÁIL
:
A classic roadside village 12 miles/19 kilometres east of Dingle, in an area noted for its hillwalking and lake, and mountains.
The birth place of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean.

  feoha
BALLYDAVID & FEOHANAGH
BAILE NA NGALL & AN FHEOTHANACH
:
Part of the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht, an area of cliff top walks and mountains including a picturesque fishing village on the western end of the peninsula.
  bferr
BALLYFERRITER
BAILE AN FHEIRTÉARAIGH
:
A large village at the centre of the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking district.
Situated between a ridge of jagged peaks to the north, Smerwick Harbour to the east and the Atlantic to the west.
 
  Brandon Bay

BRANDON & CLOGHANE
CÉ BHREANAINN & AN CLACHÁN
:
A quiet, beautifully located area between Mount Brandon and the sea.
The two villages are set in a semicircle of mountain peaks and overlook Brandon Bay.
  Upper Camp

CAMP
AN CAM
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This village, next to sandy beaches and mountains, is convenient for all parts of the peninsula and the county town of Tralee.
  Tailor's Row, Castlegregory
CASTLEGREGORY
CAISLEÁN GHRIAIRE
:
A large village located on the north side of the peninsula. The Maharees Peninsula, to the north of the village, is famous for it sandy beaches and clean water.
 
  Castlemaine Village
CASTLEMAINE
CAISLEÁIN NA MAINGE
:
This village, situated on the River Maine, forms the "gateway" to the peninsula and is also close to Killarney and the Ring of Kerry.
  Dingle from the harbour DINGLE
AN DAINGEAN / DAINGEAN UÍ CHÚISE
:
The only town in the peninsula. A fishing port, with its streets leading down to the sea, it is famous for its pubs, restaurants and entertainment.
  View of the Blasket Islands
DUNQUIN
DÚN CHAOIN
:
The most westerly point in Ireland, overlooking the Blasket Islands. Often referred to as "the next parish to America" it is renowned for its scenery and its surviving Gaelic culture.
 
  Minard Castle
LISPOLE / LIOS PÓIL
:
A quiet area of sandy bays and hills.
  Inch Strand
INCH / AN INSE
:
A seaside village with a long sandy beach.
  Ventry Strand
VENTRY / CEANN TRÁ
:
A large seaside village with safe bathing beaches.
 

 


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Dingle Peninsula

Ballydavid, Feothanagh and MurreaghPart of the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht, an area of cliff top walks and mountains including a picturesque fishing village on the western end of the peninsula.

Castlegregory and the MahareesA large village located on the north side of the peninsula. The Maharees Peninsula, to the north of the village, is famous for it sandy beaches and clean water.

BallyferriterA large village at the centre of the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking district. Situated between a ridge of jagged peaks to the north, Smerwick Harbour to the east and the Atlantic to the west.

VentryA large seaside village with safe bathing beaches.

Lispole and MinardA quiet area of sandy bays and hills.

Annascaul and InchA classic roadside village 12 miles/19 kilometres east of Dingle, in an area noted for its hillwalking and lake, and mountains. The birth place of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean. Inch has a seaside village with a long sandy beach.

DingleThe only town in the peninsula. A fishing port, with its streets leading down to the sea, it is famous for its pubs, restaurants and entertainment.

DunquinThe most westerly point in Ireland, overlooking the Blasket Islands. Often referred to as "the next parish to America" it is renowned for its scenery and its surviving Gaelic culture.

Brandon and CloghaneA quiet, beautifully located area between Mount Brandon and the sea. The two villages are set in a semicircle of mountain peaks and overlook Brandon Bay.

CampThis village, next to sandy beaches and mountains, is convenient for all parts of the peninsula and the county town of Tralee.

BlasketsThe most Westerly part of Europe - these stunning Islands are a must visit

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Ventry - Ceann Trá

ventry1

Ventry  (Ceann Trá or Fionn Trá in Irish) is a small village four miles west of Dingle.

It is unusual in that it has two centres of commerce, both comprised of a pub and a shop. One has the Catholic church, and the other, in true balance, has the primary school.

The whole Ventry area is linked by the arc of Ventry Harbour, with one of the most attractive and safest beaches on the west coast of Ireland.

Ventry is a great place to enjoy a seaside, rural holiday . . . or to just escape the bustle of Dingle town.

ventry2

A razor clam on Ventry Strand. Photograph by Antony Richards.

The village of Ceann Trá has a post office/shop, a pub, a restaurant, a pottery with café but most of all it has a wonderful, long, sandy blue flag beach. Stop here for a walk, a paddle or perhaps even a swim.

014ventry

The beach and harbour were chosen as the site of "Cáth Finntrágha" a supposed battle between Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Dáire Donn "The King of the World". Written in the 15th Century, but probably incorporating eralier material, this Irish language prose poem mentions numerous local landmarks.

 

This photo of Rahinnane Castle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

As you leave the village, if you look straight in front of you, about half-way up the hill, you might be able to make out a circular enclosure within which a ruined building stands. This is Rahinnane Castle and Ringfort (Caisleán Ráthanáin). The enclosure (ringfort) probably dates to the early medieval period, perhaps from the 7th/8th to 10th century AD, and it was within these the more comfortable farmers and their families lived. This site was later re-fortified, and probably about the 15th century the building, a ruined tower-house ('castle') was built, by a branch of the Fitzgerald family know as the Knights of Kerry, for this was their stronghold during medieval times. The building was destroyed during the mid-17th century, the time of the Cromwellian war. This site is on private property.

ventrych

Ventry Church © Copyright Pam Brophy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Following on out of the village, continuing along the 'Slea Head Route/Wild Atlantic Way', you will come to the local Roman Catholic church on your left hand side, in an area known as Ard a' Bhóthair (which translates as 'the height of the road'). This later 19th century church is dedicated to St Caitlín (Catherine of Alexandria). The reason for the adoption of this Middle Eastern martyr as patron of a West Kerry parish is unknown. However a colourful (and completely untrue) legend was devised at some stage claiming that her body was washed up on Ventry Strand in a wooden box or barrel . The story goes on to cliam that for some reason it took seven men to left the relics from the beach and she was buried in the village graveyard.

 

 

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The Blasket Islands - Na Blascaodaí

The Blaskets seen from Mount Eagle
The Great Blasket from the sea

In the 1920s and 1930s the Blasket Island writers produced books which are deemed classics in the world of literature. They wrote of Island people living on the very edge of Europe, and brought to life the topography, life and times of their Island. They wrote all of their stories in the Irish language.


Sadly, the Blasket Island community declined as a result of the persistent emigration of its young people, until eventually the Island was abandoned in 1953 when only 22 inhabitants remained.

More about the History and Heritage of the Blasket Islands

The Great Blasket Island remains uninhabited today, but visitors can travel by ferry over to this remote and wildly beautiful place and spend several hours or all day marvelling at its natural beauty and what remains of years of human endeavour.

The Blasket Centre / Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir in Dún Chaoin celebrates the story of the Blasket Islanders, the unique literary achievements of the island writers and their native language, culture and tradition.

Situated on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula it is a fascinating heritage centre/museum honouring the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until their evacuation in 1953.
 
The Centre details the community’s struggle for existence, their language and culture, and the extraordinary literary legacy they left behind- classics such as The Islandman, Twenty Years A-Growing and Peig.
 
 ‘The next best thing to a visit to the Island!’
 
PHONE: 066-9156444
FAX: 066-9156446
E-MAIL:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
WWW.BLASKET.IE

ÁISEANNA / FACILITIES
  • Comprehensive exhibition including major artworks
  • Documentary Film, ‘Blasket Heritage’, in 7 languages
  • Interactive touchscreens, information panels and videos
  • Exhibitions on traditional fishing & farming methods, daily life and Blasket literature
  • The American Room dedicated to the Blasket emigrants who settled in America
  • Detailed information on the Irish language
  • Guided tours and local information available from our highly trained & friendly staff
  • Well-stocked bookshop operated by ‘An Caife Liteartha
  • Restaurant overlooking the Blasket Islands

Opening Times

Oscailte/Open ó/from:

end March - end October

Open daily from 10.00 hrs to 18.00 hrs. (last admission at 5.15pm)

Sunday 11am - 6pm

 

 

Gallery

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Dunquin - Dún Chaoin

The parish of Dún Chaoin is at the most westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula in the County of Kerry in the south-west of Ireland. It comprises eleven townlands on the mainland and the Blasket Islands three miles offshore and it is often referred to as "the next parish to America"

103dunquin

Dún Chaoin Pier. Photo by Joseph Branagan.

Dún Chaoin is renowned for its scenery and its surviving Gaelic culture. The spectacular views of the Blasket islands, the rugged cliffs which make up the coastline, the picturesque, narrow, winding pathway leading to the pier and the splendid sunsets are featured in many calendars, postcards and tourist brochures each year.

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The "Ryan's Daughter" Schoolhouse. Photograph by Fáilte Ireland.

Much of filming of David Lean's epic 1970 film "Ryan's Daughter" took place in this area. The remains of the schoolhouse built for the film remain.

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Ballyferriter - Baile an Fheirtéaraigh

Ballyferriter is nestled in a stunning green valley between the majestic hill of Croaghmarhin to the south and a ridge of jagged peaks to the north—Sybil Head and the Three Sisters. To the east, Smerwick Harbour caresses a two-mile long stretch of white sandy beach called Béal Bán. To the west, the mighty Atlantic is faced off by high rocky cliffs, punctuated with tiny coves and beaches just right for smuggling ... or snuggling.

The village of Ballyferriter is the only substantial village west of Dingle town. Here you'll find a Roman Catholic church, a Gárda barracks, a school, a museum with a bookshop, a shop, a café, three pubs and a hotel. (You may draw your own conclusions why we have three of one and only one of another.) The spoken language in the pubs is Irish Gaelic; everyone speaks English as well, although you may find it a bit more poetic than usual.

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Travel Information

Read our guide about

Transport on the Dingle Peninsula