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Stretching 5kms northwards into the Atlantic on the lee shore of the Dingle Peninsula, is a unique and special peninsula known as The Maharees - Na Machairí. Separating Brandon Bay from Tralee Bay, The Maharees tombola or sandy spit consists of sand dunes and wild beautiful beaches for much of its length and has a world-renowned reputation for its superb coastline, blue flag beaches, and large Atlantic swells.
Three villages or settlements, Fahamore, Kilshannig, and Candiha cluster on the earth and rocky ground around Scraggane Bay at the north end. At the tip lies Rough Point and out to sea across the Maharees Sound lie a cluster of uninhabited islands known as the Seven Hogs. The whole area of The Maharees lies low on the horizon with most of the peninsula close to sea level creating a special light and atmosphere.
A place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted beaches and dune system, The Maharees offers a wide variety of water activities such as surfing, windsurfing, waterskiing, kiteboarding, scuba diving, angling and canoeing. Equipment and instruction are available locally with all levels of experience catered for, a perfect day out for families wanting a fun or adventurous experience. For land based activities, try pony trekking along the beach or enjoy glorious walks on mile upon mile of white sandy beaches.
A great way to explore the Maharees Peninsula is to follow the Maharees heritage trail. Starting and finishing at Sandy Bay (Béal Geal) this circular trail takes approximately two and a half hours to walk. Sixteen points of interest are marked along the way introducing the visitor to shipwrecks, historical sites and natural wonders of the area.
The Maharees is a special area of conservation. Faced with serious coastal erosion issues the Maharees Dunes Conservation Group have come together as a community to undertake measures to protect their dune systems.The group ask visitors to be aware of the fragile dune ecosystem and to use designated access points to the beach to minimise impact on the dunes. They ask visitors not to walk or drive through the sand dunes or tramp on the marram grass as it is fragile - no lighting fires in the dunes and to please camp in official campsites.
Na Machairí - The Seven Hogs. The Maharees Sound separates the mainland from the group of islands known as The Seven Hogs. These islands which were inhabited until the 1980’s are now used as summer grazing for livestock. The largest Island ‘Illauntannig’ named after St. Senach has an Early Christian ecclesiastical site at the edge of low cliffs on the south east side. Known as a 5th century monastic site it contains two small oratories, three clochauns (beehive huts) a souterrain, three leachts (rectangular drystone-faced mounds of stone), a burial ground and a stone cross.
The Maharees area, Faha and Scraggane Pier have a long tradition of using and building naomhógs or currachs.
The Maharees Regatta is the first of the summer's contests of naomhóg racing. The regatta attracts competitors from Clare and Galway as well as local crews from all around the Dingle Peninsula. The regatta is usually held in July Maharees Regatta
At the east side of Scraggane Bay at the north end of the Maharees is the site of Killshannig Church and Graveyard/Cill Seanaigh. The present remains near the shoreline are thought to be mostly a 15th or 16th Century refurbishment of an Early Christian Church. A parish church is recorded here by 1302. The lower courses of the east gable and north wall and a cross slab inscribed with Latin crosses on both faces and a chi-rho symbol are what survives of the Early Christian site.
The Maharees and the area around Fahamore have become reknowned for producing extra flavoursome root crops of carrots, parsnips, swedes and onions. These vegetables thrive in the sandy soil and dry sunny microclimate of the Maharees.
The Maharees are 28km and a half hour drive from Tralee. Take the N86 west and at Camp junction take the R560 to Castlegregory. The Maharees are just north of Castlegregory.
From Dingle it is 26km and a half hour drive taking the Conor Pass. After the village of Stradbally, turn left towards Castlegregory and continue north to The Maharees.
Surfing Lessons with Jamie Knox
Maharees Heritage Trail
Spillanes Bar and Restaurant, Maharees, Castlegregory
Green Acres Caravan Park
Anchor Caravan Park, Castlegregory
Brandon Bay Half Marathon & 10k: July/Meitheamh
Castlegregory Summer Festival: July/Iúil
DINGLE PENINSULA TOURISM ALLIANCE – PROMOTING THE DINGLE PENINSULA TOGETHER
Do come and stay! We are very happy to help guide you to your idyllic holiday or short break on the Dingle Peninsula. Dingle Peninsula Tourism Alliance, a marketing co-operative owned and managed by its members across the peninsula, have produced this website to provide you, our visitors with the most up to date information you need to plan and enjoy your visit.
If you cannot find the information you need, or have a question you would like answered, please feel free to contact us.
+353 (0)66 915 2448
Comhaontas Turasóireachta Chorca DhuibhneAonad 4, Páirc Gnó na Coille, Daingean Uí Chúis, Contae Chiarraí, Éire