Dingle's most famous resident Fungi has been welcoming visitors to Dingle for over thirty years. This friendly bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been swimming playfully alongside the boats in Dingle Harbour since 1984. A bronze statue of Fungi by Californian sculptor Bud Bottoms was unveiled at the head of Dingle Pier in 2000. Boat trips to see Fungi run from the waterfront in Dingle all year.
In recent years Dingle has developed a reputation as a 'Foodie Town' for its wide variety of quality dining options in over 50 venues. Award winning restaurants, cafés and bars offer the best of local produce, with fish just landed from the boats and heather grazed mountain lamb, while local artisan food and drink producers ply their tasty wares in small gourmet outlets and stores. Every October Dingle welcomes thousands of visitors to the annual Food Festival and Taste Trail.
Dingle is a sea port for over 800 years with a long tradition of fishing and maritime culture. Historically a centre for fishing, boatbuilding and trade, Dingle boats plied the waters around the south coast of Ireland ferrying goods and supplies. In recent times the marina has been developed for leisure activities with sailing and cruising berths. Boat tours, leisure craft, kayaks and traditional naomhógs now ply the waters of Ireland's most westerly marina.
Tucked in off Main Street, the Church of St.James and graveyard have played a long and important role in the history of Dingle town. The building we see today was built in 1808 on the site of an earlier larger medieval church which is said to have to have been built by the Spaniards. The dedication to St.James probably refers to St.James of Compostela in Spain, thus emphasising Dingle’s strong links with the Iberian Peninsula.
The roads to the west of the Dingle Peninsula cannot be reached without passing through Dingle Town which serves as the ‘capital’ and commercial centre of the area. A compact charming town, Dingle town is both functional and fun. Colourful streets offer all the necessities of life, banking, healthcare, supermarkets, food shops and services mixed in with interesting store fronts, cute craft galleries, coffee shops and quirky bars that double as hardware stores. Buzzing in the Summer the town is a sleepier place during the winter months when the locals relax and come out to play.
Dingle Fife and Drum Band dates from the late 19th Century when the band went out for various functions associated with Lord Ventry. Traditional festivals and marching bands punctuate the Dingle year. Dingle town has a vibrant social scene with an easy mix of modern and old ways, visitor and local, old and young. The colourful streets are relaxed and friendly places where no one takes themselves too seriously and life is celebrated in a series of parades and events. Live Traditional Music can be found most nights of the week in a variety of venues. Read more
Dingle is a place where bars are not just bars, they are comforting welcoming places that serve as social hubs, with good conversation, food, live music, art and sometimes a pair of wellies or a can of oil on the side. Inventive and intelligent bar owners have adapted many old and hallowed drinking spots to the needs of new generations with due reverence and respect to the heritage and history of these timeless sanctuaries. Read more
The story of Dingle is one of agriculture, trade, port, war and commerce. Over 800 years as a centre of trade, Dingle grew from a small settlement and centre of trade to one of the busiest medieval ports of Munster. Dingle town developed strong trading links with Britain and Europe, and was sacked in the late 16th century Desmond wars. A strong linen industry was developed here in the late 18th century.
St. Stephen's Day, December 26th is a favourite in Dingle as crowds of people take to the streets in various states of disguise, wearing masks or straw suits and accompanied by musicians – remembering an ancient festival. The wren is the day the whistles, fifes and drums fill the streets with sound and colour and Dingle drives the dark of winter away.
to download a street map of Dingle Town as a PDF
Directions: From Tralee take the N86 to Dingle making sure to take a left turn at Camp Junction.
Bus Eireann has a service route 275 from Tralee to Dingle