When you think of Ireland does a small Gaelic speaking fishing town on the tip of a peninsula pop into your head?Probably not.
But Dingle, Ireland might be one of the best hidden treasures I’ve ever come across.
Daingean Uí Chúis.
Dingle is on the westernmost tip of Ireland and Dingle Town has a population of less than 2000 people.
Out of all my Off The Beaten Path Locations this was the furthest from any big city civilization.
I was originally taking a train from Cork to Tralee.
From there I took a 70 minute bus ride into Dingle.
The entire ride from Tralee to Dingle was magical.
Once you’re within 30 minutes of town the scenery outside the windows is breathtaking.
Gigantic green rolling hills overlook the Atlantic Ocean.
Tiny villages and cottages in the middle of the emerald hues seemed like something out of a fantasy story.
I arrived during late September and felt like I had most of the town all to myself.
During August they have the Dingle Races, Dingle Regatta, and the Blessing Of The Boats.
Those events turn the town into an overcrowded, overpriced, tourist destination.
Luckily for me I showed up at the right time.
The only time I saw a large amount of people in one place is when I walked down Main Street and peaked into a pub.
Other than that I had the bay and most of the streets to myself.
Dingle is unquestionably a place you visit to rest and relax.
This won’t be a place where you’ll find big parties.
Dingle Peninsula Loop.
Besides eating, drinking, and relaxing one of the things you can do is drive or bike the 30 mile loop of the peninsula.
Along the way you’ll discover a lot about Dingle’s past.
A well detailed map or a Rick Steves’ guidebook might be the best way of explaining what you’re looking at.
You will come across many old houses, churches, and stone huts.
Amazing views will accompany you during the whole journey as well.
The Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman movie Far And Away was partially filmed in Dingle.
Some of the locations in the movie are also along this loop.
I was only in Dingle for one night so I didn’t indulge in the food as much as I would have liked.
I did hear great things about the Out Of The Blue seafood restaurant, so I had to check it out.
It’s wise to book reservations in advance.
But if you’re there right when they open(5:30 pm) they can usually get you in.
There’s also a chalkboard menu out front.
Every day it changes due to the catch of that morning.
This certainly wasn’t one of the cheapest restaurants I’d been to.
So I only had a starter; caramelized squid in lime and garlic sauce.
It was absolutely worth the awards out front.
Dingle might not be filled with much to do but it’s a place I wish I would’ve stayed longer.
It will always be a destination I must visit when I am back in Ireland.
Next time I will go with a bigger seafood budget and more time to relax and just enjoy the scenery.
Have you ever been to Dingle, Ireland?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below.