After leaving Dunquin you’ll drop into a vast, flat plain which makes for easy walking. Enjoy spectacular scenery as mountains encircle you and quaint coves, sprawling beaches and rugged clifftops punctuate the walk.
The Dingle Peninsula appears to have some good old-fashioned Irish magic today as the sea continually pops up when you’re not expecting it. You climb away from the coastline at Dunquin, pass over the shoulder of Cruag Mhárthain mountain and are greeted by the picturesque cove of Clogher Bay directly ahead of you. You’ll eventually pull yourself away from Clogher Bay only to discover the road leads straight onto Ballyferriter Bay Beach. From here, the route twists and turns along Dingle’s wrinkled coastline, sometimes along the clifftops, sometimes directly on the sand, but the sea never leaves your side. Be sure to pack a swimming costume if you’re so inclined.
Please note that depending on the accommodation that we have secured for your holiday, you will be walking from Dunquin to Ballydavid or to Feohanagh on this day. The distance to Ballydavid is 15km (9mi) and the distance to Feohanagh is 19.5km (12mi). Due to accommodation limitations along this route we are using both locations, keep this in mind as it may slightly increase or decrease the total mileage of this day and the next.
A large portion of the Dingle Way is on minor, low-traffic roads. Where there is no pavement, you should walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic, except where the road bends right when you should cross over to the other side. Stay alert to vehicles around you and be prepared to step into the verge if necessary.
The trail is often rocky and uneven and can be slippery when wet. Wear appropriate footwear and take care with your foot placements, particularly at the end of the day when you may be tired. Walking poles can be useful on some of the steep ascents and descents.
The weather can change quickly. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing in your day-bag.
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Points of Interest
While the rest of Ireland was rapidly developing, the Blasket islanders continued to live unique lifestyles centred on subsistence fishing and farming. Through a series of interesting exhibits, the Blasket Centre details the community’s struggle for existence, their language and culture, and the incredible literacy contributions they made.
Find out more: https://blasket.ie/
Louis Mulcahy Pottery
Louis Mulcahy has been described as ‘the godfather of Irish craft’ for his contributions to pottery. His workshop lies along the Dingle Way after 3 kilometres today. There’s a café where you can enjoy coffee and a cake, a shop where you can admire his pottery and even a workshop where you can have a go yourself.
Find out more: https://louismulcahy.com/
The Three Sisters (An Triúr Deirfiúr)
Prominent throughout today’s walk are the three rolling outcrops of land along the clifftops which appear like a sea in heavy swell. These are known as the three sisters, though peculiarly they each have a male name; Binn Hanrai, Binn Meanach, and Binn Diarmada.
Ballinrannig Ogham Standing Stone
After 11 kilometres you will reach Ballinrannig standing stone. A collection of seven standing stones were discovered at the site of an ancient burial ground on a grassy knoll overlooking Smerwick Bay, however after a storm only one remains.
Food and Drink
There are several cafés and restaurants throughout today’s walk. Please bear in mind that cafes, restaurants and shops may be closed when you visit so it is advised to bring enough snacks and water for the duration of your journey.
There are a few cafes after 2.5 kilometres, including one café in the Louis Mulcahy pottery workshop.
Several cafes and restaurants enjoy a nice view overlooking the sweeping bay after 15 kilometres.
Bring appropriate footwear, preferably walking boots with good grip and ankle support.
Bring a waterproof jacket and trousers, even where the weather forecast makes this appear unnecessary.
Walking poles may be useful on some of the steep ascents and descents.
Food for the duration of the hike two litres of water is recommended.
A powerbank and phone cable may be useful if you are navigating using your phone. Phone batteries are less effective in cold weather.