Slea Head to Dingle Town
Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner Explorers Choice
After a private transfer close to Slea Head, you follow one of the most scenic coastal trails. This walk is a true highlight of your trip starting with views of the Blasket Islands.
Pass a collection of ‘beehive huts’ dating back to 6000 BC, the small round buildings are superb examples of the skillful use of stone. It remains a mystery what their purpose was or even who built them! Some believe they were pre-Christian shepherds or medieval pilgrims visiting Mount Brandon. This is just one example of a rich collection of ancient archaeological sites on the Dingle Peninsula.
This section of the Dingle Way also has you walking on one of the most beautiful sections of the coastline along the glorious golden sands of Ventry. With uninterrupted Atlantic views, you will find peace of mind here. It is possible to shorten your walk by getting a local bus from Ventry to Dingle town, reducing your day to 11km (7 mi).
Dip your toes in the sheltered waters of Ventry Bay and watch the same sea froth and foam for a peaceful moment!
If for any reason you would like to cut your walk short, it is possible to get a bus from Ventry to Dingle town. This would reduce your 20km day to 11km in total. The bus leaves from the Community Centre in Ventry (Stop 10877, Community Centre, Ventry) which is next door to a Pottery & Cafe. The journey takes 15-20 minutes. Use the handy website called Transport For Ireland [https://www.transportforireland.ie/] to plan your journey by public transport.
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
Clocháin (Beehive Huts)
Clocháin (singular Clochán) are dry-stone huts commonly built in a round arrangement which has earned them the nickname ‘beehive huts’. Their popularity has surged in recent years after appearing in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Though the scene was set on the Skellig Islands, due to conservation issues much of the filming took place on the Dingle Peninsula around Ballydavid.
If you wish to do so you can take a slight detour to the Iron Age fortification of Dunbeg Fort (see Point of Interest). Dunbeg Fort occupies a dramatic setting on an exposed clifftop; it used to be further from the cliffs, however, recent storms have claimed chunks of the fort. As recently as 2014, 2017, and 2018, large sections of the fort have collapsed into the sea meaning you should visit while you still can! Much of the fort lies in ruins, however, there is an interesting information centre, several clocháin and a restaurant and café.
Food and Drink
There are limited food options along today’s walk so be sure to leave with enough food and drink (at least two litres) for the day. Your accommodation may organise a packed lunch but otherwise, enquire at one of the cafes or pubs.
There is a shop and several pubs and cafes overlooking the beach at Ventry. If for any reason you would like to cut your walk short, it is possible to get a bus from Ventry to Dingle town. This would reduce your 20km day to 11km in total. The bus leaves from the Community Centre in Ventry (Stop 10877, Community Centre, Ventry) which is next door to a Pottery & Cafe.
Dingle, where you finish, is a delightful town to arrive in, and promises great food, drink and of course, live music! There’s a wide range of restaurants, cafes, takeaways, and supposedly one pub for every 40 residents!
Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost.
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.
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