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Dunquin to Ballydavid/Feohanagh

Hiking route · Southwest Ireland
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  • Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 100 50 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

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.

difficult
Distance 19.4 km
5:30 h
106 m
125 m
124 m
0 m

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.

Author’s recommendation

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.

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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: September 22, 2022
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
124 m
Lowest point
0 m

Track types

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Safety information

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.

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Blasket Centre

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.

Start

The Blasket Centre, Dunquin (24 m)
Coordinates:
OSI Grid
Q 31538 00701
DD
52.132969, -10.461044
DMS
52°07'58.7"N 10°27'39.8"W
UTM
29U 399998 5776834
w3w 
///remorse.navigate.erupts

Destination

Grass Triangle, Feohanagh

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - Start facing the entrance to The Blasket Centre car park. TURN RIGHT to head uphill along the road. After 475 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON across the main road.

1.00km – As the paved road bends right, TURN LEFT and then immediately BEAR RIGHT to follow the unpaved road up and over the shoulder of Cruag Mhárthain mountain.

2.30km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction with the paved road. After 700 metres, shortly after following Lewis Mulcahy Pottery, TURN LEFT to follow the unpaved track and then grassy path down to beautiful Clogher Bay.

3.40km – Near the beach, BEAR RIGHT across the stile to enter the car park. From here, take a moment to dip your toes in the water and then TURN RIGHT along the paved road.

3.90km – BEAR LEFT at the ‘Give Way’ junction. As the road bends right after 900 metres, TURN LEFT along the road. While walking, enjoy the view of the ‘Three Sisters’ hills.

5.90km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction on the edge of a small village. Note, the yellow arrow for the Dingle Way is a little misleading here as it is a long way before the junction.

6.70km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction then TURN LEFT after crossing a small bridge.

7.20km – TURN RIGHT at the road signposted to Na Gorta Dubha. On some maps and guidebooks the Dingle Way is signposted as continuing straight ahead; this also leads to Ballyferriter Beach but is a longer route and is no longer the Dingle Way.

9.00km – TURN RIGHT as the road ends to walk along Ballyferriter Beach. There are two rocky outcrops which you can’t cross from the beach, however, there are paths around both slightly inland.

11.20km – BEAR RIGHT upon reaching the paved road which momentarily heads away from the sea. Make sure to glance right to admire the Ballinrannig standing stone. After 400 metres, TURN LEFT at the T-junction, and then after 400 metres, TURN LEFT again to return to the beach, walking with a small stream on your right.

12.00km – TURN RIGHT to cross the small bridge and then walk along the beach.

14.00km – As the beach ends, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to step over a small stream and then walk between two houses. TURN LEFT at the paved road marked L5006.

15.10km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction to walk towards the harbour wall. There are a few cafes and restaurants here making it a pleasant spot to take a break.

15.30km – As the road becomes a private road, BEAR LEFT onto the grassy path to walk with the dry stone wall on your right and the sea on your left.

17.80km – TURN LEFT at the paved road.

19.40km – Finish at the grassy triangle beside a pub in Feohanagh.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OSI Grid
Q 31538 00701
DD
52.132969, -10.461044
DMS
52°07'58.7"N 10°27'39.8"W
UTM
29U 399998 5776834
w3w 
///remorse.navigate.erupts
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

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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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
19.4 km
Duration
5:30 h
Ascent
106 m
Descent
125 m
Highest point
124 m

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