Six kilometres after leaving Dingle you’ll climb over the saddle between two hills; crossing the saddle is to step through a window into another world as today’s hike suddenly becomes spectacular. From the saddle, gaze across to the pyramid peak of Cruach Mhárthain and the craggy peak of Mount Eagle. Admire the luminous-white crescent moon of Ventry Bay below, while Skellig Michael appears like a volcano erupting on the horizon.
After dipping your toes in Ventry Bay the route continues around a coastline that becomes increasingly rugged. As you climb the lower slopes of Mount Eagle, you’ll wish you had eyes in the back of your head for the view behind is captivating. Walking towards Slea Head and the Blasket Islands feels like reaching the end of the world, which is appropriate for one of Europe’s most westerly points. Here the Atlantic releases its power with gusting winds and crashing waves.
You may wish to add an extra night in Dunquin so you can take the ferry (weather-permitting) out to Great Blasket.
Note de l'auteur
Type de chemin
Consignes de sécurité
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.
Conseils et recommandations supplémentaires
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’. Some are thought to date to 700 BC. 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.
After 14.5 kilometres, you can take a slight detour to the Iron Age fortification of Dunbeg Fort by continuing along the main road. 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.
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 contribution they made.
Find out more: https://blasket.ie
Food and Drink
There are several cafés and restaurants throughout today’s walk. Please bear in mind that cafes, pubs 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 is a shop and a several pubs and cafes overlooking the beach at Ventry, after 8 kilometres.
You can take a slight detour to a pub near Dunbeg Fort. Instead of turning right after 14.5 kilometres, continue straight ahead for another 400 metres.
There are two cafes with great views overlooking Slea Head as you approach Dunquin. Dunquin has a variety of pubs and cafes to eat and drink.
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.