Located on the rugged Dingle Peninsula in southwest Ireland, Dingle is a small port town with heaps of seaside charm. Picture quaint streets with colourful houses and warming pubs (there's over 50 in total…), mismatched fishing boats lining the harbour, and lush hills rising in the background. How idyllic does that sound?
The picture-perfect scenes don't stop there. Dingle town is located near the end of the Dingle Peninsula, a stretch of Ireland that also boasts some stunning settings, with its rugged coastline and gloriously green fields. It's an ideal area of the country to do some hiking, surfing, or scenic driving, so why not use the town as a base to explore further afield on an Ireland road trip?
It's easy to lose track of time just wandering around the charming streets of Dingle Town, however there are a few things you'll definitely want include on your itinerary.
Food and drink: Owing to its coastal location, Dingle Town is a great place to eat some fresh seafood. The offering will usually depend on the catch, always reflecting the local area and the season. Head to Out of the Blue, a waterfront restaurant selling exclusively seafood to sample some of the best.
If you happen to be in the town for the first weekend of October, the annual Dingle Food Festival offers a round up of all things foodie here, with cookery demos, workshops, and whisky and wine masterclasses dotted around the town. There is also a 'taste trail' which takes you on a tour of some of the best eateries where you can sample local delicacies. It is a free, non-profit, community event, however the taste trail costs €20, with the money going to the local businesses and festival fund.
Entertainment: Dingle has more than 50 pubs, so visiting one (or many) of them should be on your list for a spot of Irish entertainment. For a traditional pub, try John Benny's. Made cosy by its cast iron wood-stove and heavy stone floor, this local pub is the real deal. It's often full of locals and doesn't have a TV, meaning there'll be no blaring football getting in the way of your relaxing pint of local beer. Dingle is also known for having shop-pubs, with all manner of items being sold alongside your drinks, so be sure to experience one of these too!
The surrounding Dingle Peninsula is mind-blowingly beautiful and well worth exploring while you're in town, not least because it's almost impossible to take a bad photo wherever you go. Here are some of the highlights:
Inch Beach: Just a half hour drive out of Dingle town along the dramatic coastline will take you to Inch Beach. Don't let the name deceive you, this beach stretches for three miles and is perfect for swimming, surfing, long walks, or just relaxing and taking in the scenery.
Slea Head Loop: As one of the most famous drives in the area, the Slea Head Loop starts from the town and follows the coast to the end of the Peninsula before circling back around. The whole route is about 42 kilometres, so it's possible to cycle if you're up for a challenge!
Mount Brandon: Located on the north side of the Peninsula is Mount Brandon. Okay, so Irish mountains are more like hills, but the views from the top are incredible nonetheless, stretching out over the rest of the Peninsula and the Atlantic Ocean. It's slightly further away from Dingle Town, but it's well worth making the trip.