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Homebases for ROK and Dingle Peninsula ?

My family and I will be in Ireland this July, and we have five nights planned for the southwest. Our primary interests are Slea Head Loop Drive, Dingle town for music one evening, ROK, the Kissane sheep farm, and Great Blasket and/or Skellig Michael.
I'd like to spend two nights at one base and three at the other. How would you divide your time and in which towns would you stay? Thanks in advance!

Posted by
1698 posts

If you want to enjoy the night life in Dingle town then that's probably where you ought to stay. Though the place can get overrun with tour buses at midday things quiet down quite a lot once the last of the day trippers depart around 4:30 PM. Another advantage to staying within walking distance of the town center is that you can imbibe freely in the pubs without the concerns of getting behind the wheel to return to your accommodation. Irish drink-driving laws are quite strict (and their thresholds for "under the influence" are quite low) - you don't want to run the risk of running afoul of them. You can pretty much satisfy your curiousity about both the town and Slea Head drive in a two night (one full day) stay.
Most here would suggest avoiding Killarney - especially in July when the town will be a congested mess. Better (IMO) to stay further west in the countryside. There are some nice properties in the vicinity of Glenbeigh and Castlemaine from which you'd have easy access to the northern part of the ROK, particularly the Gap of Dunloe, the landing at Portmagee from which you catch the boats out to Skellig Michael, the exquisite Skellig Ring Road, and back into Killarney if you want to visit the National Park.
It'll be crowded at the popular spots in July. One way we've found to avoid all that is to get an early start. Dawn comes early and the buses don't start to roll until around 9 AM, so any excursions planned before then will be much more enjoyable than later in the day.

Posted by
226 posts

I agree with Robert that staying in Dingle is the best way to experience the town and see all the things you are interested in. If your plan is to actually visit the Blasket Islands you might need three nights in Dingle but if you are merely curious about them, the Blasket Center, located on the Slea Head drive, is really quite interesting and informative. You would then have the extra day you'd need to visit Skellig Michael. We used Cahersiveen as our base for the Ring of Kerry and felt it was an excellent location. (Other options in the same area are Port Magee and Waterville.) Cahersiveen is located on the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula and gives you easy access to Valentia Island, Skellig Michael and the Cliffs of Kerry. Although we didn't visit the Kissane sheep farm during our stay, the drive to get there is scenic and not too long.