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How long to drive Dingle Peninsula?

My husband and I are going to be in Ireland for work in late September. We do have some time to ourselves, and I'd like to do the Dingle Peninsula (we will already have a car). Work has us at a hotel outside Kenmare and then we have to go to Dromoland Castle two days later. I was thinking of going over to Dingle Town in the morning (2 hour drive), exploring the town (and doing laundry). Then do the Slea Head drive the next day-BUT we have to be at Dromoland that night, and it is a four hour drive from Tralee. Can we do justice to the Slea Head drive in just 6 hours?

Posted by
56 posts

We loved Dingle & took most of a day to do the drive, but we wish we had not done the RS plan. It did take about 6 hours or from after lunch to 6ish. If you just stop where seems interesting or in a few spots 1/2 day is likely fine.

Posted by
1970 posts

The Slea Head Drive loop is only about 35 miles long, so it will depend upon how many stops you make along the way.

Posted by
278 posts

The Dingle Peninsula is so pretty, and the roads are so twisty-turvy, that I highly recommend letting someone else do the driving. We had a mini-tour with a retired school principal as the guide/driver for about 12-15 of us, and even though it was scheduled to be a 3 hour trip, it ended up over 4. He was really wonderful pointing out things of interest I never would have known, and it was terrific not having to do the driving but just relax.

Posted by
2246 posts

Vying for your attention should be, imho, the West Kerry Museum and the Gallarus Oratory. The museum is in Ballyferriter and can be a relatively quick stop, the turn-off for the Gallarus is about 4.5 km past Ballyferriter and is a very short detour. I am reminded that if you go a couple hundred feet past the entrance to the visitors center there is a way to see Gallarus for free, and forego restrooms and a small center with videos, etc. Also, Kilmalkedar Church is out that way.

Posted by
133 posts

Why are you doing laundry in Dingle?
So you are driving to Dingle in the morning? What are you going to do in Dingle town for a whole day (apart from laundry)?
Slea Head drive is quite short. There are plenty of places to stop and check out along the way. If you arrive in the morning (do your laundry) then drive out along the Slea Head Road.
There are beehive huts etc. A nice little museum. My highlight Coumeenoole Beach. Stopped there for awhile hiked up to Dunmore Head. Continued on to Gallarus. Easy drive back to Dingle. That is an easy afternoon.
Spend the night in Dingle. You can easily wander about and explore the town in the evening.
Next day head down to pretty little Kilmurry Beach ( nearby Minard Castle is on private land).
On to Inch beach, a long shallow stretch. Nice location.
A bit further on you can take a left and follow a small road over Caheronree, beautiful quiet drive into a place called Camp. Some wonderful stretches of beach. I went swimming here in late September (bloody cold but magnificent).
From there follow N86 back to Tralee then off you go.
Easy peasy.

Posted by
234 posts

When we were in Dingle 7 years ago there were no facilities to do your own laundry but there was a very nice drop off/pick up laundry establishment. We dropped ours off about 10:30 am and took off on the Slea Head drive. We made numerous stops--a small beach at the start of the drive, the beehive huts, famine cottages, Blasket Center and Gallarus Oratory, and even had a nice interlude at a little cafe overlooking a beautiful beach mid way (coffee and scones with clotted cream on the patio--lovely!). Because it was Saturday and the laundry wasn't open on Sunday we had to get back to town before 5 and as far as I remember we didn't feel rushed or have to skip anything we wanted to see--we actually got back at 4:30ish.

Posted by
56 posts

It is funny you are mentioning laundry! My husband and I stayed mostly at Airbnb's during our last trip. We loved having a washer and dryer but quickly learned that the dryer are not like US dryer!!! I had to Youtube how to use most dryers because they have a water pan that fills up and has to be dumped. If it stays full, your clothes will not dry they will stay damp. So, if you ever have troubles drying, remember to Youtube and find a video.