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Dingle Peninsula or Ring of Kerry?

We're taking an April 08 vacation to Ireland. We're renting a car and following our own itinerary.

I've heard from many people that the Ring of Kerry is too touristy and crowded, and those people have recommended the Dingle Peninsula. But now I'm hearing about how touristy the Dingle Peninsula is.

Anyone have any advice? Thanks!

Posted by
655 posts

Nicole...We were able to do both the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. If I had to pick just one it would be Dingle. Either is a great place to visit but Dingle has an edge for us. A big reason is the route laid out in RS guides. His route provides a lot of insights into the area you are exploring. We followed it and had a great time. Further note - in April you will not find too many tourists. Have a great trip.

Posted by
32241 posts

Nicole, don't worry about either area being "too touristy and crowded". ANYWHERE in Ireland can fit that description at times.

I was on a RS Tour last October, and Dingle was definitely one of the highlights for me. The music and general "ambience" of the town is great! I enjoyed the Ring of Kerry also, BTW.

One caveat though - be VERY careful driving in Ireland, as it can be hazardous both in terms of MVI's and "mechanical" problems. While there I spoke with one traveller that "hit something" and tore part of the front end out of his rental car. Another driver told me that a "curb jumped out at hit the car", which destroyed one of the tires resulting in "down time" of a day or so (weekend) to get repairs.

Be sure to have good Maps and/or a GPS unit. Some of the smaller roads are not well marked.


Posted by
934 posts

The Ring of Kerry is OK but the Dingle Peninsula is much better.Stay 2 nights and have a complete day to drive and wonder.

Posted by
524 posts

In April you should not have an overload of tourists (or tour busses). If you only have time for one loop, I'd choose Dingle over Ring of Kerry. I did both back-to-back last fall and really enjoyed them both, but Dingle more. You might have time to do both.

There's also the Beara peninsula, just south of the Iveragh peninsula (better known to tourists as the Ring of Kerry). I don't know much about that one, but when I'm back in that area I intend to explore it.

Posted by
29 posts

Dingle. A few miles east stop at the bright blue South Pole pub in Annascual. Try to go on dance lesson night. Say hi to Alice in the pink coat. She might need a lift to evening mass. Slainte.

Posted by
67 posts

Definately Dingle. After a day touring the peninsula (which is breathtaking) you can hear real, live, traditional Irish music in several pubs down near the water in Dingle town. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
194 posts

It sounds like we're going to Dingle.

Thank you, everyone!

Posted by
2 posts

Hi: Dingle is like a bit of heaven,right here on earth.A shorter drive, but beautiful and not crowded in bumper seasons.We were sitting enjoying a cup of coffee at Shea's Head,the sun was Irish sheep dog laid at my feet,If it weren't for grand children,I would see no reason to leave such a tranqil spot,by all means go to Dingle. Charlie

Posted by
712 posts

We choose Dingle and the area as the Irish part of our Honeymoon almost 13 years ago. I had been to the Ring of Kerry in the '70. I loved the Ring of Kerry, but enjoyed Dingle more. We rented a car from Shannon and drove down and stayed at a B&B we found in the Karen Brown's Bed and Breakfast book. One day we took the drive to the end of the pennisula overlooking the Blasket Islands and many stops along the way. Another day we drove over the "Potato Famine" Road and saw the sheep along the way marked with pink or blue. The last day we took the ferry to see the Skeligs. My husband got so seasick that we never did the boat trip around that monastery island, before catching our return trip to Dingle. We saw the tinker caravens. We were local at the pub playing darts. We got to watch part of the "Rose of Trallee" contest at the B&B on the TV wtih the local who had placed bets as if the contestants were horses in a horserace. Interestingly, I saw the odds posted on the girls at a local bookmaker.

Posted by
12172 posts

Ring of Kerry is touristy. If you are driving and get a very early start, you can be ahead of the busses and mobs. The main hazard is busses. I think all the buses go one direction (counter-clockwise?) to keep them from having to pass each other on the tight roads. Kerry has Ft. Staige, an ancient circular fort. The busses don't stop there. I'm not sure Dingle has anything close to that.

Killarney is a great town. It has some good trad music, friendly locals and some decent sites. If you like to hike ... accross from the church is a gate that takes you into a national park. The trail in the park goes all the way to Muck Ross castle through a forest, you can then take the trail back or follow the roads back into town.

April is a good time to be there. It will probably rain but the experience is better when it's not overflowing with tourists.