We have returned from Ireland after just shy of 3 weeks tripping about the beautiful country. Ireland was stunning, and we made so many wonderful memories with our family! Over the next 6 weeks I will be exclusively covering Ireland. Today, I am starting with an entry I made about Dingle, Ireland written on April 22nd.
Dingle, Ireland: We have been in Ireland for about 10 days now, and we have 1 more week to go. Unfortunately today, I am bed bound fighting a stomach bug missing out on the adventures. 😦 However, it provides time to write which I guess gives me something to do 🙂 So today, I am reminiscing about our day trip to Dingle!
We have set up base camp in Killarney, Ireland for 5 nights, and we are taking day trips from here. We visited Dingle yesterday, and it was a fabulous destination! Our daughter had such a blast the entire day!
Dingle is a seaside town that sits on Dingle Harbor on the Southern Peninsula of the Wild Atlantic Way. It is the only town on the Dingle Peninsula, and a lovely day trip from Killarney with kids!
Travel: Dingle is accessible via 2 main roadways, the N86 and the R561, and will take you appx 1 hour from Killarney which is where we set up base. There are also tour companies that offer day trips to the Dingle Peninsula from Cork, Killarney, etc. One reputable company that I have heard recommended, and who has great reviews is here!
Fungi Dolphin Cruise: Living near the coast we see dolphins routinely, but this dolphin is special and very interesting as he has made his home in Dingle Harbor since 1983. Other dolphins have come into the harbor, and Fungi sometimes interacts with them but he has chosen to never leave Dingle Harbor. The boat tours only observe Fungi in his natural environment, but are so sure to see Fungi that the cruise is free if he is not seen. Fungi seems to thrive on the enthusiasm and applause of his spectators, and some fishermen in Dingle have spent a life time alongside Fungi. A very special creature indeed. The cruise in itself was beautiful as viewing Dingle from the water was stunning! Our daughter was very excited to see Fungi, and is still talking about it very enthusiastically. She kept saying he was playing “hide and seek” with her. It is noteworthy to mention due to the weather in Ireland and the water entering the harbor we experienced some choppy seas. I recommend a water proof jacket for a child especially. There was one point when a sailboat sailing near us capsized, and a huge wave splash onboard our boat and drenched a mom and her baby from the neck down. We booked with Dingle Dolphin Boat Tours, and were very pleased!
Dingle Town: Dingle town looks like a child designed it with every building a different color. This could make for a very interesting game of “I spy” 🙂 We shopped around town, and then headed for lunch and ice cream. My favorite store in Dingle was The Strand House It had a lovely selection. Don’t miss the upstairs women’s section and café! I also was very impressed with Dingle Artworks on Green Street. I bought a handcrafted wooden sheep with sheep wool from local artist Ian Buckett. We ate lunch at The Boatyard Restaurant, and I cannot recommend it enough. It was a great atmosphere for families and the food was on point! Then we made our way for ice cream at Murphy’s which is famous in Ireland! Murphy’s sources fresh local ingredients from local Kerry cows and free range eggs and offers unique flavor combinations. I had the Dingle Sea Salt flavor which is their best seller and made with salt sourced from the harbor in Dingle. My husband had the caramel with fresh cream and caramel on top and our daughter had strawberry and cream. All were delicious!
Wild Atlantic Way Passport: You can pick up a Wild Atlantic Way Passport at select post offices and visitor centers along the route. As you make your way along the Wild Atlantic Way you can get your passport stamped at each scenic spot. There are 188 discovery points listed in the Passport that are divided into 6 zones. The cost of the passport is 10Euro. Our daughter loved her passport and obtaining her stamps at each stop along the way! This is a great way to get kids engaged in the route! The visitor center in Dingle is adjacent to where the Fungi boat trip offices are at the base of the harbor.
Inch Beach: Also located on the Dingle Peninsula off N86 between Killarney and Dingle is Inch Beach. We chose to stop at Inch Beach after our day in Dingle on our drive back to Killarney. The beach is accessible by car and you are allowed to drive directly onto the beach for parking in the designated areas. This beach is really quite stunning, and offers a great opportunity for little ones to run wild in beautiful scenery. The tide comes in far and creates wading pools which our daughter loved splashing in. The right side of the beach also has an abundance of shells which she loved discovering. There is a restaurant and café on site as well as surf rentals and lessons. Don’t miss this beautiful spot!
More Ireland posts coming soon… Next week I will be covering the best Irish castles/ houses with tots!