The town of Dingle is by far the most colorful, lively corner in Dingle. The streets are lined with every type of restaurant, bar and shop. Irish music flows through the streets nightly and the people are very welcoming. It is easy to navigate the town by foot and wander down alleyways to discover tourist free hang outs and delicious food. Dingle Peninsula wraps around the town and is accessible to view by boat, horseback or car. The lovely shores stretch far enough from the town to enjoy a quiet stroll while admiring the fresh Irish atmosphere and cool breeze.
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There are places in the world that would seem far removed from the banal drudgery of commerce, business, and political intrigue. While Ireland might appear to fit the bill, it is a country both removed, yet also intimately connected to a complex history of struggle for independent growth and identity. These west-facing coastal cliffs, located just outside the quaint village of Dingle, Ireland, are a staggeringly beautiful and harsh reminder of what the Irish gave up in the hope that their family's futures would be prosperous. I'm told that the opening scenes of the 90's film "Far and Away" were filmed near here, but I don't want that to diminish the beauty and significance of this place. This is Ireland, in all its beauty.
The Caribbean it's not, but Ireland is ringed with sensational white-sand beaches that seem to stretch on to infinity. In County Wexford, Curracloe Beach stood in for Normandy in the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. Across the island, County Mayo's Bunlahinch Beach is so long that its extents are lost in the mists. You can easily stroll for miles and never see another soul while you comb for treasures at the waterline. Kilkee in County Clare makes up in charm what it may lack in temperature. Excellent cafes, pubs and B&Bs are set back from a perfect crescent of sand that invites contemplation.
Ireland's stunning coasts, amazing drives and enchanting villages reach their zenith on the Dingle Peninsula. Jutting out into the Atlantic like a crooked finger, Dingle's ancient and troubled past can be seen in the remains of historic farmhouses dotting the rocky hillsides that sweep up from the sea. Tiny, jewel-like beaches alternate with rugged rocky outcrops where the ceaseless surf never stops pounding. The namesake village of Dingle is renowned for its fresh seafood while its traditional pubs such as John Benny’s have atmosphere as thick as their famous chowders. Offshore one local denizen delights people of all ages: Fungy, a playful dolphin, rarely fails to frolic with nearby tour boats.
Unless you let the Guinness get the better of you, your most memorable times in Ireland may well be in the pubs. From city neighborhoods to the tiniest of villages, you'll find a plethora of charming, idiosyncratic public houses. A gathering spot for locals (they fill with entire families for Sunday lunch), Ireland's public houses are where you'll make new friends, laugh at preposterous tales, thrill to impromptu music and warm your bones beside an open fire after a long hike. Classics like Galway's Naughtons have timeless wooden interiors enjoyed by countless generations of customers. As locals will tell you, the best thing about a pub is getting a pint and then seeing what happens next.
Just five minutes from the quaint and colorful town of Dingle is this secluded beach on Dingle Harbor. Craggy cliffs drop precipitously to the shore below so, as the sign suggests, watch your step. Take a stroll on the apex of the path to see wild flowers, views of vessels heading to the vast North Atlantic and, if you’re lucky you’ll catch of glimpse of Dingle’s famous dolphin.
When cousins announced they had a guest room available in Dingle Town, the travel bug took a mighty bite and we did not give up until we were with them enjoying the sites and sounds of Dingle Town. Check out the website below for lots of ideas. It will lead you to pubs, art shops, ice cream meccas, stunning scenery....destinations that set the stage for too many great memories to mention in this short note.
....and that was ALL that was in sight! As we were driving with cousins who graciously shared their Dingle apartment with us, we came across these girls headed home for the evening. It appears they were really, really ready to get home, but that didn't seem to speed their pace.
From the back seat of the car I snapped the back end of these local Irish road hogs (well, OK, cows...).
Tucked in an art gallery, we found this delightful 88 year old woman who vowed to keep hosting the gallery and stitching away until she reaches at least 90. You go, girl!
To find her go to the church in Dingle with the Harry Clarke stained glass---worth a tour in itself. Exit the gates of the church yard and cross the street and down an alley straight ahead. There will be a bakery that, no doubt, will require a fueling stop. Just a few more steps and you will discover a gallery containing a variety of multi- media works by local artists. But for me, the real treat was meeting and chatting with this woman who turns out masterpieces of embroidery that are sold in some of the most exclusive shops in NYC.
Meeting people like this, by surprise, makes for some of the most memorable highlights of trips afar.