This driving route takes you along the Dingle Peninsula with Mount Brandon, Conor Pass, some pretty beaches and Slea Head drive. The scenery is outstanding. Stop in the famous Dingle itself for some craic.
This Wild Atlantic Way driving route takes you around the Dingle Peninsula including Slea Head Drive and Conor Pass. (The drive to Killarney is not strictly the Wild Atlantic Way, but it enables you to drive the Ring of Kerry next in a loop.)
There is a lot to see along the way. I have mostly travelled this trip in a clockwise direction, but this is not necessary, although I would recommend travelling the Slea Head drive part clockwise. This is just because the stopping points tend to be on the left-hand side which makes it a bit safer to stop.
If you are lucky you may see whales or dolphins here off the Blaskets. This route is quite a long journey of about 200km and will take you a good day to do. Especially if you want to stop and see the sights along the way. But, honestly, I do think it is worth taking your time along here. There is a lot to see.
Dingle Peninsula Map
Approx. 4 hrs 3 minutes driving / 201km.
Tralee is the capital of county Kerry. Plenty of things to do and see in this town. Well worth a visit and a good place to stay the night.
A 4-5km long stretch of sandy beach in Tralee bay.
There is very limited parking along the road for this beach. This picture was taken from the end of the beach looking back South.
There was lots of seaweed at this location, but further South people were surfing.
A long sandy beach with great views. You can take your car through the stony gap onto the beach.
A nice little beach hidden away on the way up to Brandon point, with cars parked on the beach.
A nice place to stop for a pint of Guinness at Murphy’s bar.
A popular bird-watching location with fantastic views of the mountains looming above the ocean.
St. Brendan (Brendan the Navigator) was supposed to have sailed in his currach to the Isles of the Blessed from Brandon Creek on the Dingle Peninsula.
Conor Pass Waterfall, on the Dingle Peninsula
There is a parking point next to this waterfall which is located below Pedler’s Lake, a short clamber up the rocks from the parking spot. Not for the faint of heart though.
This was one of the places first recommended to me by locals when I first toured around Kerry. The views are spectacular and the drive is great fun.
But beware, some parts of the road are very narrow and not suitable for large camper vehicles for example.
Large tour buses have been stuck here in the past. The road is mainly one track and there are some passing places, but you better be able to reverse if you are planning to drive it!
Slea Head Drive
Slea Head Drive (Slí Cheann Sléibhe in Irish) is a beautiful scenic drive along the coast leading to Dunquin Pier and with views out to the Blasket Islands.
As with the ring of Kerry it is recommended to travel clockwise on this route. Beware the roads are single track in many places and very narrow, but there are some beautiful views along this road.
The Cross at Slea Head
There are not many parking spaces here but great views out to the Blasket Islands.
If you are fortunate you may see Minke whales or even a humpback whale from here.
Blasket Island View / Radharc na Blascaodí
This Signature point on the Wild Atlantic Way gives a great view of the Blasket Islands.
These Islands are no longer inhabited but can be visited for day trips. It is possible to camp on the islands overnight apparently.
There is a great view here of Coumeenoole Beach.
An absolutely stunning beach.
Sometimes in big storms the sand disappears from the beach, but when I visited it was now back in place after an absence of a few years.
Well worth a visit. When I took these photos there was a pool on the beach created by the sandbank where you could see some quite large fish swimming. Pollack or seabass perhaps?
This is the spot where the ferry leaves for the Blasket Islands. Booking is advised for the ferry.
An iconic pier where part of the famous ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ was filmed.
There are a few funny pictures of this pier with a car stuck on Dunquin Pier, halfway down. There are always some people who attempt to drive down it every year. Do not try this!
There is a hut at the top where you confirm your booking and can check to see if there are any cancellations. There is some parking space available at the top.
The Pier is a very recognizable tourist location – you need to walk down a narrow, steep path to get to the pier. The small ferry boats use a RIB tender to move people from the pier onto the ferry.
Spanish Armada Memorial
There is a 400 year memorial statue here for the Spanish Armada vice flag-ship, Santa Maria de la Rosa, of the armada of Oquendo Guipuzcoa. The ship perished on September 21st 1588 after striking Stromboli Rock.
She was a converted merchant ship. Only one person, of the 297 on board, survived. Between 17 and 24 of the Armada’s ships are thought to have sunk off the Irish coast.
A nice sandy beach with a small car parking area.
Dingle is a famous touristy town that gives its name to the Dingle Peninsula. Be aware it gets very busy during the summer months and you may have trouble finding somewhere to park.
Dingle’s most famous inhabitant was Fungie the Dolphin who unfortunately went missing in 2020 after entertaining tourists for more than 30 years.
If you are peckish why not get some fresh fish and chips near the harbour?
Inch Beach is one of the most spectacular Dingle beaches if not one of the best in Ireland.
It consists of a long sand strip that juts into the sea between the Iveragh and Dingle Peninsulas.
There is a restaurant, a campsite and cottages close to the beach, and at the right tide, you can drive your car onto the beach.
But beware, friends of mine once stranded their car there and had to be pulled out by a tractor! But the Inch Beach Parking area itself is actually quite small and can fill up quickly.
You can hire all sorts of equipment for watersports, including surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking etc. The surf is quite strong as the beach faces directly West.
We had some surfing lessons here when we first arrived in Ireland.
Killarney is a great town from which to start your journey around the Ring of Kerry or from which to visit Killarney National Park.
But before you set off grab yourself some real fish and chips at Quinlans! They also have a place in Tralee if you were wondering!
Dingle Peninsula or Ring of Kerry?
This is always a difficult one to answer as both Peninsulas have their charms. They are both about the same length and each offers some great views and sights along the way.
The Ring of Kerry is perhaps more touristy and may be more crowded than the Dingle Peninsula. But Slea Head Drive and Conor Pass are some of my favourite bits of road along the Wild Atlantic Way. And Inch Beach and Coomeenoole Beach are absolutely stunning Dingle Beaches.
So I think if I had to choose, I would choose to drive the Dingle Peninsula.
But try and do both if you can!
I have spent many (fun) hours creating this website to help people travelling the Wild Atlantic Way. If you found it useful and it helped you plan your trip, please consider donating towards my petrol/gas bill! Many thanks!
Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Gav