|A Guide to Hiking the Dingle Way in Ireland
The Dingle Way is one of Ireland’s premier long distance walking paths combining some of the country’s best scenery with a rich archaeological story. The 179 kilometre (112 miles) trail combines peaceful countryside with wild ocean vistas, cliff-tops and beautiful countryside. It can be a social affair, meeting and chatting with people along the walk or sharing a beer in the local pub. It can also be a time for reflective thought as there are hours of opportunity to enjoy your own company.
The starting point is the town of Tralee in County Kerry. From here one heads out to Camp and then the rest of the Dingle Peninsula, typically in a clockwise fashion with some retracing of steps on the last day as you return to Tralee from Camp. The walk is best done over seven or eight days so you can actually appreciate the experience. Days range in length range from 17 kilometres to 29 kilometres. The hike over the side of Mount Brandon has the only serious elevation gain (650 metres) though there are plenty of minor ups and downs along the way. Signage on the Dingle Way is much improved over past years with regular monitoring in place. Once you are out of Tralee you will rarely need to read any directions. Look for posts with a yellow hiker or yellow arrows especially at intersections.
Judging by the ever changing Irish weather, it is hard to make a definitive statement on when the best time to walk might be. In the winter, daylight hours are short so from the safety perspective that is not your best option. Also many B&B’s close over the winter months so in small places you might be challenged to find a place to spend the night. Consider the shoulder seasons of May, June and September, October for fewer people and greater accommodation choices. The weather can be poor to amazing but it can be like that in the summer too. There is lots of daylight through until early October and you will encounter far fewer bugs than in the summer.
The Dingle Way is usually close to civilization of some sort. In fact almost half of the walk is on tarmac, with about half of the road walking taking place in the first few days to Dingle. You will also have the chance to walk Ireland’s longest beach when you leave the town of Cloghane and head towards Castlegregory. The rest of the walking takes place on farm tracks, paths along the cliff tops and through farmer’s fields, hill tracks like that going over Brandon Mountain and old roads.
Highlights of the Dingle Way hike include:
Inside the guide you’ll find everything you need to know to hike the Dingle Way. Look for how to get to Tralee – the starting point, route descriptions, accommodation options, suggested itinerary, tour companies, packing lists and much more.
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