Ireland is a small island and a country that everyone should visit at least once in the lifetime. Nature has awarded this country with gorgeous landscapes and breathtakingly scenery. One of the most scenic parts of the country, with some of the friendliest people you will come across, is the area around Dingle in County Kerry.
Dingle is the name of a quaint little town that rests on the beautiful Dingle peninsula. The peninsula is filled with spectacular beaches, mountains and views. The town of Dingle itself is a tourist hotbed, that has a range of amenities that serve travelers who pay a visit to this splendid little place.
For those interested in flying into Ireland as closely as possible to Dingle then the nearest airport would be Kerry Airport. If you take a car from the airport you will reach Dingle in about an hour as it is just 50 km / 31 miles away. Buses are also available from outside the airport, however they do not go directly to Dingle. You will instead need to get a bus to the town of Tralee and then get a connecting bus there to Dingle.
It must be noted however that there are only a select handful of routes that are serviced at Kerry Airport. Some are even seasonal and non-of them go outside of Europe. Only a few destinations in Portugal, Spain, the UK and Germany are in fact available.
Hence if you are flying from a far away destination such as the United States or if you are located in Europe but are unfortunate in the sense that your nearby airport doesn’t have flight to Kerry then you will need to look at other airports in Ireland to fly into.
There are 5 international airports in Ireland -Dublin Airport, Cork Airport, Shannon Airport, Knock Airport (Ireland West Airport Knock) and Belfast Airport. Other airports include Kerry Airport (as mentioned), Donegal Airport, George Best Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport.
The closest alternatives to Kerry Airport that fly to quite a few destinations include Shannon Airport and Cork Airport. From these airports you would either have to drive to Dingle from them or get a number of different buses and/or trains to Tralee in County Kerry and then another bus to Dingle. Dublin Airport is a good bit further than these two, however it also services the most routes out of any airport in Ireland.
Traveling from Dublin Airport to Dingle
The large town of Tralee is about a 50-minute drive from Dingle. It’s bus to Dingle is about 1 hour and 10 minutes away. Tralee also has it’s own train station. Here you are able to get trains from both Limerick city and Dublin Airport. With that in mind, say if you were to fly into Dublin Airport you could stay there a few days and then catch the train from Dublin’s Heuston train station to Tralee and then get a bus from Tralee to Dingle.
Traveling from Cork Airport to Dingle
Cork Airport is the second closest airport to Dingle and the closest international airport, ahead of Shannon. It roughly takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive from there. Public transport to Cork Airport can be a bit more complicated, doubling your journey time. Therefore, driving by car is recommended.
Another benefit Cork Airport has over Shannon is that it is nearer to a major urban centre. Limerick city is also not far from Shannon, however it isn’t on its doorstep. The same can’t be said for Cork Airport and Cork city. Cork city is the second biggest city in the Republic of Ireland and the third biggest in the entirety of Ireland after Dublin and Belfast. With a range of hotels, restaurants and not to mention its long a rich history that spans over a thousand years, Cork city is a great little starter point to enjoy before you make the journey to Dingle.
Traveling from Shannon Airport to Dingle
Again it is much quicker and straight forward to get from Shannon Airport to Dingle by car as opposed to public transport. A benefit of arriving in Shannon over Cork Airport is that you are near to some beautiful famous scenery that you mightn’t get around Cork city. The jaw dropping Cliffs of Moher are only a short drive away from the airport. You also have the Burren nearby. The Burren is a gorgeous landmass made of exposed rock that covers a huge area in County Clare. It’s a great spot for those interested in nature walks or hiking.
As you make your way down from Shannon Airport to Dingle then a great little pitstop to enjoy is that of Adare village. This is probably the most charming of villages you will come across in your visit to Ireland. The village has beautiful architecture and there are lovely little cafes and restaurants for you to check out. The most significant of things about this little place is that Adare is filled with stunning building and areas that are filled with history. You have the Augustian Priory and the Franciscan Abbey, both dating back hundreds of years.
You also have the beautiful Desmond Castle. In the last few decades a huge amount of renovations has taken place at the site. There now are even tours of the property during the summer.
The most famous property of all associated with the village is that of Adare Manor. The history of the manor dates back to the 19th century. It has since being renovated and now is a hotel and golf resort. This place is spectacular and a thoroughly enjoyable stay for anyone who makes that decision. In saying that it is pricey. So if you want to really go all out and enjoy yourself and money isn’t a concern, then definitely stay here a night to break up the journey down to Dingle.
Things to do in Dingle
There is so much you can do in the town of Dingle and the peninsula itself. You can head out to water on a tour and try and see the famous Fungi the Dolphin. You can also enjoy the night in a number of some quaint pubs that are dotted around the landmass. Quinn’s Pub, a few kilometers away from the town, offers some stunning views of the ocean and mountains. If you want to stay in the town then go to John Benny’s Pub. It’s a great pub that will be mighty fun on a weekend. Although Dingle town is small it draws in a lot of people for its nightlife on weekends.
Weather permitting, you should also consider going on the Blasket Island Experience. This is a brilliant boat tour where you will learn about the Great Blasket Island. You’ll land on the island and get to venture around one of its shores. You might even catch a glimpse of some seals there. The island is uninhabitable, but tourists are drawn on mass every year to it, due to its beauty.
Tips to bare in mind while traveling to Dingle
Once you have figured out how to get to Dingle, then you’ll need to figure out what to do there. It is good to know that Dingle is in an Irish speaking part of the country known as a Gealtacht. However, nearly everyone can speak English and will be able to understand you. You don’t need to worry about that in any way shape or form.
The weather during the summer is usually fine, but sometimes since it is on the west coast it could rain. So make sure to bring a rain jacket.