Driving to this town, you might notice that the roadside signs have been stenciled over with "Dingle" in white spray-paint. Dingle has gone through an identity crisis, as of late. To find out the full extent of this battle in town, read the news clippings papered to a shop front on the main drag of town. Dingle has loads of options for food, entertainment, and fun. It is also a good hub for day trips to surrounding points.
What to See and Do
Café Liteartha is Dingle's Irish-speaking café and bookstore. Every Friday from 9AM to 3PM in the Dingle Supervalu parking lot there's a local farmer's market- find fresh baked goods, antiques, plants, cheeses, meats, and handmade wool sweaters. For more locally-made woolen goods, visit The Weaver's Shop (www.lisbethmulcahy.com). The West Kerry Craft Guide shop features handmade goods by local artists. Commodum has unique woolen crafts and fashions. The Dingle Music shop has an array of unique instruments. The Linen Chest is a fine linen and lace boutique on Strand Street.
There are lots of outdoor activities in these parts. You can choose between cantering on the beach with Long's Horseriding and Trekking Centre (www.longsriding.com). Sail to the islands on the Great Blasket Island Ferry, leaving from Dingle and Dunquin (www.dinglebaycharters.com). Dive with Dingle Diving in the waters of Blasket Sound, no experience required (www.divingdingle.ie).
Where to Eat and Drink
For a place to get deluxe pizza, drink wine, and hear live jazz, visit The Blue Zone in Dingle, located on Green Street. For fine seafood on the waterfront, there's Out of the Blue. It looks like a fish shack outside, but it is nothing of the sort inside. Creating dishes such as "Whole Sea Bass stuffed with thyme and rosemary and garlic butter" (28.50 euro). All fish is sourced from local Dingle fishermen - serving everything fresh, nothing frozen. They don't serve chips. Make a reservation for dinner, Tel: 066 9150811.
Where to Sleep
How to get there
From Tralee, take the N86 road to Dingle.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
When to go
From April to October, when the days are longer and the sun comes out. The Feile na Casca Arts Festival, Baile na Fheirtearaigh, in April. The Feile Na Bealtaine Festival in May. Watch the Dingle Races in August at Ballintaggart Racecourse. The Agricultural Show in August. Wren Day in December.
Written by Liz O'Malley - Summer of Travel 2007