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- 19 Oct 2019, 3 nights
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The Dingle Peninsula sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean from the southwest of Ireland, and the only town on it is Dingle itself. Part of the Wild Atlantic Way, this west coast region is known for its rugged geography and dramatic beauty. It's so striking in fact that it was featured as the home of the Jedi temple in Star Wars Episode VIII. The weather is windy year-round thanks to the peninsula's out-to-sea location, which makes it a top destination for surfing. It also means the warm, welcoming pubs feel even cosier as you sip a glass of locally made whisky.
Stay in a Dingle hostel with an open fire for a toasty return after a day in the surf. Some provide free breakfast, and might even give you a taste of the local soda bread. You can find hostels in Dingle set in farmhouse buildings, as well as some in snug family homes. Look for Dingle hostels with parking if you're planning on driving the scenic roads of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Dingle is a small town with a population of around 2,000 welcoming locals. You can enjoy their company in the many pubs of the town itself. The middle of the peninsula has an unnamed mountain range running down it, with the tallest peak, Mount Brandon, standing at 953 metres. Climbing it will give you a fantastic lookout point on a clear day. As for smaller villages in the area, nearby Doonshean has a sandy beach, and Lispole has views of an old railway viaduct from the days of steam trains.
There's plenty to do in this Irish town, including strolling the sandy beaches or surfing. Head to Inch Beach to find a clear stargazing spot. As you walk the Dingle Way, look out for the 2,000 historic monuments in the area, left behind by more than 6,000 years of human civilisation. The seafood is fresh, and delicious whether you have it with chips in a bag or fresh vegetables. Afterwards, you could visit a local pub for a drink and a dance to some traditional tunes.
To get to Dingle, make your way to Tralee Station in Country Kerry, a stop 31km away. From there you can catch the bus – the journey will take you a bit over an hour. Kerry Airport is the closest to Dingle if you're flying in, though Shannon Airport can also be a good option (albeit farther away). Once in the town, the 275 bus will get you around the peninsula.