WALKING IN THE DINGLE PENINSULA
The Dingle Peninsula is a veritable paradise for walkers. You could walk for hours along the sea pink carpeted cliffs, through fuschia-edged lanes and bothareens, and across spectacular beaches.
An easy and very achievable walk in the Ballyferriter area is to climb Cruach Mharthain. This climb takes roughly 1 – 1.5 hours. The panoramic views from the top are spectacular and well worth the effort (see above).
The more serious walker or maybe not so serious, might consider Mount Brandon. In recent times there has been a revival of Brandon as a mountain of pilgrimage. The quickest way up Mount Brandon is by the pilgrim track “The Saints Road“. As one climbs, the view widens to give a vista of the Dingle Peninsula and the Blasket Islands, with the Macgillycuddy Reeks rising across the sea to the south.
Walking Dingle Way
There are two way-marked walking routes, the Dingle Way and the Pilgrims’ Route. The Dingle Way – Slí Chorca Dhuibhne – is 178 km (112 mi.) in length. From Dingle the route continues west around Slea Head to Dunquin, with magnificent views of the Blasket Islands to the west and beautiful coastal cliffs to the north. Then the trail turns back along the north coast of the peninsula, past Smerwick Harbour and continues on below the massive Brandon Mountain, Ireland’s second highest peak. This is reputedly named after St. Brendan the Voyager. However, an alternative interpretation is that the name derives from the celtic god Bran dating from even earlier, prehistoric times.
The Pilgrim’s Route
The Pilgrims Route covers some 48 km (30 mi.) and connects many of the early Christian sites for which the Dingle Peninsula is renowned. It begins in Dingle, turns south in Ventry, then north to Riasc, wandering over to Kilmalkedar Church along the older Saints Road, and then by green track and minor road to Cloghane.