The eighth entry in a series of installments from the travel diary of my journey through the Emerald Isle.
Day Six of our self-made tour of the Emerald Isle began quite similar to the five that preceded it. My best friend Joanna and I unceremoniously dragged ourselves out of bed, the effects of the previous night’s Guinness ever present as the fog that drifted past our window. The mundane routine began, we packed away our belongings, made a mad dash to the check-out desk and performed the circus act of packing the monstrosities we endearingly called our luggage into our pint-sized rental car. Why two people needed between them three suitcases (including one that was newly purchased in Cork) and two carry-ons, for only nine days, was beyond me.
With that done, Joanna and I waved goodbye to Cork and embarked on our journey to the enticing Dingle Peninsula. The Dingle Peninsula or Corca Dhuibhne stretches nearly 50 kilometres into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland’s south-west coast. The peninsula is dominated by a range of mountains and a coastline consisting of steep sea-cliffs, broken by sandy beaches. The peninsula has something to offer to everyone: beaches, walking routes, a thriving Irish speaking community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, arts and film festivals and some of the best surfing in Ireland.
Beautiful blue skies and sunshine of truly uncharacteristic Irish weather followed us on our three hour voyage. After an endless stream of photo op’s and necessary pit stops, we arrived at Inch Strand. We blended right in on the beach, which was dotted with tourists snapping away happily on their cameras. A group of surfers made their way out to shore, surfboards in tow. What a truly unique setting, complete with sand, sea, emerald hills, all to the soundtrack of a crescendo of crashing waves. We could have honestly stayed here the rest of the day, however, eager to drink in more of what the area had to offer, we took off and suddenly found ourselves winding through a maze of looming mountains, lush foothills, and deep river valleys. A patchwork quilt of Ireland’s forty shades of green was spread out before us. Needless to say, I begged Joanna to stop the car countless times and cameras in hand we attempted to capture the unfathomable beauty surrounding us. However, there was still much more to see, so we reluctantly tore ourselves away from the view and made our way into Dingle town where we continued our sightseeing of the quaint little shops, colourful cottages and the charming harbour front.
The town of Dingle fit all the requirements of a stereotypical Irish village: vibrantly painted buildings, low stone walls, a sheltered harbour, cozy pubs and a tangible peace and quiet. Dingle is relatively small with a population of approximately 1,200 and as it is surrounded by mountains and seascape, there was no shortage of stunning views. We lingered over the harbour front hoping to catch a glimpse of Dingle’s unofficial mascot, Fungie a curiously friendly male dolphin who lives and plays within the harbour and is always around to welcome boats. However, as there was no sign of Fungie, we enjoyed the lulling sound of water gently lapping against the dock, the rainbow of boats bobbing to the rhythm of the sea, the crisp, clean scent of saltwater air and the warm rays of sunshine that gently rained down upon us. We eventually meandered back to Main Street and before bidding farewell to enchanting Dingle and heading off to Galway for the night; we ducked into the now tourist-filled Dingle Pub for a refreshing pint of Guinness and a deliciously hearty meal of Shepherd’s Pie.
Our day in Dingle, although quick, was truly fulfilling as it proved that Ireland is far more beautiful than mere words can describe. While we were lucky to visit a town which possessed a true Irish charm and character, it was the drive through the peninsula with its spectrum of green landscape, endless mountains and crashing waves that we could not dream of forgetting. Thankfully our souvenir of endless photographs assured us that that wouldn’t be the case anytime soon. Sláinte!
The Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) County Kerry, Ireland. (1996). Retrieved from
Fungie – The Dingle Dolphin, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland. (1984). Retrieved from