Difference between revisions of "Dingle Peninsula"
Revision as of 18:30, 10 August 2005
The landscape is wild and beautiful from the eastern spine of the peninsula in the steep Slieve Mish (mountain of phantoms) to the western end where the land breaks into a scattering of uninhabited and dramatic islands and cliffs and beaches alternate around the coast. Dingle town (An Daingan) is small enough to walk and big enough to be lively.
Mount Brandon is one of Ireland's highest at just over 1000 metres, and commands a wonderful view in good conditions. It can be climbed from many directions but you should be warned that weather conditions can change very quickly here as it is the first height to get the Atlantic weather.
The Great Blasket island to the west, which was evacuated in the 1950s produced at least three well-regarded Irish writers, the most well-known being Peig Sayers. Until recently the western end of the peninsula, including Dingle was very cut off from the rest of Ireland by sheer distance and poor roads.
The peninsula has an association with St Brendan the navigator who sailed from Brandon on the north of the peninsula to America, by way of Iceland and Greenland in the dark ages, on a sailboat made of laths and hides. Tim Severin replicated this journey in the 1970s, demonstrating that the story was plausible.
The greater part of the peninsula is Irish speaking, although no-one will expect you to speak any. However it has recently been decided that all signs in Irish speaking areas will only be in Irish, so they might not look as they sound.
You can see Fungi the dolphin. Fungi is a male bottlenose dolphin who has taken up residence in Dingle harbour and has stayed for twenty years, becoming quite a celebrity. You can take a boat trip from Dingle where the boatmen are so confident in Fungi that they will not charge you if he doesn't show up.
It is also possible to swim with Fungi and you can rent wet suits. Inquire in Dingle.
There is an official An Oige hostel at Dunquin near Slea Head.