An Riasc/Reask Monastic Settlement ( Marked No.8 Antiquities on DPTA map)
East of Ballyferriter, just off the road to Dingle, are the impressive ruins of a 6th-century monastery and important carved stone. The history of the Reask Monastic Site is not well known, but it has been securely dated to the 5th or 6th century. Excavations have revealed the foundations of an oratory that was first built with wood and later with stone, monastic huts, a kiln for drying corn, and a cemetery. Shards of Roman amphorae or jugs, which were used in the 6th century to transport wine, were found.
The spectacular headland peaks that rise to meet the Atlantic north east of Ballyferriter are known locally as the 'Three Sisters / Na Triúr Deirféar' and ' Ceann Sibéal - Sybil Head. The tallest peak is Binn Diarmada at 153m. The dramatic sea cliffs of the most western peak, 'Ceann Sibéal' have become famous as a Star Wars filming location. The set was removed completely after filming and the site is on private farmland. You can get spectacular views of this location from viewing points on the Slea Head Drive and from nearby walking trails. There is an extremely scenic 18 hole golf course at the site. Boat tours and stand up Paddle board tours bring you to view the cliff face.
Béal Bán and Wine Strand/Trá an Fhíona: these popular beaches are close to the village of Ballyferriter/Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.
Both beaches are sandy, safe for swimming and provide stunning views. Béal Bán is a wide and smooth stretch of beach with plenty of room for walking, running and playing. In June of each year an impromptu horse-racing festival is held at Béal Ban, with associated events in the public houses of Ballyferriter. A superb beach for kite surfing. Watch out for the sign to the beach past the village on the left side.
This much treasured local museum is situated in the old schoolhouse (built in 1875 - a monument in itself) in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh. Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne collects, safeguards, holds in trust, displays and interprets a variety of objects and data relating to the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Dingle Peninsula, and endeavours to educate, entertain and enlighten all visitors, from the local student to the scholar, as well as our many summer visitors, from home and abroad. Visitors can learn about the geology, archaeology, heritage and history of the area. Some of the artefacts on display are on loan from the National Museum of Ireland and there is a small cafe and shop on site.
Dún an Óir /Fort of Gold is a promontory fort which got its name from a ship filled with iron pyrite (Fool's Gold) that sank off the coast. In November 1580 Spanish, Italian and Irish Papal troops came to Smerwick Harbour to assist the Irish Catholic Earl of Desmond who was in rebellion against Elizabeth I the Protestant Queen of England. They set up camp in Dún an Óir. English troops besieged the soldiers at their headland fort until the Papal army surrendered and 600 were put to death many by beheading. Some of the embankments of the fort remain and there is a small car park and a monument at the entrance to the site. Sign posts carry the Spanish name of the site “Fort del Oro” in honour of the Spanish soldiers who were slaughtered.
The village and hinterland of Ballyferriter is known as a centre for Irish language and students come from far and wide to practice and learn Irish. Courses are held in the local national school and other venues in the village. Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne Courses runs courses throughout the year for adult learners of all standards, from absolute beginners to people who have a good standard of Irish or who are fluent. 3- or 4-day Irish Language, Heritage and Hillwalking courses available.
University College Cork have a University centre ‘Dún Chíomháin’ close to Ballyferriter that facilitates year-long Irish language study for students at a higher level.
The quick way: From Dingle drive west towards the Milltown roundabout and take the first left across Milltown bridge. After passing Dingle Distillery take a right turn to the R559 signposted ‘Baile an Fheirtearaigh’. After about 5 minutes take a left turn at the brow of the hill sign posted Baile an Fheirtearaigh and follow this road downhill to rejoin the R559 into Ballyferriter village.
The scenic way: The Slea Head Drive R559 brings you around Slea Head with views of the Blasket Islands, through Dunquin Village and along the dramatic coastline to Ballyferriter.