Coastline of the Dingle Peninsula

Ceann Sibeal and coastline Dingle Peninsula

The Peninsula is known for its spectacular scenery and dramatic contrasts. Rugged rock and cliff meet crashing Atlantic Waves, steep mountain passes with vertiginous cliffs rise into the mist and cloud. Sheltered coves and golden sandy beaches give way to soft rolling hills and a mosaic patchwork of irregular small fields divided by low stone walls.

Edged on three sides by ocean the varied coastline of the Dingle Peninsula consists of steep sea-cliffs, broken by sandy beaches, small coves and inlets. Two large sand spits project outwards forming Inch to the south and the Maharees to the north. Three drowned valleys form natural harbours at Ventry and Dingle in the south and at Smerwick in the northwest. The eastern half of the northshore is dominated by a low coastal strip, bordered by almost continuous sandy beaches.

Two groups of islands lie off the DIngle Peninsula. The Seven Hogs or Maharee Islands lie off the north shore near Castlegregory with two of the Maharee islands joined to the mainland by a sandy spit. The world renowned remote Blasket Islands lie off the most westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula near Dunquin.The Blaskets can be visited by boat from April to September or viewed from the dramatic sea cliffs of Slea Head and Dunmore Head, considered the most westerly point of Ireland and Europe.

The coastal climate of the Dingle Peninsula has made it popular for watersports such as surfing, windsurfing, diving as it is influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and is in the path of the prevailing southwesterly winds from the Atlantic Ocean. With lakes, inlets, salt marshes and safe harbours the area is also popular with both freshwater and sea anglers.

Experience the Dingle Peninsula Coastline

Finn Melon


Walking is highly recommended as the way to get close to the dramatic coast of the Dingle Peninsula. A series of short and long waymarked walks and trails will bring you to special places on the coast that cannot be viewed by car. Click here for our list of walks.
The Dingle Way long distance walking trail ( 176 km /109 mile) is the ultimate way to tour the Dingle Peninsula coastline and can be done as a whole trail in 7 to 8 days or it can be broken into shorter sections which can be easily walked in a day. Large parts of this circular walking route follow the coastline of the Dingle Peninsula and is a great way to get up close and experience this dramatic scenery. Most of the walk is on quiet tarmac roads, mountain, field and cliff paths, with over 20 km of beach walking. The route is known for spectacular, varied scenery and passes close to many cultural, archaeological and historical sites.
Finn Melon

Slea Head Drive

The Slea Head Drive (Slí Cheann Sléibhe) is a circular route, forming part of the Wild Atlantic Way, beginning and ending in Dingle, that brings you along the dramatic coastline and stunning views on the western end of the Dingle peninsula. The route is clearly labelled by road signs throughout its length. To properly enjoy the Drive, a half-day should be set aside for the journey.

Travellers are advised to travel clockwise in order to avoid the large tour buses that frequent the route during the summer. The route is suitable for motorists, but is also enjoyed by cyclists: it is possible to hire a bike at a number of locations in Dingle.

boat tour dingle peninsula

Boat Tours

A great way to view the spectacular coastline of the Dingle Peninsula is to take a boat trip. Experienced local operators run excursions and tours from different points along the coast. View the spectacular sea cliffs of Ceann Sibeal from the sea below, visit the Blasket Islands or take a whale watching or marine wildlife sea tour.

Coastline highlights of the Dingle Peninsula

Water Activity Providers

Directory links to related businesses, events and providers on the Dingle Peninsula

Select a Watersports Experience