Dingle to Ventry - Ceann Trá
On leaving Dingle follow the signs for Slea Head Drive R559 in the direction of Ceann Trá - Ventry. The Drive passes over Milltown Bridge, past the woodlands at Burnham to the seaside village of Ventry - Ceann Trá. The long, curved strand is a blue flag beach and offers a safe venue for bathing and water sports.
Ventry - Ceann Trá to Fahan
On leaving Ventry the Drive continues westward, past the remains of Dunbeg Fort, and the Fahan group of Clocháns or Beehive huts. there ar a number of small parking areas where you can stop to enjoy the view and visit some of these historic sites. On a clear day you can see the island of Skellig Michael as a silhouette on the southern horizon. The drive continues with a sheer cliff on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. At Fahan hairpin bend the road crosses a ford.
Slea Head to Dún Chaoin - Dunquin
The Drive now follows the coast north, past Coumenoole Strand, where some of the filming of Ryan's Daughter took place, to Dún Chaoin. A passenger ferry to the Great Blasket / An Blascaod Mór runs from Dún Chaoin pier between April and October.
Dún Chaoin / Dunquin to Baile an Fheirtéaraigh / Ballyferriter
The Drive continues north and east from Dún Chaoin through wild open countryside, passing Clogher Head and a great viewing point for Ceann Sibéal (both film locations) From here the road moves inland to the village of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh / Ballyferriter. The village has a number of bars, a shop and is the site of the Corca Dhuibhne Regional Museum.
Baile an Fheirtéaraigh to Baile na nGall / Ballydavid
The Drive now moves eastward, passing close to a number of ancient monuments, such as the excavated early Christian site at Reasc, and Gallarus Oratory.
The traveller will next arrive at the fishing village of Baile na nGall/Ballydavid. On leaving the village the drive again follows a cliff-top route, with a dramatic seascape of crashing waves, rocks and seabirds below.
Baile na nGall / Ballydavid to Dingle
At An Fheothanach/Feohanagh a bridge is crossed and the route brings you to Cuas an Bhodaigh or Brandon Creek. This inlet was the legendary starting point of the voyage of St Brendan to America, centuries before Columbus.
The Drive now turns south and runs along the base of Mount Brandon, the second highest mountain in Ireland. A pilgrimage route to the mountain's summit begins near here.
The Drive now rejoins the main road south to Dingle, passing over a hill's crest at Ballinlochaigh and arriving back at the entrance to the town.
Driving Slea Head - Tips & Advice
- Drive on the left side of the road.
- Enjoy the Slea Head Drive by following the signs for ‘Slea Head Drive’ and ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and travel in a clockwise direction.
- Follow road signage first instead of being guided by your Sat. Nav. when using the Slea Head Drive and the Conor Pass. The local signs are to ensure free flow of traffic.
- Walkers and Cyclists use our roads too. Please respect walkers and cyclists and pass with care giving them the safety of a 1.5 metre clearance.
- Our road network on the Dingle Peninsula is full of charm but can be busy during the summer season. The roads are often narrow at points, so allow for longer journey times.
- There are lay-bys where you are asked to pull in to let traffic through should a tailback have developed.
- Other road users include farmers with cows and sheep on the roads. Please take due care and allow them to herd their stock safely. In the event of sheep on the road, please slow down and allow them to find their way back on to the hills or into fields.
- Equestrian activities occur across the peninsula. Please slow down, give safe clearance and allow them to carry on in safety.
- There are a number of schools located along the route so please be mindful for the safety of school children.
- Dispose or recycle your litter - “If You Bring It In, Take It Out” please.