The Peninsula is known for wild, rugged terrain and dramatic natural beauty and if you are mobility impaired, slow on your feet or a wheelchair user you will be able to enjoy much of the spectacular scenery of the Dingle Peninsula from the comfort of a vehicle. The Slea Head Drive and the Conor Pass Drive are both top of the list as international favourite car journeys. Both driving routes have pull in areas and viewing points where you can experience some of the most dramatic views in Ireland such as the Atlantic Ocean at the most westerly tip of Europe, glacial valleys, the Blasket Islands and vertiginous sea cliffs.
Here are some popular attractions on the Dingle Peninsula suitable for wheelchairs, wheelers and slow walkers.
The Blasket Centre on the mainland in Dún Chaoin on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula is a fascinating heritage centre and museum honouring the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until their evacuation in 1953. The island story is told using a variety of means - exhibitions, interactive displays, artefacts, audio visual presentations and artworks.There is a comfortable café, book shop, wide spaces and a great view of the island. Full wheelchair access is possible, there are special needs toilets and designated car parking. Open from March to November.
Along the harbour and marina area in Dingle Town is a lovely place to get close to the water and easy to access for buggies and wheelchairs. There are mobility impaired parking spaces in the main car park beside the fungi statue. The marina and breakwater walk is flat and level with wide open footpaths and seating at intervals. There is a lovely view from the end of the breakwater of Dingle harbour, the fishing and leisure boats and the colourful town with the Conor Pass rising up in the hills behind. If the sea air whets your appetite there are cafés and restaurants nearby. Across the road is Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium.
The Gallarus Oratory or Séipéilín Ghallarais, literally ‘the small church of the rock promontory’ is one of the most famous landmarks on the Dingle Peninsula and situated close to Gallarus Castle. The Oratory is completely made of stone and some way it resembles an upturned boat. There is parking close to the monument with a paved path to the site and a visitor centre with café and toilets for persons of limited mobility. Access to the Oratory is available all year, however please note that the Visitor Centre closes for the winter months.
Beaches can present inherent obstacles for wheelchair-users and slow walkers. A beach wheelchair has wider wheels which allow it to move easily over sand and even float in water. As part of a new service being provided by Kerry Co.Council a Hippocampe beach wheelchair is available to use at Inch beach from June to September. The use of the wheelchairs is FREE but they must be booked in advance. Chair users will need a carer/assistant with them to aid them in transfer to the chair and to push the chair, as the wheelchairs are not self-propelling.
Oceanworld Aquarium is situated on the waterfront in Dingle town and hosts Ireland's largest collection of Sharks as well as a Gentoo Penguin display. The aquarium has designated parking across the road and is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a gift shop & small coffee shop. Experience this enchanting underwater world with a Polar Penguin Display featuring Gentoo Penguins, Sandtiger Sharks, Otters, Amazonian Displays, a Touch Tank, 9m Underwater Tunnel and much more!
The following are accessible visitor attractions within an hours drive of the Dingle Peninsula
Killarney National Park
Muckross House and Gardens
Muckross Traditional Farms
Listowel Writers Interpretative Museum