The Dingle Peninsula is an historic and beautiful part of Ireland. It has been described in the National Geographic magazine as the ‘most beautiful place on Earth’
There are many aspects of the area that make it such a popular destination for tourists; the striking views of the mountains and lakes, the fascinating archaeological sites that reveal 6,000 years of history including early Christian monuments and iron age fortifications, and the various ocean and wildlife.
The Dingle Peninsula is in County Kerry and is the furthest north of five peninsulas in the southwest of Ireland. It is also known as ‘Corca Dhuibhne’, which translates as ‘seed or tribe of Duibhne’.
The peninsula ends at the village of Dingle, which is situated at the foot of mount Ballysitteragh.
Dunmore Head stretches nearly 50km into the Atlantic Ocean, making it the most western point of Ireland. The village of Dún Chaoin has been nicknamed the ‘next parish to America’.
The Dingle Peninsula is a beautiful area with many striking views of mountains, lakes, wildlife and archaeological remains. It has been an inspiration for artist for generation after generation.
The Slieve Mish Mountains are made of sandstone rock and they helped to create the peninsula. They contain Brandon peak which is 3,127 feet tall making it the second highest mountain in Ireland. There are spectacular views of the peninsular from the top of Brandon Peak.
Some of today’s artists have viewing workshops where you can see the artists in action creating their work in front of your eyes.
There are also examples of Dublin artist, Harry Clarke’s stained glass windows. This attracts tourists and other artists who want to draw or paint the windows.
The striking scenery around the area has been used by Hollywood directors. Ron Howard came here to film parts of ‘Far and Away’ starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. In 1970, David Lean filmed Ryan’s daughter in various locations in the peninsula.
One of the features of the Dingles Peninsula is the mixture of sea life. There are a number of creatures that have arrived here from more tropical climates and have adapted to the area perfectly thanks to the warmth that comes from the Gulf Stream.
If you are interested in sea life and would like to get up close to land and sea animals, you could visit the Seal sanctuary or the Ocean World Aquarium. There are also boat trips to see dolphins.
The Ocean world aquarium is a fascinating place for anybody who is interested in fish and sea life. It contains sharks, piranhas and many species of tropical fish.
There is an underwater tunnel tank where you can see turtles, eels, seahorses and clownfish swimming above you as you stand 30 feet underwater.
There is a touch tank where you can stroke creatures such as starfish, crabs and rays.