If you missed Part I of my trip to Ireland, you can catch up here.
The next morning, after waking up in our bed & breakfast in Killarney, we packed up our belongings and were quickly on our way. We had a lot of ground to cover since we were attempting to drive around the Ring of Kerry and make it to Dingle by early afternoon.
Departing at around 8AM, we were set on beating the tour buses that we had seen parked throughout Killarney. Along the way, we drove through the Killarney National Park, stopping at the Torq Waterfall. From there, we traveled past the Kenmare Bay, stopping in several of the tiny villages along the way.
Of course, I insisted on pulling over every .2 seconds to grab photos of animals & landscapes we came across. And if you think you’ve ever seen green, just wait until you experience this drive. We passed miles and miles of green rolling hills, old castle ruins, farms, and stunning beaches in the various coves that were on our route.
In this moment, I was so glad that we rented a car, as we could explore the area at our own pace.
As we continued along our way, we had read that there were castle ruins all along the route – one of them being XX castle. I highly recommend pulling over to explore a few and trying to picture what they looked like hundreds of years ago.
Of course, at XX, there was a man at the entrance with cutest baby lamb, aptly named MARY! I asked for a quick photo and yes, I wanted to steal this little fluff ball to bring her back to Boston.
After the photo opp & castle exploring, we continued on our way, with plans to finally get to Dingle, a small port town on the Dingle Peninsula. I’d been told by just about everyone that we needed to go here… so, on our itinerary it went!
About an hour later, we pulled up to our cute hotel, the Dingle Benner’s. Situated right in the heart of Dingle, we were so glad that we’d be able to just park, drop off our bags after checking in, and walk right out the door to begin checking out the town. Plus – the history nerd in me was freaking out that we were staying in Dingle’s oldest hotel, its heritage dating back 250 years.
The next few hours were spent hopping in and out of shops, a quick beer at one of the local pubs, a photo of the Dingle Dolphin Shop (obvi), sea salt ice cream at my favorite Murphy’s (tried it originally at their Dublin shop)… and then the rain hit.
I feel like you can’t experience Ireland without rain, so we quickly walked back to the Dingle Benner’s, grabbed our rain coats & car, and started to drive out to the end of the Dingle Peninsula, hoping the weather would clear up.
I will say, the perk of it raining was that we basically had the peninsula all to ourselves. And, I had my heart set on finding this one spot that looked like it could come straight out of Game of Thrones.
I can’t even explain in words how beautiful this area was. And, to be the only two people there, overlooking the windy pathway to the ferry launch… it felt so nice to go somewhere that didn’t have droves of people around. The only sound around us was of the rain, wind and water crashing. And if it wasn’t raining & a bit cold, I could have stayed there all day.
Eventually, we made our back into the town, grabbed dinner at Doyle’s Seafood (so yum!) and ended the day with a nightcap at Mrs. Benner’s Bar, located right in our hotel.
The next morning, after a quick & delicious breakfast, we were on our way to hop the ferry to the Cliffs of Moher… which I’ll share in my Ireland Travel Guide (Part III).