The Wild Atlantic Way Part VI: Dingle Peninsula
STS ROAD TRIP DAY V
Another brand new day as we began with a nice breakfast, some chat about the schedule and a coffee before we got underway. The only difference was that we were doing the driving today as we had started phase two of our journey, the self-drive. Driving in Ireland can seem challenging sometimes, but someone once gave me great advice, keep you right shoulder on the center line and always yield to the right. It seemed to make sense at the time and I have employed that advice since, so far, so good.
Today, were heading to one of our favorite places to explore, The Dingle Peninsula. We have reservations for an excursion into the mountains and down to the beach on horseback and we were looking forward to it.
We left Killarney and headed west. I like to leave some extra time while traveling, especially in the Irish countryside as you never know when something interesting might pop up. We made our way nice and easy and enjoyed the scenery along the way. When we arrived in Inch, we decided to take a little break, get some fresh air and enjoy the beach for a little bit. Inch beach is incredible. It’s nice and sandy and known for its surf. It’s a perfect place to take a break or to enjoy for the day as it’s only about an hour from Killarney.
We then moved on to Dingle which was a little over 20 minutes away. My colleagues at STS had arranged a great day for us. We arrived at Long’s Horse Riding and were fitted with gear before we saddled up to head out on the trail. The trip was to take us along a trail and up into the hills before heading back down to walk along the beach at Ventry harbor. The staff was really friendly and the horses were beautiful. The trail was an easy one and not challenging at all for first time riders. The view along the way were gorgeous and the vantage point from atop the horse was great. Another unique outdoor experience for us to enjoy, and we did. The horses know the route so all you need to do is give them a little attention and sit back and enjoy the scenery. Our guide, Christine was very knowledgeable, she pointed out many different features in the landscape along the way, including ring forts and castle ruins on the ridge line. It was an interesting way to explore the countryside and I would highly recommend it to people looking for something a bit different to add to the list. Our experience lasted 2 hours but we did two trails, so you can budget time accordingly by knowing that each trail is about 1 hour long.
We brought the horses back the barn and our guide was able to give us some recommendations for lunch in town. I love getting recommendations from people in the area as the can have some great insight as to where to go and where to steer clear of. Today we were looking for seafood and Christine pointed us in the right direction.
We went off into town for lunch and enjoyed some of the freshest seafood around. You could see the fishing boats coming in with their hauls from wear we were sitting. A great way to enjoy the afternoon, some local fare and local beer while sitting in the sun and enjoying every minute. Such a great day. We decided to relax here for a bit and stay put in Dingle for the night. This one of the nice aspects of the self-drive portion of our trip. We left out accommodations open because we wanted to explore and weren’t entirely certain of where we wanted to stay. After two hours on horseback and a beautiful day in Dingle, we decided to stay put. It was not to be able to have that option, although I would say that our circumstance was not the usual one as we were travelling at the end of September during a pandemic so there were availabilities in many of the places we were. This would not normally be the case so I would recommend making reservations in advance, especially in tows like Dingle that see a lot of traffic during the high season.
Another great thing about working with STS is that when you design your trip with them, they can recommend any style of accommodation you are seeking. For example, we wanted to find a bed and breakfast in the area and they were able to make recommendations of places that they have worked with in the past, leaving guess work out of the equation. You can be confident that the places you will be staying are quality, no matter what style of accommodation, from Guest Houses and B&B to 5 Star and Castle Stays, they have built trusted relationships over the years, so you know you will be arriving to a quality place. Tonight, it was Murphy’s B&B, right in town and with a beautiful view of the harbour to wake to. A perfect end to the day and way to start your morning.
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