Slea Head Drive, Ireland

Slea Head Drive

The Slea Head Drive is a 46 km loop beginning and ending in Dingle. It is part of the Wild Atlantic Way and one of the most spectacular routes you will drive in Ireland. Travelers usually drive clockwise in order to avoid the large tour buses that frequent the route during the summer. Budget a full day and take your time enjoying the beautiful drive.  For those people with a bit more time, it is also very popular to bike or walk this route over multiple days. Along the way you will have breathtaking views of the coastline and offshore islands. There are numerous historic sites that charge €2-3 euros each for entrance (make sure to bring cash) and you can stop into shops, pottery studios and cafes. 


For information on travel, weather, transportation,  accommodation, currency, and more visit our page on Traveling Ireland.

Dingle

Dingle is a unique little town and a great place to kick off The Slea Head Drive. The atmosphere is very inviting and the attractions are quirky and one of a kind. Spend time exploring the local shops or go on a pub crawl through the town. A few day trips can also be taken from Dingle:

Fungie the Dolphin, Ireland Road Trip

Meet Fungie the Dolphin

Fungie is a wild Bottle-nose Dolphin living in the bay around the dingle peninsula. He has become a celebrity over the past 32 years as he interacts with the boats and people in the bay. You can take a tour to go see Fungie in his natural habitat with Dingle Dolphin Tours.

Visit the Blasket Islands

The Blasket Islands are made up of vastly unspoiled mountainous terrain stretching over 1,100 acres. The ocean around the islands are home to an abundance of wildlife including grey seals, dolphins, and a variety of whales. These islands are uninhabited by people, however you can take day trip tours out to explore with Blasket Island Ferries.

From Dingle you will drive west along the coast enjoying gorgeous views and scenic cliffs.


Fahan Beehive Huts ( Clocháin)

These rustic, rocky igloos are the first attraction you will come across. The entrance is €3 euros and its worth stopping in for a few minutes to experience. These homes were inhabited until 1200, now offering a look back in time and a beautiful view of the coastline.

Hold a Baby Lamb

At the base of the Clocháin you are able to hold and pet the baby lambs. They are adorable and if you happen to get there around meal time you can help feed them.

Dunmore Head

Perched on the western edge of the Dingle Peninsula is this striking promontory. Find parking in the village of Coumeenole, which has direct access to the headland. It is an ideal place for hiking, photos, and enjoying a  picnic. The natural trails will bring you to to the edge of Dunmore Head allowing you to peer down the cliff.

Dunmore Head, Slea Head Drive


Slea Head Beach

Also known as Coumeenole Beach; this area is described by National Geographic as “one of the most beautiful places on earth”. The nearby cliffs shelter the cove and this white sand beach. Famous for its exposed shipwreck and as a filming location for the movie Ryan’s Daughter; Coumeenole Beach does not disappoint.

The Blasket Island Centre

A heritage and culture center with stunning views of the coast and of the Blasket Islands. This museum honors the unique community of people who lived on the Islands until their evacuation in 1953. Visit the Blasket Island Centre daily from 10 am to 6 pm for a €5 euro entrance fee.


Dunquin Pier

Dunquin Peir offers seasonal ferry services to the Blasket Islands and a scenic viewpoint off the coast. The only entrance is down a narrow meandering walkway which has become a famous postcard image of Ireland. The parking is limited and the pier is not visible from the road.

Dunquin Pier, Slea Head Drive


Louis Mulcahy Pottery

Visiting this wonderful pottery shop is a must on The Slea Head Drive. The pottery is beautiful and the staff are very friendly.  If you come between the hours of 9 and 4 you can create your own pottery in the studio and they offer worldwide shipping for €10 euros. You can also choose to eat lunch at the cafe on the upper level.

The Gallarus Oratory 

Thought to be an early Christian church, this structure is built entirely of native cut stone. There is a €3 euro fee to enter this small building, which is estimated to have been built between the 6th and 9th centuries.

Brandon Creek

This inlet was the legendary starting point for the voyage of St Brendan to America in 535 A.D. It is a pretty spot to stop for a quick photo op and a leg stretch before returning to Dingle.

 

Safe Travels and we hope you enjoy The Slea Head Drive. Please don`t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to let us know your favorite stops!
Travel Guide: The Slea Head Drive