Southern Peninsulas

Memorable experiences on the Wild Atlantic Way

Dingle, County Kerry

In Ireland's beautiful south-west, five great peninsulas – Dingle, Iveragh, Beara, Sheep's Head and Mizen – stretch miles out into the ocean. Breathtaking views unfold at every turn here, and there's a distinctly edge-of-the-world feel to these Southern Peninsulas.

Make friends with whales and dolphins, take a cable car over a crashing ocean, or stargaze under Ireland's darkest skies. Whatever you do, you will leave the ordinary far behind.

Blaskets View
Blaskets View

Just a boat ride away from the Dingle Peninsula you’ll discover the Blasket Islands, a group of islands rich in history. Emigration and isolating seas led to their evacuation in 1953. However, reminders of the life left by the farmers and fishermen remain. With a little digging you’ll uncover a rich and celebrated literary history. The islanders published many books during the 1920s and 1930s that are considered classics today.

Skellig Michael
Skellig Michael

Jutting up out of the ocean across from the Iveragh Peninsula, the stark beauty of Skellig Michael – 6th century monastic settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site – becomes clear. Accessible only by boat, Skellig Michael and its sister island, Little Skellig, are lashed by the elements and inhabited almost solely by seabirds. It has been aptly described by playwright George Bernard Shaw as an "incredible, impossible, mad place... a part of our dream world." Maybe that's why it was chosen as a filming location for Star Wars: The Force Awakens...

Dursey Island
Dursey Island

It’s a dramatic drive along the northern edge of the Beara Peninsula to Dursey Sound. Here, you’ll find Ireland’s only cable car, sitting high above the sea. It's the only way to cross to Dursey Island. A short ride will carry you over the waves to the secluded island. There’s a lighthouse, castle ruins, a signal tower, standing stones and breathtaking sunsets. It's blissful – but please take note when using the cable car: residents of this tiny island have priority over visitors when queuing for the crossing.

Mizen Head
Mizen Head

Packed with dramatic views, climb down the steps at the very end of the Mizen Head peninsula and onto the high, arched suspension bridge – and you have arrived. You’ll find an old signalling station (now a museum) and a weather station. If you peer out to the horizon, look for signs of the imposing Fastnet Lighthouse perched at the top of the Fastnet Rock. Known as ‘The Teardrop of Ireland’, this was the last glimpse of home for many before they emigrated to foreign shores.

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