An Overview of the Dingle Way

Distance: 179km | Ascent: 2,300m | Time: 8+ Days

The Dingle Way is traditionally walked in a clockwise direction, starting out from Tralee and then branching south at Camp Village. The trail passes through the town of Dingle before making the journey around Slea Head and then looping back across the north of the Dingle Peninsula. This approach allows ones legs to get accustomed to continuous stretches of walking before tackling the more strenuous stage of the traverse of the shoulder of Mount Brandon. The other advantage to travelling this direction is the chance to socialise with other hikers on the route.

Most of the Dingle Way crosses low-lying land and looks up at mountains rather than down from them. The exception to this is the traverse of Masatiompan which sees the trail ascend to a height of 660 metres above sea-level. There is a wide variety of terrain that is covered by the Dingle Way. Small roads, known locally in Ireland as 'boreens', make up a large part of the trail and help provide a quick walking pace. Traffic along these roads is minimal and long sections can be walked without ever meeting a car. Beaches also make up a significant part of the Dingle Way, some of which provide an opportunity to take some weight off one's weary feet by taking a swim. The remainder of the walk goes through open farmland and mountainous moorland.

Anyone setting out to walk a long-distance trail such as the Dingle Way is embarking on a serious test of physical endurance. Our Advice Pages contains some useful safety tips and pointers and we strongly recommend that everyone considering embarking on this walk should take a while to read them and incorporate them in their pre-hike planning.

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