Dingle & Slea Head
Tour times: 10.30 – 17.00
The Dingle Peninsula has the most rugged Atlantic coastline in Kerry and is scattered with forts and pre-historic huts such as the Gallarus Oratory. Much of Irish heritage is maintained in this Irish (Gaelic) speaking region including traditional music and art forms. Considered by many to have some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery, the peninsula also supports both a rare and unique assortment of flora and fauna.
Slea Head is the most westerly point in Europe and standing there, looking towards America, instills a feeling of excitement and empathy with the millions of emigrants who took this route.
There are splendid views around Slea Head, especially of the Blasket Islands and the scattered rocks. All part of an exploded volcanic area. In the storms of September 1588 four ships of the Spanish Armada were driven through the Basket Sound. One, by dint of great seamanship, got into shelter, followed by a second. But a third came flying through the Sound with its sails in tatters and crashed onto the two other ships, which eventually got to Spain.
The Great Blasket island, evacuated in the 1950′s, produced a number of books in Irish – a best-seller, translated as 20 Years A Growing by Maurice O’ Sullivan, and a masterpiece, The Island man by Thomas O ‘ Crohan. In this century some 60 books, mostly in Irish, have been written in the immediate area.
This is also the countryside in which the David Lean film, Ryan’s Daughter, was mainly made. The film Far and Away was also made here.