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Ireland: Slea Head on Dingle Peninsula

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2020)

shead mapFriends who knew of our plans to spend a night in Dingle recommended we experience the spectacular scenery of Slea Head. While many visitors to the west coast of Ireland head straight for the Cliffs of Moher, in our opinion, the Slea Head Drive offers more bang for your scenery buck.

Slea Head Drive, not for the faint of heart, is reminiscent of the way to our house from Hanalei. How could the two be so similar even though half way around the world from each other? But that’s the way it seemed. We felt right at home in Ireland on this narrow, cliffside road with the tumultous sea crashing below.

imageInterspersed with hillside farms and holiday houses, Slea Head gives the impression of being easy to love, if hard to withstand. There’s nothing to stop a hurricane or the after-effects of a polar vortex from howling straight across the Atlantic to arrive at Ireland’s western doorstep in full fury.

The proprietor of our B&B in Dingle had mentioned that a huge storm two weeks previous had knocked out power and telephone for many on the Dingle peninsula. We saw evidence that at least the telephone was just now being restored on Slea Head Drive.

imageHard as life may be on Slea Head due to the elements, there is plenty of evidence that humans have occupied this area for thousands of years. Ancient rock edifices such as beehive huts, primitive boundary markers and farmsteads are dotted all over the peninsula. The storm’s fury revealed prehistoric implements previously concealed by water and sand.


Hardy residents aren’t confined to human species. We were entertained by sure-footed flocks of sheep and numerous sea birds who make their homes on craggy outcrops and steep cliff faces.

imageWe highly recommend a visit to Slea Head and the Dingle Peninsula as part of your plans to visit Ireland. Take note that this is a popular summer holiday destination. We greatly enjoyed being just about the only ones taking in the views throughout the Slea Head Drive on the January day you see in our photos.

Tips for Trip Success

Book Your Flight
Find an inexpensive flight by using Kayak, a favorite of ours because it regularly returns less expensive flight options from a variety of airlines.

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Tuesday 4th of March 2014

Hi Betsy - the storms have done great damage, yet exposed great finds ... and I find it fascinating seeing what does come to the surface for a short time, before being hidden once again ...

Also what's buried in the sand dunes ... as they get swept away ... My recent Back to Africa post mentions the Natural History Museum that's putting on Britain: One million Years of the Human Story .. which shows the connections to the Neanderthals, as well as the 800,000 year old footprints on a Norfolk archaeology site ...

Just so fascinating .. cheers Hilary

Betsy Wuebker

Tuesday 4th of March 2014

Hi Hilary - yes, the effects were amazing. This is very raw country, so beautiful.

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