Slea Head Drive is one of Ireland's best coastal routes
Slea Head Drive is a very scenic loop route, beginning and ending in Dingle, Ireland. It showcases a large number of attractions and stunning views on the western end of the peninsula. It's one of the best coastal drives in the world.
Where is Slea Head Drive?
The road is located at the westernmost part of the Dingle Peninsula, in southwest County Kerry, in the southern part of the country. It’s clearly labeled by road signs throughout its length. However, there are sections where you’ll need to detour off the main route, which can be easily missed.
How long is Slea Head Drive?
The circular road (R559) is 47 km (30 miles) long, starting and ending in the unique little town of Dingle. It’s totally paved in good condition. However, you have to be careful because some parts are full of holes. Travelers usually go clockwise to avoid the large tour buses that frequent the route during the summer.
Is Slea Head Drive challenging?
Tucked away on Ireland’s westernmost edge, the drive is very curvy and twisty, so caution is required. It is narrow, winding, precarious, and undoubtedly a little frightening in places. There are many spots where the road is directly beside a cliff drop-off into the ocean. However, the road uncovers amazing views over the Atlantic, the nearby Blasket Islands, and the rugged coast covered with lush greenery. Slea Head Drive (Slí Cheann Sléibhe) is suitable for motorists but is also enjoyed by cyclists: it is possible to hire a bike at various locations in Dingle.
Is Slea Head Drive worth it?
This is a rugged desolate country with wonderful coves, beaches, and even a fascinating religious shrine. Just offshore are enigmatic silhouettes of the Blasket Islands, the islands where time stood still. Slea Head is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss the Blasket Islands and Dunquin if you are traveling north and Ventry and Dingle if you are traveling south. Once described by the National Geographic Traveler as “the most beautiful place on earth,” the Dingle Peninsula is a place of intense allure, with a plethora of green landscapes, rocky hills, long sandy beaches, and staggering cliff edges. It’s one of Ireland’s favorite and most photographed attractions. It’s highly recommended to explore Slea Head Drive early in the morning or in the late afternoon/evening. Weekdays are usually much quieter on the route.
How long does the Dingle loop take?
The drive, part of the Wild Atlantic Way, is very scenic and features stunning views. Expect the drive to take three or more hours, depending on how many places you stop to visit along the way.
Where was Star Wars “The Last Jedi” filmed?
Even Hollywood couldn't resist the magic of Slea Head, and so the area became the setting for films like “Ryan's Daughter,” “Far and Away,” and Star Wars “The Last Jedi.”