best drives you can undertake in Ireland. How far is Dingle from Dublin? Around 5 hours. Stated another way, the distance from Dublin to Dingle by car is about 350 kilometers. This road trip is a short jaunt by US standards, but still, it's great to have the excuse of a "long" drive to find places to stop and stretch your legs along the way. While we normally prefer train travel and love exploring Ireland by rail, hiring a rental car and taking a road trip affords the luxury of getting off the beaten track. Here are five of our favorite pit stops that we recommend on a self-drive Dublin to Dingle itinerary.
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #1: Steep in Science and Nature at Birr Castle
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Ireland is a fantastic country for road trips. Some of our favorite Irish road trips include:
Dublin to Dingle Road Trip Stop #2: Adare Town and Adare Manor
If you'd like to spend more time in Adare, save Birr Castle for another time and leave Dublin in the mid-morning. This way, you can time your arrival in Adare for a late lunch at Adare Manor. Pro-tip: Adare is also en route if your destination is Waterville at the far end of the Ring of Kerry drive. We stopped en route to Waterville on a different road trip. Adare Manor is a gated hotel and golf resort. Make a reservation at the Carriage House which features a glass enclosed seating area overlooking the golf course. The food is delicious. We split a superfood salad followed by a Goat's cheese and fig pizza and chicken with bacon. Make sure to save room for dessert which in our case was a scrummy tiramisu with caramel ice cream. Now that you're "in", walk the grounds of Adare Manor after lunch. We loved the well-manicured lawn, walking along the river, a tree that dates back to 1645 and ethereal sculptures in the walled gardens. So elegant! Once you've properly stretched your legs, hop in the car and continue your drive onward toward County Kerry.
Dingle to Dublin Road Trip Stop #3: A Spin through Listowel in North Kerry
SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Have you heard of the Rose of Tralee, Ireland's premier beauty competition that takes into account more than just looks? Why not take a detour from Listowel to Tralee if you have a little extra time. A visit to Tralee will only add about 30 minutes to your journey.
Dingle to Dublin Road Trip Stop #4: Relive the Era of the Flying Boat in Foynes
Dingle to Dublin Road Trip Stop #5: Soak in the Sun at Belvedere House and Gardens in Mullingar
As the sun set on our return drive from Dingle to Dublin, we were faced with stunning clear blue skies (such a rarity in Ireland!) It was perfect weather for a stroll around Belvedere House and Gardens. We stared up at the famous 'Jealous Wall' glowing in the golden hour sun. Catalyzed by a family saga that pitted brother against brother and involving accusations of adultery, the Jealous Wall was erected so that Robert Rochfort, the owner of Belvedere House wouldn't have to look at his brother George's house next door.
It is possible to amble for hours on the grounds of Belvedere House and in doing so, you'll encounter a number of follies (structures mainly built for decoration). The follies look like they've been around for hundreds of years but in reality they were built in the 20th century and were just styled to look old. Fascinating.
There you have it...five ideal places to stop and stretch your legs on a road trip between Dublin and Dingle. For more on our trip to Dingle see:
Map of Ireland: Road Trip from Dublin to Dingle with Stops Along the Way
Click on the image below to access an interactive map of the places and routes covered on the way between Dublin and Dingle.