Ireland By Foot
Getting There: The trailhead to the Dingle Way begins in the busy town of Tralee, about 190 miles from Dublin. It can be reached by bus, rail, or car, if you don't mind paying a hefty rental fee. Tralee also can be reached by bus and rail from Shannon or Cork.
We embraced Ireland's easy access to public transportation and took the train to Tralee (Iarnrod Eireann, or "Irish Rail", Connolly Station, Dublin 1; telephone 01-703-2358). There is plenty of space for storing your gear on the train, and it tends not to be too overcrowded.
Hiking The Trail: If you plan to hike the entire 95 miles of the trail and want to stay in towns each night, it is best to split the hike into eight days, with hikes ranging from 10.5 miles to 15 miles.
If you opt to skip a section of trail, bus service runs regularly and can get you to your desired destination. Call Bus Eireann (Travel Centre, Store Street, Dublin 1; telephone 01-836-6111).
Lodging: We traveled in May, just before the onset of tourism season in County Kerry, so lodging was not a problem. We just called a day in advance to let the proprietors know we were coming. If you're traveling in peak season, call far in advance. The towns are small and the lodgings few.
Essential Reading: The Way-Marked Trails of Ireland, by Michael Fewer, is a must-have when embarking on this hike and includes descriptions of each section of trail.
Key Contacts: To get more information on bed-and-breakfasts and hostels along the Dingle Way, contact either the Irish Tourist Board (Baggot Street Bridge, Dublin 2; telephone 01-602-4000) or the Irish Youth Hostel Association (61 Mountjoy Street, Dublin 1; telephone 01-830-4555).
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication