The Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary is staffed by volunteers who look after any creatures that have been rescued and need care.It covers 22 acres of wetland habitat which is perfect for the animals including seal pups.
Many volunteers help at the sanctuary – rescuing and tending the sick and injured seal pups and various wildlife before they are returned to the wild.
The sanctuary has been open to the public since 2010 and includes an adventure playground for the children while the adults enjoy a relaxing cup of tea at the Blúiríní Blasta café.
6,000 years of changing civilisations
Archaeologists have found evidence of human societies living in the area for 6,000 years. Neolithic man, Celtic pagans and early Christians have all left their mark on the area. Some of the monuments and ruins that you can visit in the area include:
• The Oratory of Gallarus is a tiny hut which is actually an 8th century Christian church and is the best preserved in Ireland
• Gallarus Castle which was built in the 15th century and is surrounded by the ruins of several beehive huts
• There is an ogham stone, which has carvings in a language that dates back to the 4th to 9th century
• The ruins of a 12th century Romanesque church in Kilmalkedar
• The remains of a 7th century monastery including carved pillar stones and crosses are at Riasc
• At the edge of the cliffs is the promontory fort of Dingle which is from the Iron age
• 400 Beehive huts on the lower slopes of Mount Eagle.
You can take bus tours around the area to find out more about its history and mythology.
The Blasket Islands – Europe’s most western point
The Blasket islands are off the coast. They have been uninhabited since the 1950s but you can take a boat trip and see the ruins.
The largest of the islands is known as the Great Blasket Island. It is 4 miles long and is 900 feet above sea level. At just over a mile away from the mainland, the islands are the most western point in Europe.
Other things to do in the Dingle Peninsula
In the summer there are concerts every week at St James’ Church. There are also several pubs that feature live traditional music from local musicians.
There is a big traditional music scene in the Dingle Peninsula. It is popular with tourists and this has had the snowball effect of attracting more musicians to settle here, which in turn continues to attract more traditional music fans.
There are beaches which are suitable for swimming, but also have some of the best surfing conditions in Ireland.