The rugged and remote beauty of the Dingle Peninsula makes it my favorite spot in all of Ireland. The rolling green hills, the wild Atlantic, the islands, the colorful villages and harbor towns. On my first trip to Dingle, my family and I had rented a car to explore. But on my second trip, it was just me and my backpack, longing to find a way to get out of town and explore the surrounding natural beauty. As the best early birthday gift, my parents sent me over to Dingle Horseriding, a lovely stable that offers a variety of treks and riding holidays around the peninsula for any ability.
I opted for a two-hour trek along the Shamrock Trail, the option best suited for riders of any experience (or, you know, no experience, like myself)! The trek costs €75 per person and leaves daily at 10:00 AM, 12:15 PM, and 2:30 PM by appointment. There is also a Gaeltacht River and Beach half-day trail, or the Wild Atlantic and Great Blasket Island full-day trek for more advanced riders. If you’re looking to extend the adventure, Dingle Horseriding offers three day to full week treks around Dingle.
Trekking the Shamrock Trail
Their stables are located just to the north of Dingle town, accessible by either a short drive or scenic walk. I chose the later, and was rewarded with stunning views of emerald hills dotted in heather and violet fairy thimbles – just a taste of what I would discover on the trail.
The Shamrock Trail leads up the mountain that overlooks the town of Dingle to the north behind the stables. At first, the trek featured a lush and rugged landscape. We passed rogue sheep grazing in the hills as we climbed the steep mountain. At the peak, the view opens up to reveal the whole peninsula and the ocean beyond the coast. The trail continues over the mountain’s peaks. To the West, Mount Eagle, Ceann Sibeal, and the great Blasket Islands can be seen. To the South, the harbor town of Dingle comes into view, and beyond that the Iveragh Peninsula and Ring of Kerry. And as we rode north, we could see Mount Brandon, the highest peak on the peninsula. Despite very limited riding experience in my group, our leader lead us in a trot every once in a while, and there’s nothing more freeing than the breeze of the Atlantic whipping through your hair as you rush through the hills of Ireland.
So if you are heading to Dingle, consider exploring the scenery in a new way. But enough talking! I’ll let the photos of my experience speak for themselves. Disclaimer: even they don’t do the experience justice.
Do you prefer to explore by horseback or by car? If you’re heading to Dingle, check out my post on exploring Dingle Peninsula’s Slea Head Drive here!