Donegal to Dingle: The Ultimate Irish Road Trip

If you’re looking for an adventure that takes you through the stunning landscapes of Ireland, a road trip from Donegal to Dingle is a must. The journey covers over 300 miles and takes you through some of Ireland’s most picturesque locations.

In this article, we’ll explore the best ways to travel from Donegal to Dingle, the places you can visit along the way, and some tips to make your trip unforgettable.

The Route and Driving Time

The quickest way to travel from Donegal to Dingle is via car or bus, with a driving time of approximately 6 hours. If you prefer to travel via train, the journey can take around 10 hours, with a changeover in Dublin. The distance between the two locations is just over 200 miles.

Is Dingle worth visiting?

Yes, Dingle is definitely worth visiting! This charming town on the west coast of Ireland offers a unique and authentic experience that is not to be missed.

Dingle is located on the Dingle Peninsula, which boasts stunning natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. From the picturesque harbor to the colorful houses and narrow streets, the town is full of character and charm.

In addition to its beauty, Dingle is also known for its rich history and culture. The town is home to several historic sites and landmarks, including the ancient Gallarus Oratory, a well-preserved early Christian church.

Visitors can also learn about the local culture and traditions at the Dingle Distillery or by attending one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and welcoming locals, Dingle is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Ireland.

Must-See Sights and Restaurants in Co. Donegal & Dingle

Co. Donegal:

  1. Slieve League Cliffs: One of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, Slieve League offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can take a guided tour or hike the trail to the top for panoramic views.
  2. Glenveagh National Park: Home to some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery, Glenveagh National Park offers walking trails, lakes, and gardens to explore. Visitors can also tour the historic Glenveagh Castle and learn about the park’s rich history.
  3. Donegal Castle: A 15th-century castle located in the heart of Donegal town, this historic site offers guided tours and a chance to learn about the region’s fascinating history.
  4. Nancy’s Barn: A popular restaurant in Ballyliffin, Nancy’s Barn serves up delicious seafood and local specialties like Donegal Bay oysters and Irish lamb.
  5. Harry’s Restaurant: Located in Bridgend, Harry’s Restaurant offers contemporary Irish cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients.


  1. Slea Head Drive: A scenic drive around the Dingle Peninsula, Slea Head Drive offers stunning views of the coastline, mountains, and islands. Along the way, visitors can stop at historic sites like the Gallarus Oratory and the Famine Cottages.
  2. Dingle Distillery: A local distillery that produces gin and whiskey using traditional methods, the Dingle Distillery offers tours and tastings for visitors.
  3. Inch Beach: A beautiful stretch of sand on the Dingle Peninsula, Inch Beach is popular with surfers and swimmers alike. Visitors can also take a horseback ride along the shore or hike the nearby trails.
  4. Chart House: A fine dining restaurant in Dingle town, Chart House offers a menu of creative and contemporary Irish cuisine made with local ingredients.
  5. Murphy’s Ice Cream: A beloved local ice cream shop, Murphy’s offers a variety of flavors made with natural ingredients like Dingle sea salt and Irish whiskey.

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Cheapest and Quickest Way to Travel

The cheapest way to travel from Donegal to Dingle is via bus, with tickets starting at €20. If you prefer a quicker option, a rental car is the way to go, allowing you to explore the route at your own pace.

Train and Bus Stations

The train station stop closest to Donegal town centre is Sligo, while the nearest station to Dingle is Tralee. There are also numerous bus stations along the route, making it easy to plan your journey.

Driving Directions

To reach Dingle from Donegal, take the N56 towards Glenties and continue onto Letterkenny. From there, take the N15 towards Sligo, and then onto the N4 towards Dublin. Finally, take the N7 and M7 towards Limerick and onto the N21 to reach Dingle.

Tips for Your Trip

Make sure to plan for stops along the way to take in the scenery and make the most of your trip. If you’re traveling in the summer months, be sure to book your accommodation in advance, as places tend to fill up quickly. For more ideas and inspiration, check out Rick Steves’ Travel Guide to Ireland.


In conclusion, a road trip from Donegal to Dingle is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Ireland. Whether you’re traveling via car, bus, or train, there are plenty of sights and sounds to take in along the way. So, pack your bags and hit the road for an adventure you’ll never forget!

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