Things to do in Ventry
The picturesque Ventry Beach area, located on The Dingle Peninsula is the perfect relaxing getaway location when you just need to unwind from daily life.
Dingle to Ventry Beach is 8km.
There is an entire list of things to do in Ventry, from hiking, exploring ancient ruins, and even adrenaline-pumping watersports, find out more below.
Visit The Stunning Ventry Beach
Of course, you absolutely must visit the stunning Ventry Beach. Known for being mostly sheltered, it is the perfect place to head to if you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil holiday or a day at the beach.
The beach, like so many in this area, has been awarded blue-flag status, which makes it one of the safest, cleanest, and most beautiful beaches in the whole of Ireland.
Due to its sheltered location, it is quite a popular beach to take children, so it is fun for all the family, and the beach even gets a healthy amount of watersport enthusiasts.
If you are thinking about bringing your children, then be rest assured that the beach has lifeguards stationed on it during the summer months (check the lifeguard times on the noticeboard at the beach).
For those looking to stay in the area, which I, of course, recommend, then please note that it is actually illegal to wild camp at Ventry Beach. It is a rule that enforcers take very seriously and there are often patrols on duty.
If you are found to be wild camping, then you will be fined €75. Although you will be happy to hear if camping near the sandy beach is what you wish to do, there is actually a campsite at the beach.
Take An Educational Boat Tour
Due to the rich and diverse wildlife that the Ventry Beach area receives, it is understandable that there are a large number of boat tours available for visitors to partake in.
From whale watching tours to bird watching expeditions and spectacular marine tours, you can truly see a whole new world whilst you are visiting County Kerry.
The Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours Company is my number one recommendation to visitors and they depart from Ventry Harbour.
Get The Adrenaline Pumping With Surfing At Dingle
While the perfect conditions to try surfing at Ventry Beach are few and far between the Dingle Peninsula is actually one of the most popular places in the whole of Ireland to travel to, if you love to surf.
Due to its reputation and immense popularity, there is an abundance of surf schools and places where you can rent or buy all of the necessary equipment you will need to try out this incredible sport in the Dingle Peninsula. I would recommend Inch Beach.
If you are looking to try a spot of surfing whilst you are in Ireland, it is good to know that the best months to visit are during the autumn. This is because of the swells in the surf being at their best during this period, and the water is not as cold as it tends to get during the winter.
In terms of safety, you may wish to go out with one of the local surfing schools if you are lacking inexperience. And, when looking into water quality and safety, Ireland actually has some of the cleanest waters in all of Europe.
Take In The Picturesque Slea Head Drive
Considered by most to be one of the most beautiful drives that you can take in the whole of Ireland. The perfect alternative to the Ring of Kerry, this 48km drive, will take you about 3 to 4 hours to complete.
There are numerous sights to see and quaint villages along this coastal drive. See my web page on the Slea Head Drive here.
Visiting The Popular Dingle Town
The popular tourist destination of Dingle Town is the perfect day trip. With cute brightly coloured houses, quirky shops, and delicious eateries, there is something for everyone. See my web page on Dingle here.
Explore The Blasket Islands
The Blasket Islands were once inhabited by people from the nearby Dingle Penisula. Alas, when the population of the six islands dropped down to 22, they evacuated to the nearby mainland.
The residents of the islands these days are made up of seals, sheep, and rabbits. The main island is now a popular place to explore with its stunning views and unique residents. And there are also a variety of incredible ruins on the island to explore as well.
There is also a cafe on the island serving refreshments. You can also book trips and guided tours to the main island.
One of the most popular options is to use the Blasket Islands Ferry, which is an eco-ferry and offers two trips a day. The first is in the morning with a departure at 10:00 am and return at 15:00 pm, or the afternoon ferry, which leaves at 12:30 pm and returns at 17:30 pm.
Both ferries depart from Ventry Pier.
Attend The Dingle Sheepdogs Demonstrations & Famine Cottages
You may be thinking that this is an odd combination in terms of visitor attractions. Alas, they both take place on the same grounds.
So, if you are looking for a truly unique experience that you will find difficult to find elsewhere, why not go and attend a sheepdog demonstration?
Here, you will watch and learn about the intricacies of sheepdog herding and also see some pretty adorable dogs.
For those looking to get a true insight into the horrifying and devastating history of the Irish Famine, then you may wish to visit the Dingle Famine Cottages.
With truly heart-wrenching stories that date all the way back to when these cottages were built in the 1800s, including a family that lost all six of their children around their birth and then had to bury them in the grounds of their house as the church did not allow unbaptized individuals to be buried in the church grounds.
Some of the equipment and resources used to build these unique pieces of history were often recycled from nearby shipwrecks.
So, why not take yourself on a self-guided tour of this raw piece of history, with the help of informative signboards that can be found throughout the place?
Visit The Breathtaking Rahinnane Castle
Dating back to the 15th century, this unique piece of Irish history was once held by the powerful Fitzgerald family.
The castle makes use of the nature earthwork from around 300-1000AD, which provides natural protective walls around the castle.
Rahinnane Castle was once a bustling hive of activity with houses, sheds, animal pens, and workshops surrounding it.
Due to the castle’s location, the parts that still remain are well-maintained and easily identifiable.
The land surrounding Rahinnane Castle, and indeed the Castle itself, are now privately owned. However, the owners allow visitors to explore the Castle for €1 per person.
Why Not Try Your Hand At Horse Riding?
Now, you may be thinking that the best activities that you can partake in when visiting the beach are either sunbathing or swimming-related.
That is where you would be wrong. A unique offering at The Dingle Peninsula and indeed at Ventry Beach is that you can go horse riding and take in the stunning coastal views from horseback.
With lessons and instructors on hand to help those that may not have the most experience when it comes to horse riding.
As well as horses that are designed and trained to take people with differing levels of experience and abilities, you will be in safe hands.
Visit The Incredible Dunquin Pier
Unlike any pier you will have ever seen or walked on in your whole entire life, the Dunquin Pier is incredibly narrow and winds around a steep hill.
One of the most popular stop-offs on the Slea Head Drive (that I mentioned above), you absolutely must stop and take in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and see if you can spy the sheep that often use this very special pathway.
Please note that the narrow pathway is for pedestrians (and sheep) only. Once a car got stuck there overnight as they tried to drive down it. They became rather popular on the internet for all the wrong reasons.
Adventure Down The Dingle Way
One of the most popular pastimes to take part in whilst visiting Ireland is, of course, one of their famous walks.
With so much beautiful countryside and outdoor attractions, it is obvious why walking and hiking is a popular activity for visitors. My personal recommendation for you to keep in mind when looking at the various walks on offer in County Kerry is The Dingle Way.
Of course, The Dingle Way walk in its entirety is quite extensive. So, I suggest that you focus on the Dingle to Dunquin segment.
The walk itself is approximately 20km in length and can take you between 5 and 7 hours to complete.
Throughout the walk, you will be able to take in many natural sights of beauty, including Esk Hill, Milltown River, Dunbeg Fort, Mount Eagle, Clogher Head, and Clogher Strand. Take in the view of the beautiful Blasket Islands from the mainland.
Explore The Tochar Maothaithe (Beehive Hut) & Cashel Murphy
For those that love to discover unique ruins with hints of an ancient past whilst you are on holiday, then you need to explore the local area and find the Tochar Maothaithe and Cashel Murphy.
They are a selection of early medieval rock formations, potential previous housing huts, and shelters that would have housed families as far back as the 15th century.
These incredible rock formations are truly beautiful and are held in protection by the National Museum of Ireland.
The Best Places To Eat Near Ventry Beach
Now that you know about all of the incredible experiences you can gain and attractions you can visit whilst in the Ventry Beach area, now you may be wondering about where you can eat and drink.
Below I have included my top two picks of the best food establishments in this beautiful area.
First, we have The Stonehouse, and if you are looking for a place to taste some of the most treasured dishes of this area, then look no further.
With delicious lunch dishes and a variety of changing dishes for dinner, you will be spoiled for choice.
At The Stonehouse, they really pride themselves on selecting the freshest ingredients that are locally sourced for their dishes, and due to this fact, many of the dishes sold are decided on the day.
Paidi O Se’s Pub
If you are looking for a traditional Irish pub, then you must head down to Paidi O Se’s pub.
Whether you are looking for a place to eat a casual meal or a place to try a traditional pint of creamy Guinness and mingle with the local community, then look no further.
The Paidi O Se’s is considered to be one of the true hubs of the community and always has a lively atmosphere.
Where To Stay Near Ventry Beach
The last section of my guide to the gorgeous Ventry Beach is dedicated to informing you of the very best places that you can stay around at this stunning location.
First, we have the Beachmount House. With breathtaking views of the sprawling County Kerry hills as the holiday home overlooks the gorgeous Ventry strand and Dingle Bay, this accommodation option is perfect for those looking for a relaxing getaway.
The house contains five separate bedrooms, so there is room for all the family, which is perfect to overlook the stunning countryside.
The Plough Ventry
Alternatively, if you are looking for a closely-knit community and potentially make friends whilst you are traveling to Ireland, then you may like to stay at The Plough Ventry.
This delightful B&B is family-run and comes highly recommended, and with en-suite bedrooms and stunning views of the coastline, I can see why.
You will be in the heart of the area, as you are only a short walk away from the stunning Ventry Beach and the local community.
That concludes my guide to the spectacular Ventry Beach. So, whether you are looking for a relaxing trip to a stunning blue-flag beach and eat some delicious food or if you wish to explore the local area and learn more about the rich history of County Kerry. There is so much on offer that will appeal to everyone.
Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.