November 09, 2022

WATCH: Breathtaking Dunquin, Co Kerry - "the next parish to America"

By IrishCentral Staff

Dunquin or Dún Chaoin in the Irish language, meaning ‘Caon's fort or stronghold’, sits at the most westerly tip of the Dingle Peninsula overlooking the Blasket Islands in Co Kerry.

Often referred to as "the next parish to America", Dunquin comprises eleven townlands on the mainland and the Blasket Islands three miles offshore.  Stretching along some of the most dramatic vistas of the Slea Head drive on the Wild Atlantic Way, dry stone-built walls and old farm buildings cling precariously to the steep sloping land between the sea cliffs and Mount Eagle.

The village and its surrounding area is renowned for its scenery and surviving Gaelic culture. The spectacular views of the Blasket Islands, the rugged cliffs which make up the coastline, and the splendid sunsets are featured in many calendars, postcards, and tourist brochures each year.

A must-visit is the steep and winding concrete pathway that leads down the cliffs to Dunquin Pier. This is the mainland harbor for the Blasket Islands and tarred canvas covered canoes known locally as ‘naomhógs’ rest on their stands. These small boats, rowed by a crew of three or four men, were used to carry people, livestock, and provisions between here and the islands. 

Stop by the Blasket Centre and learn the story of the Blasket Islanders, the unique literary achievements of the island writers, and their native language, culture, and tradition. This fascinating heritage museum honors the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until their evacuation in 1953. The center which opened in 1993, has a restaurant, bookshop, workshop, and language rooms in addition to archive facilities.

For a bite to eat check out Caife na Trá, an open-air café situated on a hill overlooking Slea Head and the beautiful Blasket Islands, or Tig Áine which also serves fantastic food and boasts spectacular views.

Click here to learn more about what's there to do and see in Dunquin. With thanks to Dingle Peninsula Tourism Alliance for providing the video.