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Dunquin Pier, also known as Dun Chaoin Pier, is a picturesque location situated at the most westerly point of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. This iconic pier offers mesmerizing views of the rugged cliffs and the wild Atlantic Ocean, making it a popular stop for you.

The pier serves as a departure point for ferries to the Blasket Islands and is surrounded by stunning natural beauty that attracts photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. So if you’re looking a peace of nature to relax, Dunquin Pier will be your haven.

Here is your guide to discover this natural wonder.

Useful Info for Dunquin Pier


Dunquin Pier, also known as Cé Dhún Chaoin, is located on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland, about 16.5 km west of Ballydavid. The pier is situated on the northern end of a small, secluded bay surrounded by craggy cliffs and is easily accessible via a meandering walkway.


Parking at Dunquin Pier is available along the grassy banks near the ticket booth, as there is no designated car park directly at the pier. You are advised to park along the roadside near the pier for free.

How to reach Dunquin Pier?

To reach Dunquin Pier, you must walk down a narrow winding path as the pier cannot be seen from the roadway. The pathway has been used since the Blasket Islands were inhabited, providing an important link to the mainland for residents and for grazing sheep on the islands.

If traveling by car, you can drive along Slea Head Drive and follow signs for ferries to the Blasket Islands. There are two stops along the way, with the first offering a direct view over Dunquin Pier and perfect for photographs. From there, you can walk down to the pier, being cautious of the steep descent.

Public transport options to Dunquin are limited, with nearby Tralee being the first point of entry. From Tralee, you can take Bus Eireann to Dingle and then transfer to Bus Eireann 275A on Mondays and Thursdays to reach Dunquin.

Safety Tips

Be Weather-Aware: The weather in Ireland can be unpredictable, so check the forecast before heading out and prepare for rain or strong winds.

Watch for Rough Seas: If taking a boat trip from Dunquin Pier, be cautious of rough seas. Wear a life jacket and follow your guide’s instructions.

Mind Your Step: The area around the pier can be rocky and uneven, so walk carefully and wear appropriate footwear.

Respect Wildlife: Dunquin Pier is surrounded by diverse wildlife like seals and birds. Maintain a safe distance and respect their habitat.

Cliff Safety: When admiring the view from the cliffs above the pier, be cautious as the edges are unmarked, unfenced, and potentially dangerous. Keep a safe distance, especially when you’re with children.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Dunquin Pier stands as more than just a harbor; it is a symbol of Ireland’s past, present, and natural beauty. The pier was crucial for transporting residents between Great Blasket Island and the mainland, serving as a lifeline during various periods, including the Great Famine.

Dunquin Pier is often referred to as Ireland’s Sheep Highway due to the unique sight of sheep being herded up the pier. Today, it continues to attract visitors from around the world with its breathtaking nature, rich culture, and historical importance.

You can enjoy ferry trips to the Blasket Islands from the pier, immersing themselves in the rugged beauty and unique heritage of this region.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Dunquin Pier is from May to September when the weather is warm and the days are long, offering ideal conditions to enjoy the stunning views and attractions.

Additionally, visiting in the morning or evening provides beautiful lighting for photography and a more serene experience.

Things to Do Near Dunquin Pier

Visit Coumeenoole Beach

Coumeenoole Beach, located on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland, offers a picturesque and unspoiled coastal experience. The beach’s authentic charm and wild landscapes make it a favorite spot for surfers, walkers, and swimmers.

Whether you prefer a swim in the cold waters, a leisurely stroll along the shore, or a picnic with a breathtaking backdrop, Coumeenoole Beach offers an ideal setting for various outdoor activities.

Explore Slea Head

Slea Head, or Ceann Sléibhe in Irish, is a prominent headland located on the westernmost part of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry.

The Slea Head Drive, a scenic route that loops around the Dingle Peninsula, passes through Slea Head and offers breathtaking views of landmarks like Ventry Beach, prehistoric forts and beehive huts, and the Dingle Famine Cottage.

Some popular stops along the Slea Head Drive include Dun Chaoin Pier, Dunmore Head viewpoint, the white cross viewpoint, Coumeenoole Beach, and Gallarus Oratory.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there parking at Dunquin Pier?

Yes, there is parking available at Dunquin Pier. You can park along the grassy banks near the ticket booth as there is no designated car park directly at the pier.

What is the history of the Dunquin Pier?

Dunquin Pier was created to facilitate transportation between Great Blasket Island and the mainland, serving as a crucial link for residents during various periods, including the Great Famine. The pier’s role in Irish history, particularly its connection to emigration and trade, adds depth to its historical importance.

Can you drive down to Dunquin Pier?

No, it is not advisable to drive down to Dunquin Pier. It is recommended to park along the grassy banks near the ticket booth and walk down to the pier for a safe visit.

What is the best time to visit?

It is recommended to visit Dunquin Pier during times of good visibility to fully appreciate the magnificent sights from the pier and suggest sunset visits for a magical experience overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.


Dunquin Pier, with its rugged beauty, historical significance, and unique charm, stands as a captivating destination on the Dingle Peninsula. A place where nature’s grandeur meets Irish heritage and allure.

If you want to explore Kerry County, explore these articles on our blog: ultimate guide for Ring of Kerry, 15 things to do in Ring of Kerry, and things to do in Kerry Cliffs.

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