This is the most westerly town in Europe, being the chief town of the peninsula and a fabulous centre for the tourist. This town though modernised retains much of its old world charm. The new Dingle Sea Life Centre – Mara Beo Teo, displays the sealife of the peninsula and further afield. In Dingle one can visit the Dingle Celtic and Prehistoric Museum where even the stone floor is a fossil being over 300 million years old. Six rooms tell the story from our earliest forebearers to the Vikings. There are real stone axes crafted by Neanderthal Man; Ancient Silver, Jet and Amber ornaments. Celtic Torcs and Bronze Age hoards. There’s Millie, seven feet high with ten-foot tusks, the only fossil Mammoth in Ireland. The tourist will find perfect reproductions of 32,000-year-old cave paintings. Tours are in several languages.
The Scones and Bones Café has coffee, scones, and an unspoilt view of Ventry Bay. Of course Dingle would not be the same without FUNGIE the resident Dolphin living wild in the seas around Bay since 1987, and can be seen when one takes a boat trip to see him at play. One can purchase a book entitled “The Dingle Dolphin” written by Ronnie Fitzgibbon of Waterworld. The BBC has even filmed Fungie.
“Ryan’s Daughter” by David Lean was filmed here in 1969 starring Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, and Sir John Mills. Most of the massive budget for this film was spent on location in Dingle. The exposure given to Dingle’s scenery by the film was well timed to stimulate tourism. A large village was built as a set for the film, but unfortunately was demolished shortly after filming finished. In 1991, Dingle hosted another film, “Far and Away” directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The filming went on for 4 – 6 weeks during which there was a great atmosphere stretching from the town out to Slea Head where most of the filming took place. Another village [set] was built in the style of the early 1900s. This attracted a great number of visitors but as with the set for “Ryans Daughter” this was also demolished after filming.