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Discover Dingle, Ireland

Dingle, a small town located on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland, is a place rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Many of the ancient and natural sites are free or low-cost, making it a fabulous choice for the budget traveller. If you are looking for that real Irish experience filled with small towns and lively country pubs, all nestled within rolling hills and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Dingle should be on your Irish itinerary.

The area around Dingle has been inhabited since the Iron Age and is home to many historical sites and landmarks -- over 2,000! With several ring forts, monastic settlements, and ancient beehive huts, the area is an immense open-air museum of ancient history. The area also includes more modern reminders of the British occupation and the Great Famine.

Besides its history, Dingle is also known for its cultural tradition. The town hosts a thriving music scene, with its many, many pubs featuring live music nightly. Dingle hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, so be sure to check what's going on during your planning.

I was surprised to discover that Irish Gaelic is the dominant language amongst the locals. During the British occupation, the Irish language was banned and was almost lost. Regaining knowledge of the language is a major goal for Ireland and is included in the school curriculum. Dingle is the capital of the Irish-speaking region and many students come here to study or improve their skills. Most residents also speak English but visitors will hear and see much of the local language. When looking for specific sites, it's a good idea to be able to recognize the Gaelic name.