Dingle is probably one of the most famous towns in County Kerry. It comprises a unique landscape made of rough giant, rocky mountains, long, sandy beaches, and lots of trails to wander around. National Geographic has called this “one of the most beautiful places on earth.” It is also a place rich in history, its timeline extending all the way to the Vikings and reaching far out, through Hollywood, to Galaxies far far away. Dingle has been part of many other Hollywood backdrops apart from Star Wars – The Last Jedi, such as the famous TV shows Vikings and Game of Thrones. They’re also famed for housing a spectacularly active specimen in their harbor, who has now become a part of the Dingle community: Fungie the Dingle Dolphin!
Who is Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
Fungie, the dolphin, is a bottlenose, male dolphin who has chosen to reside in the Dingle harbor. The famous resident has been living here since 1983 and loves the company of the boats full of visitors that ride out to see him. He also enjoys the company of swimmers, divers, and canoeists. He also holds a Guinness World Record for being the oldest solitary dolphin. It may not be glamorous, but famous and noteworthy nevertheless. He is considered one of Dingle’s most famous residents and one of the most famous dolphins in the world. He even has a bronze statue made in his honour. While there are signs of him being social with fellow marine mates, he doesn’t seem to wander off too far from the harbour.
How did a dolphin end up in Dingle
This bottlenose Dolphin seems to have been sighted by local fishermen in the harbour in 1983. He has been seen escorting the local fishing boats to and from the port, and a few months after, the Ministry of Marine has noticed him being permanently there.
He has initially been timid but curious, always trying to play in the waves of the fishing boats. This is how he has let his mischievous and playful personality shine.
Can you see Fungie from shore
No. You would have to join a special boat tour to meet Fungie the Dolphin. While he’s friendly, the tour guides know exactly how much of a distance to keep from him to keep him comfortable and respect his space
3 Best Dingle Dolphin Boat tours
Because you cannot see Fungie from shore, and you will need to take a Dingle Dolphin boat tour, I have put together a list of the 3 best Dingle Dolphin Boat tours.
Dingle Dolphin Boat Tour
Visiting Fungie, the dolphin is the top priority when you embark on these specialised boat tours, but that’s not all you’re going to get. You will be able to see Fungie in his natural habitat, the Dingle Bay. You will also be able to sit back and enjoy the views of the Dingle Harbour and Conor Pass on this hour-long boat ride. The majestic landscape that surrounds the harbour is unlike any other, with its massive rocks clambering over the seashore and the greenery spreading far and wide, you may forget that you’re actually on the lookout for dolphins. This group tour comprising around 100 people will also let you socialise while you enjoy the ride, and while the expert skippers take you to exactly where Fungie is. They have been operating this tour since 1985, shortly after Fungie came to Dingle, so they’re all on excellent terms. The area is so full of dolphins that you’re guaranteed your money back if you don’t spot a dolphin, that’s how serious they are about showing you their most precious member of the community. Kids love this tour and enjoy every minute of it.
Exhilarating Rib experience - Dingle sea safari
You will be travelling on a Rib, and you’ll explore most of the Dingle coastline and Blasket islands. You will be up close and personal with nature, and also with Fungie when he comes around, as this tour is limited to a maximum of 12 people. The captains are experienced and know what they’re doing and where they’re going, and being in the industry for so long has made them experts in the history and geology of the area, so you will be learning while admiring the surreal landscapes. You will see rugged green valleys spreading far and wide enveloped by giant rock formations. You will be provided waterproof warm jackets, waterproof pants and life jackets so you can enjoy the mesmerising cliff formations feeling safe and secure. You will be able to witness many forms of marine wildlife, from great seals, dolphins and sometimes whales and also many sea birds such as Puffins. The tour will last about 3hrs so be ready for an experience of a lifetime on these Irish waters. You can have a look at my experience in the video above. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever done!
TIP: You will NEED to book beforehand. These tours fill up pretty quickly. If you just show up there is no certainty you can join! This happened to the people before us.
Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour from Dingle
This cruise around the Dingle Bay will last about 4 hours; you’ll be able to witness the enormous rock formations and the stunning coastal scenery. You will be driving along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, voted by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful places on earth. You’ll see the wonders of nature from an entirely different point of view. You’ll go past Slea Head, the westernmost point of Europe and then cruise along to the Blasket Islands as you watch out for humpbacks whales, dolphins, seals, basking sharks and puffins. Aboard the “Blasket Princess”, you’ll have snacks and water included in your package, as well as a professional photographer guide along with your guide. There Are 20 seats available on the deck, for those who are more adventurous and craving some wind in their hair, and for those you prefer to keep their hair done, there are 20 seats available inside. For those keen on taking a closer look at the wildlife, the flying bridge caters to about eight passengers at a time. The great thing about this cruise is that it also makes stops along the way, some being: the Blasket Islands, Dunquin Pier Dunquin, Dingle Peninsula, Dunbeg Fort, Slea Head Drive, Fahan, Ventry and Slea Head Drive.