The Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Best for glorious scenery and lively pubs
The Dingle Peninsula was breathtakingly beautiful, in a quiet way, even before film director David Lean decided to build a little faux village there and film the 1970 blockbuster movie "Ryan’s Daughter," starring Robert Mitchum and Sara Miles. Today, a drive around the peninsula will take you through pretty woodland to the village of Ventry, home to two wide curved beaches, a pub, and a post office. The Iron Age fort at nearby Dunbeg boasts sturdy 22-foot-thick-wall beehive stone construction dating back to 500 B.C. Stop at Slea Head, where you can see all the way to South Kerry and the Blasket Islands (the last of the Irish-speaking inhabitants of the Blaskets were evacuated in 1955, after most had moved to Springfield, Mass.). Visit the islands by catching the ferry at Dύnquin (whenever it happens to be going; no set schedule). Much of Ryan’s Daughter was filmed in Dύnquin. Head inland, to explore Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest peak. Go barefoot to explore the vast Sand Dunes of Inch. Reward yourself afterwards with a pint at the pub, where the folks next to you may be speaking Gaelic.