The weather was a bit gloomy on the day before Easter, April 16, 2022, when we arrived in Fenit. The sun occasionally broke through, but overall, the rain dominated. You could say it was typical Irish weather :-). We parked in a lot where it quickly became evident that we could spend the night perfectly, with all the necessary facilities at hand. I took some more photos before I started cooking, and then straight to bed. Early in the morning, we heard many cars pulling into the parking lot, which mildly surprised us on an Easter Sunday, especially given the ongoing rainy weather. Curious as I am, I couldn’t help but inquire about what was happening.
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Turns out, during the Covid-19 pandemic, many things were prohibited, but people started spontaneously going swimming in the sea every Sunday morning, both young and old. It was only April, and the temperature was at most 12°C. I find it challenging to do that myself unless I’m compelled to, but I admire it. I don’t know if people still swim in the sea so often these days, but at that time, it was definitely a trend. People parked their cars, and changed into their swimwear, and the most striking thing was that they placed an overturned bucket on the beach and put their dry towel underneath. Cleverly thought out!
Capturing the Enchanting site Fenit Beach & Little Samphire Island
A nerdy deep dive into Fenit Beach & Little Samphire Island
Fenit is a small sheltered sandy beach overlooking Tralee Bay in the south, with excellent views of the mountainous Dingle Peninsula across the way. Thanks to its sheltered location and calm waters, the beach is very popular for swimming, with a lifeguard present daily from early June to the end of August.
To the east of the beach, a causeway leads to the harbor, which plays a significant role in the local economy. This coastal area has some interesting history. In 1583, the ship Nuestra Señora del Socorro of the Spanish Armada surrendered here – all 24 men were hanged.
In 1922, Fenit was the scene of a major landing by Free State soldiers during the Irish Civil War as part of an offensive to take Kerry.
What’s possible here?
Apart from swimming in the calm waters, sailing and kayaking are also popular here, and the beach has been awarded ‘Blue Flag’ status*.
Above the beach is a large parking lot with public toilets, picnic tables, and a playground for children. Across the road, there is a cafe, and further facilities such as a bar, and a shop can be found at a short distance in the center of Fenit.
Dogs must be kept on a leash, and dog waste should be cleaned up. Once again, many people believe that their dog listens perfectly and doesn’t need to be leashed, and I believe them. If everyone doesn’t follow all the rules, we will end up living in a very unpleasant world! (And it’s not always about protecting wildlife; you know, some people can’t help but get extremely scared when they see an unleashed dog, no matter how small it is, and they have just as much right to be there.)
(*)’Blue Flag’ Status
The Blue Flag Beach designation is widely recognized as the highest accolade for beaches and is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education. It takes into account various criteria, including water quality, environmental education, and safety facilities, and is particularly suitable for resort beaches with many amenities, although it does not necessarily mean they are better than other beaches. you can read more on the Blue Flag criteria on their website: https://www.blueflag.global/criteria/
or find out more over ‘Blue Flag’ and there projects
Little Samphire Island, home to the Fenit Lighthouse
Just off the coast is the small island ‘Little Samphire Island,’ which is home to the Fenit Lighthouse, the village of Fenit’s landmark. Tours of the lighthouse are possible, but the booking process may be somewhat unusual, so please read the following instructions carefully. To book a lighthouse tour, you need to contact the Fenit Harbour Office directly, which will assist you in coordinating a specific tour as part of a group. The phone number is +353(0)667136231.
The tours are managed by the Kerry County Council through their Harbour Office, and the boat that takes you to the lighthouse is The Kerry Colleen from Tralee Bay Experience. If you have trouble reaching the Harbour Office, you can try calling Tralee Bay Experience, which may have more information about scheduled tours.
Please note that due to the landing location at the lighthouse, these tours are weather-dependent, so always call ahead before making your tour plans.
This information may be outdated at the time of reading, so be sure to check the website for updates you will find here several epic boat tours: https://www.traleebayexperience.com
Is it Suitable For Camper Access?
Yes! The road to the beach is easily accessible, but please park behind the playground. Wild camping is officially prohibited in Ireland. By parking responsibly behind the playground, you won’t be too far from the beach. True, you won’t have a direct view of the beach, but this way, people won’t complain or react with envy. Those who have difficulty walking can park closer this way. You’ll make a good impression, and if everyone does the same, they can continue wild camping for years to come. (Whether this is possible during the high season or if they enforce stricter rules then, I do not know.)
If you’re already there, don’t limit yourself to just Fenit Beach. You can easily continue on to the ‘Fenit diving board’ or walk to Kelly’s Beach on the other side of the bridge connecting to Samphire Island.
If you want to quench your thirst for more information about Fenit or simply can’t get enough, then visit this site: https://www.fenitwithout.ie/
Please kindly attribute any information taken from this website