There is more to Cork than simply Cork City. If staying in the city we recommend the following day trips, including days trips to the stunning islands, which will give you a flavour of Co. Cork.
Blarney Castle & Gardens
This medieval Castle near the River Martin was built six hundred years ago by a famous chieftan, Cormac MacCarthy. Situated 8km from Cork City and 16km from Cork Airport, this historic castle is most famous for its stone. The Castle in now partially in ruins, you still have the opportunity to kiss the legendary Stone of Eloquence in order to receive the infamous "gift of the gab". The stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards. Continue your day walking in the Gardens to fully appreciate Bog, Poison and Irish gardens.
A classic example of a 17th century star-shaped fort, it is one of the largest and best preserved forts in the country. Charles Fort has been associated with some of th most momentous events in Irish history including the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Irish Civil War 1922-23. Visitors are advised to wear footwear suitable for uneven terrain.
The Queenstown Story
Discover Cobh's unique orirgins, its history and legacies, the story of Annie Moore the first emigrant processed at Ellis Island, and Cobh's special connections with the ill-fated Titanic all dramatically recalled at the Queenstown Story.
St. Colman's Cathedral
Titanic Experience Cobh
Retrace the footsteps of the 123 Queenstown passengers who boarded the Titanic from Cobh. Check-in at the White Star Line Ticket office, experience life on board and discover the facts surrounding the tragic sinking of Titanic
Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park is set on the scenic Fota Island in the heart of Cork Harbour, where you can come face to face with free roaming animals & birds from all parts of the world.
Islands off Co. Cork
Bere Island is rich in natural and cultural heritage and has a range of visitor sites to enjoy from archaeological sites of the Bronze Age to Nineteenth and Twentieth Century military installation. Situated at the entrance of the deepest harbour in Europe, the island offers breathtaking scenery, organised activities and great hospitality. The Bere Island Heritage Exhibition hosts a wealth of information on the story and history of Bere Island. Berehaven Harbour and Lawrence Cove are very safe and sheltered harbours for large and small boats and the marina has full facilities for visiting sailors. Ultimately Bere is a charming island away from the hustle and bustle of modern life
Oileán Chléire – Cape Clear Island
The Gaeltacht Island is Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island and is a paradise of solitude and inspiration. Its wild romantic scenery, sparkling harbours, cliffs, bogs and scenic pebble beaches all contribute to the island’s unspoilt charm. Heather, gorse and wild flowers cover the rugged hills between dry stone walls. Megalithic standing stones, a 5000 year old passage grave, a 12th century church ruin and a 14th century castle are testament to the island’s rich cultural heritage. You’ll be steeped in wildlife on the island: rare migratory birds, whale, leather-back turtles, sun fish and shark are spotted every year, as well as regular visitors, the dolphins. Its hilly landscape featuring magnificent high cliffs and lonely sheltered coves are a delight to explore on foot or from the bow of a sailing boat. Oileán Chléire offers relaxation, nature and peace, a friendly bilingual community removed from the hustle and bustle of the mainland life.
Dursey Island is the most westerly of the West Cork’s inhabited islands; Dursey lies across a narrow sound and is a great getaway from the fray of modern living. This rugged island is accessed via Ireland’s only cable-car, which runs about 250m above the sea and takes six people at a time. The island is part of the Beara Way walking trail and having no shops, pubs or restaurants offers the day visitor a unique experience of calm with spectacular views of the Beara peninsula. It is also a bird watcher’s paradise with rare birds from Siberia and America being spotted there. Monks from Skellig Rock are said to have founded the ancient church of Kilmichael on Dursey, now a ruin
Garinish Island or Ilnacullin is a tiny island with a big reputation. Stashed away in Glengarriff harbour, known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island of garden and rare beauty. The gardens of Ilnacullin owe their existence to the creative partnership, over one hundred years ago, of Annan Bryce, then owner of the island an Harold Peto, architect and garden designer. Garinish Island is open form March to October and there is an island admission charge separate to that charged by ferry boats.
Sherkin Island, one of the Carbery’s Hundred Isles, in Roaringwater Bay, is the ancestral home of the O’Driscoll clan whose castle lies just above their pier. Nearby you can also see the ruins of a 15th century Fransiscan abby. Sherkin buzzes with activity during the summer months and locals are renowned for their warmth and hospitality. Come to hear great live traditional music or enjoy the activities of the Sherkin Family Regatta, a big splash in the island’s social calendar. Sherkin’s three sandy beaches make great secluded swimming areas and walking along the shore you may see seals, otters, schools of dolphins or the porpoises which gave the island its name.