Dursey Island

It’s a dramatic drive along the north edge of County Cork’s remote Beara Peninsula, with views north and west across the mussel rafts and seal colonies of Kenmare Bay.

The land ends at the Dursey Sound, where you’ll find Ireland’s only cable car sitting high above the sea: the only way to cross to Dursey Island.

A short 10 minute ride will carry you over the waves, and if you like peace and quiet you’ll love Dursey Island, which is free of shops, pubs, and restaurants. In fact it only has 6 or so permanent wintertime residents, including 3 families who live and farm on this tiny island.

There’s a lighthouse, castle ruins, a signal tower, standing stones and the most breath-taking sunsets, locally known as ‘Europe’s last’. But please take note when using the cable car: residents of this small corner of the world have priority over visitors when queuing for the crossing.

 

The wild side

The Seven Heads Walk starts from Timoleague Village, continues through Courtmacsherry, winds around rugged cliffs and shoreline to Dunworley and carries on through Barryscove and Ardgehane to Aghafore and Barry’s Hall, then back to Timoleague. The walk takes in a broad variety of terrain over its entire distance of 26 miles around the peninsula, although there are several shorter routes too.

“Where else would you want to be.”
Green fingers

Learn all about the abundant flora of West Cork, one of the world’s favorite garden spots. Enjoy a few hours with Aroma Botanist Eliane Zimmermann in the gardens of Garnish Island or the old demesnes of Bantry Bay. A ‘must see’ for any garden enthusiast.

Under the hills

Learn about the story of copper mining in Allihies in County Cork during the 19th and 20th centuries. There is a section devoted to the Allihies miners who left Ireland to work in the US mines of Butte, Montana. In fact, many of today’s Butte residents bear the same surnames as Allihies families. Daphne du Maurier based her book ‘Hungry Hill’ on the Puxley family, who owned the Allihies mines in the 19th century, and the story of the real people is no less fascinating.

A treat for your tastebuds

A one-day bread course at Firehouse Bakery and Bread School on Heir Island, County Cork, will have you creating your very own bag of delicious breads in no time. You’ll learn about traditional Irish baking techniques, how to create a windowpane effect, and how to ‘knock back’. Whatever your level of baking experience you’ll be made to feel very welcome.

GOOD TO KNOW

  1. If travelling by air from Great Britain or Europe, fly to Cork; if flying to Shannon from the US, allow 3 hours 40 minutes’ driving time
  2. If travelling from Dublin allow 4 hours 40 minutes’ driving time
  3. The cable car operates from 9am to 8pm during the summer
  4. There is parking close to the cable car’s departure point
  5. Cable car fare to the island is $11 return for adults and $5.50 return for children
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