Our Atlantic Coast is a maritime paradise with uncrowded, pristine beaches, wild woods and trails around towns and villages that move to a timeless, unhurried beat. But it is also a giant Adventure Playground. Our five-day itinerary has all you need to sample the city, and then go wild, in style, way out West.
This itinerary will give you an energetic mix of experiences, in the town & country.
Arrive in Cork, check into the Montenotte Hotel. This newly opened, boutique hotel is already a hit with city-breakers looking for a bit of style. The Montenotte is perched high up above the city in what was the most exclusive, genteel neighbourhood in times past and has a fully equipped leisure centre and spa (with pool) as well as a cinema, cocktail bar and terrace views to die for.
Find the best vintage fashion stylists and shopping with the Cork Vintage Map or a visit to one of Cork’s best known craft brewery pubs, The Franciscan Well (with its great beer garden and wood-fired-pizza shack) and the Elbow Lane Brew & Smoke House (opens 4pm Sun-Thurs, 5pm Fri-Sat), with beers brewed on-site, ribs, steaks and seafood.
Cocktails on the terrace at the Montenotte Hotel before a trip to the stylish Cask Cocktail Bar & Resturant for Treats, Eats and Beats. Or – you could follow the Cork Heritage Pubs trail for a more traditional, down-home take on city nightlife.
Head West for one hour and 40 minutes to Baltimore harbour village, deep in West Cork. This historic yet tiny fishing village is full of life in the summer, with pubs on the harbour wall, plenty of places to eat and the chance to take the short hop across the bay to Sherkin, just ten minutes by ferry to a tiny island that has a great old pub, The Jolly Roger.
There are plenty of places to stay in or around Baltimore, a fabulous base to explore West Cork.
Go Moonlight Kayaking on Lough Hyne. Just 6kms from Baltimore, this spectacular, inland sea-water lake is fed twice a day by the rising tide through a narrow channel.
Your kayaking trip begins an hour before sunset and continues as the constellations wheel around the sky above this remote, wild and romantic lake.
Trip to Glandore and Union Hall – these two fishing villages, side by side in a sheltered, remote bay, are a half-hour drive from Baltimore.
Glandore sits high on a hill, just a few houses and some great pubs (Hayes Bar & Restaurant is known for its seafood and its outside tables with amazing views of the harbour below, Casey's Hotel offers fine lunches, dinners and Afternoon Tea).
Charter a boat and go fishing for mackerel or just take a trip around the harbour and out to sea.
Take the Ferry from Baltimore to the Irish speaking island of Cape Clear and stay in a yurt at Chléire Haven – it’s glamping, Mongolian Warrior style, with spectacular island views and nights under canvas with the stars.
There are also Tipis and space for regular tents. You have the day and night to explore Cape Clear Island, the largest in Roaring Water Bay. You can snorkel, scuba-dive on wrecks or go rock fishing.
If there is a gang of you – brave the fearsome water slide at the West Cork Secret Activity Centre, as seen on social media & US TV. This rustic adventure park, in Kilbrittain (one hour from Baltimore and on your way back to Cork City and the airport) offers obstacle courses, Go Karts, Human Fooze Ball and more.
OR – Surf Inchydoney Beach. Some 50kms from Baltimore and on the road back to Cork City and the airport, Inchydoney has a great surf school where you can rent boards, take two hour group lessons or get some private tuition in the waves.