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Cork

Nature & Adventure

Our most recommended Cork Nature & Adventure

Ring of Kerry: Full-Day Guided Tour from Cork

1. Ring of Kerry: Full-Day Guided Tour from Cork

The Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into Ireland’s ancient past. See the stone forts, standing stones, and a landscape carved out of rock by the last ice age, some 10,000 years ago. Detailed Itinerary Sneem: Make a stop in one of Ireland's most colorful and charming villages. You’ll see 2 village squares and a beautiful bridge in the village center. This is where the River Sneem meets the currents of Kenmare Bay. Killorglin: Pass through Killorglin, the home of the ancient Celtic festival known as the Puck Fair. Dating back to 1613, this is one of the oldest festivals in the world, and where a goat is crowned king of the village! Dingle Bay: Take in the amazing views of Dingle Bay, famous Inch Beach, and on a clear day, possibly even the Blasket Islands off the wild Atlantic coast. Waterville: Admire this picturesque little village that sits overlooking Ballinskelligs Bay and the Skellig Rocks with their early Christian monastery. Charlie Chaplin loved Watereville and was a frequent visitor. See the statue in his honor, unveiled in 1998. Killarney National Park: See what is probably the most beautiful and admired national park in Ireland, and take in the views of the Lakes of Killarney and the Black Valley during stops at Molls Gap and Leprechaun Crossing. Torc Waterfall: Stop at the lovely 18-meter-high waterfall that cascades through the wooded Friar's Glenn, and admire this site of natural beauty. Killarney: Take some time to relax in Killarney and grab some refreshments before departing for Cork.

Dublin: Full-Day Tour to Cork, Cobh and Blarney Castle

2. Dublin: Full-Day Tour to Cork, Cobh and Blarney Castle

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin on a full-day tour south to the vibrant city of Cork. Kills the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle, admire Georgian buildings in the city center, and visit Cork Harbor to see a Victorian era train station and transatlantic terminal.   Depart by train from Heuston Station in the early morning for the InterCity service to Cork City. Upon arrival, head to Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and acquire the gift of eternal eloquence. Relax with some free time to shop and enjoy lunch in Blarney village. Head to Cork for a short city tour of Ireland’s southern capital, famous for its arts, music and literature scenes.  Built on the site of a 6th-century monastic settlement, the city center is full of Georgian buildings, 17th-century alleys, and dynamic new architecture. Continue your journey along Cork Harbour to Cobh, location of the Queenstown Story Heritage Center.  Set in a beautifully-restored railway station of the Victorian age, it was also the transatlantic terminal that served as the point of departure to the New World for generations of Irish emigrants, from the time of famine up to recent years. Transfer back to Cork City center to catch your return InterCity train back to Dublin, with a scheduled arrival at Heuston Station at in the evening. 

Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

3. Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

Take the ferry from Baltimore or Schull and cross the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay. Arrive in the wonderful north harbor on Cape Clear Island and go by shuttle bus to Cape Clear Heritage Centre. There, learn the history of the island and Fastnet Rock. Spend some time exploring the island and its walking trails, stop at the spectacular lookout points and spot the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Be sure to enjoy some fresh island produce during lunch at one of the island’s bars and restaurants. After lunch, re-board the ferry and sit back as the experienced captain takes you further into the real Wild Atlantic Way. You might even catch a glimpse of whales and dolphins in the water. As you circumnavigate the tallest and widest rock lighthouse in Ireland and the UK, learn its history and importance from the onboard audio system. Hear about the “Teardrop” of Ireland, the last glimpse of the country that the immigrant ships saw before they headed over the horizon to the New World - America. Once Fastnet Rock has been circled twice (so that all passengers can get the perfect photo), head for home and enjoy the spectacular scenery until reaching the final port.

From Cork: Guided Full-Day West Cork to Mizen Head Tour

4. From Cork: Guided Full-Day West Cork to Mizen Head Tour

Immerse yourself in Irish culture on this day trip filled with fantastic photo opportunities. Starting in the historic city of Cork, travel by coach to Ireland’s most southwesterly point and view the dramatic cliff scenery of Mizen Head. As you drive through picturesque villages and towns, expect to see some awe-inspiring scenery as Ireland shows off its spectacular landscape. From the meeting point in Cork, travel first to Gougane Barra, home to Ireland's oldest National Forest Park and famous for St. Finbarr's Oratory, its stunning 19th-century church. Enjoy panoramic views of where the River Lee rises. Then, wander through Bantry, one of West Cork's most vibrant market towns, and do some shopping or sit down to a traditional cup of Irish tea and perhaps a scone. The next part of the journey takes you to Mizen Head, Ireland’s most southwesterly point — the edge of Europe and a signature key discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Admire the cliffs of Mizen Head that rise high above the Atlantic Ocean, where the currents meet and the waves from the Atlantic crash into land. Before returning to Cork city, discover Clonakilty, an iconic Irish town. Visit a museum, an Irish pub for a pint of Murphy's, or simply wander the colorful streets. You'll return to the city of Cork in the evening, where you'll be dropped off at the original meeting point.

From Cork: 9-Hour Guided Ring of Kerry and Killarney Tour

5. From Cork: 9-Hour Guided Ring of Kerry and Killarney Tour

Take a 9-hour guided bus tour of the enchanting county of Kerry and admire magnificent scenery from soaring hills to rolling landscapes scattered with traditional stone walls. Enjoy the unsurpassed, rugged coastline and the buzz of the traditional town of Killarney. Board your bus at the meeting point in Cork, then feel Irish rural life from days gone by coming alive at your first stop at the Kerry Bog Village in Glenbeigh. Wander through thatched cottages, visit a traditional farmhouse, and meet the resident Irish wolfhounds. You might even choose to treat yourself to a little something to drink at the Red Fox Inn. From Glenbeigh, travel around the Iveragh Peninsula, along the most beautiful stretch of coastline. The next stops are at Waterville and Coomakista, two of Kerry’s most scenic spots with panoramic views stretching from the mountains to the sea. Look toward the ocean and catch a glimpse of the iconic Skellig Islands, Celtic pyramids reaching out from the sea. These natural monuments were famously featured in the recent Star Wars movie. Make your next stop on the famous Ring of Kerry in Sneem, a picturesque Irish seaside village nestled in the sheltered waters of Kenmare Bay with wonderful choices for a traditional Irish lunch. Choose bacon and cabbage — an Irish staple — or, since you are beside the sea, freshly-caught fish served with chips. Lunch is at your own expense. After the lunch stop, prepare for a drive you will never forget. Verging deep into the MacGillycuddy's Reek mountains and the moody Black Valley, numerous scenic viewpoints can be found along the route: Moll’s Gap mountain pass, Ladies View lookout (a favorite spot of Queen Victoria), and even a Leprechaun crossing. Along the shores of Lough Leane, drive through the woodlands of Ireland’s last native oak trees. Then, arrive in Killarney, often voted the most beautiful town in Ireland. Killarney has so much to offer. Opt to spend your time seeing the surrounding area from a traditional horse and cart or walk the streets soaking up the atmosphere. Finally, hop back on the bus for the return journey to Cork where you will be dropped off at the starting point.

Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

6. Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

Take the ferry from Baltimore or Schull Harbour and cross the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay. Feel the fresh sea air against your face on a spectacular journey through some of Carbery’s Hundred Isles, some of which are inhabited. Scan the spectacular scenery and look out for whales and dolphins. Cape Clear or Cléire is the largest of these Islands and lies 6 miles from the mainland along the Wild Atlantic Way. With a population of 130 people, Cape Clear is Ireland’s most southerly inhabited island and is one of the few Gaeltacht speaking (Irish speaking) islands in the country. Arrive in the wonderful north harbor on Cape Clear Island and take a shuttle bus to Cape Clear heritage center. There, explore the history of the island and the interactive display about Fastnet Rock. This wild and romantic Island offers visitors an insight into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of Ireland. Spend some free time exploring Cape Clear. Wander the walking trails, enjoy the spectacular lookout points and spot the 159-feet tall Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Enjoy some fresh island produce during lunch at one of the island’s bars and restaurants before heading back.

6-Day Tour of Southern Ireland from Dublin

7. 6-Day Tour of Southern Ireland from Dublin

Embark on a 6-day tour from Dublin and discover Glendalough, Kilkenny, Waterford, Blarney Castle, Dingle Peninsula, Cork, Slea Head, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and Connemara. Day 1: Dublin - Glendalough - Kilkenny Castle - Waterford City Begin the tour in central Dublin. Leave the capital behind and drive through rolling countryside to the Wicklow Mountains. Your first stop is the monastery ruins at Glendalough, the Valley of Two Lakes. Admire the natural beauty and enjoy the local walks and trails with views of ancient Celtic crosses and round towers. Afterward, continue to the medieval city of Kilkenny with its cobbled streets and famous red ale. Not far from Waterford Harbor on the southeast coast, Dunmore East is a relaxing spot to spend the evening with a handful of pubs and some great seafood restaurants. Day 2: Waterford City - Waterford Crystal - Blarney Castle - Dingle Peninsula Your day begins with a visit to the world-famous Waterford Crystal factory. Stock up on fine-cut glass at the outlet store or simply pause a while to watch the artisans at work. Continue with a scenic drive through County Waterford and a panoramic drive through Cork city. The highlight for many today is the world-renowned Blarney Castle. After lunch, continue on your journey to the Dingle Peninsula, where you will stay overnight at one of the westernmost points of Ireland. Day 3: Dingle Peninsula - Slea Head - Killarney Take the short drive to Dingle, a charming Irish-speaking fishing village. Famed in many films like Far and Away and Ryan's Daughter, Dingle is celebrated for having the most pubs in Ireland for a town of its size, 52 pubs and 2000 people. Then it's off on a wonderful pleasant trip around Slea Head with amazing views of Sleeping Giant Island, the Blasket Islands, and Beehive Huts. Day 4: Killarney - Ring of Kerry - Killarney Discover the amazing scenery of the Ring of Kerry. Begin with a horse and cart ride through Killarney National Park (optional) or a horseback ride through the park for the energetic and adventurous (optional). Your afternoon is packed with many highlights including Moll's Gap, Ladies View, Leprechaun Crossing, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall, and much more. Day 5: Killarney - Cliffs of Moher - Galway Visit the town of Killarney and Bunratty Castle in the morning. Then in the afternoon, continue north along the Wild Atlantic Way. Stop at the iconic Cliffs of Moher and the village of Doolin. Stay overnight in Galway, known as the city of the tribes and Ireland's cultural capital, with a vast array of fine seafood eateries, and home to an endless selection of traditional Irish music venues. Day 6: Galway - Connemara - Dublin Discover the rugged beauty of the Connemara region, located west of Galway city. Have time to visit Cong Abbey before heading off on your journey through the midlands back to Dublin.

From Dublin: 3-Day Cork, Ring of Kerry & the Cliffs of Moher

8. From Dublin: 3-Day Cork, Ring of Kerry & the Cliffs of Moher

Day 1 Check in Dublin Heuston (Customer Service Desk) for 07:00 departure of InterCity train (breakfast available) to Cork. Transfer by road to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous stone. After time for lunch and shopping and a flavor of Cork City, visit Cobh Heritage Centre, home of the "Queenstown Story," where the Titanic made its last port of call, and from where 3 million Irish people emigrated. Depart Cobh by train to Killarney, where you will be taken to your bed & breakfast accommodation, with en-suite facilities. There are numerous restaurants in Killarney, as well as traditional pubs-many with live traditional Irish music. Day 2 Embark on the famous Ring of Kerry tour, which is a largely coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, with lots of stunning mountain and coastal scenery, including the famous Lakes of Killarney. After the day's touring, the evening is free in Killarney. Day 3 Leave Killarney for Limerick, to join the Cliffs of Moher tour. Take a short city tour of Limerick, and then visit Bunratty Castle, before lunch at a traditional pub at Doolin. You will have plenty of time to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher, before taking the coastal route around Galway Bay, with stops for photos. Return to Dublin by InterCity train, arriving at 20:45. * Prices are per person sharing Single Room Supplement applies

Dingle Peninsula Full-Day Tour from Cork

9. Dingle Peninsula Full-Day Tour from Cork

On this 10-hour excursion to the Dingle Peninsula from Cork, you’ll make your way towards County Kerry and the town of Killarney, starting out at 08:30. Stop in charming Killarney, and enjoy a bit of time to explore the town before continuing on to Dingle. Your drive takes you through the Cork and Kerry mountains and then along the most westerly route in Europe, known as the Slea Head drive. Take in views of the Atlantic coast as you travel on a road that hugs the shoreline. Enjoy views of the Blasket Islands on a clear day, and maybe even see the Sleeping Giant. Visit Inch Beach, one of the best-known beaches in Ireland, and a site of outstanding natural beauty. Weather permitting you may choose to dip your feet in the Atlantic! Inch Beach, like many on the west coast, is well known among surfers. It has also featured in many films such as Far and Away, and Ryan's Daughter. You’ll also make a stop in Dingle town, one of the most picturesque fishing villages in Ireland. Dingle town is the heart and soul of the peninsula, and attracts visitors from around the world, including artists and musicians. Head back over the mountains to Cork, with an expected arrival time of 18:30.

Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

10. Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southeast Ireland on a 3-day tour of the lush farmlands of Kildare, the stunning Wicklow Mountains, and the fabled Copper Coast road to Waterford. Stop at historic monasteries and castles, learn about the fateful voyage of the Titanic from Cobh, and go to the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.  Enjoy a more personal experience in this small group tour with maximum of 16 passengers on a top of the range Mercedes luxury mini-coach, while a quaint bed and breakfast accommodation for 2 nights provides a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin for Cork, driving through the lush farm counties of Kildare, Laois, and Tipperary. Make a short stop in the heritage town of Cahir to see the ruined abbey and impressive castle on an island in the River Suir. Continue to Blarney on the outskirts of Cork. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch.  There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. After this, there is a chance to discover Jameson Whiskey Distillery and taste one of Ireland's favorite exports. In the afternoon, tour the beautiful coastline of West Cork, and see some of the magnificent beaches, tiny inlets and coves. End the day in the fishing village of Kinsale, where you will be based for the night. Kinsale is famous for its food, and the evening is free to wander the narrow streets, popping into traditional pubs and restaurants. Day 2: Explore some of the highlights of southeast Ireland, starting with the historic port of Cobh, the main departure point for Irish emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was also from here that the Titanic ocean liner set forth on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Continue east to Waterford, traveling along the “Copper Coast” (a designated UNESCO geo-park for its spectacular beauty). Stop at the popular surfing beach of Tramore, before heading into Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Founded by the Vikings in the 9th century, it’s also famous for the Waterford Crystal Factory, which you are free to visit along with one of the excellent museums. Alternatively, explore the Viking Triangle on foot. In the late afternoon, depart for the busy city of Kilkenny with its fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Go to the National Craft Centre, or hang out in one of the pubs and enjoy a glass of Guinness! Day 3: Enjoy a free morning to explore Kilkenny before driving to the Wicklow Mountains. Marvel at some of Ireland’s highest granite peaks and see impressive valleys carved by glaciers. One of the area’s highlights is Glendalough, known as the “Valley of the Lakes.” Take one of the walking trails, or explore the ruins of the 6th-century monastery to see its round tower. The last section of your tour takes you into the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, before crossing the famous Sally Gap to descend into Dublin for an approximate 18:30 arrival.

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What people are saying about Cork

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 371 reviews

Railtours is a great way to see Ireland if you want to avoid driving on the left side if the road. We had three different yellow jacketed tour guides for different legs of our trip. Brian, Andrew and David were all very informative and took time to speak individually with each person on the tour. The only criticism was that for the second day’s tour of the ring of Kerry we were escorted by another tour company under contract with rail tours. Tour guide was “meh” at best and the bus was uncomfortable. Days one and three involved transfers between trains and busses for the actual tours, which were fully escorted by Railtours. You might want to contact the tour company before booking to see what tours are completely controlled by Railtours. The subcontractors were not of the same caliber.

Fantastic trip with knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Plenty of comfort stops which is important with kids in our group. So much easier than trying to organise our own trips. Excellent all round!

This is a long day, but beautiful scenery. Bus driver was really fun. Enjoyed the stops. Would have been difficult to drive this one on our own.

Great experience with times suitable for each visit. Friendly guide (not always understandable for foreigners) but polite and good at driving.

Fantastic trip with excellent commentary. The dolphins we saw en-route were an added bonus. Would highly recommend.