Located in the Province of Munster and at the southernmost point in Ireland, County Cork is named after the City of Cork and is the largest county in the Republic of Ireland. The area is made up of fertile farmlands and lush river valleys. Along the west coast and parts of the north and south coast is the Wild Atlantic Way, which is a driving route that passes through 9 counties and 3 provinces in Ireland. It is known for its iconic bridge.
There is so much to see and do in Cork County, visitors will want to spend several days seeing the sights and learning about the region. Some of the highlights include the famed Blarney Castle and Gardens. Most people will want to bestow a kiss on the Blarney Stone where they will have to bend over backwards and hold on to 2 rails to do so. This will, however, ensure they will receive the gifts of eloquence and persuasion. Another favorite is the Sheeps Head Peninsula which really does have lots of sheep, its own lighthouse, some pubs and the popular hiking area known as Goats Path Road.
The English Market is a favorite with tourists, as is the Desmond Castle. Visitors might also enjoy a visit to the Fota and the Donenaile Wildlife Parks or the Charles Fort. A nice way to spend a lazy afternoon might include a picnic at the 500 acre Millstreet Country Park. Here you will also find lakes, gardens, hiking trails and an arboretum.
There are plenty of beaches and 20 golf courses in the region, and a haven for hiking and cycling.
Kids might enjoy seeing the West Cork Model Railway Village or the Cork Butter Museum. Blackrock Castle which has its own science center and observatory is another destination possibility for families. Two other considerations are The Cobh Heritage Center which provides interesting historical information about the Titanic, famine and emigration as it relates to Ireland and the Cork City Gaol where visitors can learn about the lives of prisoners in the 19th century.
The harbor town of Kinsale with its narrow and winding streets is another tourist favorite. The city offers galleries, a seventeenth century fortress, shops, restaurants, lively nightlife and is considered somewhat of a gourmet center in Ireland.
Accommodations in County Cork include hotels, B&B’s, campgrounds, hostels, cottages and caravan parks. Peak season is May-October. If you plan to book a hostel, do check to see if it is close to transportation and remember to take your own padlock. Check with the front desk at the hostel to see if they can offer you discounts to attractions in the area.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for County Cork hostels. Welcome.
This is a great city -- small, so it is easy to explore on foot. I rang the Shandon Bells (nice thing to do -- hear your tune played out over the city!). The English Market is cool to wander in and buy lunch -- I ate it in the Peace Park across the way. I like the cafe in the Crawford Art Gallery too, but my best cup …