West Cork’s islands are home to a range of walks that encourage visitors to explore landscapes, seascapes, and communities on the westernmost edge of Europe.
Walkers are spoilt for choice on Bere Island, with routes of varying difficulty guiding visitors along picturesque byways and through more rugged terrain. The walks form part of the Beara Way and guide you past sites which reveal Bere Island’s rich military heritage. Guided heritage walks and bus tours are available throughout the summer, and, however you choose to explore Bere Island, the views back across Beara, the Slieve Miskish and the Caha mountains are simply breathtaking. Walks begin at both ferry points: Rerrin village (East End) accessible from the pontoon ferry, and Oileán na gCaorach (West End), accessible from Castletownbere.
Dursey Island – connected to the mainland by its famous cable car – is home to another Beara Way walk, and Whiddy Island is also linked to national walking trails, with a Sheep’s Head Way loop walk traversing the island. Just a short ferry ride from Bantry, the island is a wonderful place to take in views back across the harbour town, and over the Sheep’s Head and Beara peninsulas, with the Bank House pub forming a more than suitable starting and ending point for your journey.
The islands in Roaringwater Bay are all perfect destinations for walkers who want to escape into nature. Sherkin, Heir, Long, and Cape Clear islands are easy to reach from the mainland with ferries available variously from Baltimore and Cunnamore. Once you’re out there, marked trails and island paths weave their way around the islands which are havens for wildlife, wildflowers, and hikers alike.
Each island has its own distinct character and story to tell, and an island walk is the perfect way to learn more about these jewels on West Cork’s coastline.
For information on guided walks and walking weekends throughout the year, see our events calendar, or contact 027 75099. Bespoke tours, includine accommodations, meals and guides, can be organised for groups of eight or more.
Information on travel to the West Cork islands is available here.