Things to do in
County Cork

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Top sights in County Cork

Our most recommended things to do in County Cork

County Cork: Whale & Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

1. County Cork: Whale & Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Enjoy seascapes and the rugged Irish coastline as you cruise through the water spotting marine animals on this adventurous boat excursion. Catch sight of sunfish and even basking sharks with the help of a local skipper. Set off from the North Pier of Baltimore and head out to see offshore islands and marine wildlife. Walk around the deck for a panoramic experience. Sit to watch the wildlife in comfort and shield yourself from the wind when it's cooler. Learn about the wildlife from your expert guide.

Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

2. Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

Set on 15 acres of lovely grounds, the Jameson Experience is both an education and a cultural experience as soon as you step through its doors. You will discover the largest pot still in the world, the Angels Share, and of course, the finest of Irish whiskeys. Daytime tours operate 7 days all year round, except selected dates at Christmas. The journey begins with an audiovisual presentation, followed by a 1-hour guided tour through the original distillery. Your experience ends at the Jameson Bar with a glass of Jameson, a 3-part comparison whiskey tasting, and the chance to become a "Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster." After your tour, feel free to browse the Distillery gift shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts to take home, such as the Jameson Distillery Edition, a superb whiskey exclusively for sale at Midleton. Make it even more special by having your bottle personalized as a great gift or memento of your visit.

From Dublin: Cahir and Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

3. From Dublin: Cahir and Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

Set off on board a luxury, air-conditioned motor-coach and watch Dublin's urban cityscape give way to the rolling, green hills of the Irish countryside. This full-day trip will drive through several areas of interest, including the Galtee Mountains and the Curragh in County Kildare, which is home to Ireland's National Stud Farm. First, arrive at Blarney Castle which is known around the world for its famous Blarney Stone. Kiss the stone and receive the “gift of the gab." Be sure to explore the rest of Blarney Castle as well as its lush grounds and woodland walks. Discover the scenic Rock Close by taking the Wishing Steps.  Depart Cork and arrive at one of Ireland’s 7 Wonders, the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Explore the Hall of Vicars, Cormack’s Chapel, the Celtic Cathedral, the Round Tower, and the surrounding grounds filled with ancient high crosses. In addition, admire one of Ireland’s oldest Romanesque wall paintings inside this world-famous historical landmark. Afterwards, be returned to Dublin city center to complete your tour. For your final stop of the day, visit one of Ireland's largest and best-preserved castles, Cahir Castle. The Castle was built in the 13th century, to house the Butler family. Built as a defensive castle it still boasts a lot of the original structure.

The Titanic Trail: 1-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Cobh

4. The Titanic Trail: 1-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Cobh

This fascinating guided walking tour explores the town of Cobh in Cork Harbor, which was the last port of call of RMS Titanic. Participants are taken by specially trained guides to re-live a Titanic timeline journey through the historic town of Cobh. The vista of the town remains the same as it was on the day the Titanic's passengers embarked from the Port of Cork. The tour recounts many interesting facts about the Titanic, the Titanic's history, and its association with Cobh from when it departed on its last fateful journey nearly 100 years ago. The Titanic walking tour will bring you through the streets and environs of Cobh, revealing locations and incidents directly connected to the Titanic and many other aspects of Cork Harbor’s history and Irish heritage.

Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

5. Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

Discover Ireland’s most famous castle on a full-day tour from Dublin, and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone of Blarney Castle. Depart Dublin through the green fields and dairy farms of the Golden Vale of County Cork, and enjoy panoramic views of the Galtee Mountains and County Tipperary along the way. Head in to Cork City on the banks of the River Lee, pausing for approximately 1-hour to wander at leisure. Use your free time to visit the historic English Market, or marvel at St. Finbarre’s Cathedral. Drive on to Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone. It’s said that if you kiss the stone you will receive the “gift of the gab” for 7 years! Explore the castle grounds and gardens to discover the Witch's Cave, and enjoy tax free shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills and craft shop. Go to one of Ireland's most evocative sites, stroll in the footsteps of St Patrick, Celtic crosses and round towers. Depart for Dublin, driving via the Golden Vale of County Tipperary, with an estimated arrival time back in the city at 21:00.

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

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

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin on a full-day tour south, departing by train from Heuston Station at 06:40 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! Then, relax with some free time to shop and enjoy lunch in Blarney village. Next, return 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 20:20.

Cobh: 1-Hour Titanic Ghost Tour

7. Cobh: 1-Hour Titanic Ghost Tour

Tapping into a rich Irish folklore, hear tales of the paranormal and hauntings as you wander the darkened streets of Cobh on this 1-hour ghost tour of a town that has remained virtually unchanged since RMS Titanic departed from Cork Harbour in 1912. Learn about the spectre of a young Irish emmigrant, the haunting of Pillars Bar, and the ghostly cries of a child at a local hotel. Suitable for all ages, and a great family night out, the ghost walk is also a great precursor to an office party, corporate outing, or hen night. Formerly known as “Queenstown,” Cobh is at the heart of Ireland’s immigration, transportation, and cruise liner history. It’s most famous as the last port of call before the RMS Titanic set sail on her fatal jouney across the Atlantic in 1912. The tour provides an emotional journey back to the day when 123 passengers boarded at Cobh on their hopeful voyage across the ocean. Stop for a bloody cocktail at an atmospheric bar before the end of your tour.

Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

8. Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southwest Ireland on a comprehensive 5-day tour of The Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and the fabled Ring of Kerry. Stop at historic castles and monasteries, and wander the colorful fishing villages to sample fresh seafood. Enjoy dramatic views from the Cliffs of Moher, and stroll along the vast stretch of Inch Beach watching the local surfers. Transportation is by small minicoach, with accommodation in quaint bed and breakfast guesthouses for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin and head west through the farmland and peat bogs of Kildare and Offally counties. Stop at Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey to experience the true spirit of Ireland. Continue west to the mighty Shannon River, and vist the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise. Admire its collection of churches, stone crosses, and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in one of the attractive villages, travel to Galway City to check into your base for the night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Day 2: From Galway City it’s only a short drive along the coast to The Burren, one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. Marvel at the limestone pavements, barren hills, and rare flora. See Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area, stopping in Kilfenora for lunch. Known as the “Town of the Crosses,” there will also be time to visit the old cathedral before driving to the Cliffs of Moher. Marvel at this natural beauty, where the cliffs drop almost 700 feet into crashing Atlantic Ocean waves. Take a walk along one of the cliff top trails, and watch the seabirds at work. Alternatively, visit the award-winning environmental exhibition to learn about the region’s ecology. Then, travel south through County Clare, passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon Estuary and into County Kerry. Go to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney, your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings. Day 3 Today, you will explore the Dingle Peninsula, one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Your first stop in this heartland of Gaelic culture will be Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand facing the Atlantic Ocean popular with surfers. From here, increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself, through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings that date back thousands of years. Visit some of the best examples along the way. Enjoy views of the Blasket Islands as they rise dramatically from the sea. Marvel at the mountains of the famous Ring of Kerry to your south. Weather permitting, time will be allotted for a walk on the beach or along the cliff tops. Learn why the area is important in Gaelic literature. Then, head back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbor. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could enjoy an evening walk in Killarney National Park, just on the edge of town. Day 4: Today, you will take one of the world’s classic routes, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. Depart Killarney and enjoy the views to Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. Join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. Possible stops along the way include Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace, and the ring fort of Cahersiveen. Go to the little fishing village of Portmagee for a lunch of local seafood. Alternatively, cross to the island of Valencia and visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the small community of monks who once lived on the nearby rock island of Skellig Michael. In the afternoon, stop in picturesque Waterville, a favourite holiday destination for Charlie Chaplin. Stop again at the top of the Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in Ireland. From here, the road drops down to sea level, where you will visit Derrynane House, the family home of Daniel O’Connell. You can stroll in the gardens and down to the beach, as well as look inside the house itself. Continue around the Ring, stopping at Moll’s Gap and Ladies View. There will also be time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before returning to Killarney. Day 5: The final day of your tour heads east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom. Then, drive along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon, head to the Rock of Cashel to see the medieval monastery complex high above the town. Finally, go to Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Visit the National Craft Centre, or just hang out in one of the pubs for a last Guinness. Hit the road again for the final leg of your journey, arriving back in Dublin at approximately 19:30.

Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

9. 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.

Blarney and Cobh Tour from Cork

10. Blarney and Cobh Tour from Cork

Your excursion begins with a scenic drive to Blarney, where you’ll have plenty of time to visit the world-famous Blarney Castle and its gardens, and to kiss the Blarney Stone. Explore the magnificent gardens and visit the witch of Blarney. If you like, you can indulge in some tax-free shopping at the Blarney Wollen Mills, Ireland's biggest craft shop. Your 5-hour tour then continues to Great Island, where you’ll visit the town of Cobh. Cobh is situated on Cork’s harbor and is best known as the point of embarkation for millions of Irish emigrants leaving Ireland in the 1800s and 1900s. It was also the Titanic’s last stop. Enjoy some free time in Cobh, where you can visit magnificent St. Coleman's Cathedral, or choose the optional, award-winning Titanic Experience, an exhibition in the original White Star Line building. The tour ends when you return to Cork city center at around 17:30.

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What people are saying about County Cork

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 597 reviews

We had a great week on this trip! Jerome was very informative, accommodating and professional but fun! All of the accommodations were comfortable and the B&B owners were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all of the planned stops along the way as well little extra stops Jerome would throw in. We highly recommend this trip!

Well-planned trip, smooth transition between the railway and tour bus and every spot is visiting. Excellent guide and driver. Fair time allowed for each spot for a good travelling experience. Only if the people joining the trip can be punctual in EVERY spot will make it perfect. The trip itself was great.

I am very happy with the tour. I always wanted to go Ireland. It's a beautiful place to visit. I loved the Irish people overall. Msy God bless Ireland and its inhabitants. I truly enjoyed the visit

Fabulous time! We travelled to many places not included on the itinerary. Jerome the tour guide and the fellow passengers were lovely. Such wonderful memories

Wonderful day visiting many castles. Beautiful scenery along the drive as well. Well worth it.