Glengarriff Travel Guide

Explore the best of Glengarriff with our comprehensive travel guide. From natural attractions, hiking routes, and local culture to food and drink scene and transportation options, we cover it all.

Introduction to Glengarriff

Glengarriff is a picturesque village on the South West coast of Ireland, located in County Cork. It’s a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty, friendly locals, and rich cultural heritage. Glengarriff is renowned for its lush green forests, beautiful mountains, and stunning waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and boating.

List of Places to Visit in Glengarriff

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or adventure seeker, Glengarriff has something for everyone. Here’s a list of must-visit places in Glengarriff:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Garnish Island: A beautiful garden island located in the middle of Bantry Bay, Garnish Island boasts a variety of rare and interesting plants. Visitors can also enjoy a guided tour of the Italian Gardens and explore the Martello Tower.
  • Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve: With over 300 hectares of ancient oak forests, Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve is a perfect spot for a scenic walk. Visitors can explore the beautiful gardens or just relax and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Bantry House and Gardens: Built in the late 1700s, Bantry House and Gardens is a historical mansion known for its beautiful architecture and stunning gardens. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Natural Attractions of Glengarriff: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Barley Lake: Barley Lake is a hidden gem located in the mountains of Beara Peninsula. Visitors can enjoy a hike to the lake, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Sheeps Head Way: A popular hiking route with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the local countryside, Sheeps Head way is a great option for hikers of all levels.
  • Glengarriff Harbour: Surrounded by stunning mountains, Glengarriff harbour is a beautiful spot for a leisurely stroll. Visitors can explore the local shops and restaurants or just relax and take in the stunning views.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Glengarriff

Glengarriff is a walker’s paradise with a wide range of trails to explore. Here are some of the most popular hiking and biking routes in Glengarriff:

  • Beara Way: A famous long-distance trail traversing the Beara peninsula, the Beara Way offers stunning views of the Atlantic coastline and the surrounding countryside.
  • Glengarriff Nature Reserve: A beautiful hiking trail that takes you through the ancient oak forest of Glengarriff Nature Reserve.
  • Bere Island: A scenic island off the coast of West Cork, visitors can take a ferry to Bere Island and explore its stunning scenery.

Best Things to Do in Glengarriff: Activities and Tours

Glengarriff offers visitors a wide range of activities to enjoy, from outdoor adventures to cultural tours. Here are some of the best things to do in Glengarriff:

  • Kayaking: Visitors can explore the beautiful Bantry Bay by kayaking or take a guided kayaking tour through the local waterways.
  • Fishing: Glengarriff offers a variety of fishing spots for both experienced and beginner anglers. Visitors can enjoy fly fishing for salmon, trout, and sea trout.
  • Whale Watching: Whale watching tours are available from Glengarriff harbour. Visitors can spot humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Week-Long Itinerary for Glengarriff

If you’re planning to stay in Glengarriff for a week, here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day Activities
1 Explore Garnish Island
2 Hike to Barley Lake
3 Visit Bantry House and Gardens
4 Explore Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve
5 Biking or hiking on Sheeps Head way
6 Kayaking or whale watching tour
7 Visit Bere Island or relax in Glengarriff Harbour

Food and Drink Scene of Glengarriff

No trip to Glengarriff is complete without trying the local food and drink. Here are some must-try dishes and beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Irish Stew: A hearty dish made with lamb, potatoes, and vegetables.
  • Seafood Chowder: A creamy soup made with fresh seafood, vegetables, and cream.
  • Black Pudding: A traditional blood sausage made with pork, oats, and spices.

Local Beverages

  • Guinness: A dark stout beer made in Dublin since 1759.
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey: A smooth, triple-distilled whiskey made in Cork since 1780.

Where to Stay in Glengarriff: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Glengarriff offers a variety of accommodations for visitors. Here are some options to consider:

  • Eccles Hotel: Located near Glengarriff harbour, Eccles Hotel is a historic hotel known for its stunning views of Bantry Bay.
  • Casey’s Hotel: A family-run hotel located in the heart of Glengarriff, Casey’s Hotel offers comfortable rooms and a traditional Irish pub.
  • Glengarriff Park Hotel: A modern hotel in the centre of Glengarriff, Glengarriff Park Hotel offers stylish rooms and a restaurant serving delicious local cuisine.

What to Buy in Glengarriff: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Here are some local souvenirs and products to consider bringing home:

  • Irish wool sweaters, hats, and scarves
  • Handmade pottery and ceramics
  • Local whiskey and Irish chocolates

Local Culture and Customs of Glengarriff

The people of Glengarriff are known for their friendly hospitality and love of traditional Irish music. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as observing quiet hours after midnight and dressing modestly when visiting religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Glengarriff

The best time to visit Glengarriff is during the summer months, between May and September. The weather is mild, and the days are long, offering plenty of daylight for outdoor activities. However, be prepared for occasional rain showers.

Do’s and Don’ts of Glengarriff

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while visiting Glengarriff:


  • Respect local customs and traditions
  • Take time to appreciate the natural beauty of Glengarriff
  • Try the local food and drink


  • Litter or damage the environment
  • Disturb local wildlife
  • Neglect to carry rain gear

Safety and Health

Safety in Glengarriff

Glengarriff is generally a safe place, but visitors should be aware of the following:

  • Take care when hiking or biking in the mountains.
  • Be cautious when swimming in the sea, as conditions can be unpredictable.
  • Avoid walking alone at night in poorly lit areas.

Health in Glengarriff

Visitors to Glengarriff should be up to date on routine vaccinations. Visitors should also be mindful of ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, and take appropriate precautions.

Getting to Glengarriff: Transportation Options and Logistics

Here are some transportation options for getting to Glengarriff:

Airports Near Glengarriff

  • Cork airport (90 km)
  • Kerry Airport (120 km)

Bus Stations Near Glengarriff

  • Local Bus services serve Glengarriff and Bantry -
  • National Bus service (Bus Eireann) -

Other Options

  • Car rental: Car rental is available at both Cork and Kerry airports.
  • Taxi: Local taxi service available for transfer from airports, or getting around.
  • Ferry: Ferries run from several UK ports to Cork

How to Get Around in Glengarriff

Glengarriff is a small village, and many of the attractions are within walking distance. Visitors can also hire a bike or take a taxi to explore the surrounding countryside.

Where to Go Next from Glengarriff: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Here are some nearby destinations to explore after visiting Glengarriff:

  • Killarney: A picturesque town known for its stunning national park and beautiful lakes.
  • Cork City: A bustling city rich in history, known for its charming streets and cultural institutions.
  • Clonakilty: A beautiful seaside town famous for its traditional music and delicious local food.


Glengarriff is a scenic and welcoming destination that offers visitors a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or culture enthusiast, Glengarriff has something to offer. Explore the beautiful scenery, experience the local food and drink, and take time to appreciate the unique local culture.