County Cork
Culture & History

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Our most recommended County Cork Culture & History

Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

1. 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.

Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

2. 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.

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 bus and watch Dublin's urban cityscape give way to the rolling, green hills of the Irish countryside. 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. Admire one of Ireland’s oldest Romanesque wall paintings inside this world-famous historical landmark. 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. Afterward, return to Dublin city center to complete your tour.

Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

4. 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.

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

5. 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.

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.

Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

7. 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.

South Western Ireland: 4 Days from Galway to Kerry

8. South Western Ireland: 4 Days from Galway to Kerry

Travel through Connemara, one of Ireland’s most striking and most remote regions. Visit Galway, the country’s trendy party capital. Marvel at the awesome beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. Explore the magical town of Killarney and discover the rugged mountains, isolated sandy beaches, and charming villages of the Dingle Peninsula. Don’t forget to kiss the Blarney Stone on the way back to Dublin, where you’ll stop for a pint at the Guinness Storehouse. All in all, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore some of the most scenic and popular spots in Ireland in just 4 days! Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Dublin – Connemara – Galway From Dublin you’ll cross the midlands of Ireland in style in the green Paddywagon! You’ll be in the west in no time at all. Experience dramatic mountain scenery that has been the setting for countless Hollywood blockbuster movies. You’ll stop in the charming village of Cong to see magnificent Ashford Castle and the ruins of Cong Abbey. Enjoy lunch at one of Cong’s quirky cafés and take a lakeside walk. Your route follows along the massive Lough Corrib on the way to Galway. When you arrive your guide will find a nice pub for you overlooking Galway Bay, where you can enjoy the scenery and some traditional Irish music. Consider taking an optional walking tour of the city with a local guide or participating in an award-winning pub crawl! Day 2: Galway – Cliffs of Moher – Dingle Today you’ll have the wild Atlantic Ocean at your side as you drive along the west coast. See golden sand beaches and maybe even a few dolphins and whales. Explore the lunar landscape of the Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side by side. Then it's on to the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. See why they were called the Cliffs of Insanity in the movie, The Princess Bride, and why world surfing champ Kelly Slater came to surf here for the award-winning cult movie, Wave Rider. Tonight you'll stay in the village of Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula. Mix with the locals and enjoy the character of a real Irish village, away from all the tourist traps. Pull up a stool by the fire or choose to dance the night away! Day 3: Dingle – Killarney Head out on the short drive to Dingle, a charming Gaelic-speaking fishing village. You’ll have ample free time for shopping and lunch before a pleasant tour around Slea Head. There will be loads of time off the bus to take in the views and maybe a wee hike, or to just breathe in that wild Atlantic air. Learn stories and songs of this traditional region from your guide. See Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 Sisters mountain range. Spend the night in Killarney, a popular town because of all the things to see and do. You’ll find traditional music, great restaurants, dancing, and an idyllic national park. Enjoy the nightlife and try singing a few of the many songs your guide will have taught you on board the Paddywagon today! Day 4: Killarney - Dublin The day begins with a horse and cart ride through Killarney National Park (optional) or horseback ride through the park for the energetic and adventurous (optional). Afterward he head for the world famous Blarney Castle. You will enjoy 2 hours visiting the Castle where you kiss the Blarney Stone if you wish  The beautiful gardens offer a chance to relax in the fresh air whilst those seeking last minute souvenirs can explore the excellent Blarney Woolen Mills, the world's largest Irish shop.  After lunch we take a leisurely drive through the Golden Vale region, Ireland's finest agricultural land and home to some of the best livestock in the world. Before we reach Dublin, we'll pause at the Rock of Dunamase - a ruined castle perched high on a hill overlooking the province of Leinster - amazing photo opportunities and vistas await you. Arrive back in Dublin late afternoon in time for dinner reservations and evening entertainment.

Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

9. 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.

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 County Cork

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 385 reviews

Castles are beautiful, Blarney Castle being the highlight, all well worth getting up before six :) Guide - Tony - was fun, providing info on the castles, the country we were traveling through, Irish legends and also being a good singer, Irish songs too! To see these castles is as a part of experiencing Ireland as seeing the Cliffs of Moher :)

I had a surprisingly great time at Blarney Castle and the gardens surrounding it! The guide was helpful and the trip ran very smoothly. Even when there was some issues with the train coming back (out of everyone's control), the guide made sure we were all organized and knew where we were going.

The tour guide/bus operator was very informative and had a good sense of humor. The sites were incredible and there was more than enough time at each site.

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

Interesting way to tour. Great folks, very patient, knowledgeable, and flexible with change.