County Cork
Nature & Adventure

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended County Cork Nature & Adventure

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.

From Dublin: Cahir and Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

2. 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.

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

3. 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: 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.

Baltimore Harbor: Sunset Cruise to Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

5. Baltimore Harbor: Sunset Cruise to Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

Embark on a cruise to the Fastnet Rock lighthouse from Baltimore Harbor. Pass by Sherkin island and circumnavigate the Fastnet Rock. Look for local marine life as you venture into the open ocean aboard the Wave Chieftain, a fully licensed vessel.  Meet at Baltimore pier for a short safety briefing prior to your departure. Venture out of the harbor and snap pictures of the white-painted Baltimore Beacon. Journey along the southwest coast passing Sherkin island and the remains of the Franciscan Friary of Sherkin Abbey.  Sail by Gascanane Sound and Cape Clear as you keep a lookout for whales, dolphins, seals, and aquatic birds. Go around Fastnet Lighthouse and get pictures from every angle. Return to your starting point at Baltimore pier. 

Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

6. 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: 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.

From Dublin: 3-Day Cork, Ring of Kerry & the Cliffs of Moher

9. From Dublin: 3-Day Cork, Ring of Kerry & the Cliffs of Moher

Day 1 Check in Dublin Heuston (Customer Service Desk) for 07:00 departure of InterCity train (breakfast available) to Cork. Transfer by road to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous stone. After time for lunch and shopping and a flavor of Cork City, visit Cobh Heritage Centre, home of the "Queenstown Story," where the Titanic made its last port of call, and from where 3 million Irish people emigrated. Depart Cobh by train to Killarney, where you will be taken to your bed & breakfast accommodation, with en-suite facilities. There are numerous restaurants in Killarney, as well as traditional pubs-many with live traditional Irish music. Day 2 Embark on the famous Ring of Kerry tour, which is a largely coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, with lots of stunning mountain and coastal scenery, including the famous Lakes of Killarney. After the day's touring, the evening is free in Killarney. Day 3 Leave Killarney for Limerick, to join the Cliffs of Moher tour. Take a short city tour of Limerick, and then visit Bunratty Castle, before lunch at a traditional pub at Doolin. You will have plenty of time to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher, before taking the coastal route around Galway Bay, with stops for photos. Return to Dublin by InterCity train, arriving at 20:45. * Prices are per person sharing Single Room Supplement applies

6-Day Tour of Southern Ireland from Dublin

10. 6-Day Tour of Southern Ireland from Dublin

Embark on a 6-day tour from Dublin and discover Glendalough, Kilkenny, Waterford, Blarney Castle, Dingle Peninsula, Cork, Slea Head, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and Connemara. Day 1: Dublin - Glendalough - Kilkenny Castle - Waterford City Begin the tour in central Dublin. Leave the capital behind and drive through rolling countryside to the Wicklow Mountains. Your first stop is the monastery ruins at Glendalough, the Valley of Two Lakes. Admire the natural beauty and enjoy the local walks and trails with views of ancient Celtic crosses and round towers. Afterward, continue to the medieval city of Kilkenny with its cobbled streets and famous red ale. Not far from Waterford Harbor on the southeast coast, Dunmore East is a relaxing spot to spend the evening with a handful of pubs and some great seafood restaurants. Day 2: Waterford City - Waterford Crystal - Blarney Castle - Dingle Peninsula Your day begins with a visit to the world-famous Waterford Crystal factory. Stock up on fine-cut glass at the outlet store or simply pause a while to watch the artisans at work. Continue with a scenic drive through County Waterford and a panoramic drive through Cork city. The highlight for many today is the world-renowned Blarney Castle. After lunch, continue on your journey to the Dingle Peninsula, where you will stay overnight at one of the westernmost points of Ireland. Day 3: Dingle Peninsula - Slea Head - Killarney Take the short drive to Dingle, a charming Irish-speaking fishing village. Famed in many films like Far and Away and Ryan's Daughter, Dingle is celebrated for having the most pubs in Ireland for a town of its size, 52 pubs and 2000 people. Then it's off on a wonderful pleasant trip around Slea Head with amazing views of Sleeping Giant Island, the Blasket Islands, and Beehive Huts. Day 4: Killarney - Ring of Kerry - Killarney Discover the amazing scenery of the Ring of Kerry. Begin with a horse and cart ride through Killarney National Park (optional) or a horseback ride through the park for the energetic and adventurous (optional). Your afternoon is packed with many highlights including Moll's Gap, Ladies View, Leprechaun Crossing, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall, and much more. Day 5: Killarney - Cliffs of Moher - Galway Visit the town of Killarney and Bunratty Castle in the morning. Then in the afternoon, continue north along the Wild Atlantic Way. Stop at the iconic Cliffs of Moher and the village of Doolin. Stay overnight in Galway, known as the city of the tribes and Ireland's cultural capital, with a vast array of fine seafood eateries, and home to an endless selection of traditional Irish music venues. Day 6: Galway - Connemara - Dublin Discover the rugged beauty of the Connemara region, located west of Galway city. Have time to visit Cong Abbey before heading off on your journey through the midlands back to Dublin.

Frequently asked questions about County Cork Nature & Adventure

What are other things to do than Nature & Adventure that are worth visiting in County Cork?

The other unmissable things to do in County Cork are:

Other Sightseeing Options in County Cork

Want to discover all there is to do in County Cork? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about County Cork

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 155 reviews

Incredibly nice captain. Great ride... a lot of commitment so that we get our money's worth... saw dolphins and mink choice. Incredibly nice organiser, the wife was always helpful, from where to get coffee to calling me right away because we couldn't find the boat...highly recommended. Lovely again.

It was a fabulous experience. Our tour guide, Brandon, was excellent, interesting, funny and never over-bearing. He also kept everything well-organized. Then sights themselves were very interesting and informative. And I enjoyed riding the train, much preferable to a long bus trip.

I really enjoyed the experience, I only wish we had more time at Blarney Castle because about 30 minutes of it was spent in the queue to kiss the Blarney Stone. I needed more time to explore the grounds, but overall it was very nice and I saw a lot!

This trip was really nice. We saw dolphins, seals and a sunfish! We may go back in the future to see if we are lucky to see humpback whales! The only thing I wouldn’t recommend if you get dizzy easily as the Irish Sea can be rough sometimes.

We had a great trip and saw lots of dolphins. The staff were excellent and were happy to help and answer any questions. Little disappointed we didn't see a whale but overall an excellent trip with brilliant weather