West Cork Road-trip
National park beauty | traditional towns | Wild Atlantic Way
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays | Duration: 9am to 6:30pm
Start point: Cork City
Our tour begins on Patrick’s Quay in the heart of Cork City. Your adventure starts now! Keep an eye out for sights like Shandon Church, the historic grounds of University College Cork and Macroom Castle as we leave the city and drive into the lush countryside of West Cork & the Lee Valley!
Stop 1: Gougane Barra
Our first stop is Gougane Barra, home to Ireland’s oldest National Forest Park, set deep in the dramatic Sheehy Mountains. This wild, pine tree paradise is one of Ireland’s most spectacular landscapes, but it’s most famous for its postcard 6th Century monastery, St. Finbarr’s Church. Here you can walk, wander and explore this dream location. You can relax too! Don’t forget to enjoy some fresh scones and tea in the charming Cronin’s Café.
Stop 2: Bantry
Leaving Gougane Barra, we drive our way towards the spectacular Irish coast – welcome to the Wild Atlantic Way, the longest road-trip in the world! Our next stop is the vibrant West Cork market town of Bantry. This is the perfect chance to experience a traditional market town – and to shop local! Grab a coffee at The Stuffed Olive or pick up a delicious sandwich at Organico café. Looking for an Irish souvenir? The town also has a number of cute craft stores.
Stop 3: Mizen Head
Back on the coach, our journey continues southwest towards the dramatic Mizen Peninsula. As we drive along the dramatic coastline, admire the seascapes and charming villages en route – maybe you’ll see a mountain sheep, too! We finally reach the end of the road at Mizen Head. The visitor’s centre makes a fascinating stop for lunch while the spectacular Mizen Bridge will take you along a magical cliff walk. You are now on Ireland’s most southwest point – prepare to feel like you are on the edge of the world!
Stop 4: Clonakilty
Leaving Mizen, we make our return east along the Wild Atlantic Way, passing the towns of Skibbereen and Rosscarbery en route. Our final stop of the day is Clonakilty, famed for its friendly locals, brightly painted streets and fair trade shops. History lovers can visit the town’s Michael Collins Musuem which tells the story of one of Ireland’s finding fathers. A tip? Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a pint of Murphy’s in De Barra’s pub!
End point: Cork City
Returning back to Cork City, we our trips comes to an end back at St. Patrick’s Quay. Your West Cork road-trip may be over but the night is young! Feel free to ask your driver for any recommendations for a great restaurant for dinner or the best pint in town! Sláinte!
Extras: Mizen Head Visitor’s Centre (€7.50); Michael Collins Museum (€5). Food & Drink.
Instagram Bucket List
Gougane Barra Forest Park ✔️ St. Finbarr’s Church ✔️
Mountain Sheep ✔️ Traditional tea and scones ✔️
Bantry Bay ✔️ Mizen Bridge ✔️
Wild Atlantic Way sign ✔️ Cronin’s Bus ✔️
Clonakilty shopfronts ✔️ Pint of Murphy’s ✔️
Follow the journey #corkbustours