Island Hopping is normally a term associated with countries further afield. However, with Bantry’s close proximity to the Gulf Stream, the many islands dotted around Bantry Bay offer a wealth of flora and fauna to rival the most exotic of locations. Why not see for yourself!
Blessed with spectacular sea and mountain scenery as well as a balmy climate brought by the equatorial waters of the Gulf Stream, this thirty-seven acre island has a seductive mixture of formal and informal gardens superbly filled with a rich and wonderful variety of plant forms and colour. Don’t forget your camera, as on your journey to the island, you will encounter at close proximity, seals basking on rocks or bobbing in the waters around the boat.
Ferry Timetable: Garnish Island Ferry operates a continuous boating service to the magnificent Garnish Island leaving the pier at Glengarriff every 20 minutes, 7 days a week, March to October. Tel: + 353 (0) 27 63116| Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 234 5861.
Bere Island is located in Bantry Bay about 1 mile off the coast of Castletownbere. This quaint island is approximately 7 miles by 3 miles with a population of just over 200. Top attractions on Bere Island include The Old Lighthouse, Martello Tower and The Batteries - a series of seven guns used historically to defend the island from attack. If you're into walking why not take to the Beara Way Walk? Another point of interest en route around the island are archaeological Bronze Age sites which are clearly marked with interpretive panels for your reference.
Ferries to Bere Island operate all year round from Castletownbere. For Ferry Timetable & Fares click here for further information.
Located just a couple of miles of Bantry Harbour, this unspoilt island consists of rolling hills and beautiful coves – a true haven of peace and tranquillity. Approximately 3 miles long x 1.5 miles wide, its just a short ferry crossing from Bantry Town, making it a popular spot for day trippers. The island's climate, like other parts of South West Cork, is influenced by the Gulf Stream creating a unique ecology and wealth of wildlife. Beautiful red and purple fuchsia is abundant on the island throughout the summer and autumn and the common Butterwort is also found here - one of the few ‘insect eating’ plants found in Ireland. It's easy to spend a quiet afternoon rambling Whiddy's fields or birdwatching at the island's two lakes.
Whiddy Island Ferries departs from Bantry all year round. For further ferry information visit www.whiddyislandferry.com or telephone +353 (0) 27 50310.