What to do on Valentia Island, Ireland
If you find yourself in the beautiful Valentia Island in Ireland then you have probably come a very long way. It is nearly a 5 hour trek from Dublin out one of Kerry’s fingers into the Atlantic Ocean but well worth the trip to breath in the fresh ocean breeze. Despite its remoteness it isn’t remote and is on the well worn tourist trail of the Ring of Kerry. It is a perfect spot to walk or even better cycle around for a weekend. There a plenty of delights on offer for such a small island such as the super views from the highest point at 180mtrs (600ft) or if you want to visit the mildest climate in Ireland or even some dinosaur footprints, these can all be done before pints in Knightstown.
Time to Do the Attractions on Valentia Island: With a bike everything could be seen at a push in one day but two days would be better.
What to do on Valentia Island
Valentia Island is an actual island but with a short swim you could reach it. It is connected by both vehicle bridge and a car ferry and is only 11km (7mi) long x 3km (2mi) wide meaning a bicycle is the perfect way to explore. Of course if you are a little more adventurous you could do a loop and cycle into Cahersiveen which is close to where the ferry goes from.
What to do on Valentia Island – Knightstown
Knightstown in Valentia is small, very small. It is the main town but it’s tiny. A few pubs and restaurants, one hotel and a few B&B’s. It is buzzing during the day in the summer and has plenty of music to dance the night away. It is though the nearest point to the bigger town of Cahersiveen to the east and where the ferry arrives.
What to do on Valentia Island – Geokaun Mountain and Fogher Cliffs
If the weather is nice then definitely head to the highest point of the island. At 180mtrs above sea level you can see for tens of miles and it gives super views of the whole island and onto the mainland. The hill is very steep going up and fair play if you can stay on your bike the whole way. You can take the easier option and just drive to the top if you want but where is the pain in that.
What to do on Valentia Island – Valentia Lighthouse
Down the end of a narrow, windy lane you reach this small lighthouse that has been there since 1841 on the site of an earlier fort for which the cannons still stand. Well one still stands, the other got blown down by the wind recently! As you can imagine on the edge of the Atlantic it gets very windy from time to time. A guided tour of Valentia Lighthouse is available for €5 per adult.
From the lighthouse you can see the point where the first Trans-Atlantic Cable first hit shore in 1866 and is the birthplace of modern telecoms. On a good day you can also see the UNESCO sight of the Skellig Islands in the distance.
What to do on Valentia Island – Skellig Experience Centre
This visitor’s centre is designed to replicate the Skellig Island experience and give information about the monks who lived there and wildlife that lives there. To be honest I would advise you to skip this centre and just to out to the Skellig Islands themselves where you will see thousands of birds, seals and of course the famous monastery. If you get seasick or the weather is too bad then it would be worth it. You can though do both and get the exhibition and boat trip around the island (you do not get off to see the monastery which really is the best part) for €30 while the exhibition alone is €5. The Skellig Experience Centre is on the island just over the bridge to Portmagee.
What to do on Valentia Island – Tetra Pod Dinosaur
Unbelievably the footprints of a 385million dinosaur are situated on Valentia Island. The Tetra Pod (four legs) left his footprints when Ireland was south of the equator (wouldn’t that be nice) and when creatures started crawling out of the sea and how we got here today. As unbelievable and all as they are and I appreciate they are older than anybody can comprehend they are not that impressive to look at. Still though for something to survive that long on the edge of the sea is crazy enough.
Practicalities – About Valentia Island and how to get there
- Size and Location: Valentia Island is 11km long and 5km wide located at the end of the Iveragh Peninsula in West County Kerry. Approximately 4hrs drive from Dublin and 2.5hrs drive from Limerick city.
- How to get to Valentia Island: There is a ferry from Cahirsiveen (April to October) which takes 5min and operates from 7.45am to 9.30pm and there is a vehicle bridge at Portmagee
- Bus to Valentia Island: To get a bus to Valentia you need to be in Killarney and from there you get a bus to Cahirsiveen. This bus operates in the morning and evening all year round. From Cahirsiveen you could walk to the car ferry or else get a Kerry Community Transport bus (1890 528 528) to Valentia Island.
- Accommodation on Valentia Island: There is only one hotel but a lot of B&B’s and many with excellent food. Expect to pay approx €50 per person.
Map of Valentia Island
|What to do on Valentia Island - Knightsown|
Valentia Island, Knightstown, Ireland
|What to do in Valentia Island - Cahirsiveen|
|What to do in Valentia Island - Geokaun Mountain and Fogher Cliffs|
Geokaun mountain and Fogher Cliffs, Kerry, Ireland
|What to do in Valentia Island - Valentia Lighthouse|
Lighthouse Dwellings, Valentia, Ireland
|What to do in Valentia Island - Skellig Experience Centre|
Valentia Island, Ireland
|What to do in Valentia Island - Tetra Pod Dinosaur|
Valentia Island, Ireland
|What to do on Valentia Island - The Grotto|
Valentia Island, Ireland
|What to do in Valentia Island - Bray Head|
Bray Head, Valentia Island, Kerry, Ireland