Those with a sense of adventure, and who like walking, will enjoy a trip to the Irish-speaking (Gaeltacht) island of Cape Clear, or Oilean Chléire, the most southerly inhabited land in Ireland. The voyage by ferry from Baltimore, West Cork only takes 40 minutes and you get a superb view of the indented coastline on the way. Wild romantic scenery with heather, gorse, and wild flowers covering steep rugged hills, sparkling harbours, and spectacular cliffs all contribute to the charm of Cape Clear. The 170 'Capers' have always depended upon the sea and the elements for their living, but have managed to maintain the difficult balance between adopting the better aspects of modern living and retaining cultural and traditional values. On arrival you can visit restaurant, shops, pubs, a pottery and a fascinating museum. You might also like to visit the bird observatory to find out if there are any rare birds about. It's a very steep climb out of the harbour, but the Atlantic view from the top is breathtaking. St Kieran's Church, dating from around the 12th century, is near the harbour and there are a number of prehistoric sites. The O'Driscoll castle of Dún an Óir is on the western side.
Cape Clear Ferry
Tel: 028 39159 / 086 3465110
Cailín Óir – Ferry and cruise service, operating to Cape Clear Island all year round.