Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Glengarriff is bathed by Gulf Stream waters which give it a tropical feel, unmatched by anything else you’ll find in Ireland. Visit its imaginative gardens and its ancient woodlands for a gentle stroll, or take to the bay to encounter the bounty of Bantry Bay for an exhilarating experience you won’t forget!
Explore Glengarriff Nature Reserve
Immerse yourself in the sublime scenery on the many walking trails that cross one of the finest oceanic Sessile Oak woods in Ireland. There are walks for all the family here, and Pooleen is a great Glengarriff swimming spot, if you can brave the cold waters. And the view from Lady Bantry’s Lookout across Garinish Island and Bantry Bay can’t be beaten.
Take a marine wildife tour
On a Bantry Bay Charters Marine Wildlife Tour, you have the chance to seeing Atlantic Grey Seals and Common Seals, as well as a wide variety of birdlife, including Oyster Catchers, Curlews, Grey Herons, Egrets, and Cormorants. Learn about the life of the bay as you sail its waters, and get a look up close with the binoculars provided. But don’t forget to bring your camera with you – there are some great images waiting for you, and you can try your hand at fishing while you’re out there too!
Spot seals and sea eagles from sea or shore
Take a trip out into Glengarriff Harbour to see the largest colony of Harbour seals on the Irish coast. If you are staying on dry land, you’ll find they are also visible from Seal Point – a family-friendly trail you can access from the Blue Pool Amenity Area near the centre of the village. Look out for white-tailed eagles circling over the bay – evidence of concerted work to re-introduce these impressive birds back to West Cork in recent years.
Kayak with the seals in Adrigole Harbour
Rent a kayak, canoe or rowing boat and paddle in the sheltered waters of Adrigole Harbour. You’ll be sure to meet the local grey seals! And they make for friendly companions as you explore Adrigole’s gentle waters and rugged shoreline, with Hungry Hill forming a spectacular backdrop to your adventure!
Spark your imagination at the Ewe Gallery and Sculpture Garden
Visit Ireland’s only interactive Sculpture Garden, in a magical riverside setting, and see the intriguing sculptures on a trail that takes in bridges and waterfalls as well as the lush landscape in the hills above Glengarriff. This is a wonderful experience for all the family, and a great way to spark children’s imaginations and their interest in nature!
Soak up serenity on a forest bathing walk
Awaken your senses and tune into the natural world in Glengarriff woods as part of a guided and meditative experience where you will listen to the forest soundscape, and notice the natural textures, smells, and sights, that help to ground us in the here and now.
Encounter the exotic at Glengarriff’s Bamboo Park
See for yourself the effects of the Gulf Stream climate that gives Glengarriff’s planting a surprisingly exotic edge. This unique Irish garden features 30 species of bamboo, as well as tropical plants, romantic paths and breathtaking views from the shores of Bantry Bay.
Take a boat trip to Garinish Island
The gardens at Garinish Island fuse the natural beauty of this spectacular setting with a dramatic, Peto-designed planting plan that achieves incredible beauty, in harmony with what was there before. You can learn more about this garden paradise and its creation at Bryce House on the island.