Cork is The original capital of Ireland before Dublin, so expect some similarities to a ‘big’ city. Cork has all the amenities for a backpacker, with miles of coastal scenic routes and a city with a student nightlife and quirky bars.
Cork Is Ireland’s third largest city and Irelands largest county, so maybe car hire is essential.
Just make one tiny detour on the way to Cork. Just before you cross that border from Kerry into Cork have a look for a road called The Healy Pass. It is on the R574 road, and you will know when you see it. Perfect roads for motorcycle enthusiasts and scenery that would not look out place in The Lord of the Rings. A small detour to make for a huge pay off when you see it for yourself. Join back into the N71 and follow this until you hit Cork city.
If you have time, go to Baltimore harbour and call Nic Slocum, and be treated to an absolute fest of whale watching (€50 EUR). Highly recommended. Cork people take considerable pride in their county, and rightly so, after all it used to be the capital.
There is an abundance of things to do here: The Blarney Castle (€13 EUR), Fota Wildlife Park (€15.50 EUR) and Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral are my personal favourites. Make sure to visit Fota Wildlife Park, and don’t think ‘zoo’, this is an amazing grounds where the animals are almost free roaming there is a great sense of happiness and content in the animals here, far contrasting from a zoo. Oh and who could forget to kiss the Blarney stone. A true authentic castle that remains untouched by health and safety folk to keep its originality intact.
After all your high street ventures and sightseeing, you will no doubt be thirsty, and I would recommend Sin É as my favourite bar in Cork city. A tiny, dimly lit, quirky bar that draws great musicians in keeps the beer flowing here. Also, the Welcome Inn is a good one.
Ultimate Tourist Review: ★★★☆ Recommended Days: 3/4
Ring of Beara – Blarney Castle – Fota Wildlife Park – Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral – Spike Island – English Market – Charles Fort
Traditional: Mutton Lane Inn – Sin É – An Spailpin Fanac – Franciscan Well Brewery -Savoy Club – The Hi B