No introduction to Glengarriff would be complete without the mention of Garnish Island - offically known as Ilnacullin meaning "island of holly" Ireland's most outstanding garden island with its internationally famous collection of plants and world-renowned for its Italian Gardens. These beautiful gardens are open to the public all year round.
Glengarriff, the name comes from "An Gleann Garbh" - the rugged glen - which is derived from the rugged beauty of the mountains and wooded valleys surrounding the village. Situated between mountains and overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay magnificent views of the Caha Mountains and the bulk of Sugarloaf can be seen from the numerous viewpoints along the roads which hug the coastline or wind along the steep sided valleys.
Whilst making the short crossing of the placid waters of the inner bay, the visitor is rewarded by further views of the mainland, and a host of walks, from strolls in the forest with its rivers and glades of oak, to more ambitious treks up the peaks. There are lots of great walks in and around Glengarriff, so if its a walking holiday in West Cork you are looking for Glengarriff is a great starting point continuing on further a field eventually to the Beara Way Walk also great for taking a bicycle out and just enjoy a leisurely cycle.
As well as abundant natural beauty and an inherent "old world charm, Glengarriff is the ideal base for touring as it's just a 30 minute drive from Kenmare in County Kerry and about a 15 minute drive from Bantry town. Glengarriff makes an ideal centre for exploring further afield. The wild scenery of the Beara Peninsula starts here, whilst the peace and beauty of the Lakes of Inchigeela, Gougane Barra and the Borlin Valley are only a short drive away.
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