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Overview

Covering nearly 2,900 square miles, Cork is Ireland's largest county. This scenic corner of the southwest encompasses lush woodlands, marshes, and fields in the pretty valleys along its three principal rivers – the Blackwater, Bandon and Lee – a rugged, rocky coastline and several mountain ranges, including parts of the Galtee Mountains, Ireland's highest range. Outside Cork City, the biggest attraction is Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and explore the atmospheric castle ruins. In Cork Harbor, the port of Cobh (pronounced "cove") was once Ireland's busiest emigration port and was the last stop on the ill-fated ...

Covering nearly 2,900 square miles, Cork is Ireland's largest county. This scenic corner of the southwest encompasses lush woodlands, marshes, and fields in the pretty valleys along its three principal rivers – the Blackwater, Bandon and Lee – a rugged, rocky coastline and several mountain ranges, including parts of the Galtee Mountains, Ireland's highest range. Outside Cork City, the biggest attraction is Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and explore the atmospheric castle ruins. In Cork Harbor, the port of Cobh (pronounced "cove") was once Ireland's busiest emigration port and was the last stop on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic. Youghal (pronounced "Yawl"), a popular seaside resort and heritage town, has a long, sandy beach and charming medieval town center. Set around a lake, Gougane Barra Forest Park is a quiet retreat with hiking trails and a picturesque chapel on a little island where St. Finbarre built a hermit cell in the 6th century. The Old Midleton Distillery is now home to the Jameson Heritage Centre, where you can learn about Irish whiskey on a guided tour.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located on the south coast of Ireland bordering the Celtic Sea.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, autumn