Fancy beating the rat race for a little while? Dursey Island is the place to do it. Lying across a narrow sound off the tip of the Beara Peninsula, this is the dictionary definition of escape – no business, no traffic, no hassle. Just you, rugged nature and the awe-inspiring Atlantic Ocean.
There is one sign of civilisation, of course – Dursey’s unique and charismatic cable car. Hitched to the mainland above dolphin-strewn Dursey sound, this is Ireland’s only cable car, running 250 metres above the sea. With a capacity of carrying just six people at a time, the cable is a lifeline for the handful of inhabitants living in three small villages on the island.
Stepping onto the island, visitors can continue on foot along a stretch of the Beara Way. Highlights on Dursey include the ruins of O’Sullivan Beara’s castle, a 200-year-old signal tower with views stretching to the Skelligs and Mizen Head, and several standing stones. The indented coastline, open bog and wild winds leave you in no doubt – you’re far from the madding crowd.
Location: 219m off the Beara Peninsula. By road, Dursey Island is roughly 64km (1hr 50 mins) from Kenmare and 73km (1hr 55mins) from Bantry.
Size: 6.6km x 1.5k. Most visitors spend a couple of hours on Dursey.
Facilities: Bring all essentials, including a packed lunch, as there are no restaurants facilities on the island. If you would like to stay overnight on the Island there is self catering accommodation available.
Top 3 Activities: Cable Car, Walking, Birdwatching
Getting there: Ireland’s only cable car departs daily, year-round, from Ballaghboy – at the tip of the Beara Peninsula. The trip takes ten minutes.
Getting around: Dursey is a walker’s delight.