The Ferry Experience

The ferry trip is one of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting Garnish Island in Glengarriff. The 15 minute boat trip out through the beautiful scenery of Glengarriff Harbour, is something not to be missed. 


The Blue Pool 

The ferry departs from The Blue Pool, an enchanted enclave of water where the Proudly river meets Glengarriff Harbour. Its clear waters are surrounded by ancient oak trees and flowering rhododendrons. There are a series of secluded trails that criss cross through the trees and lead to the water.

Seal Island

En route to Garnish Island you will stop by Seal Island, where many of Glenagrriff’s seal colony bask in the sun. The seals have grown used to the ferrys and allow them to get very close to them, the ferry will slow down allowing you to take in the glory of the seal’s and capture photo’s, they often appear to be posing! If you visit around August you have a wonderful chance of seeing the seal pup’s, who are always a big hit.

Maureen O’ Hara’s Home

To your left as you make your way to Garnish Island, you will see a white house with four chimneys up on the hill, this is the former home of the late actress Maureen O’ Hara, who lived there for many of her later years. She was very popular locally and integrated with the community.

Maureen O Hara s home overlooksGlengarriff Harbour near Garnish Island, County Cork in Ireland. Photo courtesy Sherry FitzGerald

Glengarriff Castle

To the right of Maureen O’ Haras house, you will see Glengarriff Castle, it was built in the 1790’s by Colonel Simon White, brother of the first Earl of Bantry. In the mid 19th century it was a popular hotel, in more recent years it has fallen into disrepair, it still holds one of the most beautiful views in Glengarriff, sitting just above Glengarriff Harbour.

A view of Glengarriff castle that overlooks the Harbour, visible from the ferry’s en route to Garnish Island

White Tailed Sea Eagles

As you near closer to Garnish Island’s slip, you may get an opportunity to spot the resident eagles, they are part of a reintroduction programm, in this last year they hatched a chick that was the first wild born, Irish Sea Eagle to fly over Cork in 125 years. They have made a nest on Garnish Islands perimeter visible from the boats.

White Tailed Sea Eagle, perched in tree on Garnish Island, Glengarriff, Co. Cork


Other Wildlife

On the way to Garnish Island you may also spot herons perched on rocks preying on fish, swans and ducks roaming the waters, every once in a while some very lucky visitors get to see dolphins! They visit Glengarriff from time to time and are often very playful with the boats, swimming alongside them jumping in and out of the water to everyones delight!