Visit Cape Clear Goat Farm

Cape Clear Goat Farm, better known as ‘Cléire Goats’ is within easy walking distance of North Harbour and welcomes visitors all year round. There is a farm shop with various artisan goat products including the very popular goat’s milk ice cream which is also available in an ‘Siopa Beag’ in the Harbour area itself. However a visit to the farm itself is well worth the effort which also welcomes students interested in goat husbandman courses and school groups. The owner, Ed Harper, is also an accomplished singer and has been known to entertain guests with some of his popular ballads.


Visit Cape Clear Heritages Centre

Cape Clear Heritage Center is literally bursting with interesting exhibitions and artifacts collected over many years which are well presented. There is also an excellent audio visual display on the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse. The center also houses significant archives including the O’Driscoll archive which is presently available by appointment only. However the centre itself is open from June to September on a daily basis and at other times of the year by appointment. Charges are €5 family, adults €3, children & OAP’s €2

Enjoy Cape Clear Bus & Bus Tours

Cape Clear Island bus service meets all incoming ferries and will bring visitors and their luggage to any destination on the Island for only €2 per person. They also provide regular tours of the Island at a cost of €5 per person. The tours which are approximately ¾ hour in duration are a great way of seeing the Island especially for first time visitors and can be enjoyed even during inclement weather.

Visit our Tourist Office and Craft Shop

Cape Clear Island Tourist Office and Craft Shop is very conveniently located close to the main ferry terminal and is open from May to September and during the Easter holidays. Apart from providing all kinds of up-to-date information on the island, its services and attractions; there is also a range of locally produced crafts products, some of which are not available elsewhere as well as t-shirts and similar items. This is a great place to purchase a present from or memento of your visit to Cape Clear Island.

Buy a book from Cape Clear

Cape Clear Island is well known for its literary heritage and there is a surprisingly interesting and diverse range of books available relating to the Island including works of fiction, poetry, photography, short stories and our natural and historical heritage. No need to pack that block buster; you will find a local book to interest you in one of our Island shops. Titles include, Cape Clear Island, its People & Landscape, The Natural History of Cape Clear Island, Island Magic, O’Driscolls Past & Present, Cape Clear Island, A Visual Tour, and much more. These are also available online at

Take a fishing trip

Surrounded by sea, Cape Clear is obviously a great place to go fishing and none better than our local (fully licensed) angling boat, Gaisceannán, skippered by veteran fisherman Micheal Ó Ceadagáin. Michéal, who will entertain you ‘As Gaeilge nó as Bearla’, (in Irish or English), and will supply all the tackle you need for mackerel or pollack fishing knows all the best spots. A great man for producing fine cups of tea at sea, angling trips are very affordable, costing from €80 to €100 for 6 -10 person for a half day

Enjoy Kayaking in South Harbour

Cape Clear Island’s South Harbour is spectacularly beautiful and boasts many interesting natural features including some majestic sea caves and a magnificent sea arch. It is sheltered and safe for kayaking in most weather conditions, which makes for a great activity for family groups or friends. Both ‘sit on’ and ‘sit in’ kayaks are available for daily use from Cléire Lasmuigh. Please use buoyancy aids or lifejackets while kayaking or using any small boats.

Enjoy Snorkelling in South Harbour

Cape Clear’s South Harbour is also great for snorkelling given the extensive shallow and sheltered area available to explore. There are all kinds of marine life to be seen along its rocky inlets and shores and sandy bottom. Visitors may use their own equipment or as an alternative may contact Cléire Lasmuigh.

Enjoy a swim

There are various beaches and piers on Cape Clear which are suitable for swimming, the most popular being North Harbour itself, which is the only sandy beach,  and South Harbour. Every summer the Irish Water Safety Association organises a week of swimming instruction in North Harbour. Some of the local steps and piers are also popular and much used by swimmers. Please take care while in the water.

Explore Cape Clear Island Walking Trails

There are currently two great walking trails on the Island known as the Red and Green Loops. They offer mostly off road terrain covering the southern cliffs, with spectacular sea views and resident choughs, the central Island wooded area, working farms and fields. While the red loop is off limits to dogs the green loop is very suitable and accessible to dog owners. The loops are marked from the Information board in North Harbour, adjacent to the Information Office.

Go Sea watching for whales, dolphins, basking sharks and seals

Cape Clear Island is a well-known destination for sea watching with regular courses provided by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. There are various specialised local boat operators but you can also do this for free from various locations on the Island itself, with good binoculars and guide book being recommended though not necessary. Amongst the species regularly seen from the Island are minke and fin whales, common and harbour dolphins, basking sharks, porpoises, seals and occasional leatherback turtles. Otters are a constant presence and though shy and elusive can also be seen.

Go Birdwatching

Cape Clear Island is an important ornithological centre and has a bird observatory which is located in North Harbour. During the summer, experienced Ornithologist Steve Wing is available on a daily basis to provide bird watching tours at a cost of per person. These originate close to Ciarán Danny Mikes Pub. However bird watching can be enjoyed at no expense at your own pace and time with only a good guide book and binoculars being recommended. 

Arrange your own self guided heritage tour of Cape Clear

It may not be always possible to access a local guided tour, although there are surprisingly many if you enquire locally. For this reason there is a local bilingual walking/heritage guide which costs only €5. This includes a map of the Island which identifies all the main items of historical and archeological significance and includes photos of each one. Using the book it is quite easy to find them and discover their exciting history. Don’t try and do this in one day, however; it normally takes 2-3 days to see and learn about everything in the book.

Join in or just enjoy a local Traditional Music Session

During the summer and at intervals throughout the year there are informal traditional music sessions in the Island pubs where local musicians are joined by visiting musicians, singers and dancers for evenings of impromptu entertainment. Never feel shy about joining in, all are very welcome, the craic is always good but best of all when someone from ‘out of town’ contributes an unexpected song or tune to the company. This is the essence of ‘craic’; enquire locally about the next session.

Attend a ‘Cúrsa Gaeilge’ in one of our ‘Colaistí Samhraidh’

Cape Clear has two residential ‘coláistí samhraidh’ ( Irish Summer Colleges), Coláiste Chiaráin and Coláiste Phobal Chleire. They offer a range of one to three week courses for young people from 10 to 18 years of age. In 2014 for the first time there will also be a residential one week course in traditional music offered by Coláiste Phobal Chléire.

Visit Cape Clear Maritime Centre

Cape Clear maritime Centre is located in North Harbour just a short walk for the Ferry Terminal. It is open most days from May to September and contains an extensive range of photographs and articles from time gone by. The proprietor, Pat Con Ó Drisceoil , seen in the photograph is always happy to share of the ’island lore’ with visitors.

Bring your Kayak

We carry kayaks on all our ferries at an extra charge of only €2 per kayak. This offers endless possibilities, a circumnavigation of the Island which can be done in 3 easy stages, trips to some of the nearby islands, a ‘slingshot’ trip around the Iconic Fastnet Rock or even, depending on weather conditions, you can paddle to the Island and return by ferry or vice versa. Make sure to check weather conditions, to have the appropriate experience and equipment and if you ask around you may find others willing to share your trips. For families, South Harbour is great for ‘sit on’s’ and family friendly safe and sheltered paddling.

Bring your Bike

Our ferry services are especially attractive to cyclists and offer many possibilities. While you can just bring you bike to explore the Island, it is quite hilly and good gears are needed. Touring cyclists can embark from Schull for Baltimore or vice versa, breaking their tour with two outstanding sea trips for the cost of a single return fare with a surcharge of only €2 for the bike. Another increasingly popular option is to travel from Schull to Baltimore or vice versa by ferry and make the return trip by bike. These options offer the prospect of great sea trips, a visit to Cape Clear and first class cycling all in one day.

Bring your fishing rod

There are various locations on the Island suitable for rock fishing with South Harbour being the most popular. Visitors planning to stay on the Island should bring their fishing rods.  Those fortunate enough to stay in the Island Hostel will find that rods are kindly provided gratis, the only cost being the replacement of any tackle lost. Families fishing from the rocks are advised to be careful, especially of younger children for whom lifejackets or buoyance aids are recommended on these occasions.

See our angling guide to Cape Clear Island here

Enjoy a day’s sailing in Schull

Vacationers on Cape Clear can experience a great family day out in Schull with 2 hours sailing for 4-6 people for only €100 with Schull Outdoor Education Centre Sailing School.  With a special discounted fare of only €10 adult and €5 child (children under 5 free) from Cape Clear to Schull the ferry  is great value too. See the timetable on the pier and on www.SchullFerry.com. Contact the Sailing School at  to reserve place.

Schull Outdoor Education Centre Sailing School
Visit Heir Island and its sandy beaches

Vacationers on Cape Clear Island have the option of visiting nearby Heir Island with its wonderful sandy beaches, sailing and cookery school on a 4 hour day trip on the MV Gaisceannán, skippered by Micheal Ó Céadagáin. With a 1/2 day charter at €100 this is very economical for groups of up to 12. Every trip around the bay brings the possibilities of seeing whales, dolphins, basking sharks and porpoises and on this trip, good views of seals are almost guaranteed.

Visit the magnificent Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

We operate regular trips around the Fastnet Rock from Cape Clear Island throughout the summer when weather conditions are suitable. We circumnavigate the rock at close quarters giving superb views and at a cost of only €12 per person (€32 family) for a 1 ¾ hour trip. Every trip around the bay brings the possibilities of seeing whales, dolphins, basking sharks and porpoises. See the blackboard in the harbor or enquire in the Island information office.

Visit Schull Market

Schull Outdoor Market is at the epicenter of the West Cork Fine Cuisine culture and takes place every Sunday throughout the summer. Schull itself is a thriving seaside village with many other attractions and especially fine cafés and restaurants and is a great day trip for vacationers on Cape Clear Island. Our special discounted fare from Cape Clear of only €10 adults and €5 children (children under 5 free) makes this an inexpensive and attractive proposition.

Visit Dún na Séad Castle

Dún na Séad Castle dominates Baltimore Village and was a long time seat of the O’Driscoll clan after being recaptured from the Normans. It has been lovingly restored by Pat and Bernie Mc Carthy and is now open to the public from 11am to 5pm daily during the summer months at a cost of €4 per person. Our special discounted fare from Cape Clear of only €10 adults and €5 children (children under 5 free) applies.

Enjoy some great diving

Surrounded by a pristine seascape with fabulous reefs and wrecks there is some excellent diving available in the locality. While there is no diving school on the Island itself, Aquaventures (based in nearby Baltimore) will provide for all your needs and is also happy to arrange some adventurous snorkeling in the nearby famous Lough Hyne, Marine Nature Reserve. Remember you can vacation on Cape Clear Island and still enjoy some fantastic activities on the nearby mainland at specially reduced ferry fares.

Employ your very own Guide

Cape Clear Island has a number of very knowledgeable and experienced guides competent in various languages including specialists in ecology and ornithology. From €50 for 2 hour walk they are very affordable for groups and families and will greatly enhance your visit to the Island depending on your interests. Especially recommended for walking groups. Please contact us directly at info@cailinoir.com or 028-41923 and we can put you in touch with the appropriate guide for your requirments.

Attend a Whale and Dolphin Watching Course

Since 2001, IWDG has delivered a series of weekend Whale Watching courses on Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork.  These weekends offer a unique learning experience on one of Ireland’s most stunning offshore Islands, and comprise a series of indoor lectures, as well as cliff- and boat-based whale watches. These courses also provide a really good opportunity for sightings of a range of cetacean species.  They are ideally suited for anyone interested in learning more about cetaceans, their ecology, and how to observe, identify and record them in Irish waters. 

00353 (0)86 3850568
Attend a Birdwatching Course

Birdwatch Ireland operate an bird observatory on the Island and run various bird watching courses from the Spring to Autumn period.  These are very suitable for enthusiasts seeking to improve their skills in the company of like-minded people and to enjoy the Island in a congenial atmosphere. For more information contact.

Visit Mara Farm Shop/Cafe

Fiona Mac Lachlainn has some friendly  Kerry Bog Ponies, Kerry Cows and Tamworth crossed pigs on her farm as well as a large flock of hens and ducks. Her cafe/shop is conveniently locate on the red walking loop and also sells some other farm products. Great for children, great for a refreshing cup of tea or coffee.

028 39121
Experience the Cape Clear Internationally Storytelling Festival

Founded  by Chuck Kruger in 1994, the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival is one of Ireland’s premier storytelling events. Taking place during the first full weekend in September every year, the Festival has become one of the most renowned festivals in the world storytelling calendar. Each year it invites some of the most accomplished tellers from around the world, and also presents the best Irish exponents of this most ancient of art forms to a world audience. The festival brings to our island shore a widely acclaimed line-up of the best exponents of this ancient art. 

Enjoy a Storytelling Workshop

The annual Storytelling Workshop takes place in October every year and provides 15 hours of informal tuition by an acclaimed storyteller over a weekend. Interactive and with lots of opportunity to socialize with fellow participants; places are limited to assure everyone’s comfort and opportunity throughout. Against the spectacular backdrop that is Cape Clear Island the workshops never fail to inspire. 

Enjoy a day’s cruising in Roaringwater Bay

From Schull you can enjoy a day’s cruising in Roaringwater Bay for only €20 ( children €10) as you sail to Baltimore and back with a stopover on Cape Clear Island enroute. The four legs of the trip will take approximately 45 min’s each, giving you over 3 hours cruising through this spectacular seascape. Apart from the stunning views there is always the possibility of spotting whales, dolphins and other cetaceans on the way. Check out our time table to organize your return trip. The schedules do not permit a day return for passengers originating in Baltimore but if you wish to stay overnight in Cape Clear or Schull then the same offer applies. 

Bring your Youth, School or Scout Group

With two Irish colleges based on the Island, a campsite, youth hostel, playing field and a range of other service providers, it is an ideal location for weekend or longer stays for organized camps for young people. The existing facilities are excellent and varied and our activity providers, guides, teachers and musicians together will cooperate with you to provide the best experience possible for the group. The self-contained nature of the Island allows for more freedom than may be possible elsewhere and everything possible is done by all concerned to make the trip a success. Please contact us directly  info@cailinoir.com .

Enjoy a ‘Céilí Beag’

Groups visiting the Island can contract with local musicians to provide a traditional music session in a venue and at a time of their choice. These will be tailored to the type of group involved and can involve traditional and contemporary music, song and dance as required. These sessions can complement a day’s cruising or an overnight stay or longer for all age groups at a cost of only €120. Please contact us at info@cailinoir.com  to arrange.

Experience a Sea Safari with Baltimore Sea Safari

Baltimore Sea Safari offers a variety of boat trips ranging from a 20 minutes harbour thrill trip to a 2-hour full sea safari experience. All trips offer a chance to see whales, dolphins and porpoise in their natural habitats. During every trip we visit seal colonies, and we provide a commentary on the sights of interest and the fascinating history of the area and its wildlife. Even if sightings of wildlife are scarce there is some of the most spectacular coastline in West Cork to explore. Prices are varied with 2 hour trips costing €25 and pickups can be arranged in Cape Clear by appointment. Contact

Horsetrekking in Schull

Enjoy a family day out in Schull with a visit to Schull Equestrian Centre from only €25 per person for groups of 4 and over.  Transport included to and from the pier. Avail of the special discounted fare for return trips from Cape Clear to Schull of only €10 per adult and €5 per child with under 5’s free of charge.

028 28346 or 087 4163563
Visit Sherkin Island

Nearby Sherkin island with its sandy beaches, ancient Abbey, pub and hotel is a popular destination for day trips originating in Cape Clear Island. Avail of the regular ferry services plying between the Islands to enjoy another great day out. Forget about road transport, stay on Cape Clear Island, and experience the laid back feeling of multiple excursions by sea for a holiday with a difference.

Go whalewatcing at sea

There are various specialised local operators who provide whalewatching trips and most are happy to pick up from the Island. Nic Slocum of West Cork Whalewatch has a regular stopover on the Island&during his whale watching tips and the Liscannor Star operated by Island man Martin O Driscoll is also available for charter. See

Bring your Camera

Given Cape Clear’s often stunningly dramatic connection to the sea, the different personalities of its harbors and fields, its complex and prolific flora and fauna, its archaeological treasures scattered all over the island, its unspoilt nature, its people, given all that just as a beginning, a camera’s no more than a must, especially for the multiple juxtapositions of Cape's treasures. Then you may take some Cape home with you and share it with family and friends.

Enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt

The annual Easter Sunday Easter Egg Hunt has become a very popular family event on the Island in recent years. There are various hunts arranged for all age groups including adults and ‘competitors’ to stretch a point, also enjoy sumptuous seasonal homemade refreshments. All profits gained are contributed to Bóthar and other worthy charities while a great time is being had by all.

Build and race your own Raft

Cape Clear Annual Family Fun Day has grown over the years to include since 2103 a raft race which is a fabulous fun event sponsored by Cailín Óir Ferry Service and enjoyed in equal measure by competitors and spectators alike. Planned for the Family Fun Day which is the second Sunday in August every year, we look forward to more interesting and outlandish entries in the years to come. Prizes are awarded for the fastest raft, the most entertaining raft (and crew) and the most amusing raft.

Take part in Cape Clear Family Fun Day

Cape Clear Family Fun Week is the third week in August and provides a range of family fun events culminating in the Family Fun Day on the final Sunday. Events are varied and subject to change from year to year but typically include the Cape Clear Fun Triathlon, the Hilarious Cape Clear Dog Show, Swimming & fishing events, quiz nights, music, children’s events, lots of cakes and much more. This is a great week for any family interested a having a holiday with a difference.

Enjoy the Cape Clear Wren Boys

True to tradition the Cape Clear Wren Boys venture forth annually on St Stehpens Day on an odyssey of music, song and craic throughout the length and breadth of the island. There are two parts to the day, the first includes both ‘The Big Wren’ and ‘The Little Wren’, (children’s wren) and from about 3pm comprises only the ‘The Big Wren’ (adults). All funds collected are donated to a local cause. Christmas is a special time to visit the Island and there are usually a number of other family and community events on Christmas Day itself. You had better stay, it’s the only day of the year the ferry doesn’t operate!.

Enjoy Halloween on Cape Clear Island

‘Oíche Shamhna', Halloween is celebrated on the Island from darkness onwards with a community fancy dress event followed by an outdoor celebration and only after do the Island’s ‘Trick or Treaters’ set forth on their annual quest along its highways and byways. With the strong sense of Autumn and the coming winter this is the last big event before the mid-winter celebrations to come and with the mid-term break from school is a great time for a family visit to the Island. Cape Clear has its different seasons and tempos and this is a special time of the year.

Join us to celebrate St Ciarán’s Day

Cape Clear Island is one of the last places in Ireland which continues the tradition of celebrating its Patron Saint’s Feast Day, St Ciaran’s Day which falls on the 5th March. St Ciaran, born in 352 AD on the island is an important pre Patrician saint and is the patron saint of Cornwall where he is known as St Piriam. The feast day celebration includes prayers at the Grotto, the celebration of Mass, the blessing of the island’s boats and a community celebration including music, refreshments and song.

Join the Annual O Driscoll Visit to Cape Clear Island

Every Year in June the annual O’Drisoll Clan Gathering takes place in the locality of Baltimore and its nearby islands. These are the last strongholds of the O’Driscoll clan, one of the most ancient septs of the area and descendants of the Corca Laoighe tribe which ruled until about 1,000 years ago. The annual visit includes a trip to the Island Heritage Centre where the O’Driscoll archives are preserved, some interesting presentations and refreshments and traditional entertainment.

Get engaged or married

In recent years Cape Clear has become quite the attraction for the romantic. The Islands ancient ‘marriage’ or ‘trysting stones’ attract couples wishing to make or to renew their vows and quite often this will include appropriate celebrations with family and friends. In other cases couples getting married on the nearby mainland arrange a trip to the Island for family and friends in the days before or after the wedding. Island based service providers can fulfill all requirements for refreshments,  guided walks and most especially festive ‘ceol agus craic’ provided by our talented local musicians. For details of our special wedding or festive packages download our brochure here.

Bring your Laser or Topaz

While South Harbor has been a popular anchorage for sailing yachts for many years from 2013 it has also been used successfully as a base for small sailing boats. With the absence of a slip the boats have been successfully moored during the summer and available for daily use. With all the other facilities available including a camping site overlooking the harbor the Island is an ideal venue for sea scouts and similar groups and we can bring your boats and gear to the Island.

Attend a traditional music course

From 2014 Coláiste Phobal Chleire will operate a one week residential/ nonresidential traditional music course during the third week in July. This is geared towards young musicians keen to hone their skills in range of traditional instruments and will also include traditional song and dance. There is a full board option available but families are also encouraged to obtain alternative accommodation on the Island because there will be additional workshops available for other members of the family to attend if they wish.

Arrange your own event on Cape Clear Island

Over the years Cape Clear Island has hosted an eclectic range of events ranging from mediation workshops, to photographic courses, Irish language and cultural gatherings, mini conferences, adventure and mountain biking events and much more. These have generally been extremely successful given the intimate nature of the island and the professionalism of the various island based service providers.. We can provide comprehensive help and advice to anyone interested in hosting an event of any kind on the Island, it will be probably turn out to be both much better and much less expensive than you thought possible.