Skellig Rocks, Skellig Michael, Valentia Island, Royal Hotel Valentia

Explore Valentia

There’s lots to see and do on and around Valentia Island – here are some of our favourites!

Cromwells Point LighthouseTetrapod TrackwayGeokaun MountainSlate Quarry and GrottoGlanleam Subtropical GardensBray Tower and Looped WalkCracow Park & PlaygroundSkellig Michael – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cromwells Point Lighthouse, Valentia Island

Opening hours:
Easter – September
Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5:30pm
Sunday 12pm – 6.30pm
(Subject to weather conditions)

A fascinating site with a history spanning five centuries as a military installation, barracks, prison, lighthouse and now community museum, Cromwell Point Lighthouse offers something for all the family to explore and enjoy. It was first opened to the public in June 2013 through the work of a local community group and all profits from ticket sales go towards further developing the project and to supporting other local community initiatives.

Admission:
€5.00 per adult
Under 12 yrs €2.50
Family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) €15.00

Tetrapod Trackways

Opening hours:
7 days a week, 365 days a year
(Subject to weather conditions)

Admission:
Free

The Tetrapod imprints are thought to date from Devonian times – somewhere between 350 and 370 million years ago. This site is of international significance as it represents the transition of life from water to land – a momentous turning point in evolution and provides the oldest reliably dated evidence of four legged vertebrates (amphibians) moving over land. The Valentia Island Tetrapod footprints are the most extensive of the four Devonian trackways in the world. Access to the trackway is by a pathway down to the rocks (with car parking also available).
Geokaun Mountain
Opening hours:
7 days a week, 365 days a year
6am – 11pm
Admission:
€5 per car/family
€2 per pedestrian/cyclist.
Call Bernie +353876493728 if you have any queries.
Walk or drive to the top of Geokaun Mountain, the highest point on Valentia and one of the most westerly parts of Ireland and Europe where you will enjoy 360 degree views at the summit.Before you get to the top, walk the short path to Fogher Cliffs and enjoy the panoramic landscape from the viewing deck. Read about the path through the cliffs which the women used long ago to go to the bog. At the peak there are three viewing areas – The Miner’s View, The Shepherd’s View & Carraig na Circe along with 50 information plaques relating to the views including the Skelligs, the Blasket Islands, Bray Tower, the Cable Station, local Flora & Fauna, Wildlife and much more.
Valentia Slate Quarry
Opening hours:
7 days a week, 365 days a year
Admission:
Free
‘By the waters that flow around Valentia, there’s one spot of fame and renown, that catches the eye from the quarry, As you gaze up the river to town.’ – Johnny Murphy.

The Slate Quarry first opened in 1816 under the direction of the Knight of Kerry and has been a working quarry on and off since. Famous for its quality, Valentia Slate can be found in such locations as Paris Opera House, London’s Houses of Parliament and many billiard tables. Today it is used as flooring, counter tops, tables and roof slate. A rock fall closed the mine in 1910 and it remained abandoned until 1954 when statues of Our Lady and Saint Bernadette were placed high above the quarry entrance through the financial generosity and efforts of the local community. The slate quarry was reopened in 1999 and once again Valentia Island Slate is being successfully exported around the world while also providing local employment.

Glanleam Subtropical Gardens
Opening hours:
April to October

Admission:

Glanleam was built as a linen mill in 1775 and later served as the home of the Knight of Kerry. Sir Peter Fitzgerald, the 19th knight, realised the almost frost-free conditions and laid out 16 hectares of a subtropical garden around Glanleam House. He organised his gardens in a Robinsonian style, inter-planting natural habitats with exotics. This, along with recent extensive additions, has resulted in an enchanted garden, subtropical paradise, rainforest and jungle all at the same time. Glanleam is famous for southern hemisphere and Asian plants, which thrive in the mild climate of Valentia Island.
Bray Head Tower

Opening hours:
7 days a week, 365 days a year
Admission:
EUR2 for car parking

The abortive French invasion of Ireland in 1796 brought about a scurry of tower buildings along the coasts, so that signals could be passed from one to another in the event of another attack. Valentia Island’s tower is said to have been constructed in 1815 for this purpose. It was used up until the 1920’s by naval authorities as a signal station. The old Bray Head tower was briefly re-occupied by coast watchers during the ‘emergency’ (World War II).

The looped walk is a moderate 2-3 hour (7km) Failte Ireland approved looped walk to Bray Tower and onwards to Bray Head which offers spectacular views out west over the Skellig Islands, north over the sheer cliffs to Dingle and south along the Skellig Coast, Portmagee and Puffin Island. A great spot for whale-watching. Near the car park is the historic site where the Trans-Atlantic Cable landed in 1866. Half the way up to the tower on the south side of the road is a unique heritage site that many miss. Here there are remains of five dry stone buildings from early Christian times with 12 decorated stones, crosses and other geometric shapes engraved on the site.

Cracow-Playground
Opening hours:
7 days a week, 365 days a year
Admission:
Free
Just a few minutes walk from the grounds of the Royal Valentia, Cracow Park & Playground hosts a state of the art children’s playground with playing fields, cricket crease, a running track and asphalt basketball and tennis court.

Not to mention great views over Portmagee channel to the mainland!

Skellig Wedding Package @ Royal Valentia
From April through to September, the Skelligs are accessible to the public via a number of specifically licensed boats. Trips can be booked at reception but it should be note that trips are weather permitting, subject to availability and payment is made directly to the boat.
But for the magic that takes you out, far out of this time and this world, there is Skellig Michael, ten miles off the Kerry Coast, shooting straight up 700 feet out of the Atlantic. Whoever has not stood in the graveyards at the summit of that cliff, among the beehive dwellings and their beehive oratory, does not know Ireland through and through, It is the beauty of Ireland that has made us what we are.George Bernard Shaw

Skellig Michael, comprising a well preserved monastery and a remote hermitage perched on a rock in the Atlantic, is the most spectacularly situated of all the early medieval Irish monastic sites. The island’s isolation has helped to preserve and protect the monastic remains, allowing the visitor to marvel at the remarkable achievements of the monks. Skellig Michael is also an internationally renowned site for breeding seabirds with its steep rock slopes and cliffs providing nesting places for a variety of seabirds. It is this combination of cultural and natural history which imbues the island with a strong sense of beauty and spirituality. When inscribing the site on the World Heritage List in 1996, UNESCO described Skellig Michael as a unique example of early religious settlement which illustrates, as no other site can, the extremes of Christian monasticism.

Check out http://www.valentiaisland.ie/get-active/ for more of what to see and do during your visit to Valentia Island.

CHECK AVAILABILITY