Garinish Island & Beara

25.08.2006 Garinish Island and Ring of Beara
After the dawn comes the shock. Because the weather today is grey and grey and it rains. But we can´t help it and drive to the west. Today driving left goes rather smooth. The way leads over cork into the direction of Bantry, there close to the coast lies Garinish Island. In the travel guide described as flower Island. But to get there we have first to use the local pirates, which charge quickly 12 EUR per person for the trip. But without an alternative we board the old boat and are being shipped through the bay. There one sees by the way some sea lions lying lazy on the rocks. Arrived at the Island we may pay another 4,50 EUR to enter the park. Then we come into the gardens. They are very nice and we find various flowers which we never thought of being here. But the climate is very mild and almost without frost.

Strassenschilder auf gälisch
Bantry Coast Seelöwe im Hafen

Garinish Island

The island has a size of ca. 15 hectare and is worldwide known by their special garden architecture and unique choice of trees and bushes. The gardens originates about 70 years ago in a joint venture between the then owner Annan Pryce with the architect and gardener. The island was transferred in 1953 into states property and in since then administrated by the government. In official maps the island is named Garinish Island as known internationally. The other name- Ilnacullin (Island of holly) - is probably the older name of the island.
The island can be reached with one of the private ferries from Glengariff . Visitation is possible in the summer months or otherwise by agreement. Passage and entry are charged separately. Beside the passage passes rocks with harbor seals.

italienischer Pavillon
Löwenskulptur Tempel Merkur Statue

The particular thing of the location of Garinish Island is the protected location in the bay of Bantry and the warming influence of the gulf stream. The climate may be considered almost subtropical, which supports the growth of ornamental plants from all over the world. The winters are mild, frost periods are short and the average precipitation is considerably.
The former owner a rich millionairess (not available any more) added respective Mediterranean buildings. Around ruffed mountains and gentle bays may be seen which provide an unreal touch to the whole thing. After a complete walk around, we travel back which is exceptionally for free. IN light rain we drive out to the Beara Peninsula. Here we have first contact with the horrible roads - no middle line and with every oncoming car - eyes shut and through. The left mirror is in permanent contact with the hedges. In between there are again and again beautiful views on the sea, but we have to be careful with the walls at the roadside.

das Fährboot nach Garinish Island
Red Flower
Stairway to.... ?

The Beara Peninsula, also called Caha Peninsula is situated in Ireland south of the Iveragh Peninsula (with the Ring of Kerry) and belongs only with the smaller part to the county Kerry whereas the larger part belongs to County Cork. She is located west of the pass road connecting the towns of Kenmare (Cop. Kerry) and the vivid Glengariff in Co Cork. The peninsula in mountainous but treeless, ca. 50 km long and at the beginning 15 km wide. She tightens and at her wedge shaped end is Dursey Island, in the south very close to the coast is Bear Island. The largest town on the peninsula is Castletownbere, protected by this island. Its touristic attractivity is only a little smaller than the northern peninsulas. But the Ring of Beara is not permitted for buses an therefore less developed

Strasse zum Healey Pass Blick auf die Beara Halbinsel

After we endured this for a while, we turn off in direction of the which passes the Peninsula right in the middle It goes uphill with green meadows to left left and to the right littered all over with sheep. Accordingly is the smell and everywhere are dumplings The road winds in steep curves and is nothing for weak stomachs. Short of the summit is a gift shop, surprisingly well assorted. We buy a book about the history of Ireland and some postcards. They have further T-shirts and everything related to sheep. With the summit also the county changes form Cork to Kerry The road downhill is similar to the one uphill or even worse. And it gets foggy. Is a ghostly lonesomeness and feels strange until we turn into a more frequented road. From now on the way leads on broader roads until it branches off towards Killarney.

Shop am Healey Pass
einsame und neblige Strassen
An der Bay

onward to Killarney...

Kilkenny Killarney