On Dursey Island

Dursey Island

Dursey Island (Irish: Oileán Baoi (Island of the Bull in Viking Norse) is one of the few inhabited islands that lie off the southwest coast of Ireland. It is situated at the western tip of the Beara Peninsula in the west of County Cork. Dursey Island is 6.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water called the Dursey Sound which has a very strong tidal race, with a reef of rocks in the centre of the channel which is submerged at high tides. This peaceful island, with only a handful of permanent residents, is connected to the mainland by Ireland’s only cable car.

The island, historically, was made up of 3 villages or ‘townlands’. These are Ballynacallagh, Kilmichael, and Tilickafinna respectively from east to west on the island. Quite a few of the buildings that comprised these villages can still be seen today.

Dolphins and whales are regular visitors to the rich waters that surround Dursey, in addition to a wide range of different types of seabirds and butterflies.

Dursey has no shops, pubs or restaurants, so visitors are advised to bring food and water if they plan to go for a walk!

Dursey Island

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