If you’re debating staying in Glandore in Cork, you’ve landed in the right place.
The gorgeous little village of Glandore is a breathtaking base for exploring many of the best things to do in West Cork.
In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from things to do in Glandore in West Cork to where to eat, sleep and drink.
Some quick need-to-knows about Glandore in Cork
Although a visit to Glandore in West Cork is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. A peaceful slice of paradise
The Glandore harbour stretches inland for around 4.8km/3 miles, and there are two islands called Adam and Eve at its mouth. The village is surrounded by unspoiled countryside, home to two Norman castles and the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle.
3. A great base for exploring
One of the beauties of Glandore is its size and its location, both of which make it a lovely base to explore Cork from. The village tends to be quiet outside of the summer months, and its setting makes it a joy to wake up in.
Back in 1215, Normans settled in Glandore, establishing two castles due to its convenient location. The current pier and wall were constructed sometime in the first half of the 19th century.
The harbour is host to an array of marine life, such as grey herons, oystercatchers and seals. The greater bay area located between the Galley Head and Toe Head is known for dolphins, porpoises and whales.
Every year, the local yacht club organizes 16+ courses for junior sailors though there are also adult courses as well as powerboat courses too. The club can also train visitors in the use of keelboats, cruisers or dinghies.
A short walk from the harbour will lead you to Christ Church, where you can get some lovely views after a little trek up the hill.
Every two years Classic Boat Regatta takes place, a weeklong event where boats from all over Ireland come to join in on the festivities.
Things to do in Glandore (and nearby)
There’s a handful of things to do in Glandore and hundreds of things to do a short spin away from the village.
Both of the above combined make Glandore in Cork a great base for a road trip! Here are some of our favourite things to do in Glandore.
1. Kick-start your day with a coffee and a view at the Glandore Inn
One of the best ways to start your adventure in Glandore is by sipping a coffee on the terrace of the Glandore Inn and taking in the incredible views overlooking the inlet and surrounding area.
The food here is top notch too. There is plenty to choose from for breakfast, such as a full Irish Breakfast or smoked salmon caught from the harbour.
2. Take a spin over to Union Hall and have a ramble around the town
When the sun is out, you could take a detour over to Union Hall, which is about a 30-minute walk or a short, 5-minute drive.
Union Hall is surrounded by woodlands, rivers and plenty of archaeological treasures like castle ruins and forts that can be explored.
To the far side of the old pier is Keellbeg Strand, a lovely sandy beach that is popular with locals. The Cusheen, a hidden sandy cove is also worth a visit, and is close to the Reen Pier.
3. Beaches, beaches and more beaches
Glandore is a stone’s throw from many of the best beaches in Cork. It’s also home to a couple, too, such as the Keelbeg Strand, a sandy beach close to the main fishing pier and The Cusheen, a hidden sandy cove by the Reen Pier.
But there are a few hidden gems, too, such as Myross Slip, a mostly gravel beach by Myross Bridge that is full of marine life. The League is another great spot, it’s a spit out into the sea where you can collect seashells and sea glass.
A 10-minute spin south can take you to Squince Beach and Trá an Oileáin. Squince is a secluded beach great for swimming, while the latter is a sandy beach perfect for strolling along.
Related read: Check out our guide to the best beaches in West Cork (tourist favourites and hidden gems)
4. Step back in time at Drombeg Stone Circle
A visit to the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle is arguably one of the most popular things to do in Glandore.
Drombeg is perfectly located amongst rolling fields, and you can just about see the ocean from a distance. It’s one of the best-known archaeological sites in Ireland and is easy to reach from the car park next to it.
Dating back to the Bronze Age, this 3,000-year-old site consists of 17 standing stones, and the majority of them are local sandstone. Learn all about it here.
5. Hit the water on a whale watch tour
If you want to have a whale of a time (terrible, I know…), then whale watching in Cork is worth considering.
Ireland is home to an array of marine life, and everything from whales and seals to dolphins and more can be spotted in the waters off West Cork.
The nearest tour operator is Cork Whale Watch (a 7 min drive south of Union Hall), and the tour costs roughly €60 (prices may vary).
If you head west towards Baltimore pier, you can find Whale Watch West Cork and Baltimore Sea Safari, too.
6. Visit the mighty Mizen Head
Mizen Head is the most Southwesterly point of Ireland, a wonderful spot full of awe-inspiring views and the freshest sea breeze to ever grace your face.
You’ll find the mighty Mizen Head at the end of the Mizen Peninsula and, depending on weather conditions, the iconic bridge that spans high above the gorge.
There’s plenty to see at Mizen, from the visitor centre and the signal station to endless coastal views and much more.
7. Do the Lough Hyne walk
It can take between 1 and 1.5 hours to finish, depending on pace, and the reward for those that reach the top is panoramic views overlooking the stunning Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve and the surrounding area.
The Lough itself has its own ecosystem and is Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve too. You can learn more about the Lough at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre, which has an exhibition there as well as an insightful section on how the little town was affected by the famine.
8. Take a ferry to Cape Clear or Sherkin Island
If you’re visiting Glandore and in search of things to do, it’s worth considering a visit to an island (or two!). Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island are easily reached by ferry from nearby Baltimore harbour.
Sherkin Island is a retreat (or escape) for anyone looking to be inspired by natural beauty and the island boasts three fantastic beaches to explore.
Cape Clear is a little further south of Sherkin, it is Ireland’s Southernmost Gaeltacht, but everyone speaks English too, so don’t worry. (Though we’d encourage you to use a cúpla focail during your visit.)
Roaringwater Bay in Cape Clear is thought to be the best location in Europe for spotting dolphins and whales.
9. Take a spin over to Gougane Barra
The magical and mystical Gougane Barra forest park is located about an hour’s drive away and covers 137 acres. Nestled in a lush valley close to the Sheehy mountains, it’s a prime spot for a hike or picnic.
The majestic River Lee lies within these woods, flowing all the way to Cork Harbour. At the edge of the lake, close to the park’s entrance, is a tiny island where a Christian Monastery was established back in the 6th century.
The park is perfect any time of the year, but it’s during the summer when you can enjoy birds singing and the aroma of pine that really connect you with nature.
When it comes to accommodation in Glandore, you aren’t spoiled for choice, which can make finding a place to stay, especially during the summer, tricky.
Note: if you book a stay through one of the links above we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.
Glandore restaurants and pubs
Glandore has plenty of places to grab a bite to eat. The town is known for its good food and drinks, with many prioritising locally sourced produce.
1. Casey’s of Glandore
If you’re a fan of lovely aul traditional pubs, then the family-run Casey’s is well worth nipping into for a pint or a bite. This little haven will welcome new visitors with open arms, and you can get some excellent tips on things to see and do from one of the locals or bartenders.
2. Glandore Inn
The Glandore Inn offers diners excellent views over the bay as well as great food too! The portions served here are decent, and the fish pie and fish burger never fail to make tastebuds zing! There is also a great selection of wines if you fancy a tipple.
3. Hayes’ Bar & Kitchen
This upscale gastropub is run by David and Julie Wine. The menu is extensive, creative and quirky – not only can you find good Irish Cuisine here but many other continental classics too. The gastropub boasts a huge selection of wines, with each one chosen to pair with a specific dish on the menu.
FAQs about visiting Glandore in West Cork
Since mentioning the town in a guide to West Cork that we published several years ago, we’ve had hundreds of emails asking various things about Glandore in West Cork.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Are there many things to do in Glandore in Cork?
No. And that’s arguably one of the village’s biggest draws. Glandore is quiet and stunningly scenic. It’s a place to relax, soak up views and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of life. There are, however, many things to do a stone’s throw from Glandore.
Are there many places to eat in Glandore?
Although there are only a handful of places to eat in Glandore, those operating in the village pack a punch. Visitors to the area can choose from the Glandore Inn, Hayes’ Bar and Kitchen and Casey’s.
What are the best places to stay in Glandore?
While there are no hotels in Glandore in Cork, there are plenty of great B&Bs, guesthouses and holiday homes (see above).