This is one of the most scenic parts of the country with a reputation as a quirky and relaxing area. West Cork extends along the coast through a variety of small towns and villages to the wild and rugged Beara peninsula, finally terminating in a barely inhabited island reached by a cable-car. There are many opportunites for pursuing of watersports, hill-walking and general relaxation. It is an area of small towns, a long and varied coastline, with drowned river valleys, long peninsulas, and offshore islands and an area renowned for its mild climate and exotic and luxuriant vegetation. As you travel west from Cork City the landscape gradually becomes more dramatic.
It has become a popular area for holiday and retirement homes and amongst people seeking to live alternative lifestyles but this has been a slow development and the resulting houses are scattered and very individual.
- Beara: a wild peninsula to the north of Bantry Bay. The only town here is Castletownbere (or Castletownberehaven) which is one of Ireland's leading fishing ports but has a population of less than 2000.
- Cape Clear (or Clear Island): an Irish-speaking island 45 minutes by boat from Baltimore. The island (which is approximately 5.5 km long at its longest point and approximately 1.5 km at its widest) can make for a very pleasant visit in the summer if the weather allows.
- Crosshaven — village with sailing opportunities, plenty of hiking trails, and spectacular views over the Cork Harbour
- Kinsale a historic town associated with sailing and good food.
- Schull - a vibrant tourist and fishing village famous for Calves Week, its annual keelboat regatta; and the Fastnet International Schools Regatta, held annually in dinghies
Although a remote part of Ireland, West Cork is reasonably well served by International and regional transport including airports, buses and car rentals. Best if you use a good map of West Cork before you start planning your trip.
West Cork offers a wide variety of activities and excursions for the visitor however most activities are programmed for the Spring, Summer, and Autumn periods. This West Cork Event Calendar  is actively updated with interesting events and general activities to suit most interests.