Further points of interest:

Mizen Peninsula and Mizen Head

The Mizen Peninsula in the far Southwest is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, which provides a bit of everything that makes Ireland so unique: steep cliffs, lush green pastures and rugged moorland, lively little towns, megaliths and the probably most beautiful beach of West Cork at Barley Cove - all of this is to be found here on a total length of just 30 kilometres. In many travel guides the Mizen Peninsula is only mentioned as a side note. That's probably one reason, why it is so contemplative here.

In good weather you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the azure sea from nearly all places of the peninsula, even Fastnet Rock, Ireland‘s southernmost point, is noticeable in the distance. It's obvious that the Mizen Peninsula is highly influenced by the Gulf Stream and the weather conditions over the Atlantic. Accordingly extreme are the atmospheric conditions: when the sun shines it is pleasantly warm, but when it rains or winds, it can be very uncomfortable.

Coming from the N71, the R596 leads through the picturesque town Ballydebob thats narrow main street winds up a hill along colourful facades. The main village of the peninsula is Schull, a lively fishing and sailing venue, where in 1989 the first planetarium of the Irish Republic was opened. Anyone who has time should make a stop in Schull. The little town offers plenty of accommodations for tourists and is an ideal starting point for exploring the peninsula.

To the West the scenic route leads along the rugged coast, passing a remarkable Megalith, the Altar Wedge Tomb. This wedge tomb is more than 2000 years old. A real feast for the eyes is the next highlight on the route, the beach at Barley Cove, located in a sheltered bay. Gently nestled between green hills, here lies a sprawling dune landscape that is a popular destination for families. Not far from the beach one can reach the little town Crockhaven that is build up of only a hand full of houses along the narrow street.

Mizen Head is in the far West of the peninsula. The street ends at the parking place of the Mizen Head Visitor Centre. From here a narrow path leads over 99 steps down to the new pedestrian bridge that connects the mainland with Cloghane Island, the location of a former signal station high above the Atlantic's waves. If one is interested in light houses and navigation, here is the right place. Because both the station and the visitor centre inform about the eventful history of the Irish signal stations and disasters at sea. Also one can dabble in a simulation as the captain of an offshore freighter. North of Mizen Head, another cape extends into the Atlantic: Three Castle Head. If the weather is good you should definitely hike up the hill, in order to visit the ruins of Cloghane Castle. It's worth it - promise!