Offshore Islands

Offshore Islands

Cape Clear Island - Oileán Chléire


Cape Clear Island
Republic of Ireland

This wildly romantic island can not help but impress those that visit. Cape Clear, or Oileán Chléire, is a Gaeltacht island 13km off the coast of West Cork. It is Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island.

Only 5km long and 2km wide Cape Clear's remote isolation has created a unique and fiercely proud culture.

Heather, gorse and wild flowers cover the rugged hills between dry stone walls. Megalithic standing stones, a 5000 year old passage grave, a 12th Century church ruin and a 14th Century castle are testament to the island's rich cultural heritage.

Cape Clear's rugged scenery, sheltered sparkling harbours, cliffs, bogs and scenic pebble beaches all contribute to the island’s unspoilt charm.

You'll be steeped in wildlife on the island: rare migratory birds, whales, sun fish and shark are spotted from the Island every year, as well as the regular visitors, the dolphins. The plethora of flora and fauna makes for fabulous walking.

The Islanders of Cape Clear are a friendly bilingual community removed from the hustle and bustle of mainland life. Whether you come to Cape Clear to get close to nature, learn a bit of 'an Ghaeilge', taste some goats milk ice cream or enjoy the island's famous hospitality: Oileán Chléire offers relaxation, nature and peace.

Services ProvidedKEY
  • IrishSpoken
General DescriptionsKEY
  • Accommodation : Guesthouses, holiday homes, hostel shop, restaurants, pubs, boat hire and bus tours.
  • Activities : Birdwatching ( birdwatching observatory on island ) Heritage centre, outdoor adventure and water sports centre, bus tours of the island, walking, diving, angling and boat trips ( including whale and dolphin watching )
  • Did you know? : Cléire is one of the leading cestacean sighting locations in Europe and with whales and dolphins regularly spotted.
  • Population : 129. A Gaeltacht island.
  • Size : 4.8 km long and 1.6 km wide.
  • When to visit : Visitors welcome all year round, the busiest time is June to August.

June - August: sailings from Dún na Séad (Baltimore), Co. Cork
Cape Clear Ferry / Naomh Ciarán II. Capacity: 97 Passengers Also available for boat trips to Sherkin Island and Fastnet Rock. Tel: +353 (0)28 39153 Mobile: +353 (0)87 2680760, +353 (0)87 2824008 Email: Web:
__________________________________________ Island Tripper Ferry - serves various West Cork islands. Also operates "Twilight Tours" to Fastnet Rock and Lough Hyne. Tel: +353(028) 41923
Sailings from Schull: Cape Clear Ferries Tel: +353 (0)28 28278 Mobile: +353 (0)86 2379302 Email: Web:


Cape Clear International Story Telling Festival, The bird watching festival ( October ), ecology and Irish language courses and with a regatta in August.

Things To Do Nearby

Summer festivals