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“A great day trip”
Review of Garnish Island

Garnish Island
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Ring of Beara Day Tour from Killarney
Ranked #2 of 15 things to do in Glengarriff
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Garnish Island (Ilnacullin Garinish or Garnish) is located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, in Southwest Ireland. Garnish is world renowned for its gardens which are laid out in beautiful walks and it has some stunning specimen plants which are rare in this climate.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“A great day trip”
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We visited on the hottest day in years and the bugs were out to bite us! That was the only downside of a lovely trip across the bay to this picturesque garden island in the flow of the Gulf stream. You could spend hours wandering here and taking in the beauty.

Visited July 2013
Thank ArkLark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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515 reviews from our community

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English first
Rockville, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Off the tourist trap path!”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

We have visited Killarney, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Kinsale, Bunratty, and more, so it was great to drive a bit and discover the beauty of Bantry Bay.

Brendan made our visit to Garnish Island possible and my group of 20 loved the day (in spite of a bit of a soft rain.) The gardens was lovely; seal island was a treat; and we could have a light bite to eat before heading out to Bantry House & Gardens.

A truly grand day -- never rushed, super views, wonderful people every place we were!

Visited August 2013
Thank gowithjudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Immaculate gardens”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We went here one Sunday for a day out. The ferry across was very nice, the boatmen were so friendly and chatty. They stopped to let us look at and take pictures of seals on the rocks. We decided to get something to eat in the cafe before we walked around but ended up wishing we got something before we got on the ferry. The cafe itself is dreary and the food doesn't make up for it. Everything is store bought even the salty tinned soup. I know its an island and all but I don't think it would be that hard to get homemade soup and maybe some home baking done for it. One of my friends got soup with brown bread which was actually just a slice of cheap sliced pan because the soda bread was still frozen at 1.30 on a Sunday afternoon. The prices are average to many cafes but the standard is a lot lower. Its fine for a cup of tea or a cold drink. Considering the amount of work put into keeping the island beautiful, the cafe is a let down. The island itself is stunning and kept so well. All the beautiful flowers in bloom and the lawns kept pristine.The whole island is so nice to walk around and have some views of the surrounding countryside and sea. There's a good bit of walking but its so relaxed and calm. We really enjoyed our trip and would recommend it but just don't expect too much in the cafe.

Visited August 2013
Thank wanderseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful as always!”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

John of Harbour Queen Ferry Services took us to the island. He is a lovely, friendly and very capable skipper! It was my third time visiting the island and I would not use any other company than Harbour Queen Ferry Services as I was always looked after extremely well by the crew! It is always a pleasure to visit Garnish island as the flowers, shrubs and trees are incredibly beautiful.

Visited May 2013
Thank Elaine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cork, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
368 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 581 helpful votes
“Absolutely worth a visit, especially when they weather is fine”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

When we visited in July, the weather was excellent. Blue skies and sunshine. This certainly helped us to enjoy our visit there.

Getting there:
You can get to the island from the town of Glengarriff. The ferries are regular and cost is €12 per adult return. I thought this was reasonable............BUT,

What you need to be aware of is that when you get to the island, you must pay a further €4 per adult to access the island. This is a bit mean as it requires that you fork out once again for the trip to the island. Why they cannot charge the full price (ferry and entry to the island) at one go, say for example when you purchase your ferry ticket. I believe the reason they don't do this is that it would result in reduced visitor number due to overpricing.

The island is small, if you wish it can be walked in 30 minutes. However if you want to explore it properly, you can easily spend 3 hours there.
There is a café on the island which is nice but rather expensive. We brought a picnic, which was a great idea, and we just purchased hot drinks.

Office of Public Works staff (OPW) on the island were not friendly and the café staff were grumpy and unprofessional. We were glad we brought a picnic.

There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore and lots of seating to relax on. This makes the island the star of the show and grumpy OPW and café staff are soon forgotten.

Garnish is a must see when you are in the area of Beara Peninsula and Glengarrif in general.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Bryno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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