The founders of GLENGARRIFF were perhaps having an off-day when they named it An Gleann Garbh, the “rugged glen” – or, to be charitable, maybe the climate has changed since then. It’s true that above and behind stands the magnificent backdrop of the wild, bare Caha Mountains, but the village itself sits in a sheltered oasis of balmy greenery. This picturesque juxtaposition, warmed by the Atlantic Gulf Stream, has attracted tourists since the eighteenth century, when the Eccles Hotel was built. The landscape – and the gift shops – still pull in the coach parties, but the village’s popularity also means there’s a decent range of places to stay, making it a good base for exploring some of Cork’s most beautiful countryside or for just hopping over to see the horticultural delights of Garinish Island. To the west, in the dramatic shadow of Hungry Hill, watersports and a pleasant hostel are on offer at Adrigole.
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