Kinsale, a colorful harbor town known for its foodie scene, is just 17 miles (27 km) south of Cork. The fastest way to make the journey is by car—rental or private transfer—in just 30 minutes. The flat, scenic route follows a two-lane road through many small, local villages.
You can also make the trip by bus, which takes only 45 minutes. Buses depart from Cork hourly and follow the same road directly to Kinsale. Both bus stations are centrally located, so it’s a great alternative if you’re nervous about driving on Irish roads.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 30 minutes
The fastest way to reach Kinsale from Cork is by rental car or private transfer. Cars can be booked in the city center or at the airport, which is located along the route. The route leaves Cork via road N27, which transitions to R600 at Cork Airport. From here, you’ll stick to the two-lane road as you head south to the coast. At the village of Belgooly, the drive turns quite scenic as you start to follow a long, narrow inlet that eventually meets the Celtic Sea.
As you near Kinsale, a 5-minute detour will take you out to the coastline and to 17th-century Charles Fort. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy picturesque views of River Bandon, as well as the town of Kinsale and its harbor.
Duration: 45 minutes
Bus Éireann, Ireland’s regional bus service, offers hourly departures each day. Buses leave from Cork’s City Hall station and arrive in Kinsale in just 45 minutes. Sit on the left side of the bus to enjoy water views, especially as you near Kinsale’s colorful harbor.