Best of Kinsale

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Kinsale
Tucked along the southern coast in County Cork, Kinsale is an easy-going town of colorful, winding lanes that lead down to its historic harbor. Kinsale has deep roots stretching back to the Middle Ages when it was established by royal charter as a major port for trading. The remains of several imposing fortresses guard the coastline, including the star-shaped Charles Fort. These days Kinsale has a reputation for its outstanding food scene, and its attractive B&Bs and hotels make an excellent base for exploring the beaches and seaside villages nearby. 

Get an overview of Kinsale’s geography on the Scilly Walk, a path that follows the harbor out of town with views of the waterfront forts along the way. Scenic beaches make for a great day out, with peaceful Sandycove and expansive Garrylucas top choices for experiencing the quiet beauty of the Irish coast. On a peninsula south of Kinsale, you can admire the views of the tall cliffs running along the Old Head of Kinsale, a headland that juts into the Celtic Sea. Nearby, you can visit the early 19th-century Old Head Signal Tower, which houses a small museum and memorial to the 1100 people who died several miles offshore, when a German U-Boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915.
Plan your trip to Ireland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Skellig Michael
Map of Southwest Ireland Family Adventure - 7 Days
Southwest Ireland Family Adventure - 7 Days

Explore villages, islands, peninsulas, and coastlines on this weeklong Irish family adventure through Kinsale and Kenmare. Learn about ancient pirate legends, smugglers, and monks of times past, from Charles Fort to the Skellig Islands. Your personal guide will help you to make the most of your journey by sharing ancient myths and legends and introducing you to local characters. Experience an authentic, off the-beaten-track version of Southwest Ireland together.

A young family explores beautiful Killarney National Park
Map of Family Adventure in Ireland - 7 Days
Family Adventure in Ireland - 7 Days

Uncover Ireland's unmatched natural beauty with this week-long, family-centered trip to the Emerald Isle. Enjoy a swashbuckling adventure as you venture from colorful Kinsale to Limerick, playing pirates atop a 17th-century fort and learning the art of falconry at Adare Manor. Sail across the waves to the remote Aran Irelands and explore the famous Cliffs of Moher as you and the kids receive the warmest of welcomes on this charming tour.

Have fun with the tribe as you explore the "fairy trails" in County Offaly
Map of Family Tour of Ireland: Dublin, Kinsale & Killarney - 7 Days
Family Tour of Ireland: Dublin, Kinsale & Killarney - 7 Days

Immerse your family in the wonders of Ireland on this seven-day self-drive tour. Start in Dublin, where you'll stroll through St Stephen's Green Park and visit the hallowed halls of Trinity College. Then, it's off to Kinsale for the good-luck charms of the Blarney Stone and a kayak tour of Ireland's most infamous pirate routes. Bike through the greenery of Killarney National Park, paint your own toy soldiers at Europe's only toy soldier factory, and commune with the little folk on Offaly's enchanted "fairy trails."

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Map of Southwest Ireland Road Trip: Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Dublin - 9 Days
Southwest Ireland Road Trip: Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Dublin - 9 Days

See the best of southwestern Ireland and Dublin on this self-driving tour through some of the Emerald Isle's best-loved counties. You'll discover Ireland's history in Adare and at Bunratty Castle, explore the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, wander the streets of Dingle, and view County Kerry's sparkling lakes and iconic green meadows. Before exploring Dublin's Trinity College and Grafton Street shops, you'll visit Cobh to sample local foods at The English Market and hear the bells of Shandon Steeple.

Snap those family pics as you explore Ireland's great outdoors
Map of Family Outdoor Adventure in Ireland - 10 Days
Family Outdoor Adventure in Ireland - 10 Days

This charming 10-day family tour of Ireland introduces kids, big and little, to a taste of Irish rural life as they explore the country's stunning natural beauty. Let screens and email become a distant memory as you journey from Dublin to the breathtaking scenery of Wicklow and onward to Kinsale, Kenmare, and Doolin. Make memories as you learn bushcraft with the kids, experience the 3,000-year-old Celtic sport of hurling, and discover the myths and legends of the mysterious Cliffs of Moher.

Make memories with the family in Killarney National Park
Map of Family Adventure in Ireland - 10 Days
Family Adventure in Ireland - 10 Days

Take a 10-day family-friendly tour through some of the highlights of Ireland with travelers of all ages on this itinerary. Start in Dublin before heading down the coast to County Cork, where you'll bike through a medieval city and hear the haunted and natural history of Killarney. Experience a classical manor in Limerick, followed by the landscapes of the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, and Aran Islands, before you and the family return to Dublin for one more full day of urban exploring.

The dramatic Cliffs of Moher
Map of Ireland Self-Drive Adventure: Dublin, Galway, Doolin & Kinsale - 6 Days
Ireland Self-Drive Adventure: Dublin, Galway, Doolin & Kinsale - 6 Days

In under a week, this Irish road trip loops through a land of epic landscapes and even more epic history. Start in Dublin with a walking tour of the city's medieval and Georgian past, then set out toward the cultural and culinary capital of Galway. Gallop along the windswept beaches of Spiddal, take in dizzying views from the Cliffs of Moher, drive the scenic Ring of Kerry, and go kayaking by starlight on the saltwater lake of Lough Hyne.

Make memories with your family as you explore Ireland's the Ring of Kerry
Map of Action-Packed Ireland Family Road Trip - 14 Days
Action-Packed Ireland Family Road Trip - 14 Days

Starting in historic Dublin, get ready for a two-week road trip that immerses your family in the best of Ireland. Drive onward to Kinsale, Kenmare, Tralee, Doolin, and Birr to experience unbeatable natural beauty, stately castles, rich history, friendly locals, and cultural experiences. You and the kids will be falconing one minute, sailing the next, whale watching, and hiking—and that's all just in the first few days. Buckle up and prepare to make some memories!

Discover Galway's thriving culinary scene
Map of Culinary Adventure Through Ireland - 15 Days
Culinary Adventure Through Ireland - 15 Days

Spend 15 days discovering Ireland through your taste buds on this food-themed road trip. Driving clockwise from Dublin, you'll stop at culinary hotspots focused along the south and west coast, where dramatic landscapes lie around every bend. The produce couldn't be more local, from County Kerry beef to seafood on the Aran Islands and edible seaweed you'll forage for yourself. A series of small-group tours means you'll likely meet other keen foodies along the way.

Doonagore Castle, near Doolin
Map of Ireland Road Trip: Castles & Coast - 9 Days
Ireland Road Trip: Castles & Coast - 9 Days

This nine-day itinerary embraces the drama and diversity of Ireland's coast, from paddleboarding at Oysterhaven Beach to an Aran Islands voyage and drives beside sweeping beaches and headlands. Discover a history of battles and hauntings at epic castles and their atmospheric grounds. With three guided tours and car rental included, you'll have everything you need for a classic Irish adventure.

Admire the sunset over the Irish coast with the kids
Map of Iconic Ireland Family Road Trip: Dublin, Cork & the West Coast - 10 Days
Iconic Ireland Family Road Trip: Dublin, Cork & the West Coast - 10 Days

Experience the unmatched natural beauty of Ireland with this charming 10-day family trip that takes you from historic Dublin down to Cork, across the Killarney National Park, and through the lush, unspoiled Hidden Heartlands. Along the way, you and the kids will explore castles galore, kiss the Blarney Stone, sail to the Aran Islands, and discover the warmest of welcomes in the country known as the Emerald Isle.

Colorful Dingle High Street
Map of Ireland's Food &  Culture - 11 Days
Ireland's Food & Culture - 11 Days

Fresh farm produce, seafood plucked straight from the Atlantic, and generations-old baking recipes—Irish cuisine is nourishing and comforting in equal measure. On this 11-day self-drive tour, you'll spend each night in a different location, focusing on the knockout food scenes of the southwest and west coast. Browse local markets, dine in a Michelin-starred pub, and tour culinary hotspots such as Galway (which regularly tops lists of foodie destinations) and Ireland's "gourmet capital" of Kinsale.

Other popular travel destinations in Ireland
Dublin · County Kerry · Killarney · Galway · Dingle Peninsula · Doolin · Dingle Town · Killarney National Park · Northern Ireland · Kenmare · Belfast · Cork · Westport · Donegal · County Cork · Birr · Letterkenny · Ballycastle · Tralee · Laragh · Clifden, Co Galway · Sligo · Aran Islands · Limerick · Kilkenny · Waterford · Donegal town · Portmagee