10 best TOWNS in WEST CORK for a summer staycation in 2024

West Cork is a thriving tourist region for a reason, and these are some of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation.

10 best TOWNS in WEST CORK for a Summer staycation in 2024.

West Cork is one of the most beautiful locations in Ireland, home to pristine white sand beaches, glorious green landscapes, and some of the cutest villages in the country.

If you are planning the ultimate 2024 summer staycation, we cannot think of a better region of Ireland to visit, especially with a variety of sights to see, places to visit, and activities on offer.

We know how overwhelming it can sometimes be to decide where to spend your time, so we have compiled a list of the ten best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation so you can decide which one suits you best.

10. Castletownbere – for activities, history, and culture

Picture of Castletownbere, one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation in 2024.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Irelan

Castletownbere is the largest town on the rugged Beara Peninsula, sitting snugly at the base of the Caha Mountains. As you can imagine, there is a lot on offer for outdoor enthusiasts, making this one of the best towns in West Cork for a staycation.

This is a great base for exploring the peninsula, visiting charming pubs, and engaging in the activities of the busy local harbour.

9. Dunmanway – for the active holidaymakers

Picture of Dunmanway, one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Fáilte Ireland

Dunmanway may be tucked inland, away from the coast, but this is a fantastic spot to choose if you are keen to stay active during your staycation.

Known as the gateway to the mountains, Dunmanway is a great base for hiking, cycling, and horse riding, plus the lakes to the north allow for kayaking and fishing.

8. Bandon – for fishing, festivals, and fun

Picture of Bandon, one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation in 2024.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Maryanne Coughlan

Bandon is the hometown of presenter Graham Norton, who can be spotted around town from time to time.

The town has a strong historical heritage but is well known for the Bandon River, which is a haven for fishermen with its large population of salmon, brown trout, and sea trout.

Music lovers can attend the Bandon Music Festival which takes place on the first weekend of June and promises to be a great time.

7. Eyeries – home to the Eyeries Family Festival

Beautiful picture of Eyeries, one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland

This colourful gem is located on the Beara Peninsula along the Wild Atlantic Way, and while it may be a village, it cannot be overlooked as one of West Cork’s best spots.

Visitors seeking a small, picturesque, friendly destination will love Eyeries and the many events it offers, including the Eyeries Family Festival, taking place on the third weekend of July.

6. Clonakilty – ideal for a fun family adventure

Beautiful view of Clonakilty.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Clonakilty Distillery

Known as Ireland’s resort town, Clonakilty is one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation in 2024. This friendly coastal town was voted Europe’s best town in 2017. So, of course, it is an excellent place to spend some time exploring.

Beach lovers can visit the famed Inchydoney Beach, while families will love the West Cork Model Railway Village.

READ ALSO: The top five best waterfalls in Cork and Kerry, RANKED.

5. Glengarriff – famed for its natural beauty

Beautiful view of Glengarriff.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Chris Hill Photographic

Glengarriff is not only known for being the connection between Kenmare and Bantry, but over the years, it has risen to fame as one of the prime holiday spots for celebrities, literary greats, and even royalty.

Glengarriff has plenty to offer visitors, including its many beaches, world-class golf courses, and scenic hiking trails.

4. Bantry – a must for outdoor activities

Beautiful view of Bantry.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Chaosheng Zhang

Bantry is one of the most renowned towns in West Cork, with a prime location along the Wild Atlantic Way.

There are many reasons to spend your staycation in Bantry. You can embark on fun outdoor activities, traverse incredibly scenic routes by car or bike, and attend the many local festivals and events.

3. Skibbereen – a unique historic market town

Beautiful view of Skibbereen including the West Cork Hotel.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland

This is one for the history buffs. Skibbereen is not only one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation, but its unique heritage is something to keep history enthusiasts enthralled.

Visitors will also have plenty of excellent eateries and live music on their doorstep, as well as nearby beaches to enjoy. What more could you ask for?

READ MORE: 10 best bars in Cork for live music and good craic (2024).

2. Baltimore – a superb spot close to plenty of stunning islands

Beautiful view of Baltimore.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ David Creedon

Baltimore is a fishing village rather than a town, but we advise every staycationer to visit.

It is known for its down-to-earth, relaxed atmosphere and picturesque coastal scenery. It’s the ultimate destination for couples or a relaxing solo retreat.

1. Kinsale – Ireland’s colourful food capital

Beautiful view of Kinsale.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland from Emilija Jefremova

Calling all food lovers: Kinsale is one of the best towns in West Cork for a summer staycation. Why? This colourful town is officially the Fine Food Capital of Ireland, with a wide range of eateries serving the freshest local cuisine.

If that wasn’t enough, the town’s idyllic location, water-based activities, and historic sights make it a fun and exciting place to spend time.

RELATED READ: Ten Best things to do in Cork 2024.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.

Get featured on Ireland Before You Die

Do you want to get your Irish business more online exposure? Especially to those interested in travelling the best places in Ireland? Then why not get a dedicated feature on Ireland Before You Die. Find out more here.

Related Posts


Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend