Just 7 miles drive off the Ring of Kerry road, and 1 mile to the car ferry to the Island, Valentia Island is probably Kerry’s best-kept secret, the Island is 11km long by 3km wide and has a population of 600 approximately, there are 2 villages Knightstown where the car ferry operates from April to September, and Chapeltown in the centre of the island. The Island can also be reached via the bridge at Portmagee. Knightstown is Europe’s most westerly harbour and is also named after the former landlord the Knight of Kerry who lived in Glanleam House, which is surrounded by extensive sub-tropical gardens, which are now open to the public.
A little snippet of the history of the Island
Valentia was chosen as the location of the first Atlantic cable station and became the key communication centre of the modern world linking Europe with the United states. The first translantic cable was laid across the Atlantic from Hearts Content in Newfoundland in Canada to Valentia Island in 1866 after early failures.
The slate Quarry, which was first opened in 1816 has supplied slate to the British house of Commons, the Paris Opera House, and as far away as Brachia in Brazil for use in San Salvador Railway. It closed in 1884 but has since re-opened and is now producing slate and many other items e.g. garden furniture to name but a few.
20 things to do on Valentia
- Visit the Skelligs Experience Centre see the history of the Skelligs Rocks, the bird life, the sea life. And the under sea life.
- Visit Valentia Heritage Museum read and see all the history of the Island
- Visit altazasuth stone and walk
- Visit Alan Halls sculpture gallery
- Visit Jean Buyl artist gallery
- Take a relaxing stroll in the sensory garden in the grounds of the Old Church of Ireland
- Visit Glanleam sub-tropical garden
- Visit the grotto and slate quarry
- Walk to the Tetrepod Footprints
- Walk or drive to the lighthouseM
- Visit the oghnam stones and dolmen stones
- Drive or walk to St. Brendan’s well
- Drive or walk to Paris (Valentia) that is and practice your golf swing and enjoy the wonderful view
- Walk to Bray tower sit and watch the birds or enjoy the wonderful view of the Skelligs Rocks
- Take a boat trip to the famous Skelligs Rocks, we can arrange for you
- Take a boat trip to Beginis Island, we can arrange for you
- Go rock fishing see map
- Go sea fishing we can arrange for you
- Go diving near the Skelligs Rocks it has the most amazing sea life pollution free we can arrange for you
- Enjoy the local cuisine, music and local people