The most westerly of West Cork’s inhabited islands, Dursey lies across a narrow sound and is a great getaway from the fray of modern living.
This rugged island is accessed via Ireland’s only cable car which runs about 250m above the sea and takes six people. The journey takes about ten minutes crossing Dursey Sound, where strong tides make travelling by boat hazardous.
The island is part of the Beara Way walking trail. Having no shops, pubs or restaurants, it offers the day visitor a unique experience of calm with spectacular views of the Beara peninsula. It is also a bird watcher’s paradise with rare birds from Siberia and America to be spotted there.
The Signal Tower stands on the highest point of the island and has commanding views north to the Skelligs and south to Mizen Head. It was built 200 years ago as part of a line of defence during the Napoleonic Wars.
Monks from Skellig Rock are said to have founded the ancient church of Kilmichael on Dursey, now a ruin. O’Sullivan Beare’s castle on the island was sacked by English forces in 1602 and local inhabitants thrown into the sea.
There are three small villages on Dursey and many of the once derelict houses have been restored by the islanders as holiday homes.
Take a picture at the signs telling you how far you are from Moscow and New York.