Spike Island, Cork

4.6
#1 of 16 in Nature in County Cork
View a defensive fort, prison cells, and gun emplacements at Spike Island, an island considered to be "Ireland's Alcatraz." In the seventh century, this island was the site of a monastic settlement. Over the years, it took on different roles because of its strategic placement in the harbor. It has been used as a location for smugglers and prisoners and as a military base. Take a ferry from the mainland to tour this famous island. Learn about the area's many historic sites, including its fort and prison where IRA prisoners were held until their escape in 1921. Plan to see Spike Island and other attractions that appeal to you using our Cork trip planner .
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
796 reviews
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  • We really enjoyed our trip to Spike Island its got such intresting history and explained so well by our lovely guide Ross. Boat trip was comfortable and short and the Island has a lovely clean restaur...  more »
  • Lovely Island. Fascinating history and it's actually so beautiful on a sunny day to sit out the coffee shop just look around breathe in the history while he kids played on the grass! I'm not usually i...  more »
  • I thought the €18 was a bit much before going but it's well worth it. The island and the views of the surrounding harbour are magnificent and the tour (optional as you can just wonder around if you pr...  more »

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Where to stay in Cork

A destination in and of itself, Cork City has a dense center with plenty of hotels and hostels. Head north of the city center for affordable options like mid-range hotels and guesthouses. From here, you can walk or bike to all of the sights in the heart of the city. If everything is booked, or if you've simply come to explore the city's surrounding nature, check out the campgrounds about ten minutes from the center of town by car. There are also a number of charming bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and other pensions in the outskirts, which can be a good option if you're using the city as a base for exploring the sights of Cork County.
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Plans in Cork by other users

13 days in Ireland & London BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, kids, culture, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, kids, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in Cork BY A USER FROM IRELAND December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland, County Londonderry & Belfast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in Ireland & Belfast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM SPAIN March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Cork BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Ireland & London BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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