West Cork: Whale-watching and treats by the seashore at Inchydoney

Picturesque: Inchydoney, Co. Cork

Balcony views: Inchydoney

Sleep tight remedy: Inchydoney

Inchydoney strand

Inchydoney, Co. Cork

Dinner at Inchydoney. Picture: Gillian Tsoi

Gillian will get able to go whale watching

Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, Co. Cork

West Cork: Whale-watching and treats by the seashore at Inchydoney


You have heard of the well-known Inchydoney seashore. However do you know West Cork can declare to be the capital of whale-watching?



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You have heard of the well-known Inchydoney seashore. However do you know West Cork can declare to be the capital of whale-watching?

7am: Breakfast by the seashore

It’s an early-morning begin on the Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa in West Cork as we make our manner down, bleary-eyed, for breakfast on the lodge’s Gulfstream Restaurant. Overlooking the attractive Blue Flag Inchydoney Seaside, the menu is a dream for seafood lovers like me: smoked mackerel fillets, scrambled eggs with Ummera smoked salmon, and right this moment’s native catch (sea bass) served with lemon, are all up for grabs. 

I tuck in to a slice of the lodge’s well-known walnut brown bread (candy and treacly with a pleasant nutty crunch – an nearly cake-like affair), because the solar shines over the Atlantic Ocean – it’s windy this morning and the ocean is greater than slightly uneven. Washing down my hearty brekkie with the final of the contemporary espresso, I’m feeling barely nervous about our impending expedition.

8am: A whale-watching journey


Gillian will get able to go whale watching

We take the scenic drive alongside the coast to the close by city of Courtmacsherry, earlier than checking in on the headquarters of the Atlantic Whale and Wildlife Excursions. Our information, Christopher O’Sullivan (who’s additionally a neighborhood Fianna Fáil councillor), talks passionately in regards to the native marine animals that dwell and mess around Inchydoney Bay.

Cork is quick turning into the whale-watching capital of Eire; the variety of humpback whales in native waters have tripled to greater than 100 within the final 4 years, and phrase of the world-class wildlife adventures out there right here is spreading rapidly across the globe.

Life jackets secured, we hop on a ship and courageous the uneven sea waters, hoping to catch a glimpse of a few of Inchydoney’s ocean giants, which embody ‘Barnacle Invoice’, the resident humpback whale. Sadly, situations are too tough to exit far sufficient to see any wildlife, so now we have to make do with a shorter tour.

Could to June, when situations are warmest, is the perfect time to come back for the wildlife excursions, when nearly each journey will assure a sighting of a dolphin. Sharks, seals and porpoises are additionally recurrently seen, whereas September onwards is giant whale watching season.

Particulars: €50/€30pp; atlanticwhaleandwildlifetours.com

1pm: A reviving lunch


Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, Co. Cork

Chilled to the bone after our boisterous sea journey, the open fires within the foyer of Inchydoney Island Lodge are a welcome sight. The lodge is furnished in sandy beiges and pale-blue hues with woody textures… a color palette that brings the seascape indoors for a contemporary, beach-house really feel.

We make our manner via to Dunes Bar for an enormous, warming bowl of steaming seafood chowder – chockfull of contemporary fish, my companion described it as the perfect chowder she’d ever had. We mop it up with some buttery brown bread and, sufficiently heated up, make our approach to the lodge’s Island Spa.

3pm: Pampering time


Sleep tight remedy: Inchydoney

Rest heaven is searching at a blustery seashore from Inchydoney’s heated seawater pool. On a regular basis, ocean water is pumped into the pool and warmed to a great temperature of 31 levels – this warmth encourages the pores and skin’s pores to open in order that the physique can totally profit from the salty water with all its therapeutic vitamins.

Dotted across the pool are quite a lot of highly effective jet streams and opulent bubble seats, in addition to counter currents that provide a type of underwater exercise for the muscular tissues. It’s like a therapeutic playground for stressed-out adults, and I swim my manner round every station earlier than making my approach to a candlelit remedy room for a ‘Face & Physique Indulgence’ remedy.

This entails a toxin-busting, circulation-boosting, hot-stone physique therapeutic massage and a soothing anti-ageing facial (utilizing famend Elemis merchandise), that leaves me prepared for mattress – although the solar has but to set over picturesque Inchydoney.

Keep in mind that the thalassotherapy pool can get fairly busy and noisy – should you fancy some grownup or quiet time, I might suggest going through the designated kid-free hours (12.30-3pm or after 5pm).

7pm: Dinner and dessert


Dinner at Inchydoney. Picture: Gillian Tsoi

We make our approach to the Gulfstream Restaurant for a night of fine-dining, on the best way, admiring the work and sculptures from native artists showcased across the lodge (look out for the hall of creepy clowns, eerily situated beside the kids’s playroom).

Reflecting the encircling shoreline, the menu emphasises contemporary seafood. The fashion right here is trendy French/mild Mediterranean delicacies, and I pattern melt-in-your-mouth Seared West Cork Scallops with Garlic Roasted Broccoli to begin, and an entree of meaty Pan-Fried Monkfish with Ratatouille.

There’s all the time room for dessert, and on this event, that meant a wealthy, gooey Chocolate Toffee Fondant, served with candied apples and a delicious scoop of home-made salted-caramel walnut bread ice cream.

It was the ice-cream flavour that offered it to me, and I wasn’t the one one gained over by the profitable walnut-bread: the following morning earlier than take a look at, I witnessed a number of visitors asking for a loaf to take dwelling… and naturally, the useful employees fortunately obliged – a slice of Inchydoney to go.

Get there

Gillian was a visitor of Inchydoney Lodge & Spa, which is situated simply outdoors Clonakilty, is roughly three.5 hours from Dublin.

Charges begin from €169pp for 2 night time’s B&B, and whale watching journeys could be added from €50pp (inchydoneyisland.com).

Learn extra:

Starlight spectacular: Evening kayaking on West Cork’s secret marine lake

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