Set in the breathtaking Southern Irish countryside and referred to affectionately by its population as 'the Real Capital of Ireland', Cork is a stunning holiday destination.
From sightseeing trips around St Finbarre's Cathedral and the majestic Georgian architecture of the city to relaxing walks along the quayside, Cork has something for everyone.
Like much of Ireland, Cork has a rich and diverse history which wasn't always quite as tranquil as its grandiose old buildings and idyllic riversides might seem today. Once a monastic settlement founded by St Finbarre himself (from whom the cathedral earned its name), the city was for much of its history entirely enclosed within a great wall as the city's inhabitants fought against Cork's largely hostile neighbours. In the 20th century, the city's defences against hostility were maintained, with Cork significantly involved in the War of Independence.
Today, only a handful of monuments and some remnants of the city's walls and gates remain as a testament to Cork's tempestuous past. Despite this history, Corkonians are largely friendly and welcoming to visitors, proud of their heritage and vibrant culture. In 2005, Cork was granted the title of European Capital of Culture, a status which both celebrated and encouraged the development of such institutes and events as the Cork School of Music, the Crawford College of Art and Design, the Cork Opera House, the Cork Jazz Festival and the Cork Film Festival, to name but a few. Cork's numerous other arts and theatre institutes host festivals, plays, performances and exhibitions throughout the year. As might be expected of a destination with such an exciting cultural calendar, accommodation and travel prices vary depending on the time of year, so it may be worth considering which events are of particular interest to you before booking your trip.
Cork also has a great culinary scene, with specialist food stalls often erected in co-ordination with major festivals. For those interested in gastronomic history, foods traditional to the area include tripe, drisheen and crubeens, although such dishes are admittedly not to everyone's taste! Modern palates might be better entertained by the range of local produce and artisan cheeses and breads on offer at Cork's English Market.
Most visitors travelling directly to Cork from Europe find the city most easily accessible by plane. Ireland's fourth busiest airport, Cork Airport (ORK) operates over 60 Cork flights a day to 68 flight destination. The airport is located just 8km away from the city centre, in an area on the south side of the city known as Ballygarvan. A number of taxi companies and bus services are available to transport passengers the short distance into the city. Alternatively, visitors may prefer to hire a car from one of the car hire kiosks located within the airport. Cars can be hired at very reasonable rates and are not only a quick and easy way to reach the city but also allow visitors the opportunity to explore other sights and attractions in the area around Cork and Southern Ireland during their stay. Car hire may be cheaper if you book ahead and can sometimes be combined with flight or accommodation offers.
You can find cheap flights to Cork using TravelSupermarket's price comparison tool, which will automatically offer you the most competitive and most flexible deals on flights to suit you, ensuring your holiday is as relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable as it can possibly be.