Valentia Island

Valentia Island

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Name Valentia Island County Kerry Nearest Town Cahirciveen Access Road N70/R565 About

Valentia Island is one of Europes westerly inhabited locations, lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the southwest of County Kerry.

It is linked to the mainland by a bridge at Portmagee, as well as by a ferry which sails from Reenard Point to Knightstown, the islands's main settlement.

The permanent population of the island is 650, and the island is approximately 11km long by 3km wide.

Valentia was the eastern terminal of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable.

The first attempt in 1857 to land a cable from Ballycarbery Strand on the mainland just east of Valentia Island ended in disappointment.

Subsequent failures of cables landed at Knightstown in 1858 and Foilhommerum Bay in 1865 finally resulted in commercially viable transatlantic telegraph communications from Foilhommerum Bay in 1866.

Transatlantic telegraph cables operated from Valentia Island for one hundred years until Western Union International terminated its cable operations in 1966.

Valencia Island is considered part of the Ring of Kerry Trail and the island itself offers many places of interest including Geokaun Mountain Fogher Cliffs, the highest mountain on Valentia Island, and the sea cliffs of 600 feet
on its northern face.
Also, Glanleam House with its famous sub-tropical gardens that thrive in a micro-climate aided by the warm Gulf Stream winds is a fascinating attraction to visit.

There is also a fascinating Heritage Centre which tells the story of the Geology, Human, Natural and Industrial History of the island, with exhibits on the Cable Station, the Marine Radio Station and the RNLI lifeboat.

Accommodation in B&B form is plentiful on the island.