Valentia Island is one of Ireland’s most westerly points lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the south-west of County Kerry. The island is approximately 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) long by almost 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) wide. The permanent population of the island is 665 (CSO 2011). Similar to other areas in the KerryIDSR Valentia Island and its neighboring islets are scattered with ancient Cairns Dolmens, Wedge tombs, Standing Stones, Ogham Stones, a promontory fort, remains of churches, numerous beehive huts etc
STARGAZING: Valentia Island is in the Buffer Zone of the KerryIDSR due to the amount of street lights providing an orangey glow over the island at night. There is also the added light pollution from Cahersiveen and Portmagee, but all is not lost. The far side of the island can provide pretty great stargazing skies, but there are currently no good roads or parking areas there, still all is not lost as the nearest Core Zone Dark-Sky area is only a 20 min drive away. Download the free KerryIDSR tourist map here, this will help guide to to the recommended stargazing regions in the Core Zone.
Valentia lighthouse at Cromwell Point is maintained by the Commissioners of Irish Lights and is a harbour light to guide vessels from the sea and lead them through the northern entrance of Valentia. Harbour past Harbour Rock.
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Photographic opportunities are plentiful on the island. If you don’t own a camera you’ll wish you did.
VALENTIA – PORTMAGEE BRIDGE
The Island is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial bridge at Portmagee. A car ferry also departs from Renard Point to Knightstown, the island’s main settlement, during the months April to October.
Above photo demonstrates the huge effort put into the whole Transatlantic Cable Project. Valentia was the eastern terminus 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. After subsequent failures of cables landed at Knightstown in 1858 and Foilhommerum Bay in 1865, the vast endeavour finally resulted in commercially viable transatlantic telegraph communications from Foilhommerum Bay to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland in 1866.