At the tip of a peninsula where Atlantic waves crash ceaselessly into sea cliffs, Mizen Head is one of Ireland’s most spectacular headlands. Mizen Head offers a visitor center and walking trails to explore, and it is home to the 1909-built Mizen Head Signal Station, which sits atop a rock connected to the mainland by a narrow footbridge.
Many day tours around southwest Ireland depart from Killarney, Kenmare, or Cork, and combine a visit to Mizen Head with stops at other scenic attractions, such as Killarney National Park and the Beara Peninsula in west Cork. Stop by Mizen Head Visitor Centre and browse exhibits on the history and ecology of the area, and then walk across the bridge to the Signal Station, which was built to warn ships away from the rocky coastline.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mizen Head is a must for scenery seekers and wildlife watchers.
- Bring an extra layer, as it can be windier by the coast.
- Watch for seals, whales, and dolphins in the Atlantic swells.
- Though some viewpoints are accessible to wheelchair users, many of the steep and narrow paths at Mizen Head may prove difficult for anyone with mobility issues.
How to Get There
Mizen Head is situated in County Cork at the southwest tip of Ireland, and marks the southernmost point of the Wild Atlantic Way. Driving from the city of Cork takes about two hours and 15 minutes. If you don’t have a car, it’s best to come here as part of a tour.
When to Get There
The best time of the year to visit is in summer, when clear conditions allow for wildlife sightings, and extended opening hours makes exploring the headland more pleasant. While Mizen Head is still beautiful on wet, windy, and misty days, it’s best to avoid visiting during stormy weather as access to the footbridge may be restricted.
Walking Paths at Mizen Head
Four walking paths offer different views of Mizen Head. Follow the steep Sea Arch trail down toward the ocean to an observation platform overlooking the bridge and signal station. Bridge View path is relatively level and leads to another platform overlooking the bridge and the Beara Peninsula. Dunlough View trail passes over the bridge and by the explosives hut, where materials used for fog signals were kept, and Derrick path leads down under the bridge.