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Explore Cork

Explore Cork with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!

Car hire in Cork

Explore the south of Ireland when you hire a car in Cork. Ireland’s second city is referred to by locals as the ‘real capital of Ireland’. There’s certainly plenty here to detain you a while, but when you hire a car in Cork the beauty of Ireland’s south is also easily accessible to you.

First, though, you should sample the delights of the city itself. The River Lee, which flows through its centre, creates a compact space filled with grand Georgian streets, intersected by medieval alleys and modern architectural triumphs such as the opera house. Interesting waterways, lively traditional bars, modern art centres, historical buildings, fascinating independent shops and some of the best restaurants that Ireland has to offer are all here.

Drive beyond Cork, however, and you will find romantic castles, evocative rural scenery and dramatic coastlines. You can nip on and off the network of national routes for convenience, but you will never be too far away from rural roads on which you can head off to some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches.

For families it is just a short drive down the R264 to the delights of the Fota Wildlife Park, where kangaroos and ring-tailed lemurs will keep everyone entertained. Just a little further away the picturesque town of Cobh is set on a natural harbour and offers sailing, windsurfing, horse riding and plenty more to keep you all going.

Those with a sense of adventure can use their car rental to get off the beaten track in no time at all. Simply head towards Ballycotton to take in its romantic fishing pier and the stunning views from its clifftop walks. Of course, if you’d rather take in the scenery from the comfort of your car, you can just drive along the R629 between Garrymoe and Ballymacoda to enjoy the Atlantic seascapes from on high.

Rent a car in Cork

If you are flying in to Cork Airport, it’s just a short flight from many UK airports, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow (International), Liverpool, London (Gatwick, Heathrow & Stansted), Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Expedia can arrange car hire for you, in advance of your trip, from Cork Airport. This busy international airport is situated just five miles south of the city on the N27 (Kinsale Road). This means you are practically in the city centre as soon as you land, so it won’t be long after your flight before you are exploring the waterways, browsing through the shops and sampling the gastronomic delights of cosmopolitan Cork.

Expedia partners with a network of car hire providers to ensure that there is always a wide choice of cars available from a selection of locations – whether at the airport itself or in the heart of Cork city centre. We bring you all the latest deals, so you can quickly find cheap car hire in Cork and arrange your vehicle in advance.

With all the hard work taken out of arranging car hire the only difficult decision is deciding where to go when you arrive. Here are some suggestions of places to visit when you hire a car in Cork.

Where will your car hire in Cork take you?

Just five miles northwest of Cork the small village of Blarney is home to the 15 th century Blarney Castle. Take a trip here to see the legendary Blarney Stone, which is said to bestow the ‘gift of the gab’ to anyone who kisses it.

The mythical properties of the Blarney Stone are far from the only attraction here, though. Extensive parkland surrounds the castle offering a network of trails to explore, themed gardens and the large turrets of Blarney House.

Just under 20 miles from Cork the town of Kinsale is spectacularly overlooked by two 17 th century fortresses. With the River Bandon flowing beneath them, the huge, star-shaped Charles Fort lies to the southeast, and the smaller James Fort faces it across the waters. Leave time to pop into the 16 th century courthouse building which now houses the Kinsale Regional Museum, documenting the history of the local area and with exhibits about the 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania.

Further afield, you'll find plenty of scenic delights to drive through – or to park your car near and take a stroll through. The coastal route takes you past inlets along eroded coastlines and brings you to many picturesque old fishing towns and villages.

It’s hard to beat the enchanting scenery that awaits you along the Mizen Head, Sheep's Head and Beara Peninsulas. Pull over, park up and enjoy a hike through the ancient wild hills of romantic Ireland.

Rent a car in Cork

Explore the beauty of the south of Ireland when you rent a car in Cork with Expedia.