Embrace the rugged, exposed elements of the southwest coast of Ireland and peek into what life was like for lighthouse keepers and their families on Valentia Island, as they kept watch over the North Atlantic.
This gleaming white lighthouse on beautiful Valentia Island looks out across some of the most spectacular sights along the Wild Atlantic Way.
There’s so much to enjoy on a visit to this lighthouse:
- Delve into 17th-century history, explore Cromwell’s ‘Fleetwood’ Fort.
- Take a tour of the lighthouse tower and balcony.
- Be blown away by the dramatic scenery and big weather!
- Soak up the stories and the science as you learn about the people and technology that have guided ships safely home from sea over the years.
Valentia Island Lighthouse also offers group rates, school tours and private hire for functions like weddings, art retreats etc.
A quick history
- Valentia Island Lighthouse sits on the site of the 17th-century fort known as ‘Fleetwood’ Fort.
- Built in 1653 to guard the entrance to Valentia Harbour against invaders, 40 soldiers and eight cannons were stationed here.
- The lighthouse was designed by famed civil engineer, George Halpin Senior.
- First exhibited on the 1st of February 1841, the light boasted 2000-candle power and could be seen for 12 miles in clear weather.
- A lighthouse keeper lived with his family on site until 1947, when the lighthouse was automated.
Did you know?
- The fossilised footprints of a tetrapod are located near the lighthouse. A Tetrapod (the first four-legged animal with a backbone) stepped from water onto land here over 300 million years ago.
- A standing stone, dating back to the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC) still marks the site at Cromwell Point where the lighthouse was built.
- From the lighthouse, you’ll see one of the landing points for the transatlantic cable that connected Europe with North America for the first time in 1866 – marking the birth of modern communication.
- Supposedly there’s a dungeon below the lighthouse!
- Beginish Island, just across from Valentia Lighthouse, was inhabited by Vikings between the 9th and 12th centuries. Two Viking settlements were excavated on Beginish in 1965.
- This lighthouse is one of 65 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland and continues to provide a vital role in maritime safety today.
Cromwell Point, Valentia Island, Co Kerry
April to October
Opening hours: 10am-5:30pm daily
Last tour at 5pm
Standard: €7.50 per person
Family Ticket (2 Adults + 3 Children): €20
Under 12s: €4
Senior Citizen/Students: €6.50
Also available - Group Rates - School Tours - Private function hire from €5 pps