More than 60 events are planned for 15 towns and villages around Cork Harbour for a nine-day festival which includes sailing, surfing, seafood markets, heritage trails and the spectacular Ocean to City race.

This year’s Cork Harbour Festival takes place from June 3-11. Among the outdoor activities will be sailing, kayaking, speed boat trips, surfing, swimming, coasteering and stand-up paddle boarding. 

Those seeking a more relaxing experience can try the seaweed foraging walk.

On the heritage front, people will be able to enjoy the history and many stories of Cork Harbour by visiting its ancient forts and heritage sites; from Camden Fort Meagher’s open weekend on June 3-5 to Roche’s Point Lighthouse open day on June 4. 

There’s also an opportunity to take a guided walk of Elizabeth Fort or jump on a ferry to Spike Island for a tour of Fort Mitchel. 

The high point of the festival will be the Ocean to City - An Rás Mór, Ireland’s premier rowing event, on Saturday, June 10.

Over 200 crews are set to descend on Cork City the June bank holiday weekend for the Ocean to City - An Rás Mór.
Over 200 crews are set to descend on Cork City the June bank holiday weekend for the Ocean to City - An Rás Mór.

This spectacular long-distance rowing race attracts hundreds of participants from all over the world competing in everything from traditional wooden boats, currachs, gigs and longboats to Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. It’s expected that more than 200 craft will take part.

Energetic families can learn to climb a rope like a pirate; visit the Pelican of London Tall Ship; go water trampolining or orienteering; take a ghostly tour of Cork City or go crab fishing in Cobh.

A diverse range of walks and talks are featured in the festival. They include a food trail in Cork city; a photography safari along Cobh Harbour; or an historical walking tour of Cobh.

The hugely popular Lunchtime Lectures with the UCC Department of History will take place at St Peter’s Church from June 6-8, where topics such as fisheries, coastal defence fortifications and ‘Cork Women and the US Navy’ will be presented.

On the culture front there will be 10 different exhibitions as well as art performances, music, circus, songs and stories there is plenty to offer the culture vulture.

People can visit ‘Portraits: Women of Cork and the U.S. Navy 1917-1919’ at the Sirius Arts Centre; explore the art exhibition ‘Tairlearach – From Beyond the Sea’ at Cork City Hall and the internationally renowned ‘Unveiled Horizons’ at the Port of Cork.

Festival manager Joya Kuin said it is getting bigger and better each year: “The festival encompasses all that the harbour has to offer the visitor and local alike, packed full of heritage, culture, stories, water activities, people and communities and lots of fun and memories in the making.”


Helen O’Callaghan says we are the least strict in all of Europe.Praise over punishment: Irish parents least strict in Europe - study

Kya deLongchamps detects a hint of rebellion behind the ritual of afternoon tea.Vintage View: English tradition of afternoon tea won't exit with Brexit

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

More From The Irish Examiner