Nearby, the rough, rocky Caha Mountains make for good hill walking (and, if you're game, an exhilarating drive to Priest's Leap). There are plenty of gentler strolls in and around town, too, in mature oak woodlands and through the coastal Blue Pool Amenity Area, where seals, perched on submerged rocks, appear to levitate on the water.
In the second half of the 19th century, Glengarriff became a popular retreat for prosperous Victorians, who sailed from England, took the train to Bantry, then chugged over to the village in a paddle steamer. By 1850 the road to Kenmare had been blasted through the mountains and the link with Killarney was established. Today Glengarriff lies on the main Cork to Killarney road (N71).