Mizen Head Peninsula
From Skibbereen the N71 rolls west through Ballydehob, the gateway to the Mizen (rhymes with wizzen). From here, the R592 continues to the pretty village of Schull. Travelling on the R592 and R591 into the undulating countryside takes you through ever-smaller settlements to the village of Goleen. Even here the Mizen isn't done.
The boating and creative crowd (often the same folk) have turned the small fishing village of Schull (pronounced 'skull'; www.schull.ie) into a buzzing little spot, even if the regular townsfolk still go about their business as before, when the busy harbour was the main focus of their attentions.
Hidden deep in the wooded Bantry Bay area, Glengarriff (Gleann Garbh; www.glengarriff.ie) is an attractive village that snares plenty of passers-by in need of sweaters. Nearby, the rough, rocky Caha Mountains make for good hill walking (and, if you're game, an exhilarating drive to Priest's Leap).