Introducing Valentia Island
Crowned by Geokaun Mountain, Valentia Island (Oileán Dairbhre) is an altogether homier isle than the brooding Skelligs to the southwest. Like the Skellig Ring it leads to, Valentia is an essential, coach-free detour from the Ring of Kerry, with some lonely ruins worth exploring.
Valentia was chosen as the site for the first transatlantic telegraph cable. When the connection was made in 1858, it put Caherciveen in direct contact with New York, although without connection with Dublin. After the initial 27 days the link failed due to excessive voltage while trying to achieve faster operation. A second cable was laid in 1865 and completed in 1866, and continued functioning until 1966; the telegraph station operated until 1966.
Covering 11km by 3km, the island makes an ideal driving loop. Points of interest are listed on free maps available from the Skellig Experience heritage centre.
Tiny Knightstown, the only town, has pubs, food, walks, the ferry and Skellig Island boats, as well as basic accommodation.