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Spike Island Cork

Visit Spike Island During Your Stay at Cork International Hotel

The Cork International 4 Star Hotel sits on the outskirts of Cork City. Our signature rooms are perfect for a weekend break away with friends or loved ones. Rest atop your comfortable double bed after a long day of exploring all that Cork City Centre has to offer. Our signature room also comes equipped with rollaway beds/cots for families travelling through the Rebel County on request. Visit the Little Aviators Kids Club, our resident children’s playroom for an afternoon or evening of family fun when you stay at the Cork International Hotel. Spike Island is the perfect place to spend an day, we’re just a 30 minute drive from Cobh. From Kennedy Pier in Cobh, you’ll embark on a 15 minute ferry ride to the island. Spike Island has been a monastery, fortress,prison and award winning tourist attraction in its long 1300 year old history.

Things To Do On Spike Island

Sitting in the heart of the River Lee, Spike Island is a short ferry trip from Cobh, a 30-minute drive from Cork International Hotel. Spanning 104 acres, the island is home to a plethora of activities, open daily from 10AM to 2PM.

In the company of a local Cork crew, the adventure begins from Kennedy Pier amidst the multi-coloured houses and shop fronts of the Victorian heritage town of Cobh. From there, on a brief 15 minutes journey, the ferry weaves its way through work boats and ships on Cork Harbour, surrounded by wildlife from seals to birds, as views of the island draw closer and closer.

Once on the island, visitors are treated to 360 degree views of silver-blue waters, open skies and rolling hills. During an action-packed, fun-filled and immersive experience, visitors learn about this island’s varied past as a home, fortress and a prison at the heart of the second largest harbour in the world!

Learn about the diverse roles Spike Island has played as a 7th century monastic site, as a fortress during the periods of the Napoleonic and American revolutions and as a prison for master and petty criminals from Victorian times, until 2004. The initial fortress was built to defend the Bristish Empire, it housed 3,000 soliders of both the British and Irish Armys and cost the equivalent of €1bn in today’s money to build. Spike island became a prison in the 1600s and by the time of the Great Irish Famine, Spike Island was the largest prison in the world with 2,300 inmates. As a prison Spike Island was 4 times bigger than Alcatraz and held 8 times the prisoners.

Prepare to be intrigued by the true stories of real people who lived on this island for more than 200 years; from the navy, military, prison guards and their families, to the prisoners, whose thwarted lives are shared with both stark honesty and compassion. Learn about some amazing characters including; Jack in the Box, Little Nellie and other famous Spike Island residents, such as Percy Fewcett, the inspiration behind Indiana Jones.

Spike Island Tours

There are different tours available for guests to choose, each differing in terms of length, depth of information and price.  Why not see the dark side of the island with the After Dark Tour? The After Dark Tour allows you to experience a night in prison and access to areas that are rarely seen by the public. All prices include ferry, guided tour, full island access and return ferry. Visit the Spike Island website to see what package best suits your needs. Should you need sustenance or a souvenir there is a cafe and gift shop on site.

Why You Should Stay at Cork International Hotel

After a long day out at sea and learning of the exciting, ever changing history of Spike Island, guests can toast to a successful trip and the memories they share over a delicious meal at The New Yorker Bar, where you can sample delicious dishes created by our Executive Head Chef, Martin O’Mahony, who has included the best of local and seasonal produce in our Menu. Save money by eating between 5pm -7pm from our Early Bird menu. Children can enjoy a complimentary evening movie in our Cinema Room every evening, or spend some time in our children’s playroom.

We are perfectly located near to main transport links, for easy access to tourist attractions such as Spike Island.

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