Overlooking Bantry Bay in the heart of West Cork, Bantry is a thriving market town situated at the head of Bantry Bay and surrounded by some of Ireland's most stunning country side with drives and walks that will take your breath away.With a fine raised plaza in its main square over-looking the harbour the town has a wide variety of shops, bars, coffee shops and restaurants in addition to a three screen cinema, tourist office, museum and library. The town is also host to the Friday market which sees a wide variety of market stalls selling West Cork’s finest local foods, antiques, art, crafts and livestock.
The majestic Bantry House, home since 1739 to the White family, the former Earl of Bantry, overlooks the harbour with its beautiful gardens reaching down towards the shore where one can enjoy the spectacular views of the Caha Mountains across the bay.As with many areas on Ireland's south-west coast, Bantry claims an ancient connection to the sixth century saint, Breandán (Naomh Bréanainn) the Navigator. In Irish lore Saint Breandán was the first person to discover America.The town is an important economic centre to the region. Apart from tourism, fishing is one of the main industries. Mussels in particular are harvested in the area. As one of the larger towns in West Cork with a population of about 4000 people and a catchment area of about 12000 people, it is a busy community with plenty going on all year round. Bantry is also host to the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, West Cork Literary Festival, Masters of Tradition, Bay Run Half Marathon, and Bantry BBQ Festival.