Valentia, from the Irish meaning “The Oak Wood”, is located on the Iveragh Peninsula in South Kerry and is one of Ireland’s most westerly points.
The island is linked to the mainland by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge in Portmagee. A car ferry goes from Reenard Point to Knightstown from April to October.
Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable.
From Valentia’s Foilhommerum Bay to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland, transatlantic telegraph cables operated from 1866 to 1966, ending with Western Union International terminating its cable operations.
In 1993 a geology student discovered fossilized tetrapod tracks preserved in Devonian rocks, on the north coast of the island, dating back around 385 million years.
The Valentia Island trackways are among the oldest signs of vertebrate life on land.
The slate quarry on the island, which reopened in 1998, provided slates for the British Houses of Parliament.
At the peak of Geokaun Mountain, the island’s highest point, there are beautiful views of the Island itself, the Skellig Islands, Blasket Islands, Dingle Peninsula and the McGillicuddy Reeks.
Valentia is also a popular fishing location.
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