The 2014 Valentia Island King Scallop Festival
If you love scrumptious food and beautiful, secluded scenery then you’re in for a treat as next week sees the Valentia Island King Scallop Festival taking place in, as you may have guessed, Valentia Island. Valentia Island, for those of you who don’t know, is a small island lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in South Kerry. It is renowned for its diverse ecosystem and beautiful scenery and is accessible from land by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge in the village of Portmagee or by a car ferry which departs Reenard Point in Reenard every morning.
But now onto the festival. The Valentia Island King Scallop Festival is now in its 5th year and has established itself as a favourite fixture on the South Kerry summer calendar. This year it’s taking place on the 12th and 13th of July. It’s a festival which deals predominantly with food of course but there is more to it than just that. There’ll be loads of entertainment on including live music, busking and fishing and sports competitions. In addition to this there is a number of family oriented events with face-painting, scallop-shell painting and a kid’s duathlon.
The focus of the festival is of course the scallops and there will be plenty of stalls offering their freshly cooked scallops to you to sample. There will be a country and craft fair too where you can enjoy some artisan delicacies. The highlight of the festival however will be the crowning of Mr King Scallop 2014. This competition aims to find the most talented scallop chef in Valentia and the winner is crowned on the Sunday evening as a climax to the festival.
The beautiful Valentia Island is definitely worth visiting on an ordinary day but a weekend like the King Scallop Festival should be amazing craic. It’s a small island with a small population so the festival won’t be absolutely thronged which should make it more intimate and relaxing. For any more information you may need check out their Facebook page here. And here’s a Google map of how to get to Valentia from Killarney.