Beara Way Ireland
The Beara Way is a long distance walking route of 196 km (120 miles) circumnavigating the Beara Peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. Beara is a quieter than its northern neighbor, the Kerry Way, but is equally beautiful and offers superb walking.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
- Your B&B hosts. Dedicated Beara enthusiasts!
- Exploring Bere Island – https://www.bereisland.net/
- A thriving island population of 200, living in an archaeological and historical bag of gems
- Eyeries color, a lovely eye catching village nestling between mountain and sea
Stone rows, stone circles, ancient footsteps
- John Murphy’s freshest fish ‘n chips
The Beara Way is a long distance walking route of 196km (120 miles) circumnavigating the Beara Peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. Beara is a quieter than its northern neighbor, the Kerry Way, but is equally beautiful and offers superb walking.
Hiking is through low rounded hills, walking old bog roads, exploring abandoned copper mines. It is a largely undiscovered area, hilly but not mountainous, with some good open hill-walking sections. The rocky coastline of the Beara Peninsula is a walking holiday dream. Visit Dursey Island by cable car, walk the green roads of Bere Island and sample the best fresh fish from the port of Castletownbere. The full trail starts at and finishes in Kenmare.
The Beara Way follows old green roads, boggy mountain trails and country roads. It is a very well marked route, signposted with numbered wooden or plastic yellow markers and road signs. This tour consists of 28% quiet country road walking.
The 8 day tour consists of 6 full days walking. The tour starts in Glengarriff and follows the southern shore of the peninsula to Castletownbere. After a rest day in this major fishing port, the route turns north to Eyeries before returning along the northern coastline to Kenmare.
- 7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected guesthouses, inns and hotels.
- Breakfast each day.
- Door to door luggage transfer.
- Relevant 1:50000 Map and a guidebook describing the trail.
- Detailed route notes.
- Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it.
- Emergency assistance
Total distance: 70 miles (113 km)
Duration: 8 days/7 nights, 6 days walking
Minimum/maximum daily distances: 10 miles (16km)/15 miles (24km)
Waymarking: The trail is clearly waymarked and very easy to follow.
Season: Start on any Saturday from March 7 to October 31 (other days of the week on request)
Starting point of holiday: Glengarriff
End of holiday: Kenmare
Nearest available airport: Cork airport.
Arrival to Glengarriff
Travel to Glengarriff situated on beautiful Bantry Bay. ’Glengarriff’ means the ’rugged glen’, and is now a wooded and attractive valley. You may wish to visit Garinish Island, a planted sub-tropical garden about 10 minutes off the coast by ferry, famous for its Italian Garden and ancient sun temple.
Overnight accommodation in Glengarriff village.
Glengarriff to Adrigole
Walk through the Glengarriff woods and Glenlough Mountains, following old tracks alongside Coomarkane River, climbing the flank of the Sugarloaf, skirting mountain lakes to descend from Mass Mount and the Holy Well. Tonight’s evening meal will be in your guesthouse.
Distance 10mi (16km). Ascents 230m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation near Adrigole. Dinner tonight is in your guesthouse.
Adrigole to Castletownbere
Wonderful views over Bantry Bay and a series of pre-historic sites close to the route. A series of bog roads, farm tracks and minor roads are linked today to cross the rugged slopes of Hungry Hill. Castletownbere, nestled in the lee of Bere Haven Harbour and sheltered by Bere Island, is the principal town of the peninsula and the largest whitefish port in Ireland. It offers a full range of services.
Distance 14mi(22km). Ascents 450m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Castletownbere town.
Free Day in Castletownbere
Visit Bere Island with a resident community of 210 people. Walk through open sheep farming country, visiting Ardnakinna Lighthouse and a Martello Tower. Or on the mainland, visit Dunboy Castle home to O’Sullivan clan who ruled the area for three centuries. Puxley mansion was a 19th century family home of the Puxley’s, who mined copper in the area. Bicycles are for hire in Castletownbere for more exploration.
Distance 5mi (8km) or 15mi (24km). Ascents 250m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Castletownebere town.
Castletownebere to Eyeries
Through the Slieve Miskish Mountains and via the coast at Coulagh Bay. The area is rich in megalithic remains, stone rows, forts, tombs indicating its importance in the Bronze Age period, 1200-700BC, and a stone circle at Derreentaggart. The Way crosses open hill terrain under the peak of Knockgour at 481m, with views to Allihies and Ballydonegan Bay. Eyeries nestles between mountains and sea.
Distance 13mi (21km). Ascents 260m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Eyeries village.
Eyeries to Lauragh
Climb the slopes of Gortbrack hill over the stunning Cleanderry Harbour to the pretty village of Ardgroom. Under the striated glaciated face of Tooreenamna and Coomacloghane there are no less than ten prehistoric monuments. The Owenashagh River meets Killmackillogue Harbour at Lauragh – a glorious sub tropical setting of rhododendron and Scot’s Pine. Dereen House & Gardens are well worth a visit.
Distance 14mi (22km). Ascents 300m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Lauragh townland.
Lauragh to Kenmare
A minor road climbs to a saddle at 150m between the hills of Knockatee and Knockanoughanish, before climbing higher through open hillside. Superb views of the Cloonee Lakes descending to Lough Inchiquin and a stone circle from the Neolithic era 3500 – 2000 B.C. Descend into Kenmare town, an interesting market town founded in 1670, on the banks of the Roughty River.
Distance 15mi (24km). Ascents 470m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Kenmare town.
Departure from Kenmare
Scheduled bus services from Kenmare to Killarney or Cork for onward connections.
The itinerary above shows our preferred overnight stops, but if accommodation is not available at any one of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly.
7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected guesthouses, inns and hotels.
Singles: Add $37 per night for a single room; solo traveler add $67 per night
Extra rest days: Can be added at any of the overnight stops. Add $99 per person per night, based on 2 people sharing a double room.
There are several possibilities for additional days on the route:
- Take a transfer (10 Euro) from Castletownbere to Dursey to catch the cable car to the island for the most spectacular walking possible. Return to Castletown or a second night, or walk to Allihies.
- Extra night in Kenmare, a colorful lively town, in a wonderful location.
- An extra night in Cork City.
- Start the tour in Kenmare town and walk the Beara Way to Glengarriff.
- Spend an extra night in Adrigole to climb Hungry Hill 685m, south from the Dereen route.
- Walk from Adrigole to the Beal Lough to take a ferry to Rerrin, on the eastern end of Bere Island for an overnight. Walk the Bere Island Way to the western end, taking the ferry to Castletownbere.
- Spend an extra night at Lauragh to walk the fabulous Eskatarriff Circuit over a glaciated coum called ‘The Pocket’ and Rabach’s Glen.
- Spend an extra night at Lauragh to climb Hungry Hill from the Glanmore Lake valley.
Arrival in Glengarriff. Bus from Cork Airport (2 hrs 6 min) or Kerry Airport (4 hrs 45 min)
Depart Kenmare. Scheduled bus services from Kenmare to Killarney or Cork for onward connections.