Beara Way, 8-day Walking Tour

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Detail

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 neighbour, 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 25% quiet country road walking.

This 8-day walking tour starts in Glengarriff and finishes in Kenmare and includes the best of the waymarked Beara Way walking route.

What's Included

Price Includes

  • Bed and Breakfast in comfortable, friendly, locally-run Guest Houses
  • Daily Luggage Transfers
  • Detailed Route Notes, Maps & GPX Tracks
  • 24/7 Support Line
  • Where to Eat & Regional Reading List
  • Packing List, Travel Advice & more!

Optional Extras

  • Airport Transfers
  • Day Trips & Excursions
  • Extended or Customised Itineraries

Pricing

  • Per Person Sharing Room €735
  • Single Supplement €245

Tour Highlights

This 8-day walking tour starts in Glengarriff and finishes in Kenmare and includes the best of the waymarked Beara Way walking route.

  • Coastal route with old ringforts, copper mines & Ardgroom stone circle
  • Dereen Gardens on Killmackillogue Harbour
  • Bere Island & the Island Loop Ways
  • Ballycrovane Ogham Stone

Difficulty Level

This tour is rated MODERATE for most days with one free day offering a RELAXED option. Day 7 is rated STRENUOUS.

See how we determine levels of difficulty for each of our hiking tours by visiting our FAQ page.

  • Relaxed: 12-18km (8-11mi), 3-4hrs
  • Moderate: 16-23km (10-14mi), 4-7hrs
  • Strenuous: 22-30km (14-19mi), 5-9hrs

Itinerary

Day 1 - Travel 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 in Glengarriff.

Day 2 – 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 16km (10mi). Ascents 500m (1,640ft). Approximate walking time 5 hours.

Overnight in Adrigole.

Day 3 - 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.

Distance 22km (14mi). Ascents 450m (1,476ft). Approximate walking time 7 hours.

Overnight in Castletownbere.

Day 4 – Free Day in Castletownbere

Free Day in Castletownbere to explore Bere Island and follow the Island Loop Ways. Walk through open sheep farming country, visiting Ardnakinna Lighthouse and a Martello Tower. Or on the mainland, visit Dunboy Castle, home to the O’Sullivan clan who ruled the area for three centuries.

Distance 18km (11mi) or 24km (15mi). Ascents 250m (820ft). Approximate walking time 6 hours.

Overnight in Castletownbere.

Day 5 – 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 21km (13mi). Ascents 260m (853ft). Approximate walking time 6 hours.

Overnight in Eyeries.

Day 6 – 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 and Gardens are well worth a visit.

Distance 22km (14mi). Ascents 300m (984ft). Approximate walking time 6 hours.

Overnight in Lauragh.

Day 7 – 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 24km (15mi). Ascents 470m (1,542ft). Approximate walking time 7 hours.

Overnight in Kenmare.

Day 8 – Depart from Kenmare

Depart by scheduled bus services from Kenmare to Killarney or Cork for onward connections.

Map

REVIEWS

July 2019 – A. Lees, Auckland, New Zealand
The area is quite magical,  as one would expect in Ireland. The remote walks,  sheep,  mixed weather,  scenery,  smooth and rugged rocks, the harbours,  and the colourful villages add to a great experience. All my hosts have been friendly,  courteous and hospitable. Each B&B had its own character,  and certainly had the comfort and nourishing food needed after and /or before a days walk. Margaret’s place in Adrigole was special because it was sharing her home,  the home-cooked food was a treat, and the view of the bay was wonderful. I enjoyed all the places and people.

 

June 2019 – Belinda & Ken, Washington, USA
Hello, made it home. We wanted to thank you for a wonderful trip. We really enjoyed it loved the Beara!!!!  The hostess’s and host’s were wonderful everywhere and The Beara was just so beautiful. Thanks again for your patience and planning for us!

Price
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