This 12-day walking tour walks the full Beara Way route, starting and ending in Kenmare town, including walking to Dursey Island.
- Total immersion in the Beara peninsula. Everyone should do it at least once.
- Kenmare; a triangle of story and history, wrapped in colour and craft.
- Two full days at the western tip of the peninsula.
Overnight in this lovely town on the Roughty River and the head of Kenmare Bay – the name translates as Ceann Mara, the Head of the Sea. All services are available in Kenmare.
Day 2: Walk from Kenmare town to Glengarriff
The ascent between Esk and Barraboy Mountain crosses the border between counties Cork & Kerry and opens a vista of Bantry Bay. Walk to Dromahassig Waterfall, through the glen of the Baureagh River before climbing to the pass. Descend to the Nature Reserve of natural forest that makes Glengarriff the “rough glen”.
Distance 19km. Ascent 350m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation Glengarriff village
Day 3: 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. Ascents 510m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation near Adrigole. Dinner tonight is in your guesthouse.
Day 4 – Adrigole to Castletownbere
Wonderful views over Bantry Bay and a series of pre-historic sites close to the route. Cross the rugged slopes of Hungry Hill by bog roads, farm tracks and minor roads. 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 22km. Ascents 550m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Castletownbere town.
Day 5 – 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 8km or 24km. Ascents 250m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Castletownbere town.
Day 6: Castletownbere to Allihies
Walk through the Slieve Miskish Mountains. Some of today’s route passes through conifer forests, about the only alternative on poor bogland to turf cutting or sheep farming. The Way crosses open hill terrain and is under the peak of Knockgour at 481m. You will pass a ringfort – an ancient farm enclosure, which would have served as a home for people and animals. Allihies is a colourful coastal village, surrounded by the remains of copper mines – crushed stones from the mines formed the beach.
Distance 16km. Ascents 220m Approx. walking time 5 hours
Day 7: Today is free for several options. Transfer to Dursey and return to Allihies. Overnight Allihies. 8 or 17km. Ascents 200m. Approx. walking time 6 hours
The remote southwest is a beautiful, desolate part of the peninsula. The Dursey cable car is the only one of its type in Ireland. It was constructed in the 1973 and crosses a 200m strait approximately 25m above sea level. Unfortunately it is out of service for the 2022 season. Your hosts will transfer you to the cable car station to walk back to Allihies. You will see deserted farming villages and superb cliff scenery, following the coastline out to Allihies Point and along the wonderful coastline at Dangan Rocks. You may also wish to take a day exploring the Allihies area and Copper Mines or visit the Allihies Copper Mining Museum to understand the influence this industry had on the area.
Day 8: Allihies to Eyeries Walk from Allihies via the coast at Coulagh Bay to Eyeries.
Mining tracks link Allihies with Eyeries and the views are to the north of Coulagh Bay and the mouth of the Kenmare River. The coastal route takes you past coastguard ruins and rocky shorelines to the Ballycrovane Standing stone – 4.7m and quite a sight!
20km Ascents 500m Approx. walking time 6 hours
Day 9: Eyeries to Ardgroom. Overnight Ardgroom.
Venturing inland, the route takes you past Lough Fadda above Ardgroom Harbour and the beautiful isolated coast of Cleanderry & Bird Point. If you have time, the Pulleen Sea caves are worth a visit.
Distance 14km Ascents 240m Approx. walking time 4 hours
Day 10: Ardgroom to Lauragh
A line of prehistoric monuments accompanies you today! At Killmackillogue Harbour and Lauragh visit Dereen House & Gardens, more than 60 acres of sub tropical garden and woodland with wonderful views.
Distance 14km. Ascents 140m. Approximate walking time 4 hours.
Overnight in Lauragh townland. Dinner tonight is in your guesthouse.
Day 11: Lauragh to Kenmare
Climb to a saddle at 150m between the hills of Knockatee and Knockanoughanish and then 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. Climb the Inchiquin valley, past isolated farmhouses and onto a saddle at 370m.
Distance 24km. Ascents 470m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation Kenmare town.
Day 12: Departure from Kenmare.
Scheduled bus services from Kenmare to Killarney or Cork for onward connections.
Prices & Booking
€385 single supplement.
* Eleven nights Bed & Breakfast guesthouse accommodation;
* Luggage transfers each day;
* Detailed route descriptions;
* Relevant 1:50000 maps.
What’s not included
* Other meals.
* Entries or excursions.
* Transfers to or from Kenmare.
I want to especially thank you for making this trip happen and coordinating all the arrangements and information I needed. It’s been special to visit Ireland, and this part of Ireland. Thanks for your organisation and warmth.
August 2019 – F. Havermann, The Netherlands
Just touching base to say that all is going well. I had a great walk today from Adrigole to Castletownbere. The wind was at my back (in line with that lovely Irish blessing) and no rain . I really enjoyed Margaret’s hospitality, home-made food, fresh water with lemon (I drank that all day – truly quenches a thirst), and the views from her place. Of course, last night was special as you could see the full moon reflected in the harbour!!
Location & Grade