Beara 11-Day Self-Guided Hike

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Key Details
11 days
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What You'll Do
  • Explore the Beare peninsula, including Glengarriff, Bantry Bay, Bere Island and Kenmare.
  • Become captivated by the friendliest of people ready to stop, have a chat and help you towards your destination.
  • Immerse yourself into an unhurried pace of life here inspire visitors from all over the world to return time and again.
This independent walking tour of the Beara Peninsula is largely based on the Beara Way, a waymarked trail which loops around the coast, with occasional forays into the mountainous interior of the peninsula.
What to Expect
Day 1

Arrive in Glengarriff – a delightful little town, well known for Garinish Island with its sub-tropical Italian gardens. Proceed to your first accommodation just outside Glengarriff town, where your hostess will give you your full detailed information pack. She will also be able to recommend some of the excellent local restaurants.

Day 2

Start walking from Glengarriff along the Beara Way, under the Sugarloaf and Glenlough Mountains to finish in the village of Adrigole. This walk gives glorious views over Bantry Bay and across to Sheeps Head and your route joins some tiny old roads as you near Adrigole. Here you have the opportunity to detour a little to see excellent examples of standing stones and megalithic tombs. Telephone from Adrigole and return to Glengarriff for second night.

Walk Details: Distance: 18kms. Duration: 5 hours. Max. Height: 300m. Some road walking, muddy and rocky grass tracks, can be wet underfoot. Boots essential.

Day 3

You will be driven back to Adrigole to start your walk, continuing under the dominating mass of Hungry Hill and Maulin Mountain, before reaching the fishing port of Castletownbere. This is a long and very varied walk giving beautiful views over to Bear Island – where you walk tomorrow. Overnight in Castletownbere.

Walk Details: Distance: 25kms. Duration: 6 hours. Max. Height: 400m. Rocky walking with no clear path a lot of the way. Can be very wet underfoot. Some road walking. Boots essential.

Day 4

Take the ferry from Castletownbere over to Bear Island – this fascinating place, steeped in history. Loop around the west end of the island, and on to the little village of Rerrin. From here you can continue to the eastern tip of the island, exploring the old army fortifications, before returning by road to the harbour for the return ferry. (As this piece of water is naturally sheltered by the island – the ferry service runs every day). Overnight in Castletownbere.

Walk Details: Distance: 23kms. Duration: 6 hours. Max. Height: 300m. Grass and muddy tracks, rocky in places. Some road walking – boots essential.

Day 5

Walk from Castletownbere in a westerly direction towards the tip of the peninsula, passing under Knockgour Mountain to finish in the beautiful little village of Allihies. You will encounter a wealth of archaeological sites along the way. Overnight in Allihies.

Walk Details: Distance: 15kms. Duration: 4 hours. Max. Height: 260m. Muddy and grassy tracks, some road walking, can be wet underfoot – boots essential.

Day 6

Continue from Allihies all the way to the tip of the peninsula – arriving at the impressive Dursey Sound – which feels like you have arrived at the end of the world! An optional extra walk takes you to the tip of Crow Head with glorious views across Bantry Bay and West Cork. Overnight at Dursey Sound.

Walk Details: Distance: 14kms. Duration: 4 hours. Max. Height: 200m. Muddy and grassy tracks, some road walking, open mountains with no tracks, can be wet underfoot – boots essential.

Day 7

No trip to Beara would be complete without first enjoying a trip in Ireland’s only cable car to the beautiful Dursey Island. Walk the full length of this glorious island, going out over the spine of the island and returning along the lower road by the houses. You return to the mainland and walk back to Allihies for your overnight.

Walk Details: Distance: 25kms. Duration: 6 hours. Max. Height: 200m. Muddy and grassy tracks, some road walking, open mountains with no tracks, can be wet underfoot – boots essential.

Day 8

This time your journey takes you east from Allihies as you walk through the old copper mines and along the northern slopes of the Slieve Miskish Mountains before finishing in the colourful village of Eyeries.   Enjoy a lovely coastal walk before returning to the village for your overnight stop.

Walk Details: Distance: 21kms. Duration: 6 hours. Max. Height: 200m. Muddy and grassy tracks, some road walking and rocky terrain, can be wet underfoot – boots essential.

Day 9

From Eyeries you will be driven to the village of Ardgroom, to start your walk from here. You will have the opportunity to visit some of the famous stone circles in this area along today’s route. Leaving Ardgroom, you follow a wonderful old mountain path which leads to the little village of Lauragh at the base of the famous Healy Pass. Overnight near Lauragh.

Walk Details: Distance: 22kms. Duration: 5.5 hours. Max. Height: 200m. Grass tracks – rocky in places. Can be wet underfoot – boots essential. Some road walking at start and finish.

Day 10

From Lauragh you will be dropped at Drombohilly to start you final day’s walking. From Drombohilly you start walking over the first of two mountain saddles you will be crossing today, with views behind to the Caha Mountains and north towards the Ring of Kerry. Descending to the Cloonee Lakes, you continue along the shores of Lough Inchiquin before ascending again over the second saddle. Descending into the lovely Dromoghty valley, you walk along small little back roads, finally joining the main road for the last about 2kms to walk into the heritage town of Kenmare. Overnight in Kenmare.

Walk Details: Distance: 26kms. Duration: 6 hours. Max. Height: 400m. Open mountain and bog land, grass and mud tracks – boots essential. Some road walking at end of day – please take care.

Day 11

From Kenmare, you can enjoy an extra walk back to Glengarriff or make your way there by taxi. (There is a summer bus service offered to Glengarriff – but this is very irregular so ask locally for details). From Glengarriff you can return by bus to Cork city and by bus from there to the airport. Alternatively, you can make your way from Kenmare to Killarney by bus, and from Killarney a bus or train to Cork, Limerick, Shannon or Dublin.
What's Included
  • 10 night’s Bed and Breakfast. Full Irish Breakfast. Private bathrooms
  • 9 days walking. Varied and interesting each day.
  • Move your luggage.
  • Give you full walking details and maps of the area.
  • Full walking descriptions of each walking day.
  • 24 hrs Emergency/Information contact number. If required.
  • Airport transfers arranged/booked if required.
  • Full pre-departure information pack to allow you to fully plan for your holiday and so get the most from this Irish walking experience.
  • Extra days/nights booking with Travel/Tourism advice service.
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