Today our driver can meet you at Kerry Airport or Killarney train station and bring you to your first guesthouse at Kenmare. Kenmare is a delightful small town with its colourful house and beautiful craft shops. It also has one of the best selection of pubs, great restaurants, and a lively traditional music scene. Kenmare is situated on the Atlantic Ocean and we have an optional short walk along the coast and through the nearby forest to help you discover the beauty of the area.
Today’s hike is (19km, 790m). The first section of which brings you into the Gleninchiquin Valley. The valley is exceptionally pretty, and you enter via an ascent close to the summit of Derrysallagh (370m). The valley lake and waterfall come into view and at the end of the descent you are rewarded with the opportunity to visit the Uruagh Standing Stone framed beautifully by Inchiquin Lake. Surely a wonderful locating for your picnic lunch. Moving on, you climb again, and further corners of the valley come into view. Do not forget to look to your right and the most wonderful silhouette of the Iveragh peninsula and Kenmare Bay is clearly in view. You keep your height gains until your final descent into Lauragh, definitely one of our favourite views in Ireland. A fantastic start to the Beara Way. Dinner tonight is at your guesthouse.
Today’s hike is 24km with 458m of ascent. Today is a day of two halves. The first half to Ardgroom takes you through quiet country roads then up onto the mountain where wide Atlantic views are interspaced by archaeological artefacts such the Cashelkeelty Standing Stone. Beara is very rich in this type of heritage and reflects the ancient people who saw these locations as sacred places. Ardgroom offers the opportunity of a break with a cafe and pub before embarking on the second half to the Eyeries. From Ardgroom you experience first a low ridge walk, then a lake section and finally a coastal hike so plenty of variety this afternoon. A long day but less ascent than yesterday. Eyeries is a colourful village and was recently voted as the place most Irish people would like to live It also has a great restaurant and a pub with one of the nicest views we’ve seen.
The price of the Eight Day Beara Way Walking Holiday is 895€ per person sharing.
You can check our availability below or go to our Booking Form to make a reservation.
Our driver can meet you on your arrival at Kerry Airport or Killarney for a private transfer to your first guesthouse in Kenmare. Kenmare is one of Ireland’s prettiest villages and it has a wonderful choice of cafes, pubs, craft shops and restaurants. There are many places to explore but we also have an optional 6km walk along the river and harbor if you wished to stretch your legs before tomorrow’s first day on the Beara Way. Kenmare has a lively traditional music scene and there is usually live music in at least 2 or 3 pubs each night.
Today marks the start of the Beara Way proper and after crossing the harbor bridge you enter the Beara Peninsula. The hike follows the beautiful coast along Kenmare Bay before turning inland and following quiet country lanes. The route turns to the south and shortly you being to ascend the slope of Derrysallagh Mountain. This is a steady ascent and after a good effort you reach the pass and begin the beautiful descent into the Gleninchiquin Valley. The shimmering waters of Lough Inquin can be seen in the distance. The descent brings you to the lake where you follow its shores to cross the Ameen River. Here you have the opportunity to visit the stunningly situated Uragh Stone. The surrounding valley, lake and waterfall background add to the monuments impact
Moving on we now have our second ascent of the day. A wide track gives us access to the mid slopes of Knockaarrane. Like the first ascent, wonderful views over Kenmare Bay and the Iveragh Peninsula open up to your right hand side. At the altitude of 270m you being to descend, eventually reaching the road at Tuosist. From here, it is a mix of country roads towards Knockatee mountain. About 1.5km from Lauragh you get one of the most beautiful views in Ireland as you look down on Lauragh and Kilmakilloge Harbour. The descent from here allows you to enjoy the valley almost the entire way down to Lauragh. Lauragh is well forested and the trail becomes forest covered. Soon you arrive in Laraugh and your guesthouse for tonight.
Your second day on the Beara Way begins along country lanes towards Glanmore Lake. The trail here enjoys fine views of the surrounding Caha Mountains. You turn west at Croanshagh Bridge and enter the forest on the lowest slopes of Cummeennahillan Mountain. A gradual ascent along a medieval road that once ran from Kenmare to Castletownbere brings you to the Cashelkeelty Standing Stones. The five stone circle megalithic monument was erected almost 3,000 years ago and it is marvelously located with its Atlantic backdrop. Shortly afterwards you descend before rising again to the pass between Drung Hill and Keecrah.
This is a particularly beautiful section of the hike and the wide panoramic views ahead never fail to delight us. Once you have descended the pass you have the opportunity to visit the Beara Gallery and this is a good place to take a rest.
After the Beara Gallery, you hike along the lower slopes of Coomacloghane and Tooreennamna Mountains and enjoy views out over Kenmare Bay. Soon you come to another of today’s highlights, the Ardgroom Stone Circle. An even larger circle than Cashelkeelty, the circle has 11 standing stones and in the vicinity are the remains of two ring forts. Soon you arrive at Ardgroom Village, and the halfway point for today. Ardgroom is a colorful one street village with a lovely pub and local café.
The second half of today’s hike can be divided into three stages, a ridge walk, a lake walk and finally a coastal walk. You leave Ardgroom, hiking north of the village and soon you are ascending to the low ridge of Cleanderry Mountain. Once on the ridge you can enjoy wide Atlantic views to your right and the majestic mountains of Lackawee and Maulin on your left. Dropping down from the ridge, a short stretch of quiet road is soon replaced by a trail through tall grass as you skirt the shores of Lough Fadda, a popular Anglers spot due to its plentiful brown trout.
With the lake behind you a short section on surfaced road offers views of the nearby Ballycrovane Ogham Stone, which at 5.3m, is the tallest Ogham Stone in Europe. Ogham is an ancient Irish written language, consisting of inscriptions on stone monuments, it is thought to have originated in the 4th century AD.
You now enter the final stage of today’s hike which takes you along the Atlantic shore. Part of the Beara Way here is also part the Eyeries Heritage Trail, and one of the most interesting sections is the Ballycrovane Coastguard Station which was the scene of a raid during the 1920 War of Independence. The shores along this section is very pleasant with the waves crashing against the rocks below. Soon the bright houses of Eyeries Village can be seen in the distance and we depart the coast to enter the village. Eyeries is a picture-perfect village and was voted the place where most Irish people would choose to live. Eyeries has a number of pubs and a choice of places to dine this evening.
The trail leaves Eyeries along quiet country lanes. Once you reach Coulagh, the trail climbs to bring us onto the slopes of Miskish Mountain. The views over the valley below and out over the Atlantic improve with each step. On a clear day the Skellig Islands come into view. The trail drops down to a lower stream before climbing up the slopes of Knockgour.
After a while you begin to see the remains of the old Copper Mines industry. Allihies and the surrounding area was a thriving mining town during the 18th Century. Up ahead is the pass that leads you down into the Allihies Valley. Once over the pass, the scale of the old mining industry becomes clear with the old engine rooms being particularly striking. The Beara Way continues its descent and the brightly painted house of Allihies Village soon come into view. Allihies is a great spot for a lunch break and we can recommend the Copper Musuem Cafe.
Departing Allihies the trail soon arrives at the main beach. Allihies has a fine long beach, the best on the Beara Peninsula. The trail runs along the beach before turning west and beginning an ascent along the slopes of Knocknahulla. This next section is wonderful with massive Atlantic views and the slopes of Dursey Island coming into view ahead as you progress high above the cliffs at Foilshauncrone.
As you progress the sight of boats in Garnish Bay below can be seen and eventually the mountain becomes a track and you descend past the scattered cottages who enjoy the most enviable views. The Beara Way reaches the road at the Firkeel Gap and from here you can enjoy great views of Garnish Harbour. Soon after the amazing sight of the Dursey Channel and Ireland’s only cable car mark the end of today’s hike.
A different start to today’s hike as you board Ireland’s only cable car for the short journey across to Dursey Island. The cable car is legendary in Ireland and the views beneath are dramatic as you cross the channel. Home to only 6 families now Duresy is a peaceful oasis, and the Beara Way starts with an ascent that soon allows you to look back to the mainland and appreciate your journey here. Once up on the wide ridge, the hike on Dursey is a delight as you ascend and descend through the three peaks. In the distance you will see the highest point on the Island marked by a signal tower at 252 metres and this is a good spot for a break as the tower provides shelter if there is a wind.
As you ascend to the tower make sure to turn around and appreciate the jaw droppingly beautiful view back to the mainland of Ireland. From the signal tower you can see Dursey Head, the last land before North America. Two islets, The Bull and The Cow can be spotted to the north of Dursey Head. Descending from the Signal Tower you reach the Island’s only road, (virtually traffic free) and you can decide whether to descend to Dursey Head or return to the cable car via the Island’s only traffic free road track. The day on the Island is one of the great highlights of the Beara Way. On your return, our driver will meet you at the cable car and bring you to your guesthouse in nearby Allihies (15 minute transfer).
A gentle start to the day as you leave Allihies along various tracks and trails. Once you reach the remains of the Kealoge Mine, the trail begins to climb and there are good views of the valley and the bright colors of Allihies Village can be seen in the distance. As you continue your ascent the masts of Knockgour become closer and make sure to turn around to appreciate the views of Dursey Island and the wide Atlantic panorama behind you.
At the 250m contour the trail begins to level and enters an area of forestry. Your views are now to the south and recent forestry clearance has opened up the area. Once you reach the Gour viewing point, your first sighting of Castletownbere and Bere Island are clearly seen as well as the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and Bantry Bay. The trail turns north and at the Teernahilane Ridge you get the widest vistas. To the north the colors of Eyeries Village, Kenmare Bay and the Iveragh Peninsula, while looking south the Sheep’s Head, Bere Island and even the Mizen Penisula can be seen.
From the ridge the trail ascends towards the summit of Miskish before running east and beginning the continuous decent into Castletownbere. Just before arriving in the town, you get the opportunity to visit the Derreenataggart Stone Circle, which is not to be missed. Shortly afterwards you arrive in Castletown, the largest village so far with its wonderful choice of pubs, restaurants and living fishing port.
We find the short 15 minute boat journey to Bere Island is unforgettable, and this sheltered harbor makes for a gentle crossing. Once landed you follow the Beara Way towards the lighthouse. The peace of the Island and the stunning views back on the mainland bring joy every time we hike here. The fishing boats from Castletownbere often pass by as they make their way through the narrow channel and out into the Atlantic. After about an hour the lighthouse and its dramatic location come into view.
It’s a magical spot and looking south the tips of the Sheep’s Head and Mizen Peninsula come into view. You are looking at the most westerly corner of Ireland framed by the never-ending Atlantic Ocean. It’s difficult to bring yourself to leave this spot but there is plenty more to see as the Beara Way continues it ascent to the ridge. On the ridge you get to enjoy view over the entire Island, back to the mainland and to the north the Iveragh Peninsula. The route is very well marked on Bere Island and with many daily ferries you can choose to return at your preferred time.
This morning you can enjoy a relaxing breakfast and final explore of Castletownbere. At your preffered time, our driver will meet you at your guesthouse and bring you onto either Kerry Airport or Killarney. We can also arrange a transfer to Cork or Cork Airport if required.