Beara Way Mountaineer – Twelve days walking along the entire Beara Way
- Eleven nights’ accommodation with private bathroom in charming guesthouses along the Beara Way.
- Private transfer from either Kerry airport or Killarney train or bus station to your first guesthouse.
- Private transfer from Cork can be arranged also (60€ supplement)
- Breakfast each morning.
- Packed lunch for each days hike.
- Dinner on three evenings (Lauragh, Dursey and Adrigole).
- We can cater for many dietary requirements (eg. vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, no meat, no dairy).
- Return ferries to Bere island and Garnish Island
- Entrance to Garnish Island
- Luggage transfer between your guesthouse each day.
- Any pickups or transfers required during each days hike (eg. Poor weather, tiredness or injury).
- Use of cell phone with the best coverage on the Beara Way to contact us at any time.
- Waterproof walking notes, full route descriptions, diagrams, guidebooks and maps provided
- Use of walking poles if required.
- Private transfer on the final day from your guesthouse to Kerry Airport or Killarney train or bus station (transfers to Cork Airport can be arranged also)
- Recommendations on the best places to visit, eat and drink each day along the Beara Way.
- Our full backup and support during your walking holiday.
Day One: Arrival at Kerry Airport or Killarney (optional 6km Park and Coastal Walk)
Our driver will meet you at either Kerry Airport or Killarney train or bus station and bring you to your first guesthouse at Kenmare. Kenmare is a wonderful village with one of the best selection of restaurants, pubs and cafes to be found in the west of Ireland. Kenmare is also home to many local artists and you can enjoy their work at some of the galleries. We also have a 1.5-2 hour local walk through Reenagross Park and along the banks of Kenmare bay to enjoy. In the evening you can enjoy the best selection of traditional music outside of Dingle. A lovely little town and a great start to your Beara adventure.
Day Two: Kenmare to Lauragh (16.5km / 24km, 660m ascent)
Today’s walk is a good introduction to the delight of the Beara peninsula and the high points of 350m (over 1000 feet) allow you to take in the majesty of the surrounding countryside with terrific views out over Kenmare bay and across to the Iveragh peninsula (Ring of Kerry). The first section is along quiet country roads before heading off road and up to the pass before descending into the magical Gleninchaquin Valley. Gleninchaquin Lake and Valley is a world apart and has a great selection of standing stones and stones circles offering a glimpse of ancient life in this part of Ireland. Uragh Stone Circle has a particularly magical setting. Bypassing the hamlet of Tuoisit the Beara Way climbs once again to offer what must be one of the finest views in Ireland overlooking Lauragh and the Bay. A delightful descent bring us to Lauragh and your guesthouse for tonight.(Note the first 7km of this hike is along a country road. Our driver can drive this for you and shorten the walk if you wish)
Day Three: Lauragh to Eyeries (26km, 280m ascent)
A different day today with less ascent and more in the way of tracks. The subtropical plants of Lauragh give way to open countryside and a marvellous collection again of stone circles and standing stones. This demonstrates the richness of the local area in ancient times. Halfway today is the little village of Ardgroom with its cosy pub and Harringtons, the one stop shop for the area and also a café if you are in need of a hot drink. The second half of today’s walk begins with a ridge hike offering great views over Kenmare Bay and even as far as the Skellig Islands. The ridge walk descends to the coast and you have a marvellous shore walk right up to the pretty village of Eyeries, recently voted the best place to live in rural Ireland.
Day Four: Eyeries to Dursey via Allihies (23km, 440m ascent)
Today’s walk is a lovely climb up over the pass and into the old mining village of Allihies. Allihies was a major copper mining area in the 19th century and when the mines closed many workers moved to Butte in Montana and the village maintains a close relationship with the USA. You pass many of the old mine shafts (at a safe distance) and the village opens up the westernmost region of the Beara with clear views over the Iveragh Peninsula and the nearby Skellig Islands. Allihies marks the half way stop and is a good spot for lunch before embarking on the final section of the Irish mainland towards Dursey Island. This final section has an end of the world beauty to it and is probably our favourite part of the Beara. Unique Dursey Island comes into view before reaching your guesthouse for tonight situated by the Dursey Island cable car. The clear is stunning clear here and it is worth watching the stars as the sunsets and the fishing boats make their way through Dursey sound for their midnight catch.
Day Five: Dursey Island to Allihies (23km, 380m ascent)
Today you are in for a real adventure. After breakfast enjoy the only cable car journey in Ireland as it takes you from the mainland to Dursey Island, the most western point in Ireland. Dursey thrusts out into the Atlantic and offers spectacular views back over Kerry and Cork. The Beara Way takes you the highest point on the Island before dropping to westernmost point on the Island. Most visitors find a half day ample time to explore the island before catching the cable car bar and enjoy a 2-3 hour walk back to Allihies and your guesthouse for tonight. If you wish we can also provide transport from the cable car to Alihies. Alihies is a great little village and something of a cultural hub for Western Beara. The Copper Musuem and heritage center is the focus of many plays, concerts and storytelling session and the village is also home to many students during the summer months.
Day Six: Allihies to Castletownbere (12km, 300m ascent)
Today’s is the shortest walking day of the trip giving you ample time to explore the “capital” and largest town on the Beara Peninsula. Castletownbere is stepped in history and is one of the largest and deepest ports in Europe. So important in fact that the British kept control of the port for decades after Irish independence. The town is the second largest fishing port in Ireland and sees many European fisherman pass through the town. Ferries to Bere Island leave on the hour and it is a short 15 minute crossing. As the largest town on the Beara you can enjoy the largest selection of restaurants and pubs since Kenmare as well as McCarthy’s Bar made famous by Peter McCarthys book.
Day Seven: Bere Island (14km, 320m ascent)
Today is a real treat, a short ferry ride to Bere Island and one of the most pleasant treks of the Beara Way. Its location in the middle of Bantry Bay gives unrivalled views back along the coast of Beara and over to Sheep’s Head and even as far as Mizen Head, the most south westerly point in Ireland. The island is steeped in history and various notices inform and guide you through its rich history. There is no secondary school on the island so all students must take the ferry each morning to the school on the mainland. The island warrants a full day and regular ferries allow you to choose to the hour when you wish to return to Castletownbere and your guesthouse for tonight.
Day Eight: Castletownbere to Adrigole (23km, 510m ascent)
Today is a good honest hike and a very beautiful one at that. An easy pull out of Castletownbere allows you enjoy wide views over the port and central Beara. The most dramatic section awaits as you circumnavigate the foothills of Hungary hill and its water channels. The way follow the steep sides of the coast before coming to the most beautiful waterfall and adorable hidden valley at Adrigole. Adrigole is a wide townland and your home for tonight is a wonderful guesthouse that serves a delicious local dinner that you will be telling all your friends about for a long time to come.
Day Nine: Adrigole to Glengarriff (18km, 560m ascent)
Fitting enough that the hardest day on the Beara should come now. You are well into your stride by now and although steep and high it is very well marked and in any sort of clear weather provides the breath-taking and changing views the length of the route. Every few minutes you should stop to turn around and enjoy the 360 degree views that typify the beauty of the south west coast. The Beara Way used to take a lower and easier route but it was felt that hikers were missing out and so this well-marked and higher route was formed. The descent to Glengariff Forest Park is a delight and the mildness of the climate allows many sub-tropical plants to thrive here. The final section into the village is a delight and Glengarriff is a wonderful gateway for the Beara and a fitting home for the next two nights.
Day Ten: Garnish Island and Glengarriff Forest Park (12km, 90m ascent)
Glengarriff has such a wonderful setting. Not only a peaceful village on the shores of Bantry Bay but it is blessed with a multitude of forest, river and off shore islands. Ahead of them all, Garnish Island should not be missed. It is a touch of the Mediterranean in the Atlantic and rewards the visitor with a mix of trees, plants and architecture like no other in Ireland. The journey to Garnish Island takes only 15 minutes and passes one of the largest seal colonies in Ireland. You may also spot a dolphin or porpoise. As well as Garnish Island, Glengarriff is blessed with a scenic coastal walk and 300 hectares of dine Oakland at the Nature Park. While you can opt out of this extra day we heartily recommend it as an essential Beara experience.
Day Eleven: Glengarriff to Kenmare (26km, 460m ascent)
Your final day on the trail and a fitting journey as your cross between the two Gateways to the Beara peninsula. Your climb out of Glengarriff reminds you of the beauty and tranquillity of the area and offers tantalising view of the Sheep’s Head and Mizen Head peninsulas further south as well as Whiddy Island. Once the pass is reached you begin your descend through the Sheen Valley to the half way village of Bonaire, home to the wonderful Molly Gallivans Café and Lorge Chocolate Factory. Your final descent into Kenmare is a pleasant ramble through a winding forest road and then before you know it the journey is complete and a great sense of achievement having complete the entire 220km of the Beara Way including visits to the three off shore Islands. A very well deserved rest night in Kenmare awaits.
Day Twelve: Kenmare and Departure
Enjoy the delights of Kenmare shops, markets and waters of Kenmare Bay before our driver meets you and brings you onto either Kerry Airport or Killarney train station. The very scenic journey back takes about 45 minutes to Killarney and 1 hour to the airport. Our driver can collect you at whatever time suits you best.
Booking and Rates
The price of the Beara Way Mountaineer Twelve Day walking holiday is 1345 euros per person sharing.
Additional nights can be arranged at Kenmare, Eyeries, Allihies, Castletownbere and Glengarriff.
Our driver can meet you at either Kerry Airport or at Killarney Train Station.
Transfers from Shannon and Cork also possible for additonal supplement.
Ask us if you need the price quoted in your own currency.
Please contact us if you have any questions or need any further information.