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The Beara Way

The Beara Peninsula is quite remote and has remained perhaps the most unspoilt part of the south west region, and like the peninsulas to the north, is a magical world of mountains and lakes surrounded by a picturesque seacoast.

The main industries are farming and fishing, with the latter being based in the port of Castletownbere. The Beara Way was established by a local voluntary group in the early 1990s as a co-operative involving upwards of four hundred landowners to augment the revenues coming from a declining fishing industry through tourism. Please be aware dogs are not permitted on the Trail.

It is a 196km circular route through magnificently rugged mountain and seacoast scenery which frequently passes by rich evidence of a heavily populated prehistoric past in the form of standing stones and burial monuments. There are also many fine villages, such as Allihies and Eyries, along the route. Terrain consists of mainly quiet tarmac roads, bog roads, cliff and woodland paths and open moorland, some sections of which can be quite rough and remote. The total aggregate ascent is nearly 5300m over the whole route and includes some short but steep climbs.

Availability of overnight accommodation is generally good along the route although some of the longer stretches between villages may require careful planning. A loop of the route circumnavigates Bere Island with its great forts, and a spur takes you out (by an exciting trip on Ireland’s only cable-car) to sparsely inhabited Dursey Island.


Section 1 – Glengarriff to Adrigole – Moderate

Section 2 – Adrigole to Castletownbere – Hard

Section 3 – Westend Pier to Lighthouse at western end of Bear Island, Signal Tower and to Rerrin – Moderate

Section 4 – Westend Pier to Rerrin along northern side of Bear Island

Section 5 - Circuit (clockwise) of eastern end of Bear Island from Rerrin to Rerrin and there-and-back to Martello Tower – Easy

Section 6 – Castletownbere to Allihies – Easy

Section 7 – Allihies to Garinish (White Strand) – Easy

Section 8 – Circuit from Cable Car to Garinish, Glanarough and Ballynacarriga to Cable Car – Moderate

Section 9 – Circuit of Dursey Island (clockwise) and there-and-back to Dursey Head – Easy

Section 10 – Allihies to Eyeries – Easy

Section 11 – Eyeries to Ballycrovane – Easy

Section 12 – Ballycrovane to Ardgroom – Moderate

Section 13 – Ardgroom to Lauragh – Easy

Section 14 – Lauragh to Lough Inchiquin – Moderate

Section 15 – Lough Inchiquin to Kenmare – Moderate

Section 16 – Kenmare to Bunane (east of N71) – Easy

Section 17 – Kenmare to Bunane (via Drombane, west of N71) – Easy

Section 18 – Bunane to Glengarriff – Easy

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