Explore the southwestern corner of Ireland on this 8-day guided hike of the Beara Peninsula, one of Ireland's "toes". Few roads cross this massive landscape, and those which do wind in hairpin turns through the rocky mountains. Follow trails between historic and natural landmarks, notably Bere Island, Dursey Sound, and Gleninchaquin Valley. Learn about local lore, from the prehistoric stone circles to the ancient tales of the Hag of Beara and Four Children of Lír.

Highlights

  • Spend all day in nature and stay at night in comfortable accomodations
  • Take in the views of Cloonee Lakes and mountains in Gleninchaquin Valley
  • Browse for souvenirs in the colorful village of Eyeries
  • Explore local history and see wildlife, like whales, dolphins, and seabirds

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Glengariff Glengarriff
Day 2 Caha Mountain Way Glengarriff
Day 3 Bere Island Castletownbere
Day 4 Dursey Island Allihies
Day 5 Dursey Sound Allihies
Day 6 Allihies to Eyeries Eyeries
Day 7 Gleninchaquin Valley Kenmare
Day 8 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Glengariff

Glengariff
Glengariff

Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in the picturesque village of Glengarriff, famous for the beautiful Garinish Island and the wide array of flora that grows easily in this region of Ireland, thanks to the mild climate of the Gulf Stream. Meet with your guide in the late afternoon and go over logistics for the trip ahead. 

Day 2: Caha Mountain Way

Caha Mountain Way
Caha Mountain Way

Your first day on the trail begins with a hike west over the Caha Mountains to the hamlet of Adrigole. This is a stunning hike, with amazing views across Bantry Bay and Sheep's Head and Mizen Peninsula. From the higher points on the hike, you'll be able to see Garinish and Whiddy Islands, as well. 

After arriving in Adrigole, head back to Glengarriff for a hot meal in a neighborhood pub. 

Walk distance: 3.7 miles (6 km) to 10 miles (16 km)

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & open hillside with no tracks, boggy & uneven underfoot conditions with some very rocky sections. Boots essential.

Day 3: Bere Island

Boarding the ferry
Boarding the ferry

Depart Glengarriff in the morning and travel west to reach Castletownbere. From here take the ferry to the historic Bere Island. After you arrive, choose from several hike distances to explore the history and natural beauty of the island. 

Return to Castletownbere by ferry, then transfer to your overnight accommodation in the city. 

Walk distance: 5 miles (8 km) to 11 miles (18 km)

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & open hillside with no tracks, boggy & uneven underfoot conditions with some rocky sections. Boots essential.

Day 4: Dursey Island

See the views from above
See the views from above

Head west today as you drive on country roads to reach Dursey Sound. Board a cable car to get to the island and enjoy a relaxing nature and wildlife walk,  stopping to look for migratory whales, dolphins, and seabirds along the way. 

In the afternoon, drive to the historic village of Allihies for the night. 

Walk distance: 1.8 miles (3 km) to 7.5 miles (13 km)

Walk details: Gravel tracks & open hillside with no tracks, uneven underfoot conditions with some rocky sections. Boots essential.

Day 5: Dursey Sound

Enjoy the views on Dursey Sound
Enjoy the views on Dursey Sound

Leave Allihies behind you today as you continue west as far as Dursey Sound. Today's hike is beautiful, rewarding you with stunning views of the Ring of Kerry to the north and Mizen Head to the south. Return to Allihies in the evening. 

For travelers looking for an extra adventure, add a second hike in the mountains above Allihies before retiring for the night. 

Walk distance: 3.1 miles (5 km) to 8.7 miles (14 km)

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & open hillside with no tracks, uneven underfoot conditions with some rocky sections. Boots essential.

Day 6: Allihies to Eyeries

Colorful houses in Eyeries
Colorful houses in Eyeries

Depart from Allihies in the morning and hike through the serene countryside as you head east to the village of Eyeries. Today's hike follows the path of history and leads you by several notable sites. Reach Eyeries and stop for food and a brew at the neighborhood pub. Those with extra energy can continue to the village of Ardgroom to end their evening there. Overnight in Eyeries. 

Walk distance: 2.5 miles (4 km) to 10.6 miles (17 km)

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & some coastal sections with no tracks. Uneven underfoot conditions with some very rocky sections. Boots essential.

Day 7: Gleninchaquin Valley

Sheep in Gleninchaquin Valley
Sheep in Gleninchaquin Valley

Your final day of hiking is a spectacular walk over two mountain passes that lead along the northern shores of the peninsula towards Kenmare at the eastern end. Depart Drombohilly and head uphill, with views across the Cloonee Lakes as your reward. Descend into Gleninchaquin Valley, then climb the next mountain before descending near Kenmare

At the end of your hike, transfer to the village of Kenmare for your final evening. If there's time before you start the trail today, visit one of the many stone circles in the region. Enjoy a cozy dinner in town and relax after a week of hiking. 

Walk distance: 3.1 miles (5 km) to 11 miles (18 km)

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & open hillside with no tracks, boggy & uneven underfoot conditions with some very rocky sections. Boots essential.

Day 8: Departure

Shepherd with his flock
Shepherd with his flock

Transfer from Kenmare back to Killarney to continue your journey or return home. Safe travels! 

Map

Map of Beara Peninsula Guided Hike - 8 Days
Map of Beara Peninsula Guided Hike - 8 Days