Situated on the South West coast of Ireland, the Beara Peninsula is referred to as one of Ireland’s best kept secrets. The peninsula is divided by the Miskish and the Caha mountains which form a rugged spine down the centre with the raw splendour of the wild Atlantic waves never far from view. The economic importance of the Atlantic remains central to life on Beara, with Ireland’s largest whitefish fleet based in Castletownbere.
The peninsula juts out from the mainland starting in Glengarriff village, out to Dursey Island and back to Kenmare town forming a circular route of approximately 120kms. The Ring of Beara provides a breathtaking driving experience as you cruise along the raw landscape with dramatic cliffs and hills, and meander through our colourful and picturesque villages and parishes.
The Beara Peninsula has something to offer everyone: wildlife lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, hikers, bikers, cyclists, horse riders, and those looking for gourmet culinary delights. Whatever your interest – Beara is an unforgettable and magical destination.
Things To Do
Adrigole Arts is a craft shop and art gallery, located in Adrigole offering a unique range of fine Irish made crafts and gifts. The coffee shop is open from April to October.
Allihies Copper Mine Museum
Visit the Allihies Copper Mine Museum to hear the captivating story of Europe’s most westerly copper mines that operated from 1812 to 1884. The museum is open from Easter to October. The Copper Cafe offers a full lunch menu to eat in or take out.
Allihies Village & Beach
Visit Allihies, a very lively village at the end of the Beara Peninsula with spectacular views. Take a stroll along the white sandy Ballydonegan Beach that originated from crushed quartz rock from which the copper ore was extracted in the mines.
Anne Marie Cronin Photography Gallery
Visit Anne Marie Cronin’s photography gallery, situated on Main Street in Castletownbere for a beautiful display of Beara’s magnificent land and seascapes.
Beara Baoi Walking Tours
Join Carina, a Garnish native on one of her fascinating guided historical tours throughout Beara. Carina is a member of the Beara Historical Society, a writer and storyteller, and gives each visitor an appreciation of the deep history, culture and dramatic beauty that is Beara.
Beara Bridle Way
The Beara Bridle Way is Ireland’s first ever horse trail. The main trail hugs the flanks of the mountains, overlooking 17 kilometres of rugged mountain scenery, stunning seascapes and dazzling island views. The Bridle Way begins several kilometres west of Castletownbere and links into the colourful village of Allihies and the coastal townland of Urhan near Eyeries village.
Beara Way Walk
Part of the Beara-Breifne Way, Ireland’s longest way-marked trail, the Beara Way is a 206km loop of the Beara Peninsula covering stunning coastal scenery and rugged mountain landscapes with village life dotted in between.
Bere Island lies at the entrance to Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Castletownbere. Bere Island is served by two car ferry services all year round. Key attractions on the Ireland include the stunning walking trails, Heritage Centre, Ardnakinna Lighthouse, Martello Towers, Wedge Tombs and Lonehort Army Range.
Dunboy Woods (including Puxley’s Mansion & O’Sullivan Bere Castle)
The short 5km family-friendly Bullig Bay loop skirts around the Castletownbere harbour coastline taking in the Dunboy Castle ruins, formerly the stronghold of the O’Sullivan Bere, a Gaelic clan leader and ‘Chief of Dunboy’, and the Puxley Mansion, originally built in 1739 by the Puxley family who owned the nearby Allihies Copper Mines and partially renovated with the intention of becoming a 5-star hotel.
Dursey Island & Cable Car
One of the few inhabited islands that lie off the southwest coast of Ireland, Dursey Island is separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water called the Dursey Sound and is connected to the mainland by Ireland’s only cable car. Dursey Island offers incredible scenery and walking trails. The cable car operates all year round.
Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Meditation Centre & Cafe
Dzogchen Beara is a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat centre approximately 5km from Castletownbere with out-of-this-world views. The Centre welcomes all visitors and is open all year round. The cafe serves homemade vegetarian lunches and treats and is open daily all year round.
Probably one of the most photographed villages in Ireland, Eyeries is the Beara Peninsula’s colourful gem looking out across the stunning landscape of Coulagh Bay. Cafes, bars and shops are open all year round.
Garnish Beach is situated right next to the departure point for our Bull Rock Trip. A hidden Beara gem, this white sandy beach has beautiful views over Dursey Island and Garnish Bay.
Sarah Walker Gallery
Sarah Walker Gallery is a contemporary art gallery housed in a white-wash stone building, renovated from a carriage house right on the pier in Castletownbere. Currently on view is a selection of paintings by Sarah Walker and a range of paintings, ceramics, photography and drawings by local artists. The gallery is daily from June through mid-September and most weekdays from mid-September through May.
Lehanmore Community Centre
A local community centre on the end of the Beara Peninsula on the way to Garnish that hosts many community events throughout the year. The community centre runs a cafe, seasonally, serving tea, coffee, sandwiches and homemade soups.
Lios Lara Riding Stables
Lios Lara Riding Stables is a family-run equestrian centre situated a few kilometers outside of Castletownbere. The centre offers full day, half day and family treks, along with livery and guide hire.
Food & Dining
There are limited options near Garnish Pier, however we highly recommend the Dursey Deli, Ireland’s only chip van included in the respected Bridgestone guide. The Dursey Deli is located 2km from Garnish Pier at the Dursey Island Cable Car and serves locally-caught fresh fish and chips seasonally.
O’Neill’s Bar, located approximately 6km away from Garnish Pier in Allihies Village, is a family run pub serving a superb selection of bar food all-day long. Enjoy the gourmet food, live music and great conversation.
Beara Barista food truck
Beara Barista is a 1963 converted sprite vintage caravan, located on the shores of the beautiful Ballydongan Beach in Allihies. The caravan serves organic coffee , delicious waffles, hot dogs using Gubbeen smokehouse sausages, Macroom buffalo burgers, cheesy melts and more.
Discover the Wild Atlantic Way
Discover the Wild Atlantic Way route where 2,500km of spectacular coastline with white sands and glittering waves awaits you. Head along the coast to uncover over 180 Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points where the views are breathtaking and local stories are told.
Feel the power of the Atlantic Ocean as it crashes into the base of towering sea cliffs, wander down vast beaches and watch flocks of birds dance in pastel skies as the sun sets on another magical day.
The Beara Peninsula is the most southerly destination on this dramatic route, with Dursey Island identified as one of the Signature Discovery Points.