Beara Way (6 Days & 5 Nights)6 Days & 5 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
- Walk the best of the Beara Way, in Ireland's south west
- Explore the colourful fishing village of Eyeries
- A mix of coastal and mountain walking with views over the Skellig Islands
- Sample traditional Irish music and a pint of Guinness in Kenmare
- Catch a glimpse of whales and dolphins feeding in the bays
What To Expect
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
This trip is suitable for:
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Long-Distance Trails
- Coastal Walking
- Off the Beaten Track
Grade & Terrain
With distances ranging from 11 to 19 km (7 to 12 mi) the 6-day Beara Way itinerary is graded moderate and involves beautiful sections of walking on the Beara Peninsula. This tour is suitable for regular walkers and it is advisable to do several longer walks of a similar distance on undulating terrain to build up your fitness before setting off. This way you can make the most of your time in Ireland!
The walk from Drombohilly to Kenmare is arguably the most challenging walk on this itinerary as it's the longest day and involves an ascent of 568m and a descent of 655m. The terrain consists of mainly quiet tarmac roads, bog roads, cliffs, and woodland paths. Some sections cross open moorland and at times it can feel rough underfoot. Although the paths are not very high, the area can feel quite isolated and you are exposed to the elements. During rainy weather some of the trails can be muddy, boggy, and waterlogged, so be prepared to get your boots wet and wear very good quality walking and waterproof boots. Wearing gaiters is also a good option.
As there are no “public rights of way” in Ireland you can expect some road walking. The roads that the Beara Way follows are generally very quiet and sometimes farm tracks but you will have to walk on tarmac every day as there is no avoiding this. However this in no way creates a negative experience, it is just what you have to expect when you walk in Ireland.
If you are thinking of travelling solo, please consider that mobile phone coverage may be patchy in remote areas along the trail. We also welcome small groups on the trail, ideally no bigger than 6-8 travellers due to accommodation limitations in remote areas along the route. Booking in advance is a must.
This route is well-waymarked for the most part and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost. You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.
Please note that depending on the time of year and recent weather, the trail may be boggy in places which could reduce your average walking speed.
The accommodations along the Beara Way are varied, you will stay in comfortable family-run B&Bs, cosy guest houses, and small hotels. A warm welcome is guaranteed as well as traditional Irish hospitality. We will always try to accommodate you at the locations that are detailed in the itinerary, but this may sometimes be difficult due to limited availability. Some of the overnight locations are in remote areas and for this reason, we might sometimes have to accommodate you elsewhere. If this is the case (particularly common around Adrigole) transfers will be provided or it may only be a short walk from the trail itself. Details will be provided upon confirmation.
We will be happy to accommodate your party with single rooms if requested and this trip is also available to solo walkers.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning, which usually includes choices of cereals, toast, and yogurts. A full cooked Irish breakfast is also provided and cooked to order. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively, you can buy lunch at local shops or stop in a café. Your route notes will have more specific information on whether you will need to take a packed lunch on a walk or whether there is a café, shop, etc en route.
- 5 Nights in B&B’s, guesthouses & small hotels
- 5 Breakfasts
- Luggage transfers
- Private transfer from Glengarriff to Castletownbere (Day 1)
- Private transfer from Lauragh to Drombohilly (Day 5)
- Information Pack, maps, route notes, GPX tracks, access to our smartphone app
- 24/7 telephone support in the event of an emergency
- Travel insurance (required)
- Travel to starting point/from finish point
- Ferries & Cable Car
- Lunches & Dinners
- Drinks and snacks
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
- Personal equipment
- Extra nights before, after or during your walk
- Additional Transfers
When To Go
This walking tour is best enjoyed between May and October. You have the flexibility to start on any date, subject to availability. If you are planning on traveling between June and August, we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, especially when traveling in a group.
In our opinion, one of the best times to visit this region is in spring when colourful wildflowers are in bloom and the Beara Peninsula looks incredible at this time of year. July and August are the busiest months and accommodations tend to fill up fast, but you can appreciate long hours of daylight. For a quieter experience, September is an ideal month and it has the advantage of the crowds beginning to thin.
Weather and Climate
Irish weather is typically unpredictable year-round so be prepared for any conditions and you will be pleasantly surprised. No matter what month you choose to travel, being on the Beara Peninsula means it can get wet and windy at any time of year. At the start and towards the end of the season the conditions may be wet and windy. It is important that you check the local weather forecast before setting off each day.
Getting to the Start
The closest international airport is Cork Airport. This airport is served by a few different airlines such as Ryanair and Aer Lingus from cities like as London, Manchester, Glasgow, Munich, Zurich, and Amsterdam. When you arrive you can take a #266 bus from the airport to Cork Parnell Bus Station. Buses from the airport run approximately every half an hour. From Cork Parnell Bus Station you can catch a bus to Glengariff. There are 3 buses per day in the early morning, afternoon and early evening. The journey takes about 2H20.
If you fly into Dublin is it also possible to get a direct train to Cork from the centre of Dublin which takes about 2H35.
A useful website when deciding on your travel plans is Bus Eireann.
If your tour begins in Castletownbere a private transfer from Glengariff to your accommodation in Castletownbere is included. Please let us know of your arrival in Glengariff as soon as possible after booking.
Getting from the End
On return to Cork you can get a taxi to Glengariff and take the same return journey. However a less expensive option is to take a bus from Kenmare to Killarney. During week days there are buses 3 times per day, but only twice on Saturdays and once on Sundays, so you will have to plan accordingly. The journey takes about 45 minutes. From Killarney you can take a train to Cork, which takes approximately 1h30 to 2H depending on the stops.
There are also direct train to Dublin from Killarney if you wish to take this option. Once again the Bus Eireann website is the best one for making your travel plans.
Daily door-to-door luggage transfers are included in the price of your trip, allowing you to set off on each walk carrying a light backpack.
At Macs Adventure we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Ninety-nine percent of the time they will only transfer one bag per person, but the allowed weight ranges from anything between 15 and 20kg per bag, depending on the tour you are taking. We do not have control over the limits that these providers set. Therefore, it is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags (including shopping bags or boots) and if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees) which we must respect.
On this trip, we ask you to keep your luggage to a maximum weight of 15 kilograms per item. Although most airlines have a standard baggage allowance of 23kg, we kindly ask you to distribute any excess weight over a separate bag. Please note that 2 bags per person are allowed, meaning 4 bags per couple.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
Our itineraries are graded moderate overall. However depending on the itinerary this can be anywhere between easy to moderate and moderate to strenuous. These itineraries are suitable for regular walkers but you will need to be physically fit as there are some steep climbs. The 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. During rainy weather some of the trails can be very muddy, so be prepared to get your boots wet and wear very good walking and waterproof boots. Wearing gaiters is also a good option.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although we believe any time between April and October offers a wonderful experience.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Castletownbere and overnight
Arrive in Castletownbere and check in to your accommodation. The rest of the day is yours to explore the nearby sights.
This B&B is located up the hill in the Castletownbere and you will be welcomed warmly at this family run establishment. Island View commands a towering view over the fishing port of Castletownbere and Bantry bay. A spectacular setting awaits you in the peaceful surrounding's with panoramic views of Bere Island. This modern, spacious house is tastefully decorated with a pleasing homely atmosphere and brilliant cooked breakfasts. Wifi is available throughout. There are 11 rooms, a few are located in a separate building behind the main house.
Summer Hill Bed and Breakfast accommodation at the seaport town of Castletownbere on the Beara Peninsula West Cork is just a 9-minute walk to the towns harbour. Summer Hill was designed and constructed in 2001 as a purpose-built B&B Guesthouse with all the very spacious bedrooms being ensuite. Natural timber is a feature throughout the house. They also provide both free WiFiand secure parking. Teey have 11 rooms to suit all accommodation requirements: doubles, twins, triples and family rooms each with en suite bathroom and TV.
Walk from the exceptionally pretty fishing town of Castletownbere to Eyeries, known for its colourful pastel houses which give the village its character. Enjoy the everchanging views over Coulagh Bay, before sitting down for a typical Irish meal.
Your host Therese provides excellent breakfast and a warm welcome to this B&B which has great views over the coast. You will be greeted with a cup of tea or coffee. Located just a short walk from the main village it is in an ideal location.
Cappa House B&B overlooks the stunning Coulagh Bay near Eyeries on Beara Way. Guests have access to stunning dining and sitting area with TV and woodburning stove. The area has 3 large windows to make full use of the surrounding views of Beara Peninsula.
This accommodation is cosy and comfortable and offers a very warm welcome after a day of walking. The breakfasts are filling and delicious and it is conveniently located quite close to Eyeries village.
Dropping down from the village to the coast, the Beara Way now follows the shoreline and you turn northward toward Tranimod and the Ballycrovane. Continue along the shore before turning inland and head over open hillside toward Lough Fadda (the Long Lake). Then ascend the hill above you and follow the ridge before crossing the estuary and following the quiet road into the village of Ardgroom.
The Sea Villa B&B is set in a wonderful scenic location on the rugged and beautiful Beara peninsula in County Cork. All of the cosy guestrooms are ensuite and feature hairdryer, TV, and trouser press. The delicious breakfast menu is full of options from a full Irish breakfast to cereals and fruit.
Leaving Ardgroom walk along a country road before passing a turning going to the Ardgroom Stone Circle. It is one of the best preserved on the Beara, with 8 stones still standing and constructed during the Bronze Age, roughly 4,500 years ago. It’s just a short diversion off the trail of about 1km to see it.
Then pass from County Cork to County Kerry and rise to a gap between the hills. Your route then brings you on past a stone circle at Cashelkeelty before descending to Lauragh and your stay for the evening.
The parish of Lauragh is rich in beauty and heritage and bordered by Kenmare Bay to the north and the soaring Caha Mountains to the south.
The Mountain View B&B is indeed as described and has awesome views over the surrounding mountains. The rooms are all very comfortable with ensuite bathrooms. All the rooms have Wifi.
The next section takes you all the way to the lovely town of Kenmare. A transfer brings you to the trail near Drombohilly and you ascend up toward the central spine of the Beara Peninsula. You are afforded views back down to the coast and across Kenmare Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula and Ireland’s highest peaks.
Passing the Clonee Loughs you head into the scenic valley of Gleninchiquin. Turning eastward away from Lough Inchiquin you follow a back road uphill before breaking off across the country and dropping over the ridge as you descend toward Dromoughty Lake and stone circle. Now follow the route as it runs parallel with the coast and onward into Kenmare town.
This little heritage town is rich in tradition and home to craft workers such as artists, weavers, potters, and silversmiths. There is an array of brightly coloured shops and restaurants giving the town a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It also has a great reputation for some of the best food in the area and you can enjoy your final meal (and a Guinness!) in one of the town's many eateries.
In business for over 30 years four stars Rockcrest House is where style, elegance and attention to detail comes to life. Your hosts Marian & David O'Dwyer offer all the modern conveniences in a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere. With beautiful scenery, lots to do, gourmet food and live music; Kenmare & Rockcrest is the ideal base for touring the famous Ring of Kerry.
Bridge Street Town House offers superbly-styled accommodation in the heart of Kenmare. All rooms are tastefully decorated with classic furniture and works of art. A hearty breakfast of homemade and locally sourced produce awaits you in the morning.
O’Donnabhain’s offer guest accommodation with en-suite rooms. While they are situated right in the heart of Kenmare, their modern rooms are located away from the busy street and bar area.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
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