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
Walk the Beara Way, a dramatic peninsula located in Ireland's south west corner and one of the country's best-kept secrets. With ever-changing views over the sea and the mountains that run along its entire length as it juts out into the Atlantic, this fascinating part of Ireland lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay. See colourful fishing villages, such as Eyeries and stay in characterful Castletownbere. Pass Bronze Age standing stone circles, see views over the famed Skellig Islands and glimpse a whale or dolphin as you walk on coastal paths. More reasons to enjoy this wonderful hiking adventure includes the warmth of the local people, the cosy B&B’s and the obligatory pint of Guinness to refresh you after every walk.
This 6-day easy to moderate itinerary has an average daily distance of 14km. Begins in Castletownbere and finishes in Kenmare.

Tour Type:

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!

Activity:

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:

Solo Travellers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Long-Distance Trails
  • Coastal Walking
  • Off the Beaten Track

Activity Level & 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.

Navigation

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.

Accommodations

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.

Meals

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.

Included
  • 5 Nights in B&B’s, guesthouses, and 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
Excluded
  • 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
Extras
  • 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.

Luggage Transfer

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.

General Information

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Baggage Transfers - how does it work?
Whats the grading of this tour?
What equipment do I need?
When is the best time of year?
Am I able to take my dog?
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Castletownbere and overnight Day 2 Walk from Castletownbere to Eyeries 9 miles / 14 km Day 3 Walk from Eyeries to Ardgroom 9 miles / 14 km Day 4 Walk from Ardgroom to Lauragh 7 miles / 11.5 km Day 5 Transfer to Drombohilly, walk to Kenmare 11.5 miles / 19 km Day 6 Onward Travel

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