Hidden away in the south-west of Ireland five fingers stretch out into the Atlantic. Each of those fingers provides an entirely pleasant walking experience. Everyone has heard of the classic walks, The Dingle Way and the Ring of Kerry, but there are others, hidden and glorious and today we are going to focus on one of those – The Beara Way.
Distance: 56 – 124km. Yes, pretty different distances there, but basically because we offer different itineraries. The shorter distance gives you the highlights of the peninsula, while the longer distance takes you all over the area, seeing and walking everything there is to see and walk.
Grading: From Easy to Moderate up to Moderate to Strenuous. Again, with the different itineraries, you can choose your level of difficulty. The shorter trip provides easier walking, and then, if you want to walk the full peninsula, you can decide just how tough you want it to be.
If you take a look at Ireland, in the bottom left corner, five peninsulae stick out into the ocean. The Beara peninsula is the middle one, an extended pointed digit filled with wild scenery, wildlife and some outstanding walking.
The scenery is obviously a big draw on this trip. The blend of coastal and mountain walking means that you get to experience all types of terrain and stand and stare over all kinds of stunning vistas. The peninsula is a wild place, occasionally tempered by farmland, but otherwise nature rules here on the last outpost before America. Passing through forest, through valleys, over mountains and along the rough Atlantic coast is a spectacular blend of everything, ensuring contrasting scenery every day on the walk.
It is hard to take a walk in Ireland and not get drawn into the Irish way of life. Down in this part of the country, time moves slower. There is not the rush for anything, and the people are relaxed and happy. On your walking days, the Beara peninsula is quiet, you will hardly see another soul on the paths, but in the evening you can sample the sights and sounds of Irish bars. It may be a stereotype, but there is nothing better than sitting in a cosy little pub, sipping a pint of Guinness and listening to some locals play folk music in the corner. You feel a million miles from anywhere, and it feels just right!
The route is also dotted with history, from the Bronze age monoliths just outside of the delightful village of Ardgroom, to the more recent history of the copper mines surrounding Allihies. Here the beaches are made from the crushed rocks from the old copper mines, and you can stand here and stare out to the mystical Skellig islands which recently featured in the latest StarWars movies.
Getting to the Beara peninsula is not overly complicated. Cork is the best place to fly into (and worth a few days in itself!), and from there it is around two and a half hours by bus to get to Glenarrif. If your tour starts in Castletownbere, then a private transfer will be included from Glenarrif.
For more information on this fantastic adventure, get in touch with one of our specialists at [email protected].