Our expert Guide will ensure you and your group see all the best hiking places in Ireland.
4 nights stay, 3 days hiking
Participants require a good level of fitness and be capable of walking up to 20km/ 12 mi a day.
“Wonderful experience. Knowledgeable guides and pleasant group members made such a difference.”
– Terry, USA, 2016
Our Guided Beara Walk is your opportunity to be whisked away to the south western corner of Ireland to experience some of the most beautiful hiking available with terrific coastal scenery & hills that are empty except for sheep….!!! Refresh your body & soul as you visit the Beara Peninsula in West Cork looking across at the Ring of Kerry. Beara is one of the four long fingers of land jutting out into the Atlantic from the South-West corner … Ireland’s toes!! The peninsula is a haven of tranquillity, far away from ‘coach-tour’ country and therefore has long been popular with the more discerning traveller. A haven for walkers, hikers & cyclists alike.
The Caha Mountains and Slieve Mish Mountains form the spine of the peninsula which is washed by Kenmare Bay to the north and Bantry Bay to the south. The folding of the rock strata throughout millennia has left the swirling wave-like patterns across the mountains which are so characteristic of Beara’s landscape. Few roads cross this massive natural barrier, and those which do are spectacular feats of engineering: the ‘Tunnels Road’ via Turner’s Rock and the Healy Pass road with its series of hairpin bends, as dramatic and challenging as any alpine pass.
This untouched & undiscovered part of Ireland is rich in history, pre-history, folklore and archaeology. Copper and other metals have been mined around Allihies since the Bronze Age. The earliest inhabitants made their mark, leaving numerous tombs, standing stones and stone circles dotted across the landscape. The region is rich in mythology: it was the home of the Hag of Beara, a powerful sovereignty goddess whose reputation extends across the whole country.
The Bull Rock, lying off Dursey Island, is reputed to be the site of Teach Doinn (‘the house of Donn’ – Irish God of the underworld) and it is here that souls wait to enter his domain. Near the tiny village of Allihies is reputed, by folklore, to be the spot where the four Children of Lír came ashore after spending 300 years adrift on the Atlantic. According to legend, they had been turned into swans and banished by their evil stepmother. Stepping onto ‘terra firma’, they became human once again, but aged immediately. They died soon after, but not before being converted to the new religion of Christianity, which had arrived in Ireland since their enchantment with St. Patrick. Beara, and this region of West Cork is an ancient, untouched & magical region waiting for you to discover, where the power of the past is ever-present and the present just blooms with welcome for you the visitor.
Not Included: Personal drinks, medical expenses or gratuities.
Above pricing does not include single room supplement.
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Arrive at your first Guesthouse in Castletownbere where you will stay for the duration of your holiday. Your Guide will meet you at 16.00hrs, introduce you to your group & give you some further details on your walks & the coming days of your holiday. If time allows, you may have the opportunity to visit nearby Dunboy Castle – the original “O’Sullivan Bere” home – Gaelic Chieftains of this region long ago. Enjoy your first evening meal together as you discuss the coming week.
PLEASE NOTE: We offer a Courtesy Transfer from CORK AIRPORT at 12 noon & from GLENGARRIFF VILLAGE at 2.00pm taking you from there to the start of your holiday in Castletownbere to arrive at approx. 15.30hrs.
Your first hike takes you across to visit Bere Island. A very short sea crossing by ferry brings you to this island which has a rich historical importance, both from a military perspective and an archaeological one. Once a base for the British Navy and Army, it is dotted with observation buildings, a glorious lighthouse and Martello Towers. Add to this an ancient wedge grave, a Gallaun Stone and wonderful views across Bantry Bay and you have a terrific hike. There are also opportunities to enjoy some birdwatching and an array of flowers along the way will add colour throughout your day. Return by ferry to Castletownbere and enjoy your evening meal in one of the many town’s excellent local restaurants. Overnight and dinner in Castletownbere.
Walk Details – Distance: 16kms. Duration: 5 hours. Max. Height: 300m. Grass tracks, open bog land and rough mountains. Can be wet underfoot – boots essential. Some road walking.
Another island day today – this time to the glorious Dursey Island, at the very western tip of the Beara Peninsula … crossing over on Ireland’s only Cable Car service. This is a step back in time and gives you an opportunity to walk “west” to the end of land while enjoying some magnificent coastal scenery. If luck is on your side, you may spot some dolphins or whales as they make their way north or south depending on seasons. This fascinating island is separated from the mainland by Dursey Sound – a notoriously dangerous piece of water, which is why the Cable Car was put in place to serve the island population. Return to Castletownbere for your overnight and evening dinner.
Walk Details – Distance 11km. Duration on island about 4 hrs. Height gain 250mts. Open hillside and small paths and island road.
Staying on the mainland today, you will be brought to the glorious village of Allihies. Here you follow in the footsteps of the Copper Miners as you hike around the hills surrounding Allihies, dotted with closed mine shafts and memories of great times and people gone. This is an area steeped in Irish legends and history. The stunning views from the hilltops have to be seen to be believed, sea, land and wild beauty at its best. Return to Castletownbere for your final evening meal together and overnight.
Walk Details – Distance: 12kms. Duration: 4.5 hours. Max. Ascent: 500m. Tracks, some rocky terrain and some small road walking. Boots essential.
After Breakfast at approx. 09.30hrs, we offer a courtesy transfer to Cork Airport. From here there is an excellent Public Bus service to City Centre, Bus & Train Station.