Beara Way – Full Circuit – 9 Days – Self-Guided Walking Tour – (Moderate)

Beara Way Full Circuit 9 Day Walking Tour

The Beara Way self-guided walking trail is 196 km/122.5 miles long and is shared between county Cork and Kerry on the most south-westerly tip of Ireland. The Beara Peninsula is part of the Wild Atlantic Way. It is a rugged peninsula that reaches out into the wild Atlantic Ocean and Bantry Bay is breathtakingly beautiful, picturesque and mystical.

The trail takes you along small country roads, passing numerous monuments and sights of great archaeological interest, through many small towns and villages and through some of the most scenic parts of Ireland.

Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the climate here is pleasant throughout the year supporting a unique combination of highly colourful flora and fauna.

Prices / Dates

Price:  €725 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€350

Tour Dates: 15 March to 31 October

Tour Grade: Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Included / Excluded

Arrive at Cork or Dublin Airport and take public transport to Glengariff. It may be also possible to arrive in Shannon or Kerry Airport, but this will depend on your time of arrival. Please check with Footfalls before you book your flights. We will supply you with all the onward travel details that you need to get to your first accommodation. The Beara Way full walking trail is 196 km - 122.5 miles, for this route you will cover a distance of 144 km - 90 miles. 

Overnight  Glengariff

Your first day of walking on the Beara Way will take you through Glengariff Nature Reserve, which covers 300 ha. of old oak woodland. The walking trail leads you up to the Caha Mountain range where you will have some fantastic views of mountain and sea. Your day finishes in the scatter farming village of Adrigole, situated on the scenic shores of Bantry Bay. No overnight accommodation available in Adrigole, Complementary taxi transfer back to Glengariff.

Distance: 18.35 Km / 11.2 miles, Ascent: 780 m / 2340 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 7 hours.

Overnight Glengariff

Complementary taxi transfer back to Adrigole.

Today’s walking trail offers you sweeping views across Bantry Bay to Beara Island on one side and Hungry Hill and the Slieve Miskish Mountains on the other. You will be walking along a trail that flanks the southern slopes of Hungry Hill, the highest mountain (685 m) on the peninsula, past Park Lough, through Comnagapple Glen and into the lively town of Castletownbere.

Distance: 21 km / 12.5 miles, Ascent: 944 m / 2832 ft, Approximate walking time: 6 / 7 hours

Overnight Castletownbere

Today you will walk from Castletownbere to Allihies through the Slieve Miskish Mountains. Some of today’s route passes through conifer forests, about the only alternative on poor bogland to turf cutting or sheep farming. The Beara Way walking trail crosses open hill terrain and is under the peak of Knockgour at 481 m. You will pass a ringfort (an ancient farm enclosure), which would have served as a home for people and animals.

 

Allihies is a colourful coastal village, surrounded by the remains of copper mines. Crushed stones from the mines formed the beach here.

Distance: 15.7 km / 10 miles, Ascent: 647 m / 1942 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours.

Overnight Allihies

This may be a short walk day, but the views along the way are incredibly beautiful. You will leave the village and walk through what remains of an old copper mine which was once the largest producer of copper in Europe. The trail follows an old disused road that offers you views across Clough Bay, the Kenmare River and beyond to the Kerry Coastline.

Distance: 12 km / 7.5 miles, Ascent: 490 m / 1500 ft, Approximate walking time: 3 / 4 hours

Overnight Eyeries

 

After leaving Eyeries, the trail takes you down to Eyeries Point to follow a beautiful coastal path by Coulagh Bay to reach Ballycrovane Harbour. Here is the site of a magnificent 4.7 m/14 ft prehistoric standing stone which still has an inscription in ancient Ogham writing.

 

From here the trail turns inland to pass a charming lake called Lough Fadda (Long Lake) and continues on to follow a small ridge that offers a new panorama of the Kenmare River. The trail takes you through the quaint village of Ardgroom, walking parallel to the Ring of Beara road to cross the border in County Kerry and the village of Lauragh.

Distance: 27.2 km / 17 miles, Ascent: 950 m / 2850 ft, Approximate walking time: 8 / 9 hours

Overnight Lauragh

 

You have the option today to be transported to Drombohilly Lower, which shortens your walk to 19 km/11.8 miles. The trail takes you out of Lauragh on a small country road to ascent steadily passing Knockatee and Drombohilly Mountains and the picturesque and lonesome Gowlaun Lough. Skirting around the base of Knockagarrane Mountain, you will join a small track that leads you to your final ascent onto the saddle of Derrysallagh. From here you start your descent into the charming and colourful town of Kenmare.

 

Option 1 - Distance: 25 km / 15.5 miles, Ascent: 987 m / 2961 ft, Approximate walking time: 7 / 8 hours

Option 2 - Distance: 19 km / 11.8 miles, Ascent: 987 m / 2961 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Overnight Kenmare

The final stretch on the Beara Loop takes you south from Kenmare along small country roads and farming countryside. The trail takes you under the shadow of Barrerneen Mountain and across the slopes of Esk and Barraboy Mountain before starting your descent back to the village of Glengariff.

Distance: 24.8 km / 15.5 miles, Ascent: 987 m / 2961 ft, Approximate walking time: 7 / 8 hours
Overnight Glengariff

 

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so after breakfast, you will commence your onward journey.

We will supply you with all the travel details that you will require to get to your next destination.  

A few words from our customers...

I have now done 3 self guided trails - Wicklow, Kerry way and the Beara way and every one a brilliant time. Everything is so well organised; great accommodation, transport of luggage to the next stopping point, and excellent clear directions and marked maps for the walking. I am off to do another one next year!
Mary
UK
I just returned from an 8-day self guided tour of the Beara Way. I brought a group of 15 to visit this incredibly beautiful part of Ireland. Christopher and Teresa were wonderful in making our B&B accommodations, arranging for our luggage transfer from town to town, and providing excellent maps and walking directions. They also recommended good restaurants and made reservations for our nightly dinners. They take good care of their clients, and I recommend Footfalls for walking trips to Ireland.
Ron
USA