Walking Hiking

Beara Way – Full Circuit – 9 Days

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.

Tour Pricing & Dates

8 Day Tour €725 per person sharing
Single Supplement +€315
Tour Dates 1st April to 15th of October
Tour Grade Moderate
Accommodation Guesthouse
BOOKING BOOK THIS TOUR

Video

Map

Map

 

Itinerary

DAY 1 / TRAVEL TO THE VILLAGE OF GLENGARIFF

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.

DAY 2 / GLENGARIFF TO ADRIGOLE

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. You will stay overnight in Adrigole. 

Distance: 18.35 Km/11.2 miles, Ascent: 780 m/2340 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 to 6 hours.

DAY 3 / ADRIGOLE TO CASTLETOWNBERE

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, where you will stay overnight.

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

DAY 4 / CASTLETOWNBERE TO ALLIHIES

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. You will stay overnight in the village of Allihies.

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

DAY 5 / ALLIHIES TO EYERIES

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. You will stay overnight in Eyeries.

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

DAY 6 / EYERIES TO LAURAGH

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, where you will stay overnight.

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

DAY 7 / LAURAGH TO KENMARE

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, where you will stay overnight. 

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

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

DAY 8 – KENMARE TO GLENGARRIFF

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, where you will stay overnight.

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

DAY 9 - DEPART

After a hearty breakfast, you will depart Glengariff by public transport for your onward journey. 

Included

  • 8 Nights B&B
  • All accommodation is pre-booked in approved family-run guesthouses with all rooms en-suite
  • Maps and all route notes
  • Details on restaurants and places of interest to visit along the way
  • Luggage transfers daily while you walk
  • All information on trains or buses needed to get to your first accommodation, during the tour and back at the end of the tour

Not Included

  • Packed lunches
  • Evening Meals

Testimonials

  • Dear Christopher,
    And thank YOU, our fearless leader!   You did a great job tending your flock!
    I had a most wonderful time, albeit a little more challenging than I had expected.
    But, I am grateful that the wind only knocked me down on some Valencia heather and not over a cliff! ;
    The scenery was stunning and the lodgings (particularly Casey’s and The Grand) and meals were superb!!
    And the icing on the cake was the pleasure of your company and great sense of humor!
    A perfect package all together!!
    I have more compliments to pay, but I will save them for the next time we connect.  Perhaps you, Teresa and I can
    chat via Facetime after the New Year.  I’d also like to talk a little bit more about the Wicklow Mountains Tour.
    Hope you have a wonderful and well earned holiday in New Zealand!!
    Take care and all the best,
    Carmel
    Wild Atlantic Way South West
  • Dear Christopher, thank you for another wonderful vacation! I really enjoyed seeing another area of your beautiful country. Thank you for leading us on some amazing hikes, and for taking care of everything while we were here. It was a very relaxing week, and we’re going home renewed and rejuvenated. Until we meet again!

    Nicole
  • Christopher, as the official Irish Tourism Board’s representative, it gladdens me to award you the Golden Shamrock, our top tourism award. That last part was bullshit. I had an amazing experience and I am so glad that I got to see Ireland’s most intimate spots. Thank you for a wonderful trip and all of your knowledge and humour. Looking forward to doing another trip together!

    Adam
  • Christopher, thank you for a second tour through your beautiful Ireland. It was another amazing experience of hiking and food and laughter. What a wonderful week and I can’t wait to return soon for another Footfalls tour. Thank you for everything!

    Erin
  • Dear Christopher, thank you so much for another beautiful journey in your Ireland. We loved our first walking holidays with you, so much that we couldn’t wait to do it again! And this second time in Connemara and the Burren Way didn’t disappoint. You make each trip so special with your warmth, quick wit and what I like to think of your Irish spirit. Thank you for another week of memories that I will always treasure, for your friendship and coring.

    Radha

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