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Escorted Walking Holidays / Beara Peninsula
 Beara Peninsula  8 Days / 7 Nights   Grade B/C: Hills / Mountain walking

The Beara Peninsula is home to the Cork / Kerry Mountains and is part of the south-west coastal region of Ireland that was formed as the sea level rose between 4000-7000 years ago. This upheavel split this region of Ireland into a number of mountainous peninsulas with Beara being one of the three largest of these peninsulas and the wonderful Beara Way winds through these mountains of the beautiful counties of Cork and Kerry.

Being quite remote, Beara has remained perhaps the most unspoilt part of the south west region and is a magical world of mountains and lakes surrounded by a picturesque sea-coast. The Beara Way itself was established by a number locals in the early 1990s as a co-operative involving upwards of four hundred farmers and landowners to help increase tourism in the region. The Way is a circular route 196km long which goes through magnificent rugged mountain and seacoast scenery and frequently passes by rich evidence of a heavily populated prehistoric past - in the form of many standing stones and burial monuments. The terrain along the route consists of bog roads, some quiet tarmac roads, cliff and woodland paths and open moorland, some sections of which can be quite rough and remote.

So why not join us on a wonderful walking holiday of rocky promontories, sheltered beaches, hills, mountains, archaeological sites, castles – the Beara Peninsula has them all. Visit this remarkable piece of Ireland and you won’t be disappointed.
Standing stones at Gleninchiquin on the Beara Way
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Day 1 (Arrival)
Arriving at Shannon Airport or Cork Airport, you are collected by our transport (12:00 at Shannon and 14:00 at Cork). You are then transferred to the first of three nights accommodation at Glengarriff. You will have time free to acclimatise and to see some of the town before our welcome chat and evening meal, hosted by your guide for the tour.

Day 2 (16km Caha mountains walk)Looking across to Lauragh Bay on the Beara Way
Our route takes us from the village of Glengarriff east toward Knockboy following an old track to Priest's Leap on the county border between Cork and Kerry. On the way we enjoy the views across Bantry Bay and also across to the north and the majestic Magillycuddy Reeks. Cutting across open hillside we may come across turf-cutting, which is still practised in this part of the country. Our stay this evening is back in the town of Glengarriff.

Day 3 (18km Adrigole to Glengariff)
In the morning we transfer to Adrigole where we join the Beara Way. Following the old Castletownbere to Glengarriff coach road we gradually rise away from the coast. Passing between the Gowlbeg and Sugarloaf mountains we continue on toward Glengarrif and follow roads across the peat bogs and into the state forests. On our journey today we once again have superb views over Bantry Bay, and may have the opportunity to see some sites of archaeological interest, such as standing stones and a wedge tomb. Descending in the afternoon we return to our base in Glengariff and a well-deserved meal.

Day 4 (15km Bere Island Walk)
Leaving Glengarriff in the morning we transfer to Castletownbere, following the Ring of Beara coast road. From Castletownbere we take a small ferry to Bere Island and enjoy an 15km walk around the island. On our way today we can see signs of the history of this strategic island - including signal and defensive towers. We also have views back to the mainland to the mountains of the Beara Peninsula.

Following our return to the mainland we enjoy an evening meal in one of the town's excellent restaurants.

Looking across to Kerry and  the Iveragh Peninsula from the Beara WayDay 5 (Free Day)
This is a free day, but weather permitting we can organise a visit to Dursey Island - which nestles at the southern tip of the peninsula. We take Ireland’s only cable car across Dursey Sound to Dursey Island and enjoy an easy walk over the string of hills that make up this island. At the far western end of the island are some spectacular cliffs which afford superb views and on a clear day you may be able to spy the Skelligs. As we walk along the coastal paths you will be treated to the sight of various seabirds oin this bird sanctuary, and hopefully the sight of dolphins playing in the waters below. At the end of the day we return again to Castletownbere.

Day 6 (18km Castletownbere / Allihies)
Leaving Castletownbere in the morning we once again walk on the Beara Way to the village of Allihies. On the way we may have time to see the Derrintaggart stone circle, a large ringfort, a megalithic wedge grave and several standing stones. We continue to Allihies through forested sections of the Beara Way. Upon reaching Allihies we have the opportunity to walk up to the site of the old copper mines, which were in use from 1813 - 1883. You have the opportunity to view some of the old mineshafts and machinery, including the 1862 winding engine house

In the evening we return to our accommodation at Castletownbere.

Day 7 (17km Killarney walk)
A short drive brings us back into Kerry and to the scenic Killarney National Park under the shadow of Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. Carrying on we enter the Black Valley and are in reach of Killarney’s upper lakes and forests Ascending through the nature reserve we head up along Torc Mountain with stunning views of the lakes and the glorious Torc Waterfall. Continuing on to the end of our tour we stay in Killarney itself and enjoy an evening meal and some ceoil, caint agus craic (Irish music, chat and goodtimes)!

Day 8 (Departure)
The tour finishes after breakfast in Killarney and at which time we offer a scheduled transfer to Killarney Bus/Rail stations.

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Prices and optionsThe still waters at Glengarriff

We offer a number of different start dates for our Beara Way escorted walking holiday throughout the year. To see the current available start dates please check out the latest schedule which also has our up-to-date prices.

Included in this guided walking holiday are

  • 7 nights accommodation, based on two adults sharing, in Irish Tourist Board approved hotels and guesthouses (normally with en-suite facilities).
  • Meals consisting of a full Irish breakfast each day, packed lunch (on walking days) and a two/three course meal each evening. Drinks are not included.
  • 6 days of walking with our expert Guide, luggage transfers as required, route descriptions and maps and a souvenir book.
  • A scheduled transfer offered from Shannon Airport or Cork Airport.

For more information on Ireland visit the Tourism Ireland website at Discover Ireland - www.ireland.ie.

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