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Self-Guided Walking Holidays Cork and Kerry Mountains

   Overview  
 The Beara Way  8 Days / 7 Nights   Grade B/C: Hills / Mountain walking

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

Being quite remote, it 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 was established by a 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 196km circular route through magnificent rugged mountain and seacoast scenery which 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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   Itinerary  

Looking across to Lauragh Bay on the Beara Way

Day 1 (Arrival)
Arriving at airport or station, you are met by our transport. You will be transferred to your first night’s accommodation at Glengariff. You will have time free to acclimatise, perhaps enjoy a walk up to the Glengariff Nature Reserve and see some of the town before your meal in the evening.

Day 2 (18km Glengariff to Adrigole)
Starting from your base you join the Beara Way and climb out of Glengariff. On your way today you are afforded superb views over Bantry Bay, and the opportunity to see some sites of archaeological interest, such as standing stones and a wedge tomb. Crossing peat bogs and through state forests you pass between the Gowlbeg and Sugarloaf mountains and follow the old Castletownbere to Glengariff coach road to descend to your accommodation at the small town of Adrigole.

Day 3 (20km Adrigole to Castletownbere)
Leaving Adrigole in the morning you once again follow the old coach road which initially tracks the Ring Of Beara road before turning to contour along the slopes of Hungry Hill. Walking above the farmland you skirt Hungry Hill before descending toward the north shore of Park Lough. From Hollyhill onwards you follow a network of bog roads. On the approach to Castletownbere you pass a wedge grave and have the opportunity of a minor detour to see some boulder burials before descending to the coast and harbour of Castletownbere and a well-deserved meal.

Looking across to Kerry and  the Iveragh Peninsula from the Beara Way

Day 4 (23km Bere Island Walk)
This is a very enjoyable visit to the lovely Bere Island. In the morning take a small ferry from Beal Lough to the hamlet of Rerrin on Bere Island. There are various options for today’s walk and these will be outlined in your notes. In essence there is a circular walk around the island which gives you the option of exploring the history of this strategic island – from wedge graves and standing stones to signal and defensive towers. As you pass along above cliffs you are afforded views back to the mainland and the mountains of the Beara Peninsula.

Day 5 (24km /13km Castletownbere to Eyeries)
Your destination this evening is the town of Eyeries, and you have the option of a 13km or 24k walk today. On leaving Castletownbere in the morning you once again walk on the Beara Way. On the way you have time to see the Derrintaggart stone circle, a large ringfort, and a megalithic wedge grave. Turning off the Beara Way, you cross across the centre of the Peninsula to Aughbrack and rejoin the Allihies-Eyeries section of the Beara Way. You then continue northwest to the village of Eyeries.

Day 6 (24km Eyeries to Lauragh)
Dropping down from the village to the coast, the Beara Way now follows the shoreline and you turn northward toward Tranimod and the Ballycrovane ogham stone. You continue along the shore before turning inland and head over open hillside toward Lough Fadda (the Long Lake). Ascending to the hill above you follow the ridge and drop down to the village of Ardgroom. Running parallel to the Ring of Beara road you pass above Ardgroom harbour and as you cross from County Cork to County Kerry you strike off along a green road and rise to a gap between the hills. Your route then brings you on past a stone circle at Cashelkeelty before descending to Lauragh and your stay for the evening.

Day 7 (19km Lauragh to Kenmare)The still waters at Glengarriff
Starting from the lovely harbour of Lauragh, you ascend past Knockatee Hill and up toward the central spine of the Beara Peninsula. You are afforded views back down to the coast and across Kenmare Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula and Ireland’s highest peaks. Passing the Clonee Loughs you head into the scenic valley of Gleninchiquin. Turning eastward away from Lough Inchiquin you follow a back road uphill before breaking off across country and dropping over the ridge you descend toward Dromoughty Lake and stone circle. Dropping down toward the coast again, you follow the Beara Way as it runs parallel to the coast and onward into Kenmare town.

Your final night is spent in Kenmare itself which is situated on the Iveragh peninsula and overlooked by the MacGillycuddy Reeks.

Day 8 (Departure)
Transfer back to airport or station for your return journey.

Included
7 nights accommodation, based on two adults sharing, in Irish Tourist Board approved hotels and guesthouses (normally with en-suite facilities).

Meals consist of a full Irish breakfast each morning. The Meals Package option also includes a packed lunch, and a two/three course meal each evening. Drinks are not included.

Luggage transfer each day, route description and maps.
Transfers to and from Kerry Airport or Killarney train station. Other transfers can be arranged.

For more information on Ireland visit the Tourism Ireland website at www.ireland.ie.
Flight schedules and information on Shannon Airport.
Flight schedules and information on Kerry Airport.
Flight schedules and information on Cork Airport.
For information on trains to Killarney and Tralee, visit the Irish Rail site.

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   Prices  

Prices and options

Option 1 - Standard Package The price for the Beara Way self-guided (standard package) tour is £480 Sterling (approx $765 US Dollars or €575 Euro) per person sharing.

  • 7 nights accommodation, based on two adults sharing, in Irish Tourist Board approved hotels and guesthouses (normally with en-suite facilities).
  • Transfers to and from Kerry Airport or Killarney train station.
  • Meals consist of a full Irish breakfast each morning.
  • Luggage transfer each day along the route, detailed daily route notes, and map(s).
Option 2 - Meals Package The price for the Beara Way self-guided (meals package) tour is £655 Sterling (approx $1,045 US Dollars or €790 Euro) per person sharing.

  • 7 nights accommodation, based on two adults sharing, in Irish Tourist Board approved hotels and guesthouses (normally with en-suite facilities).
  • Transfers to and from Kerry Airport or Killarney train station.
  • Meals consist of a full Irish breakfast each day, packed lunch, and a two/three course meal each evening. Drinks are not included.
  • Luggage transfer each day along the route, detailed daily route notes, and map(s).

Single supplement - Single occupancy (if accompanying a party) at £80

Lone traveller supplement - Travelling alone (not with a party) at £110. Note that this is in place of the single supplement (not in addition to it).

Other transfers - For transfers to or from Cork Airport or Cork train station the cost is 115 per transfer. For transfers to or from Shannon Airport the cost is 140 per transfer. Note that this is not the price per person but is for each transfer (one way) for up to 4 people.

You can start your self-guided tour on any day that you wish throughout the year. Please complete a booking form, or contact us to arrange.

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