The Beara Peninsula West Cork, Ireland – What to do, places to Eat and Stay

The Beara Peninsula West Cork, Ireland – What to do, places to Eat and Stay 


The Bears area has over 125 miles of walking trails, many of which are  on very difficult terrain and needs to be guided. Glengariff Wood has short loops of 3-8 Km and is open to all. It is a nature reserve so bring a picnic but leave no trace. Entrance to the Nature Reserve are 1 km outside the village of Glengariff.  Gleninchaquinn Park is off the north side of the peninsula 15 km west of Kenmare. This stunning unspoilt valley has a long narrow road through the valley to a park with walks on paths of different lengths at its inner point. Pay for entry to the park is inexpensive and walks are free, with a lovely tea-shop at the farmhouse. Sheep roam the farm land and there are a famine cottage, waterfalls and lots of stunning nature. At the western point of Allihies is Dursey Island, where you travel on Irelands only cable car to the uninhabited island. A local guide can tell you of the history of the island (link) in a 3 hour walking trip along the island. Contact for local walking guides or more advise on loop and longer walks in the Beara area. There is a 5km free  Parkrun in Glengariff Woods and Bere Island weekly.


The headland of Beara is surrounded by water, so water based activity is easy to organise. Take a night kayak in summer to see the magical phosphorescence caused by the glow of millions of tiny marine organisms, mostly Noctiluca miliaris. For more information on how these time organisms emit light when oxygenated in water look at this link ( This trip happens at dusk and the guide takes small groups only from Glengariff . There is kayaking during the day at Glengariff or on the north side of the headland.

Take a Ferry to Bere Island at Murphy’s Pontoons east of Castletownbere and visit the Military fortifications at the eastern end of the island. Leave the car on the mainland at the ferry stop as it only takes 3 cars an hour, as well as many foot passengers. Theres forts were  the last parts of Ireland handed over by the British military in 1938 ( along with Spike Island and Whiddy Island). There old fashioned pub/shop on the island which is a treat and there are walks and a heritage centre on the island. Take a sea safari from Castletownbere or Beare island , a thrill for all the family.  Contact for  all local guided activity.

Artists and writers in Bear

There are many artists who have come to live in Beara for its rugged, unspoilt beauty. There are art galleries and craft shops as well as a Beara Craft trail  . To see how the artists live take a guided afternoon trip to visit 4 or more artists in their studio with the local guide (link). The well know artists who live here are Tim Goulding, Cormac Boydel, Sarah Walker, Bill Griffin  and many more inspired by the landscape of the area. Writers and artist can stay in a dedicated Retreat Centre at Eyeries (

Eating and Staying in Beara

When in Beara is great to do a Chocolate making course for a small group or family  which you can book with Activity Days. My favourite places to eat on Beara are:

Between Kenmare and Glengariff

Molly Darycy- has a cafe serving tea & scones, an old potteen still, small farm walk on side of a valley.

North Side of the Headland

KIlmacalogue  – Helens Bar who have lots of fresh seafood in an old fashioned bar, /Teddy o Sullivan The Pier 064 668 3104 for fresh muscles and fish

South Side of the Headland

The Mines Cafe – in Allihies for lunch with lots of home made foods.

Pub – O Neills Bar in Allihies has food and lots of pints in a very colourful pub.

Castletownbere – Murphys Restaurant is a god fish and chips restaurant with lots of fresh fish. McCarthys Bar in centre of town made famous by Pete McCarthys book on tracing his family history

Dzogchen Beara Centre – home baking and lovely fresh vegetarian foods at lunchtime.


Places to Stay on Beara Peninsula, Ireland

Hotels Bed and BreakfastSelf Catering Hostels & Glamping
Eccles Hotel, GlengariffBay View Boutique B&B GlengariffBeara Holiday Homes
Casey’s Hotel GlengariffAn Sibin B&B, Lauragh, Beara Peninsula Ardgroom Leisure Vilage
Beara Coast Boutique Hotel, CastletownbereMuxaw Lodge, CastletownbereBlue Pool Hostel, Glengariff
Beara Coast Hotel GlengariffFoleys Guesthouse, Main St KenmareHungry Hill Camping Site
Park Hotel, Kenmare,The Rose Garden B&B KenmareKenmare Failte Hotel
Sheen Falls Lodge KenmareDromquinna Manor, Kenmare
Brook Lane Hotel, KenmareSecret Garden Glamping, Gleninchaquin


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