The Beara Peninsula is a stone’s throw from the touristy Ring of Kerry, but definitely not as popular. For the benefit of us, because it isn’t any less beautiful there, and the lack of tour buses packed to the brim with American tourists is in our opinion a huge advantage. To be honest, we didn’t hear anything about Beara until we started planning a trip to the West of Cork County. So we’re sharing a list of the most interesting places that we visited on the Beara Peninsula.
During this trip we also visited Mizen Head, which you can read about here.
Beara Way – Beara Peninsula
To a large extent we followed the path called ‘Beara Way’, which leads around the entire Beara Peninsula and touches more places on the peninsula than the Wild Atlantic Way. We usually follow the WAW routes, but the entire way is 2500 km, so some places have locally marked, more accurate points of interest. If you have a lot of time then you can drive all the corners of Beara Way.
Kenmare – Beara Peninsula
A small tourist town on the border of Beara Peninsula and Ring of Kerry. There is a pleasant atmosphere and its touristic nature isn’t overwhelming.
Loughaunacreen – Beara Peninsula
A village on the coast of Kilmakilloge, where we stopped for a picnic with an ocean view. Rocks, greenery and a small beach, and there is also a short trekking route for those willing to stretch the legs.
Bunaw – Beara Peninsula
A small village located on the coast of Kilmakilloge, where mussels farms are. The waterfront is pleasant, especially when you sit there at sunset at the tables of the Ted O’Sullivan pub. While the beer tasted as good as ever (especially in these surroundings), the pub food was rather poor and not recommended. Less popular parts of Ireland are usually very price-friendly, for a Guinness pint we paid 3.8 euros, in Dublin you would have to pay at least 5-5.5 euros, and at Temple Bar it would cost 7-9!
Lauragh – Beara Peninsula
A small town which we wouldn’t pay much attention, if not for the fact that we slept there. From Bunaw to Lauragh you drive along the coast through the Darreen Gardens (we didn’t get to go there) and it’s just nice. On the other hand, Lauragh can be reached through the Healy Low Range and we recommend this route especially!
Eyeries – Beara Peninsula
A quiet village with charming, colorful houses, surrounded by beautiful nature. The pastel houses are really eye-catching, so it’s worth taking a coffee and photo break there!
Lamb’s Head – Beara Peninsula
On Lamb’s Head, which is the very top of Beara Peninsula, we came to catch the cable car to the island of Dursey. We suspect this is the only cable car in Ireland, so we were quite excited about it. Unfortunately, we arrived quite late and we knew that we couldn’t do a 14-kilometer trek on the island. So we decided that it makes no sense to spend money on the cable car just to ride it. We hope to return there! The ride costs 10 euros return trip per person and the cable car is open all year. Opening hours can be checked here.
Reentrusk – Beara Peninsula
The R575 road towards Reentrusk (from Lamb Head to Reentrusk) is very picturesque, once it rises, once it falls. Views of the roadside cliffs are great, so as you can imagine we had to stop a few times along the way.
Gour – Beara Peninsula
Another point marked on the Wild Atlantic Way route at which it’s worth stopping to take a few photos and enjoy the view of the ocean and cliffs.
Healy Pass – Beara Peninsula
In Ardigole we detour of the coast and started navigating to Lauragh through the Healy Pass range. The mountains rise just over 400 meters above sea level, but they are very picturesque. The road from Ardigole to the summit is very twisty, and from above looks like roads in the Alps. By the road sheep graze, which you need to watch out because they like to jump unexpectedly under the wheels.
The highest point of Healy Pass is on the border of two counties – Kerry and Cork. From the top, there is a view of Lake Glanmore in the valley. We had to wait for it until rain pass, but it was worth it! One of the most beautiful roads in Ireland.
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