10 Highlights of the Beara Way: Beautiful West Cork

March 18, 2021 by
POSTED BY March 18, 2021

The Beara Way is a walking route along the coastline of the Beara Peninsula, located in West Cork and Kerry. These mountainous and rugged Irish landscapes are hard to put into words. They really just have to be seen with your own eyes! The following ten locations give some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland. They are also absolute highlights of hiking the Beara Way. Be inspired to stroll through this unspoilt area of ​​West Cork.

1. Eyeries

Not all beautiful Irish landscapes are natural; the man-made landscapes can also be very beautiful! In the village of Eyeries, for example, there are these typical brightly colored Irish houses. This is a picturesque sight that you will encounter in many other Irish villages. However, it is extra special when seen against this unique background and a real highlight of the Beara Way.

Eyeries, Beara Way

2. Bantry Bay

Bantry Bay is the beautiful natural bay that separates the Beara Peninsula from the Sheep’s Head Peninsula. It runs for approximately 35 km (22 miles) from North to South into the Atlantic Ocean. Beautiful views of the bay, including amazing sunsets, can be seen from Glengarriff, Adrigole and Castletownbere along the Beara Way.

Bantry Bay, Beara Way, Hillwalk Tours
Bantry Bay, Beara Way

3. Gleninchaquin waterfalls

The breathtaking natural beauty in Gleninchaquin Park is an unmissable stop along the Beara way. Green Irish sheep-filled landscapes make this valley one of the highlights of West Cork. The Gleninchaquin waterfalls are also a perfect magical photo opportunity!

Photo: Dale Simonson / CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Beaches along the Beara Way

Ireland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you come to a beach holiday, but the deserted beaches along the Beara Way are among the diverse Irish landscapes. Ideal for a walk on the beach and maybe even a dip in the summer!

Allihies Beach, Beara Way

5. Adrigole & Drombohilly Stone Circles

The Beara Way is a place full of ancient monuments. These include the prehistoric Adrigole Stone Circle and Drombohilly Stone Circle located near Kenmare. Travel back in time at these megalithic constructions and enjoy panoramic views of the areas.

Adrigole Circle along the Beara Way
Adrigole Stone Circle, Beara Way

6. Copper Mines at Allihies

Copper mining started in Allihies in 1812 and continued up to 1878. It employed over 1,500 people during it’s height pre-famine. It also left many features on the local landscape including large engine houses like the one below. This was used for lowering and lifting the miners to and from the mines. It now lies derelict like many ancient ruins around Ireland.

Copper Mine at Allihies
Copper Mine at Allihies

7. Glengarriff

Glengarriff is the start and end point of the Beara Way walking route. This town is surrounded by fascinating Irish landscapes, such as woodland, coastal areas where seal colony lives and the tropical Garnish Island. 

Garden on Garinish Island on the Beara Way
A garden on Garinish Island

8. Healy Pass

This mountain pass traverses the Beara Peninsula in a winding route with numerous viewpoints. Anyone planning an extra day before or after hiking the Beara Way should definitely take a visit here!

Healy Pass, Beara Peninsula, Hillwalk Tours
Healy Pass, Beara Peninsula

9. Dursey Island

This sparsely populated island is filled with typical Irish coastal landscapes such as this one. Dursey Island can be reached by cable car from the Beara Peninsula. Enjoy the tranquility of this remote piece of earth and take a walk on the island. This is truly a special Beara Way highlight and not like anywhere else you will find around Ireland.

Beara Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Dursey Island, Beara Way

10. Bere Island

The Bere Island lighthouse, one of the islands along the Beara Way, is one of the most beautiful views along the route. The harsh Irish landscapes on Bere Island and views of the Irish mainland make this one of the ultimate highlights along the Beara Way.

The Beara Way Hillwalk Tours
Bere Island Lighthouse

Curious about these (and more) unforgettable Irish landscapes? Hillwalk Tours specialize in self-guided hiking tours on the Beara Way and Ireland’s other best hiking trails!