The Beara Way – Best Towns and Villages

January 14, 2018 by
Alex hiking in Connemara
POSTED BY January 14, 2018

The unspoiled Beara Way is one of the hidden gems of hiking in Ireland. In this post, we uncover the Beara Way’s best towns and villages.

Would you like to see these towns and villages for yourself?

Check out our Beara Way Hiking Tours!


Glengarriff is the traditional start and end point of the Beara Way. There are plenty of activities here to keep you busy.

You can watch from the shore as seals bask in Glengarriff Bay, or even kayak out to get a closer look.

If you feel like a small walk before or after your Hillwalk hike, there are plenty of trails up the hills and mountains around Glengarriff.

There are restaurants, bars and cafés aplenty if you need to unwind and relax – there’s no shortage of things to do for everyone!

Views on the Beara Way


Castletownbere is the largest town on the Beara peninsula and offers rest and relaxation for hikers of the famous trail.

It is roughly 40km in to the 150km Beara Way loop and provides the ideal place to stop and regain energy before setting off again the next day.

It is home to the largest whitefish port in Ireland, with all sorts of water-based activities available to try out in the harbour.

With such and ‘outdoorsy’ vibe, there are plenty of short hiking and biking trails around the town.

There are restaurants and bars throughout the town, although a trip to Castletownbere isn’t complete without visiting MacCarthy’s Bar.

Adrigole Circle along the Beara Way

Bere Island

Bere Island is certainly worth a visit as you hike along the Beara Way.

With a population of approximately 200 people, you’re sure to find some peace and quiet as you admire the dramatic backdrop of the Caha mountain range.

Bere Island has a fantastic array of sea life. Basking sharks, whales and dolphins are not uncommon sightings along the coast. You can even take sea-diving safaris to experience the marine wildlife that frequent the area!

There are many interesting archaeological and military sites on the island, given its important strategic position and surrounding deep waters. These provide easy access for larger sea vessels.

The lighthouse on Bere Island is a popular attraction among visitors to the area.

Lighthouse on the Beara Way


Allihies has a rich mining culture, being the location of an important copper mine in years gone by.

As with other coastal towns along the Beara Peninsula, both wildlife and water sports can be enjoyed while visiting the town.

Allihies also offers a variety of interesting and unique locally-made artwork. There is always traditional Irish music being played somewhere in the village, while a popular trad music festivals takes place in June.

Beara Way - Relaxing with a view

Dursey Island

Dursey Island is a unique place to visit along the Beara Way. It is separated from the mainland by a stretch of water called Dursey Sound.

A cable car operates between the mainland and the island, which brings both sheep and tourists back and forth.

There aren’t many people that live on Dursey Island meaning that there are no shops, cafés or restaurants to serve people.

Visitors to the island are advised to bring their own food and water for the time that they spend there!


Kenmare is a small, tidy town which marks the 130km mark on your Beara Way hike.

With just 20km to go, Kenmare is an ideal place to stop, rest and refuel before the final leg of your journey.

There are cafés, bakery, wildlife, a golf course and smaller walks which show you the beauty surrounding Kenmare.

A hiker on the Beara Way

We hope that you enjoyed this guide to The Beara Way: Best Towns & Villages.

Are you interested in seeing these towns and villages for yourself?

Why not take a Beara Way Hiking Tour!