With its end-of-the-world feel, a trip around the Beara Peninsula is the ultimate way to get away from it all. Very accessible from Gougane Barra via Ballylickey (19km) and Glengarriff, a drive right around the peninsula makes for an unforgettable day. Take in the immensity of the peninsula's rugged beauty and explore its many national archaeological monuments and colourful towns and villages.
Things You Can’t Miss!
- Visit the tropical 19th-century gardens on Garnish Island (Illnacullin) in Glengarriff harbour, known as ‘The Italian Gardens’. Watch out for the sunbathing seals as you take the ferry across!
- Try sailing in the West Cork Sailing Centre in Adrigole. There are options for diving, swimming, kayaking and boat tours in many centres around this amazing coastline too.
- Visit the ruins of Dunboy Castle which was home to O'Sullivan Bere, Ireland's last Gaelic chieftain.
- Relax, stretch, rejuvenate and find your inner stillness in the Dzogchen Beara Tibetan retreat centre near Castletownbere.
- Take Ireland’s only cable car to Dursey Island (if you don’t mind sharing the trip with sheep sometimes). It’s a great place for spotting basking sharks so keep an eye on the Dursey Sound.
- Visit the old copper mines at Allihies, perched on the mountainside, and immerse yourself in history at the great visitor's centre in the village.
- Bring your hiking boots and hike your way around a section of the Beara Way to find some of the best archaeological sites and scenery.
- Meet the ‘Hag of Beara’ and visit Killcatherine Church with its pre-Christian stones.
- Slip into Derreen Garden, on the northern side of the peninsula, with its secret, magical feel.
- Walk through 5,000 years of history in Bonane Heritage Park and sample the amazing handmade chocolates at nearby Lorge chocolatier, Bonane Post office. Don’t forget to bring some home for us!
- Experience times past in Molly Gallivan’s cottage and enjoy the spectacular views at the Caha Pass.