The Ring of Beara
“The Ring of Beara” is a 137km long coastal route around the scenic Beara Peninsula, in Counties Cork and Kerry. There is a cycling route with the same name that follows quieter back roads. The walking trail Beara Way roughly follows the same direction. South Kerry Taxi can offer you a private car with a driver for a day (approximately 8 hours between 8am and 8pm) for a very competitive price.
The Ring of Beara makes a pleasant alternative to its busier neighbour north; the Ring of Kerry. The scenery on the peninsula is unbeaten, from the rugged Caha Mountains and Slieve Miskish Mountain to the stunning Dursey Island. You will rarely lose the sea out of sight.
The Ring of Beara will take you through, amongst others, the towns and villages of Glengarriff, Kenmare and Castletownbere. There are loads of archelogical sites to be found on the peninsula, from stone circles to standing stones. You can circumnavigate the peninsula on the coastal Ring of Beara road. However, you would be missing out on the spectacular Healy Pass, that crosses the peninsula between Lauragh and Adrigole, offering views over the rocky inlands and Glanmore Lake.
Here is a list of some of the attractions you will find along the way:
- The fantastic Italian Gardens on Garinish Island. Because of its unique Gulf Stream-powered micro-climate, conditions on the island are almost sub-tropical and allow beautiful ornamental plants from many parts of the world to flourish. You can get to the island with a short ferry trip from the town Glengarriff. There are three ferry companies: Blue Pool Ferry, Harbour Queen Ferry and Lady Ellen Ferry.
- The Bamboo Park in Glengarriff is another great garden, full of bamboos, palms and tree ferns.
- The Derreen Gardens in the village Lauragh were planted by the fifth Marquis of Landsdowne in 1870. The garden is famous for its New Zealand tree ferns and red cedars.
- The Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve is spectacularly set in the Caha Mountains. It covers over 30ha of woodlands, mostly old oak. Several walks are set out.
- Bere Island lies just south of Beara and can be reached from the town Castletownbere by ferry. Bere Island Ferries departs from the town itself to the western side of Bere Island, Murphys Ferry Service sails from Berehaven, 3km from Castletownbere, to the village Rerrin on the eastern side of the island. You can bring your car along on the ferries, check their websites for fares and timetables. The small Bere island (11km in length) is full of archeological sites. Many walks and cycling routes have been set out.
- Dursey Island is a stunning whale and bird sanctuary off the westernmost point of the Beara peninsula. You can reach the island by cablecar, crossing the infamous waters of Dursey Sound, from the village of Garnish.
- The Allihies Copper Mines. The surroundings of the village Allihies are full of old copper mines. Dramatic ruins of the engine houses remain (used to pump water out of the mines). The Allihies Copper Mine Museum has a large collection of artefacts, photographs and scale models on display.
Furthermore the towns and villages on the Ring of Beara are attractions of their own. The Ring of Beara can easily be driven in one day. and we offer you a private car with a driver for a day (approximately 8 hours between 8am and 8pm) for a very competitive price. Please contact us for a quote. Because it is a private tour, you decide how much time you need for taking those unmissable photographs, where to have lunch, and take a break.