Self Catering Holiday Homes in Castletownbere



The Beara Peninsula is just like Ireland was 20 or 30 years ago, totally tranquil and unspoiled. Beara is often forgotten about with the competition for scenery from West Cork, the Ring of Kerry and Dingle. With a foot in both counties the border runs along the top of the Healy Pass another jaw dropping-ly beautiful drive above and beyond many in Ireland. Castletownbere, a town of about 1500 people and Ireland's leading whitefish port boasts possibly the finest natural harbour in Ireland. This lovely town nestles between the Caha and Slieve Miskish Mountains and is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by Bere Island. Located at the mouth to Bantry Bay, (the world’s second deepest bay) Castletownbere Harbour provides extensive piers with safe berthing for both commercial and pleasure craft. Being on the Gulf Stream the winters are very mild and rarely do temperatures drop to freezing.
The town, ancestral seat of Clan O'Sullivan Bere with Dunboy Castle within walking distance, (site of the last battle in Ireland between Elizabeth I and the Gaelic Chiefdoms) is the perfect base for both visitors and environmentalists alike to explore the unspoilt beauty of the Beara Peninsula's flora & fauna and the many antiquities it has to offer. This is perfect base for those wishing to explore the Wild Atlantic Way, being one of the most beautiful spots in West Cork.
The Beara Way Consists of 9 stages and is 125 miles in total. All sections are well marked and you can join the walk at any stage in the peninsula. The official printed guide is available for sale locally. 

In May or early June the wild rhododendrons are running a pinky, purple riot all over that part of the country. Check out the Cornish mining history at Allihies admire the gloriously painted and very well kept villages, take Ireland’s only cable car over to Dursey Island and drop in for a pint in Pete McCarthys Bar in Castletownbere. Visit Derreen Gardens at Lauragh, descendants of the fifth Marquess of Lansdowne who created this garden in 1870, the Binghams still own and manage the property during the summer months. A mature woodland garden with a great collection of tree ferns it covers some 60 acres with 12kms of paths, well worth a visit.
Ardgroom Ogham Stone see the tallest (17’) Ogham (ancient script) inscribed standing stone in Europe in an incomparable setting just a few miles outside Ardgroom, take the second right signposted for the harbour (you will see it on the way down) and then go left, stop at the first cottage and walk on up through the gate, just say hello to Diane the owner first. You can go on a bit further then and visit the Hags Chair and the Cat Stone (pre Christian) at Kilcatherine church.
Before picking up the road again to head further west to Eyeries another very pretty painted town. Stop into Evie’s cafe in the middle of the town for home cooked pie and a pot of Barry’s tea.
Continue on via Cods Head (a vista to die for) and Allihies the furthermost village on the peninsula and centre of Cornish Copper Mining once upon a time until the price of copper dropped and the miners headed off to Butte in Montana to try their hands at digging for gold. There is a nice modern museum in an old church with a good cafĂ© and more of those incredible sea views.
Head out to Dursey Island and Ireland’s only cable car. It’s quite safe, they only banned cows and sheep from traveling in the cable car this year!  
Dzogchen Beara is a state of the art Buddhist Retreat clinging to the cliffside on the way back to Castletownbere. Open invitation to the public to guided meditation each afternoon between 3 and 4 pm. They have a range of weekend or weeklong retreats also.
 
Our self catering accommodation in Castletownbere and our self catering accommodation in Ardgroom is an excellent base from which to explore West Cork and is also within easy reach of The Ring of Kerry and Killarney in neighbouring Co. Kerry.