Beara Peninsula, Co Cork

Best Place to Holiday


Nominated by Siobhan O’Connor, who wrote: “The physical beauty is overwhelming. The people are unique. It is a gem we should treasure. It is my heritage.”
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It is one of the most stunning and dramatic coastal landscapes in Ireland, punctuated by picturesque villages and towns. The peninsula takes in the Caha Mountains, and some stunning gardens and nice fishing ports and bays.

In general, it is mainly made up of small towns and villages. There are some ghost estates here and there, but in general the built environment has held up well. There are some good arts and craft producers and towns like Bantry have everything you would need when on a weekend break. There’s a great sense of vibrancy in towns like Castletownbere. For those into watersports, there are plenty of options also and hiking and walking has become big business in recent years and the region is beginning to really play to its strengths in this regard.

The coastal drive is very nice and the roads aren’t too bad. There are daily services from Cork city to Castletownbere and back. The closest train stations are Kent Station Cork or Killarney. The Beara Cycling Route is about 138 kilometres in length and can be picked up from most towns and villages along the way. Lots of places along the way rent bicycles. Most towns are easy to access. There is also good parking in most towns, such as Castletownbere, so you can park up and stroll around each area.

There is such a huge variety of places on offer; it caters to all sorts of tastes. Many good B&Bs as well as camping sites and hostels along the route and some of the hotels, such as the Maritime in Bantry are great value. Having said that, food can be a bit of a mixed bag. There are plenty of decent small supermarkets with deli counters in many towns such as Castletownbere. Most places though will cater for the low- to mid-budget traveller.

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