The Caha Pass is a main road connecting Kenmare and Glengarriff. It is the one that allows to make the famous Ring of Beara, a circuit that allows to explore the Beara Peninsula in Co Cork from one end to the other. Here the road winds along the mountaintops, with bird’s eye views of Bantry Bay and Glengarriff. There are a number of viewing points.
The driving route around the Ring of Beara includes some very narrow and winding roads so care should be taken as you drive the route. It’s worth taking your time on the route, especially on the narrower road sections near Eyeries and Lamb’s Head.
The route starts in the beautiful coastal town of Kenmare in Co Kerry. Kenmare has incredible scenery and is located between the Ring of Beara and the Ring of Kerry peninsulas.
The first stop on the Beara ring is the impressive Uragh Stone Circle. This beautiful stone circle is a 10-minute detour from the Beara Ring route. After following the sign from the main road, the road narrows as it makes its way up the hills to a small car park located close to the stone circle with the stunning backdrop against Lough Inchiquin and the mountains.
Following the road from the stone circle a little further to the picturesque Gleninchaquin Park. This family-owned park located in a narrow valley is one of the true hidden gems on the Beara Peninsula. It is packed with beautiful trails and a gorgeous waterfall.
The first village you will come across after Kenmare on the Ring of Beara is the serene seaside village of Lauragh. The coast along this stretch of the Beara Peninsula is extraordinary and full of hidden coves and beautiful coastline.
The quaint and colourful village of Ardgroom is the first stop on the Cork side of the Beara Peninsula. The Ardgroom Stone Circle, with its epic views over the Kenmare estuary and the Kerry mountains, is located just outside the village.
Centred around a quaint village at the foot of the Slieve Miskish mountains, rural Eyeries is a tranquil area overlooking Coulagh Bay. Charming Eyeries village features colourful houses on narrow streets, boasts wonderful coastal and mountain views.
Allihies welcoming village, with its brightly coloured houses, is near the tip of the Beara Peninsula in West Cork. Allihies was the centre of a rich copper-mining district. Cornish workers were brought over in the 19th Century as technical experts and remains of their ‘Cornish Village’ can still be seen. Around the workings you can pick up nice rocks glittering with pyrites – ‘fool’s gold’ – care needs to be taken if exploring here as there are unguarded mineshafts.
The southernmost tip of the Beara Peninsula is known as Lamb’s Head and is home to one of Ireland’s most unique modes of transport – Ireland’s only working cable car. The Dursey island cable care takes visitors across the sound to the small island. There are no shops or cars on the island but a trip to Dursey Island and it is believed that monks from the Skellig Islands founded the now ruined church of Kilmichael on Dursey Island.
After Dursey the Ring of Beara continues back up the eastern side of the Peninsula. Castletown Berehaven is one of the largest fishing ports in Ireland. The town has many fine seafood restaurants and pubs. with many specialising in fresh seafood. Sea angling trips, shore angling and water sports such as canoeing, kayaking and dinghy sailing are all available locally. There is also a challenging golf course nearby at the foot of the Caha Mountains.
Set against the backdrop of the Miskish and Caha Mountains, Bere Island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven, in West Cork.
Adrigole is a village strung along the north-western shore of Bantry Bay on the scenic south coast of the Beara Peninsula. The stunningly beautiful Caha mountains offer fantastic hill-walking opportunities at all grades. Climb magnificent Hungry Hill, discover the hidden lakes of Coomarkane and Coomadavallig, and wonder at the Mares Tail Waterfall, the highest in Ireland.
Glengarriff meaning ‘The Rugged Glen’ – is a truly cosmopolitan village situated in a glacially deepened valley in West Cork. Located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff, Garinish is a small island known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of rare beauty.