So you’ve heard of the Ring of Kerry. But what about the Ring of Beara – one peninsula to the south? In a nutshell, the Ring of Beara is the scenic route from Kenmare to Glengarriff (or vice versa), a 138km loop taking in some of the wildest nooks and crannies in the southwest.
You can circuit the Caha Mountains entirely, or take corkscrew roads through the breathtaking Healy Pass. Time-permitting, you could even divert to Bere Island (by boat) or Dursey Island (by Ireland’s only cable car). In other words, it can be as long or short as you make it.
Highlights? No shortage here. They include seaside towns such as Castletownbere and Allihies, where a Copper Mine Museum tells the unlikely story of an industry that once dominated the area. Artefacts like old drills, boots and the remains of abandoned towers and engine houses lie in stark contrast to the surrounding fields, beaches and fuchsia-strewn country roads.