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Beara Peninsula

After Kerry and Dingle, the Beara Peninsula is the third major 'ring' (circular driving route) in Ireland's southwest. Its intricate coast and sharp-featured mountains are a geologist's paradise of exposed and contorted rock strata, making for dramatic scenery at almost every turn.

You can easily drive the 137km Ring of Beara in one day, but you would miss the spectacular Healy Pass Road (R574), which cuts across the peninsula from Adrigole in Cork to Lauragh in County Kerry. In fact, if pressed for time, skip the rest and do the pass.

The south side, along Bantry Bay, is a string of working fishing villages. The north side, in contrast, has only a few small hamlets dotted along craggy roads with grand views north to the mountains of Kerry. At the tip is a cable car linking the peninsula to tiny Dursey Island.

The northeastern part of the peninsula lies in County Kerry, but most is within County Cork.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Beara Peninsula.