Castletownbere boasts the second largest natural harbour in
Ireland and is an international fishing port. You are likely to hear Spanish and
Portuguese (amongst many other languages) being spoken in the bars and shops,
mingling with the soft brogue of the locals.
There are numerous
restaurants, cafes and pubs - fish naturally being at least one of the many
dishes on offer.
The Castletownbere Festival of the Sea takes place during Bank Holiday week in
August. The regatta takes place on the Bank Holiday, but there are many other
events during the week, including live music in the town square each evening.
Art galleries and craft shops where you can browse to your heart’s content and
choose a special item to remind you of your visit to Beara. The Beara Arts
Festival takes place each August with art exhibitions; drawing, writing and
music workshops and performances.
There are 2 churches - the Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Peter’s Church of
Ireland. Both congregations would be delighted to welcome you to their services.
On your way to Tír na Hilán Cottages you will
pass an impressive Stone Circle. In the field beside the cottages is the
Teernahilane Ringfort and on the top of the hill behind is a Wedge Tomb.
To the southwest of town stand the ruins of the O’Sullivan Bere castle at Dunboy.
An English force of 4,000 surrounded the castle in 1602 and the O’Sullivan clan
blew up the castle rather than surrender.
Close by is Puxley’s Castle, once home to the Puxley family who made their
fortunes from copper mining. Their story provided the inspiration for Daphne du
Maurier’s novel ‘Hungry Hill’. The house was destroyed during the civil war of
the 1920’s. A depressing story but in an idyllic setting – leafy woodlands and
wild mountains encompassing an inlet of Bantry Bay.
The Ring of Beara is a favourite haunt of walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers and
people who enjoy uncommercialised, natural beauty.
There are many other wonderful places to visit on Beara.
Take in a panoramic view of Bantry Bay and descend in a dramatic series of
hairpin bends on the Healy Pass.
Scattered throughout Bere Island are the remnants of the vast Victorian military
fortification, which Britain built to protect its naval base in Berehaven
Harbour. Visit the Martello Tower - now home to a visitor’s centre.
Allihies is now home to many of the famous artists who live on Beara and was
once the site of an extensive copper mining industry. Ballydonegan Beach, just
below the village, was created by crushed stones from the mines.
Linked to the mainland by cable car – the only one of its kind in the country
and unique in that it crosses the sea, Dursey Island is an ideal spot for
Home to the international award winning ‘Milleens’ cheese, is Eyeries, one of
the beautifully painted villages of Beara and winner in its class for the Tidy
Towns Competition for 2003.
Two good trout fishing lakes, Glenbeg and Derryvegal are both near ARDGROOM, and
beyond the village is a perfect example of a Stone Circle.
For the golf enthusiast, Berehaven Golf Club - a nine hole links course is just
a few miles away plus there are 18 hole courses in Kenmare and Bantry - just 30
Without disturbing the peace of the Buddhist monks who run the DZOGCHEN BEARA
RETREAT CENTRE, have a look at the breathtaking views from their cliff top
Other activities in the area include Diving, Canoeing/Kayaking, Sailing, Angling
or visit the Call of the Sea Maritime Museum
KENMARE, KILLARNEY, THE RING OF KERRY, GLENGARRIFF and BANTRY are all within
easy reach of Castletownbere.