With roughly 2,796km of coastline and more than 30 inhabited off shore islands, Ireland boasts an incredible array of coastal and island walks.
The most rugged of the five mighty headlands that thrust into the Atlantic in the Southwest, the Beara Peninsula is a magnet for walkers. While the 196km Beara Way takes around eight days to complete, there are other delightful but less time-consuming walks in the area. The Western Loop on the sublime Bere Island or the remote Dursey Island Loop are great choices.
On Bere Island you’ll be rewarded with 360º panoramic views over Bantry Bay and the Beara and Sheep’s Head Peninsulas. And don’t miss the striking tower of the Ardnakinna Lighthouse.
With access via Ireland’s only cable-car, the Dursey Island Loop is really something special. This walk offers starkly beautiful views of the rugged coast and the patchwork of fields divided by dry stone walls. It is also a great walk for history lovers and birdwatchers.
The West Quarter Loop on Inishbofin, Co Galway is another treasure. A great introduction to the island, it takes you along the shore, past an amazing sea cave and along a ‘green road’ with stunning views towards neighbouring Inishark Island and mainland Galway.
Meanwhile Inishturk in Co Mayo provides tranquillity for the visitor who will love the Mountain Common loop walk. This is a chance to take in panoramic views and the sandy beaches bordering on crystal clear Atlantic waters. Keep your eyes open for the ruins of the old Napoleonic signal tower, the penal church and the endangered spotted rock-rose.