Bounce in a club with Pure Cork pizzazz, revel in a festival or kick back to some jazz. Catch an intimate gig in a pub with a fire or watch a horse race with locals that comes down to the wire…View all
Kayak around the city or head north for a hike, see Dursey by cable car and explore Beara by bike!View all
From public transport to fish and chips. Read our list of handy Pure Cork tips.
Sitting below the rugged Caha Mountains on the lip of Bantry Bay, Castletownbere is the biggest town on the beautiful Beara Peninsula.
‘Castletown’, as it’s known locally, is the ideal base from which to explore Beara with excellent accommodation options, great restaurants and charming pubs. Explore Bere and Dursey islands (a trip on Ireland’s only cable car is a must), see dolphins and whales in the wild, visit the charming villages of Allihies and Eyeries and marvel at the stunning vistas from the Healy Pass on Hungry Hill.
If it’s the best seafood in the world you’re after then you’re in luck – this is Ireland’s top whitefish port where trawlers’ bounties are whisked away to restaurant tables all over continental Europe.
Cork pubs are known for their laidback charm and friendly locals who love to tell a story – but Castletownbere is on another level. McCarthy’s bar in the centre of town has featured on the cover of a best-selling travel book about how you should never pass a pub with your name on it and Aidan McCarthy who opened it has had a film made about his adventurous life (for example, he received the sword of surrender from the Japanese at Hiroshima i– and that’s just for starters).
While hurling is big elsewhere in Cork, the local passion on the Beara Peninsula is undoubtedly Gaelic football and it’s worth going to see a match between local clubs. Ask around locally to find out when and where the next game is on – just don’t pick sides when you get caught up in the atmosphere!
The town is a 2 hour drive from Cork City and Cork International Airport - the quickest route is via the N22, then on to Crookstown, Kealkil and Glengarrif. Castletownbere and the Beara Peninsula are part of the Wild Atlantic Way.