A Place apart
Bere Island, Irelands Tidiest Island for the 7th year running.
Bere Island has a thriving, vibrant community providing a wide and varied range of events and activities for both islanders and visitors alike. Bere Islanders endeavour to promote everything the island has to offer to individuals and families, walkers, cyclists, yacht and fishing enthusiasts; extending the warm West Cork welcome to all.
Bere Island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven, in West Cork, in the South West of Ireland. The island is just 2kms offshore from the town of Castletownbere, the largest white fishing port in Ireland. The Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountain ranges of the Beara Peninsula tower over the island providing a dramatic backdrop. The island is roughly 11kms x 5kms in size with a population of just over 200.
Due to its strategic location Bere Island has a very interesting heritage. The island is rich in archaeological sites dating from the Bronze Age through to Medieval times, including ring forts, standing stones, wedge tombs and burial sites. The British had a particular interest in the island, with remnants of British Imperialism visibile throughout. At various stages they constructed Martello towers, a signal tower, military baracks and a military fortification which hosts two six inch guns, all of which can be seen today.
Despite its proximity to the mainland, Bere retains that distinct, easy charm of rural places distant from cities and crowds. It’s a quiet paradise, of a size that is manageable for walkers and cyclists. Bird watchers and plant lovers will delight at the many species to be found on land and at the water’s edge. Did you know that whales, basking sharks, and bottle-nose and common dolphins can all be sighted around Bere Island? Other activities to be enjoyed on Bere include swimming, sea angling, diving, sea safari and other water sports. Or why not take a day trip and visit neighbouring towns and villages on the Beara Peninsula with
its stunning scenery and friendly people.
Other attractions not to be missed include detailed exhibitions at the Heritage Centre; dining on local Bantry Bay produce; or just enjoying the ambience of one of Bere’s pubs or restaurants. Whatever your reason for visiting, a warm welcome awaits you!