Beautiful Bere Island

Welcome to Bere Island's Community Website

Bere Island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven, in West Cork, in the southwest of Ireland.

We have a strong and vibrant community who continually strive to protect our island’s heritage, landscape and island way of life.

Despite its proximity to the mainland, Bere Island 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.

Why Not Visit

Bere Island is situated 120km miles west of Cork City on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork. It is a 2 hour drive from Cork City and is only accessible by a  ferry ride.

Bere Island is served by two car ferry services. Please note that you cannot book the ferry in advance. Both ferries operate a first come first served policy and you might have to queue at peak times. However you won’t be left behind, if the ferry is full, they will come back for you!

Murphy’s Ferry leaves The Pontoon, which is 29 miles from Glengarriff on the left. 30 mins Ferry Journey.

Bere Island Ferries is in Castletownbere on the left at the entrance to the town. 15mins Ferry Journey.

Bere Island parkrun

(Due to Covid 19 the parkrun is not being held). Bere Island parkrun is on every Saturday at 9.30am.  The parkrun is a 5k measured course around the eastern end of the island and is open to  runners, joggers and walkers.  

The parkrun is free, although participants are encouraged to register online in order to obtain a bar code, which is scanned at the beginning and end of their run, allowing them to track their progress on a weekly basis.

Bere Island Community News

Community Groups Notifications

Bere Island Tourism and Environment Group

The Bere Island Tourism and Environment Group work to promote tourism initiatives on the island, undertake Tidy Islands projects and oversee the waste management collection.

Bere Island Active Retirement Group

The Active Retirement Group hold fortnightly coffee mornings. For further details contact Tim on 027 75099. (NB due to COVID-19 restrictions the coffee mornings are currently suspended).

Parent and Toddler Group

(NB due to COVID-19 restrictions the Parent and Toddler Group meetings are currently suspended).

After School Club

The After School Club is open every Monday from 3pm to 5pm in the Community Centre. (NB due to COVID-19 restrictions the After School Club is currently suspended).

Bere Island Projects Group CLG

Bere Island Projects Group are planning to develop an all weather play area for young people on the island and want to lease a suitable site for this purpose.

LISTEN LIVE

A welcome will always await...

Bere Island, just a short ferry journey from the Beara peninsula, is one of 7 inhabited islands on West Cork’s coastline – part of Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way touring route.

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.

Where you'll find us

Bere Island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven, in West Cork, in the southwest 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.

Discover Bere Island

Despite its proximity to the mainland, Bere Island 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 the island include swimming, sea angling, diving, sea safari and other water sports, or take in an exhibition on the island’s history at the Heritage Centre.

Island Activities

Explore the beautiful unspoiled coastline of Bere Island with breath taking views, marked hiking and walking trails, whale watching and lots of water sports to enjoy.

Island Events

> Heritage Week 2021 14th – 22nd August
>Lonehort Battery Guided Tours
>Bere Island Parkrun Every Saturday morning at 9.30am

Island Stays

Choose from a great selection of Bed & Breakfasts, Self Catering Holiday Homes or for the more adventurous Glamping in style down by the waters edge.

For the adventurers

Take time to discover the delights of Bere Island with three looped routes on offer from the east or west side of the south side of the island, the adventurous amongst you could combine the three routes in a figure of a shamrock, taking around eight hours from start to finish.

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Walking Trails

Walkers are spoilt for choice on Bere Island, with routes and looped walks of varying difficulty appealing to all.

Possibilities include slow rambles along by-ways as well as jaunts over more rugged terrain.

Sea Safari

Bere Island Sea Safari is one of West Cork’s primary leisure attractions.

We will bring you on an exciting, fun filled sea tour of the Bantry Bay area whilst also showing you spectacular sights and attractions.

Cycling

Bere Island offers a great deal for the cyclist, whether you hire a bike in Rerrin village or bring your own across on the ferry.

There is little traffic to disturb you, allowing you to feel immersed in the idyllic surrounds, whilst feeling like you ‘own’ the road!

Sailing & Angling

Enjoy the spectacular coastline of Bere Island and Beara with Wild Atlantic Fish ‘n’ Trips.

A fully licensed vessel can take up to 12 passengers and is available for angling trips, sight seeing trips, whale and dolphin watching and family fun days out.

For the History Lovers

Bere Island’s place in history is assured. The West Cork island’s Martello towers date from the Napoleonic wars; several American battleships based here during World War I met their fate at Pearl Harbour, and – after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 – the island became one of three Irish ports retained by the UK until 1938.

Heritage Centre

The Bere Island Heritage & Information Centre is the focal point for the conservation and enhancement of the Island’s unique heritage. It is home to The Bere Island Experience Exhibition.

Heritage Tours

Explore Bere Island and learn about its past on one of the guided Bere Island Heritage Bus Tours which alternate between the east and west ends of the island.

For the Socialites

At the end of an eventful day relax and enjoy a good meal and drink in one of our local bars and restaurants where you can unwind the day away with the locals and hear all the local news and maybe participate in a traditional music session.

The Lookout

Located on the pier in Derrycreeveen

Dessie's Bar

Located in Rerrin Village

Hotel Bar and Restaurant

Located in Ballinakilla

Bere Island Bakehouse

Located in Rerrin Village

Bere Island Heritage Week

Heritage Week 2021 | 14th – 22nd August

A full schedule of events for Bere Island will be announced shortly.

Our Community

The heart of our Island is its people and the community we’ve created as a result. Read about some of Bere Island’s residents. 

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan is an award-winning West Cork artist who has been living on working on Bere Island for over 30 years.

Joanna Riddell

I was born and grew up in London but spent every school holiday on Bere Island, where my mother was born.

Paul Elphick

My name is Paul Elphick. I was born in 1976 and I grew up on Bere Island.

Ann Marie Harrington

I was born and reared here on Bere Island, one of a family of 10, 5 girls and 5 boys. My Dad was an Islander through and through but my Mom was from Allihies on the mainland.

Get In Touch

If you have any queries about Bere Island or have local news stories or events to tell us about, please contact us using the form below and we will reply to you promptly.