Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Monday, September 25, 2017

Beara Peninsula: Healy Pass to Allihies

This trip to Ireland began in mid September 2017 - I'm slowly getting around to posting

People often asked me about favorite places to ride in Ireland. I struggle with an answer and have suggested this is like asking which is your favorite child. There are so many beautiful places, lovely quiet roads, rolling farmland, dramatic coastal views and breathtaking mountaintops. I can barely narrow the list down to 50 places that one simply must cycle through.

However, I will put a plug in for the Healy Pass on the Beara Peninsula as a worthwhile destination for a touring cyclist. The climb is gentle, but steady. It has loads of twists and turns, giving you multiple opportunities to see from whence you came and what lies ahead. The road is well maintained but narrow, and therefore quiet. And no matter what the weather, it is always beautiful.

Our route on the Beara Peninsula saw us head out and over the Healy from south to north, then back south across the spine to Castletownbere, then over another little ridge to reach the tip before staying the night in Allihies.

We had finally dried out from the previous day's deluge and the sunshine and mild winds were not unwelcome.

We were thrilled to find a bike themed café on the far side of the pass. Sadly it was closed. Fortunately we found lunch a few miles further down the road.

We took a little detour out to Dzogchen Beara, a Buddhist Meditation Center. The setting is amazing, and if we had brought food with us, we would have booked into the hostel there. There was a café, but it had just closed shortly before we arrived. Next time, we will definitely plan to stop here for the night.

Instead, we pressed on toward Allihies, where we found a nice B&B on the edge of town. We walked a short ways into town for dinner, where we discovered a backpacker's convention had also booked in for dinner. I think they had a table for 30. Luckily we snuck our order in before them. We enjoyed some traditional live music here as well.

As we returned to our B&B, John pointed to a mast on top of the mountain and expressed a desire to ride up to it. I suggested he could do that before breakfast and I would sleep in. Check in tomorrow...


  1. Better pics this day than on the previous. Only because the previous day was obviously so very wet and gloomy looking.

  2. Replies
    1. Credit to John for knowing how to operate a camera and having such a good eye, the country for providing such a great back drop and the long suffering model, who sometimes gets to ride back and forth for the perfect shot ;-)