Ireland’s largest white fishing port – over 20,000 tons of fish are exported annually to Europe and Japan. Buy some yourself at the fish market on the pier. The town murals depict this thriving sea traffic.
What to See and Do
Visit the Puxley Manor, built in 1730 by wealthy landlords and copper mine owners. Travel to Bere Island on a boat. Anchor your yacht in Berehaven Harbor, the second largest natural harbor in the world. Scuba dive in the harbor and get close and personal with all the unique aquatic life.
Where to Eat and Drink
The Olde Bakery serves fine seafood in a cozy, all wooden setting. The “Symphony of Seafood” is monkfish, scallops, prawns, sea bass, and cod baked and served with Bonne Femme Sauce for 23.95 euro. They have an Early Bird Special from 5:30-7:30PM nightly, serving 3 course dinners for 23.95 euro or 2 courses for 18.95 euro.
Loop De Loop Eco Emporium has unveiled a new café; open daily from 10AM to 4:30PM. Serving fresh vegetarian wraps, juices, and homemade soups. Sit on the sidewalk tables and watch the town stroll by, or upstairs in the 2nd floor café.
Taste is a gourmet food and wine shop, stocking all you need for a glorious picnic. From organic tea sweetened with rose sugar to whole raw almonds to Irish cheeses to Clive McCabe’s coffee, roasted in Wicklow, and a slice of homemade cake, find whatever you fancy.
Where to Sleep
Rodeen Country House, a beautiful home with lush, subtropical gardens overlooking Bantry Bay. Ellen Gowan, owner and lover of the arts, bakes homemade goodies served with honey from her bees. Tel: (027) 70158.
How to get there
From Glengarriff, take Ring of Beara drive west. Castletownbere is west of Adrigole on the R572 road.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
When to go
From April to September when the days are long and the weather is fine. Castletownbere Festival of the Sea in early August.
Written by Liz O'Malley - Summer of Travel 2007