Allihies is a small coastal village, situated on the
western end of the Beara Peninsula, West
Cork. The area has a magnificent, rugged
beauty and a fascinating history.
From 1812 until the mid 20th century, Allihies was a
copper-mining centre. Two ‘Man Engine’ houses, built in 1861 to
provide power for the mine, still stand. They provide a
spectacular reminder of the area’s mining heritage. That
heritage was celebrated in September 2007 when President Mary McAleese officially opened the
Allihies Copper Mine Museum.
There is a lovely café, ‘The Copper Café,’ adjacent to the Mine Museum where a
selection of beverages, snacks and meals can be enjoyed.
’Veronica’s’, opposite the Mine Museum, serves a variety of
O’Neill’s Bar in Allihies Village
provides a wide range of bar-food throughout the day and has a separate
restaurant, ‘Pluais Umha’ which serves delicious evening meals.
Local fish dishes feature prominently on its extensive
Traditional music and
ballad sessions feature regularly in the three village pubs and
visitors are always welcome to join in.
The village is built at the base of the
mountain. It, like nearby Eyeries, is renowned for its brightly
painted houses. These include a general store, a post-office,
three pubs and three restaurants. The village also features a
well-equipped children’s playground.
Everybody who visits comments on the
sense of peace, of being ‘away from it all,’ that they experience
in Allihies. Indeed, the fame of the nearby Dzogchen Beara
Retreat Centre, which attracts visitors from all over the world,
is at least partly founded on the landscape’s ability to foster
such peace. Situated just 7 miles from Allihies, the centre, run
by RIGPA, an international Tibetan Buddhist organisation, offers
a variety of classes and daily meditation sessions which are
open to everybody. www.dzogchenbeara.org
For those who like more active pursuits, the mountains around
Allihies and the surrounding countryside provide a wide
selection of walks, including mapped Beara Way routes
www.bearaway.net . ‘The Strand’, the lovely sandy beach at
Ballydonegan Bay, only 15 minutes walk from the village, is the
perfect place to swim and sunbathe. The village has a recently
established Dive School
Cycling and shore angling are other local options.
can be arranged by visiting
Urhan Riding Stables. At the West
Cork Sailing and Powerboating Centre in
Adrigole, visitors can rent a boat or enjoy group day-sailing
trips around Beara’s coastline, which include stops in scenic
There is a 9- hole golf course, Berehaven Golf Club in nearby Castletownbere.
For those who wish to use Allihies as a
base for exploring West Cork and Kerry, many towns such as
Glengarriff, Bantry, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kenmare and
Killarney are easily accessible as day-trip destinations.
Closer to Allihies, day trips on Ireland’s only cable car, to nearby Dursey
Island (6 miles away) or to Bere Island, near Castletownbere, by
ferry, are popular options.