Beara (Irish: Béarra) or the Beara Peninsula is a peninsula on the south-west coast of Ireland, bounded between the Kenmare “river” (actually a bay) to the north side and Bantry Bay to the south. It contains two mountain ranges running down its centre: the Caha and the Slieve Miskish Mountains. The northern part of the peninsula from Kenmare to near Ardgroom is in County Kerry, while the rest forms the barony of Bear in County Cork.
The main features of Beara’s landscape were formed during the quaternary period which ended 12,000 years ago. There is evidence of human activity on the peninsula dating from at least 3000 BC. Later it was invaded by Vikings, and in the 17th century became a defensive front for the English army against French invasion. Its population peaked at 39,000 before the Great Famine; today there are less than 6000 living in the area.