West Cork and Kerry

Be blown away by some of the most spectacular scenery that Ireland has to offer. Not long after you leave Killarney you will find yourself cycling through the majestic lakes that have made this area so famous. Later you will climb up to Molls Gap, where you will be treated to wonderful views of the Macgillycuddyreeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range.  All through the week, you can expect more of the vaired, but still stunning, scenery of the area, including a wonderful coastal cycle along Kenmare Bay. You will spend two days exploring the relatively unknown Beara peninsula, which, we feel, is a true hidden gem, and home to some of the best sights in Ireland. On this tour, there is even a rest day, which you can spend relaxing in the fishing village of Castletownbere. Here you can take a boat ride to Bere Island or enjoy a gentle ride out to the ruins of nearby Dunboy Castle. Towards end the week you will head inland for a stay at a beautiful Lakeside retreat, found at the source of the River Lee.  For your final ride, you will head up over the wild and isolated hills of the Coolea region, before returning to Killarney.

Calender 8 days

Difficulty: Moderate

From £1100.00 P/P

Highlights large icon

Itinerary

On arrival in Killarney you should make your way to your accommodation. The rooms in the B&Bs are not usually ready till midday, so, if you get there early, feel free to leave your luggage at the guesthouse and head out to explore this bustling town.

If you have time you could visit Ross Castle a wonderfully restored 16th Century Norman Tower House overlooking Lough Leane. You can even hire a boat from here and row out to a 6th Century monastic site located on one of the nearby islands. Ross Castle is about 1.5 miles from the town.

The day starts off by following a cycle track into the beautiful grounds of Muckross House. Located on the grounds is a Franciscan Abbey founded in the 15th Century. It is now in ruins but is beautifully situated with a large yew tree rising up through the cloisters. After a stroll around the celebrated Muckross gardens there follows a wonderful cycle along a quiet path between two of the Killarney lakes before we return to the main road.
A steady climb up to Molls Gap is rewarded with a delicious lunch in a restaurant with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon we sweep down to the picturesque seaside town of Kenmare.
There are longer cycles available if you fancy stretching your legs this afternoon.

You follow a spectacular coast road hugging Kenmare Bay with its wonderful views of the MacGillikuddy Reeks Mountains, before stopping for lunch at a small pub overlooking the bay.
In the afternoon you can visit the nearby Dereen Gardens with its amazing variety of flora. Leaving the Gardens you cycle west where you can visit an ancient stone circle or explore the beautiful scenery and quiet back roads of the Beara Way. Castletownbere, where we will spend the next two nights, is nestled at the foot of the Cahas Mountains.

Today’s cycle is a circular route, taking in the Beara Peninsula, one of the week’s highlights, with its twisted mountainscapes and breathtaking coastal scenery. We begin by retracing our route to Eyeries; from here, to our lunch-stop in Allihies, you can really feel you are away from it all, experiencing an undiscovered part of Ireland well away from some of the bustling tourist routes.

After lunch you continue cycling around the peninsula with more wonderful views of the ocean. You can detour off the main route for a scenic bike ride to the crossing point for Dursey Island, which can be reached by catching a ride on the only cable car in Ireland. After this interesting detour you return back to the main road and continue on towards Castletownbere, passing the entrance for Dunboy Castle, which is well worth a visit.

In the morning you will get a transfer from Castletownbere to Bantry

You cycle along the shores of Bantry Bay, one of the deepest natural harbours in Europe. We will then make our way down the sheepshead peninsula. This is one on the most remote places in Ireland.

The Peninsula offers fantastic views of the open Ocean and rolling landscape that gives a feel that you really are on a small island on the edge of the atlantic. There is also an option to walk around the very end of the Peninsula.

Today we head inland and cycle along quiet country roads with rolling fields dotted with grazing cattle and sheep, before arriving at the lakeside retreat of Gougane Barra, Ireland’s first National Park and the source of the River Lee.

This is a beautiful peaceful place and an ideal setting for your last night in the countryside before you head back to the hustle and bustle of the great metropolis of Killarney!

For the last day you cycle up into the Coolea region via remote, peaceful mountain roads where you can really feel you are away from it all.

You can stop for a cup of tea at Irelands Highest Pub before descending back down into Killarney for a final night on the town.

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast

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Route overview

Total Distance: 260km Approx.

Over All Difficulty: Moderate

Start Point: KILLARNEY

There are a number of hills on the route but you have all day to do the cycling.  You will be provided with a more comprehensive route description and map at the start of the tour.  There is an option each day for a variety of longer routes. With the exception of the roads in and out of Killarney,  the traffic on the route should be quite light.  You should however cycle carefully at all times,  especially when going downhill.

The roads are all tarmaced and the route is designed to ensure that you spend most of the week on quiet backroads, away from the main tourist routes.  To experience the majestic scenery of this area the route does have a number of climbs, so it is worth getting a few weekends training on a bike in varied terrain before coming thus ensuring that you can fully enjoy the week.

 

Route Map (For guidance only):

Routes maybe subject to change or alteration. All route notes, maps and day-by-day information will be given to you upon arrival at the first hotel or at the welcome meeting. GPS/GPX Files are available for most our the cycling holidays we offer. Please ask us for details.

What’s included

  • Seven nights accommodation with full Irish breakfast.
  • Standard Bike Hire
  • One evening meal (Gougane Barra)
  • Route maps and details.
  • Luggage transfer each day / guide in support van on set departure dates with minimum of 8 people
  • 24 Hour service hotline
  • GPS tracks available (on request)
Whats included

Check Availability

We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person and exclude flights.

Tip: To book, please select a day of the week that the cycling holiday is operating on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the right day of departure from the list of options.

We are still updating the website with the latest dates and prices, however, all cycling holidays are available. To find out the most up-to-date details, please send us a contact form.

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