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This tour covers some of the most spectacular scenery that Ireland has to offer. Shortly after leaving Killarney you will find yourself cycling between the majestic lakes that have made this area so famous to be shortly followed by a climb up to Molls Gap with its wonderful views of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain range. The rest of the week involves more of the same stunning scenery with a wonderful coastal cycle along Kenmare Bay and the twisted mountains of the Beara Peninsula. On the rest of the day we relax in the pretty fishing village of Castletownbere where you can take a boat ride to Bere Island or cycle out to the ruins of nearby Dunboy Castle. Towards the end of the week we head inland and stay at a beautiful lakeside retreat at the source of the River Lee. On the final day we cycle up over the wild and isolated hills of the Coolea region before returning to Killarney.
The cycling safari starts with a meeting of the group at 6:30pm in the lounge of the Arbutus Hotel (Tel 064 31037). This is a meeting point only, you are not actually staying here. After an introductory talk from the guide, an evening meal is organised in the hotel, while your luggage is transported to our nearby guesthouse(s). If you get there early you can leave your luggage with the hotel reception and 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 tour 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.
We 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 and is Ireland’s largest white fish port.
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 have the option of detouring 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.
We cycle along the shores of Bantry Bay, one of the deepest natural harbours in Europe. Glengariff, meaning “Rugged Glen” occupies a beautifully sheltered position, surrounded by mountains which, together with its mild climate, permits a variety of luxuriant plants to grow. Located just outside Glengarriff is Garnish Island, which was transformed between 1910 and 1913 from a bare limestone rock into a luxuriant garden island, known worldwide for its huge selection of plants and its Italian Garden full of exotic plants. A local regular ferry service provides a non-stop ferry service to the island, as well as water tours of Glengariff Harbour.
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 we cycle up into the Coolea region via remote, peaceful mountain roads where you can really feel you are away from it all. We stop for a cup of tea at Irelands Highest Pub before descending back down into Killarney where we meet for a farewell night on the town together before heading our separate ways the following morning. 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.
After breakfast you are free to head your separate ways.
This little town is world-famous due to its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains.Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the grounds of the Killarney National Park ...
The Beara Peninsula is steeped in myths and legends. The mountains and valleys are rich in archaeological sites such as stone circles, wedge graves and other relics from the past...
Killarney National Park is located beside the town of Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. It was the first national park established in Ireland, created when Muckross Estate was do...
|High Season (July and August)||$1,049|
The average cycling distance is an easy 30m (45km) with longer routes being available most days. The tours are suitable for adults of all ages, but a certain level of fitness is required and taking in a few practice rides is strongly recommended. The tours are not suited for children under 13 years of age. The Ring of Kerry, the Highlands of Donegal and the Antrim tours have more hills than the other routes and are more suited to the keener cyclist.
Your guide will recommend a lunch stop each day where a snack lunch will cost between €8 and €12. A group evening meal is organised by the guide each night which costs between €18 and €25. One evening meal during the tour is included in the tour price.
We supply 18-21 speed hybrid touring models for your tour. Each booking must give your name and approximate height. Repair equipment, helmets and pannier bags are available on request.
Each of the tours start with a meeting group at 6:30pm on the Saturday evening in a central hotel close to the local train station and bus station. This is only a meeting point, typically the group will be staying in nearby guesthouses. The guide is able to return to the meeting place at 9:30pm again that evening and the following morning for those arriving late. After an introductory talk the guide will organise an evening meal and direct you to your first nights accommodation.
There is an additional charge of €35 for insurance cover. We insist that riders avail of our insurance policy or else have alternative cover in place
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