This self-guided cycling holiday covers some of the most spectacular scenery that Ireland has to offer. On this bike vacation 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 Macgillycuddyreeks, 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.
You then spend two days exploring the relatively unknown Beara peninsula which we feel offers some of the best scenery you will ever see in Ireland. On the rest day, you relax in the 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, you head inland and stay at a beautiful Lakeside retreat at the source of the River Lee. On the final day, you cycle up over the wild and isolated hills of the Coolea region before returning to Killarney.
Killarney (Near Cork)
Due to limited accommodation options in Gougane Barra area, we may offer you a reverse tour of West Cork and Kerry. This gives us more flexibility to accommodate you on your selected dates. The reverse route follows the same roads but in the opposite direction.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Arrive in Cork airport and then take the bus to Killarney. 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.
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 mountain landscapes 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.
You 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, 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.
Depart after breakfast.
By Plane to Cork
2023 Prices – For a complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|CorkK (7 Nights)||from £970||Book Now|
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