Irish Owned. Local Guides.
IRELAND CYCLING ITINERARY
We meet at noon in the picturesque village of Blarney. Our first adventure is to kiss the famous Blarney stone high up on the castle battlements.
Tradition holds that those who kiss the stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence - the gift of the “gab” as the locals call it. This is a ‘must’ if you are to converse with the ever friendly and talkative Irish.
After a leisurely stroll through the grounds of the castle one can visit Blarney Woolen Mills (built 1824) before lunch in one of Blarneys fine restaurants.
After lunch you will be given your
bikes and after adjustments to ensure
your maximum comfort together with expert advice on safety and biking
techniques from your expert guides (one of whom has toured/ raced/and
worked in a leading cycle store) we set off along the Lee valley for the market
town of Macroom. The first few
miles take us along the old muskerry train line. - Many stories to be told -.
Today’s cycle is very level - distance 20 miles. Tonight we stay at the Castle
Hotel where any weary legs can be soothed in its leisure center. Local attractions include golf (book early) and beautiful river walks.
We cycle west for 4 miles towards Killarney but swing south for Gouganne Barra where St. Finbarr the patron saint of Cork founded a monastery. Our approach to this wonderful wooded area, where the river Lee rises, is via a road known to few but we believe you will agree on its incredible beauty. We recommend digital photos here which we can e-mail later to your friends at home, in postcard format. We lunch here before cycling on to Bantry via the pass of Keimaneigh (“the leap of the Deer”).
Your guides being from this part of the country will be able to fill you in on a feast of local information including seeking out the areas hidden treasures (castles, forts etc. not to mention interesting characters) We lodge for the next two nights at Seaview House overlooking Bantry Bay.
Distance today 35 miles.
Today you may rest enjoying the tranquil gardens at Seaview, take in other activities like golf, or take the highly recommended tour of the first of the three peninsulas.
Winding out along the north shores of the unique, amazingly quiet Sheep’s Head peninsula with Bantry Bay on our right and the Beara peninsula in the background before crossing to village Ahakista on the southern shores with the Mizen peninsula now in the background.
Here we visit the tranquil, beautifully constructed and maintained memorial site of the Air India disaster, -a most moving experience. The names of all 329 dead are listed here. Then its back to Bantry via Durrus.
(Distance short 25 , long option 40 miles).
Unfortunately we must leave Seaview but more awaits us. We bid farewell and head for Glengarrif. Here we can see from the vegetation that the climate in this northern latitude must be influenced from afar. Ireland owes its mild climate to the warming effect of the gulf stream which starts in the gulf of Mexico (4,000 miles away). Long may it last.
Later we take a tour through Glengarrif forest and walk up to Lady Bantry's Lookout, thus getting a fantastic view of Glengarrif, Garnish island and Bantry bay.
Then it's on to Kenmare via the tunnel road leaving Co.
Cork behind and entering Co. Kerry. Kenmare awaits us with its abundance of craft shops
and restaurants for you
Leaving Irelands reputedly oldest town we head for Killarney taking in some of the most stunning scenery along the way. Stop regurarly to absorb the beauty of the Black Valley, The Killarney lakes and the Macguillicuddy Reeks mountain range in the background.
Many cycling enthusiasts boast how biking enables you to see the world at an appropriate pace but in this region it could be argued that a bike is much too fast. Hence do not rush - but enjoy.
In particular be sure to stop at Ladies View (overlooking the lakes) which gets its name from the delight which Queen Victoria's 'ladies in waiting' got when they visited this place 150 years ago. Cycling on through the oak filled forests of the Killarney National Park we head to, 'meeting of the waters', Torc waterfall , Muckross House (guided tour) and finally a tour the reconstructed farms which gives one a very good insight into rural Ireland in the nineteenth centuary.
After a very fulfilling day we head back to the lakeshore to our hotel for the next two nights the Lake Hotel . Over the next two nights you will appreciate why we chose this hotel. Click on Lake Hotel above to get some idea.
Today we head for the Gap of Dunloe. First however we cycle to nearby Rosscastle , the last castle in Ireland to fall to oliver Cromwell. After a most interesting guided tour there we take boats ( a tradition going on for over 100yrs) up through all three Killarney lakes taking in some most incredible unspoilt scenery along the way.
As well as some great stories from your guides including your boatman we make some surprise stops the final one after 11/2 hrs being at your lunch stop for today , Lord Brandons Cottage.
After lunching here we mount our trusty machines and cycle trrough the Black valley and on to the Gap of Dunloe ( see pic below) This is a short 7ml cycle but so beautiful you will want to stop very often, initially looking back at the lakes and later after we go through the gap , looking toward your finishing point, Kate Kearneys cottage.
Here we stop for a celebratory drink. Then its onward to Killarney.
Tour ends after farewell breakfast. Rail/coach connection to Dublin and Cork available from here.
Perhaps you would like to stay a day longer, ask for details. We can also arrange an extra day before day one in Blarney.
As mentioned earlier our aim is to send you home with memories that we believe will last you a lifetime.