Ireland – West Cork Coastline Safari
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
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A wonderful tour that hugs the coastline all along West Cork. Our starting point is Cork City on the banks for the River Lee which provides our inspiration as we begin our journey following backroads along its course to the wonderful glacial lake and hermitage retreat of Gougane Barra.
The fresh salty air of the Atlantic Ocean is our next inspiration as we sweep down towards Bantry Bay and take in the wonderfully remote and unspoilt charms of the Sheep's Head Peninsula. We hug the coastline for the rest of the week takin in the charming villages of Baltimore, Union Hall and Glandore, with the nearby Neolithic stone circle of Drombeg.
The towns of Clonakilty and Kinsale await where the brightly coloured villages compete with each other for your attention, all this connected by sweet scented fushia-lined backroads. The set departure date tours finish up in Kinsale, whereas the self guided tour heads back to Cork city for the last night.
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Arrival in Cork
We recommend that you take a taxi from the station or airport and check into the guesthouse as soon as you arrive so that you are then free to explore the city. Cork is a very lively town with plenty of music and entertainment and all the major points of interest are within walking distance.
Cork ~ Gougane Barra (67 kms)
After fitting you onto your bicycles, you head out by the banks of the Lee and travel along quiet back roads to a lunch stop in the market town of Macroom. In the afternoon you continue up the Lee Valley through rolling countryside to the wonderfully peaceful Lakeside retreat of Gougane Barra, the source of the River Lee and Ireland’s first National Park.
Gougane Barra ~ Ahakista(43 kms)
You cycle down to the coast past fields of grazing cattle and sheep to the bustling coastal town of Bantry where you can stop for lunch. In the afternoon you head out to the beautiful Sheep’s Head Peninsula and cycle along quiet coastal roads with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Ahakista ~ Baltimore (63 kms)
In the morning you cycle along the coast before heading inland through a gap in the mountains back to the coast once again and the village of Schull. You can have lunch in this bustling attractive seaside village. From there you pedal along a warren of backroads to the small fishing village of Baltimore where you will spend the next two nights.
Rest day in Baltimore
The day can be spent in rest and relaxation or you can take part in a variety of activities including a visit to Sherkin Island with its stunning views looking back at West Cork. You can go horse riding or hike through the beautiful forest that overlooks the unique Lough Ine, the only saltwater lake in North Western Europe.
Baltimore ~ Clonakilty (62.5 kms)
In the morning you cycle along quiet back roads to the peaceful Lough Ine and then follow the coast to the village of Glandore where you can have lunch overlooking the beautiful Glandore Harbour with its two islands, Adam and Eve. In the afternoon you can visit a 3,000-year-old stone circle, one of the best examples of its kind in the country, before arriving in the bustling town of Clonakilty.
Clonakilty ~ Kinsale/Cork (62 kms)
Following the coast to the village of Timoleague you can visit a 15th Century Franciscan Friary. After lunch, you continue to the historic town of Kinsale, site of the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. Kinsale is a very colourful cosmopolitan town with a wide range of excellent craft shops. The group tour finishes up in this wonderful town while the self guided tours continue back to Cork City.
- 7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
( mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal (in Gougane Barra)
- Guide in a support van (on group tour only)
- Luggage transfer
- Route details and maps
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)
In 2023 Bike Rental is not included in the basic tour price.
All rentals come with a pannier, lock, helmet and repair equipment
On a self guided tour we will organize your bike hire, the accommodation and the luggage transfer. Your route details will be waiting for you in your first night’s accommodation. In the route details you will also find recommendations for lunch stops and places to have dinner. You will set off by yourself and the luggage will be transferred to the next stop by our local taxi transfers. And should there be a day you won’t be able to cycle, it is possible to arrange a lift with the luggage transfer.
You can also contact us in the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on our emergency number if you need assistance.
You can start the cycling tour on any day that suits you.
If you prefer to cycle with a support van and/or guide we are happy to send you a customized quote for this.
On a self guided tour it is possible to add extra days or shorten the trip if you wish to or we can customize the route for you.
Guide in a support van / no cycling guide
We offer set departure dates for group tour bookings. If we reach a minimum of 8 people on the set departure tour date the tour will be run with a guide in a support van.
The guide will meet you each morning to give you a short briefing for the day ahead. Then you can set off in small groups or individually. Each person has their own route details. Your guide will then collect the luggage and deliver the bags to the next night's accommodation before catching up with the group again.
Although the guide will not be cycling with you, he or she will be driving the support van and will make a sweep to ensure that all is well, and offer lifts to those who want a break.
This provides a sense of freedom in that you can travel at your own pace in the security that the guide is there for you in the event that you might need them. The guide will recommend places to eat and try to find out where the best entertainment is each night.
Most importantly, the guide sets the right tone to make you feel welcome to the country and to help you in whatever way possible so that each day you are free to leave your worries behind.
If we don’t reach the minimum of 8 bookings, this tour will go ahead as self guided version with luggage transfers via our local taxi companies. There might be others cycling the same route, but there won’t be a guide in a support van. However, you can always contact us in the office to get assistance and if you need a lift we can organize this for you.
Bike rental is not included in the basic tour price
You can rent a GIANT CITY bicycles for our tours
Bikes come in different sizes and in gents and ladies style frames.
It is very important you give us your height on booking so that we can allocate the correct bike to you.
You can also rent an E-Bike
We are using EASE-E+ 2 ELECTRIC BIKE or similar please click here for more details.
We offer small and medium-sized e-bikes. Recommended body heights for our e-bikes range from 160cm - 183 cm.
ooking at a scale from 1 - 10 (1 = easiest, 10 = hardest) we are giving this tour 5 points.
A cycle that takes in the unique beauty of Gougane Barra before heading down to the sea at Bantry Bay. A wonderful tour that hugs the coastline all along West Cork. Gentle, undulating terrain with rolling hills
Other than young children, whom we discourage from attending, people of all ages and abilities come on the tours, so do not worry if you are not super-fit. You have all day to cover the recommended route, and while Irish roads rarely follow a straight line, there are few really high climbs.
We offer Garmin files on request, but you need to bring your own device.
We would seriously recommend that you bring padded cycling shorts and / or a gel saddle cover that will definitely make your day’s cycling more comfortable. Cycling gloves are also a good investment. You can also bring your own saddle which we should be able to attach to our bikes.
We provide 40l pannier bags (waterproof) in which you can keep your day-to-day items. Otherwise you may prefer to use a daypack and there are back carriers on each bike for this purpose.
We do not provide rain gear so be sure to bring your own light weight waterproofs.
Don’t forget sun cream, sunglasses, sun hat as well as a bathing suit for that refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
Our rental bikes don’t have lights – no problem on the long summer evenings, but if you are travelling in May or September, please bring your own light or high-visibility vest.
Finally if you wish to use toe clips please bring your own pedals with toe clips which we can attach to our bikes (the pedals on our bikes do not accommodate toe clips)
To confirm you onto our tour, we require a deposit of 250 euro per person.
After your initial booking request, we will be in touch with payment details.
The remaining balance for the cycling tour will be due 60 days prior tour start.
On this tour you will be staying in Cork, Gougane Barra, Ahakista, Baltimore, Clonakility & Kinsale (on group tour only).
Please click here to see a sample list of the accommdoation we are using on this tour.
There are options for upgrade in Cork, Conaklity & Kinsale.
Should you wish to cancel, cancellation charges will be imposed. These are calculated from the day written
notification is received by the company or their agent as a percentage of the total tour price, including
surcharges as follows:
> 60 days before departure – retention of deposit (250 euro per person)
60-14 days before departure – 50%
< 14 days before departure – 100%
To claim the balance back, you need to send the details on to your travel insurance who should reimburse you. Please make sure that your travel insurance covers the costs for unforeseen cancellation before signing up.
We had an absolutely wonderful time on our cycling tour. I would say it was a dream, but it was better than a dream. Honestly, it was the best trip of my life so far, and I've been raving about Cycling Safaris to everyone back home. The hotels were wonderful, the suggested restaurants were great, and the directions made it so easy to be self-guided.
Thanks for all of your help along the way. From my first inquiry to the day we landed back home, the Cycling Safaris staff was helpful, knowledgeable and accommodating. The roads were well-chosen and the scenery was breathtaking. I also loved having the options to do a longer route or shorter route (the longer routes were always worth the trip!). The equipment never malfunctioned, and all-around I cannot say enough positive things about your company.
Christine Webb (West Cork Coastline 2017)
We just returned from 14-21 July guided tour West Cork Coastline and want to let you know we had a wonderful time with our family. Everything was excellent.
Norbert van den Bos (West Cork Coast group tour 2013)
Even without the splendid scenery, this would be a very enjoyable and pleasant tour. The area is so remote and peaceful and the traffic so light, I felt like I was on a dedicated cycling path for much of the ride.
Bob Hurley (Cork Coastline self led 2015)
Our holiday was a remarkable adventure that ranks amongst our best cycle tours we have experienced! 8 cycling days that raised the bar and provided splendid scenery, opportunities to meet the Irish and enjoy the local culinary fare. Irish Cycling Safaris is an excellent touring company that stands by its customers.
We has a wonderful experience!
Paul Gardiner (West Cork Coastline custom self led 2016)
2023 TOUR PRICE (GUIDED & SELF GUIDED)
€930.00 per person sharing off peak
€ 30.00 per person high season supplement July & August
€285.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€450.00 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone on a self guided tour)
€100.00 24 speed touring bike
Self Guided Tour Information
Self guided tours are available from 16th April to 1st October and can start any day of the week.
How to get to Cork City:
You can fly direct into Cork airport. It is also possible to fly to either Dublin airport or Shannon airport.
From Cork Airport
From Cork Airport, you can take the 226 to Parnell Place Bus Station, the main bus station for Cork city.
For more bus options you can visit the Bus Eireann website
From Shannon airport:
There is a bus service to Cork city available (Check BusEireann for info or GetThere.ie)
Alternatively you can take a bus just as far as Limerick city ( approx 30 mins ) and take a train from here to Cork ( IrishRail )
From Dublin airport:
You can take a bus direct from the Dublin airport to Cork city available (Check AirCoach for more info)
Alternatively take the Airlink shuttle service into Dublin city and transfer to get a direct train to Cork.
(Train takes approx 2hrs 40mins. Details on IrishRail )
As always please contact us in the office for more information (email@example.com).
Gaish House This B&B is set in a townhouse a short walk away from the city centre. This house has a real feel of class plus a warm welcome really sets this place apart. With a relaxing atmosphere it’s the perfect place to start your tour with a good night’s rest
Gaish House is also famous for its award winning breakfast!
Gougane Barra is Hidden in a glaciated valley of the Cork Mountains the Gougane Barra hotel sits on the shore the Lough overlooking St Finbarr’s Oratory. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is one achieved by the family who have been running the hotel for 5 generations. Also boasting one of the best restaurants in Ireland it really makes this an unforgettable place to stay
AHAKISTA / KILCROHANE
Bridgeview House , nestled in the village of Kilcrohane, is a family run B&B boasts a lovely garden along with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. They also offer home cooked food !
Beadette O'Driscoll welcomes you to the Beacon Shore Guesthouse, a friendly family-run guest house right in the heart of Baltimore.
O'Donovan's Hotel or "Óstán Uí Dhonnabháin" is a sixth generation family run hotel in the heart of Clonakilty.
Macliam Lodge is a well appointed, luxury bed and breakfast, just a 5 minute walk from Clonakilty town centre.
We stay the The Anchorage B&B. Family run and overlooking the bay its lovely place to spend a night
Tieey's Guesthouse in the centre of the town with are warm and friendly atmosphere.
WEST CORK COASTLINE GROUP TOUR DOSSIER (7 NIGHTS) 2023
WEST CORK COASTLINE SELF GUIDED TOUR DOSSIER (7 NIGHTS) 2023