Ireland – West Cork & Kerry Safari
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
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A tour that takes in the stunning remote beauty of the Beara peninsula, the unique beauty of Gougane Barra along with the bustling character of Killarney and its lakes. Shadowed by mountains and adjacent to Muckross National Park, Killarney has been impressing visitors with its dramatic scenery, long before Queen Victoria made it fashionable.
Our Safari winds its way through the National Park, passing by the famous "Ladies View", to bring us to the coast and the picturesque town of Kenmare. We then make our way out along the Beara Peninsula following its Northern Edge with its stunning vistas and colourful villages of Eyeries and Allihies.
Castletownbere offers an obligatory pint at the famous McCarthy's bar before we take in the views and vistas afforded by the southern side of the peninsula. For 2021 we are taking a transfer direct to explore the magnificent jewel of West Cork, the Sheeps Head Peninsula
The serenity of the glacial valley of Gougane Barra is a wonderful overnight stop before completing our loop by returning to Killarney.
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Arrival in Killarney
On arrival in Killarney you should make your way to your accommodation and explore this bustling town. If you have time you could visit nearby 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.
Killarney ~ Kenmare (37 kms)
The day starts off by following a cycle track into the beautiful grounds of Muckross House. En route is a Franciscan Abbey founded in the 15th Century, now in ruins it is beautifully situated with a large yew tree rising up through the cloisters. A wonderful cycle along a quiet path between two of Killarneys lakes followed by a steady climb up to Molls Gap you are rewarded with a delicious lunch enjoying beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon you sweep down to the picturesque seaside town of Kenmare.
Kenmare ~ Castletownbere (51 kms)
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 you spend the next two nights, is nestled at the foot of the Cahas Mountains.
Loop of Eyeries ~ Allihies (40 kms)
Today’s cycle is a circular route of the Beara Peninsula, with its breathtaking coastal scenery. Experience an undiscovered part of Ireland with wonderful views of the ocean, well away from some of the bustling tourist routes. You can detour off the main route 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 to the mainland and continue on towards Castletownbere, passing the entrance for Dunboy Castle, which is well worth a visit.
Sheeps Head Loop
After a transfer to Bantry, you cycle along the shores of Bantry Bay, one of the deepest natural harbours in Europe., and make your way down the Sheeps head peninsula. This is one on the most remote places in Ireland. The Peninsula offers fantastic views of the open Ocean and rolling lanscape that gives a feel that you really are in on a small island on the edge of the Atlantic.
Bantry ~ Gougane Barra (34 kms)
Today you 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!
Gougane Barra to Killarney (57 kms)
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. There are a number of hills on the route but you have all day to do the cycling.
7 NIGHT TOUR INCLUDES:
- 7 nights accommodation incl. breakfast
( mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal (in Gougane Barra)
- Guide in a support van (on group tour only)
- Luggage transfer
- Transfer from Castletownbere to Bantry
- 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 (email@example.com) or on our emergency number if you need assistance.
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
In Kerry you can rent a Hybrid Focus Crater Lake 3.9 e2019 bicycle in Killarney.
Bikes come in different sizes and in gents and lady's style frames.
It is very important you give us your height on booking so that we can allocate the correct bike to you.
E-Bikes can also be rented in Killarney
Our Easy E-bikes include:
Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
Shift levers: Shimano 7 speed
Rear derailleur: Altus 7 speed
Motor: Bosch Active Line
Battery: Bosch Power Pack Frame Mount 300Wh, 36V
Display: Bosch Purion
Range: up to 148km from Eco mode
There are 3 setting: Eco - Normal - Turbo ( Eco will last long ) 120km
Our normal daily cycling route A to B is between 50-60km
ooking at a scale from 1 - 10 (1 = easiest, 10 = hardest) we are giving this tour 6 points.
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.
The average daily cycling distance is around 50km.
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)
You have the option of booking different room types:
Double room = Room with one big bed for two people
Twin room = Room with two single beds for two people
Single room = Room with one single bed
Triple room = Room with one double and one single for three people OR room with three single beds
Family room = Room with one double and two single beds
If the room type you would like to book is not listed on the booking form, you can specify this in the section "other details"
On this tour you will be staying in Killarney, Kenmare, Castletownbere, Glengarriff & Gougane Barra.
Click here to see the sample accommodation list.
It is possible to upgrade accommodation in Killarney, Kenmare, Castletownbere & Glengarriff.
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.
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.
It was an amazing trip. Our entire family loved the trip and would consider doing another biking trek with your company.
Eve R. (West Cork Kerry customized 2014)
The trip was well organised, the B&B's were lovely and friendly and well placed and our luggage arrived safely each evening! The route was very well thought out and passed through gorgeous scenery. The itinerary was very comprehensive and we didn't take a wrong turn once! We were also blessed with amazing weather, glorious sunshine every day so we were very lucky!
Cathy Darbyshire (West Cork Kerry short break 2014)
We enjoyed our West Cork and Kerry tour. The cycling holiday went very, the areas we got to visit were beautiful and well worth the long cycle. The accommodations were great and the breakfasts also. Thank you.
Belinda Ritchie (West Cork & Kerry 2016)
We enjoyed our ride. Everything went well, with mountains, Guinness and glimpses of the ocean. Thank you again for your help. cycling in Ireland is a great experience.
J. Friedman (West Cork & Kerry 2016)
2023 TOUR PRICE 7 NIGHTS (GUIDED & SELF GUIDED)
€ 910.00 per person sharing off peak
€ 30.00 per person high season supplement July and August
€ 285.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€ 450.00 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone on a self guided tour)
Bike Rental 7 Night Tour
€125.00 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 Killarney:
It is possible to fly to Kerry airport, Cork airport, Dublin airport or Shannon airport.
From Kerry airport
Outside the main terminal is a Bus Terminus with services available directly from Kerry Airport to Tralee, Killarney and Limerick linking into the Bus Eireann network. Tickets for all bus services may be purchased on-board the bus.
You can visit the main BusEireann website for full timetables
From Cork airport
From Cork Airport, you can take the 226 to Parnell Place Bus Station, the main bus station for Cork city.
From here you can take a bus to Killarney, you can visit the Bus Eireann website for more details
You can also take a train from Cork city to Killarney, timetable and details are on the Irish Rail website
From Shannon airport:
First you need to take a bus to Limerick city, and there you will transfer to another bus to Killarney town
Check BusEireann for info or GetThere.ie for bus timetables
You can also take a train from Limerick city to Killarney, but the train time on this route is not always quicker!
All details are on the IrishRail website
From Dublin airport:
There are Bus services direct from Dublin airport to Killarney town. Check BusEireann for more information
Alternatively take the Airlink shuttle service into Dublin city and transfer to get train to Killarney.
( Take note that the airlink bus requires exact change and the cost for a single ticket into the city centre is currently €7 )
The train to Killarney from Dublin takes approx 4hrs. Details on IrishRail )
As always please contact us in the office for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We use a variety of accommodations on Muckross Road and Castle Lodge B&B is one that we use and images are left and right. It is in a fantastic location, very close to the town centre as well as the National Park and Ross's Castle.
Staying just outside the centre we use family-run B&Bs with a warm welcoming atmosphere. Only a short walk away from the town centre where traditional music is never far away.
Staying in family run B&Bs nestled in the town or just outside the town overlooking the Ocean. The town has still got a strong fishing industry today making the sea food here a must try. Along with the traditional style pub makes this the perfect town to explore. All a short walk away from your B&Bs
The stylish 4* Maritime Hotel is set on Bantry Bay amid the three rugged peninsulas of Mizen Head, Sheep’s Head and Beara.
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.
WEST CORK & KERRY GROUP TOUR (7 NIGHTS) 2023
WEST CORK & KERRY SELF GUIDED TOUR (7 NIGHT) 2023
WEST CORK & KERRY 5 NIGHT TOUR 2021