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Award winning cycling tours of Ireland and Europe

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Copper Coast

Copper Coast

Degree of difficulty - B

An area known as the "Sunny South East" a wonderful part of the country and a popular destination for Irish people on their holidays.

The tour starts in Kilkenny, perhaps the most attractive Irish city. It is dominated by a spectacular castle on a bend in the river Nore and has a wealth of historic buildings knitted together by narrow cobbled streets boasting many lively pubs and fine restaurants.
This tour blends some of Ireland's best heritage sights with a relatively undiscovered but still stunning coastline. Leaving Kilkenny behind, the cycle brings you towards the coast where our first stop is New Ross, whose famine ship gives a haunting reminder of a dark chapter in Irish history. Some more recent history can be experienced at the Kennedy Visitor centre,  dedicated to JFK whose family came from this area, before a quaint ferry will bring us across Waterford Harbour to stop at the truly special place of Dunmore East. Here there are lovely beaches and magnificent views to enjoy.

The Copper Coast itself is a spectacular cycle where the road twists along cliffs and then plunges into and out of coves. The picturesque seaside town of Dungarvan is where we take our rest day, before heading inland to the Rock of Cashel. This is one of Ireland's most spectacular archaeological sites, standing proudly atop a limestone hill dominating the surrounding countryside. The nearby Bru Boru Heritage and Cultural centre provides an interesting insight into Irish traditional music.

The cycling finishes in Cashel and after visiting the Castle there is a transfer back to Kilkenny for a final night on the tour.

On arrival to Kilkenny, once you have checked into your accommodation and organised your bike, you can then spend the rest of the day exploring the many sights and sounds that have made Kilkenny such a lively and popular destination.

The first day of your cycle takes us south on quiet backroads. You pass Mount Juliet, one of Irelands most prestigious golf courses en route to Jerpoint Abbey. You have a chance to visit this 12th Century ruined Abbey before we stop off for lunch in Thomastown. The afternoon cycle takes you further south on our journey to New Ross, a lovely town on the River Barrow. Local merchants sailed their own ships back and forth to the colonies often carrying Irish emigrants. A replica of one of those ships, the Dunbrody( www.dunbrody.com ) is now berthed on the quay in New Ross and offers visitors to the ship an insight into life as a passenger during the late 19th century.

The morning starts on quiet roads, cycling further south, until you hit the South Coast of Ireland en route to the seaside village of Duncannon for lunch. That afternoon you keep to the coast as much as possible, you take a short ferry ride across Passage East, that brings you ever closer to the beautiful seaside town and fishing port of Dunmore East where you spend the night.

Todays cycle brings you along the beautiful Copper Coast, and inspiration for this tour. A stunning section of the Irish Coastline, it rolls up and down along an unspoilt shoreline. Although hilly in sections all climbs are worth the literally breathtaking views. The last section of the cycle is on one of the few dedicated cycle paths in the area. Your nights destination is the attractive town of Dungarvan where you are spending two nights.

A chance to relax in this seaside town. There is an attractive harbour area with restaurants where you can relax and watch the world go by. There is a golf course nearby if you fancy something different. You can visit Waterford Country Museum, or even download an app onto your phone and to discover the history of the town explore some of the historic landmarks. This easy to use audio tour features contemporary accounts from soldiers, travellers and writers from times past!

As you leave Dungarvan the cycle takes you on some very quiet and remote roads between the Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountains. You then follow the river Suir along its valley to the unique Swiss cottage, designed by the regency architect John Nash. From here it is just a few more gentle kms to the delightful town of Cahir, home to one of the largest and best preserved castles in Ireland.

The terrain gently undulates as you make our way towards the town of Cashel. Cashel is home to the iconic Rock of Cashel, the ruined castle and traditional seat of the Great Munster Kings. One of the more spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the most visited, indeed it was one of the few places outside Dublin the Queen of England visited on her trip to Ireland in 2011! www.heritageireland.ie/en/south-east/rockofcashel We keep the last day cycle short to give you a chance to visit this attraction before taking a short transfer back to the city of Kilkenny, where you have a final night amongst the Medieval streets. An option for those not wishing to visit the Rock of Cashel is to cycle into the Glen of Aherlow (64km). There are a number of hills on this route but you have all day to do the cycling. With the exception of the roads in and out of the larger towns, the traffic on the route should be quite light. You should however cycle carefully at all times, especially when going downhill or during any rain showers.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

€ 860.00 per person sharing in May, June & September
€ 895.00 per person sharing in July and August
€ 255.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€ 395.00 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone on a self guided tour)

Tour Includes

- 7 nights accommodation incl. breakfast ( mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal
- Bike rental plus pannier bag, lock, repair kit, bottle holder
- Luggage transfer
- All route details and maps
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:
Bike helmet (on request only) €10

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tours are available from April to October and can start any day of the week.

On this tour we use a mix of guesthouses and small hotels.
Below is a list of places that we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.


Fanad House Kilkenny Fanad House Kilkenny1

Fanad House overlooks the magnificent Castle gardens.


Inish Ross House New Ross Inish Ross House New Ross1

Inishross House is a cosy, traditional, family run business established in 1967


Creaden View Dunmore East Creaden View Dunmore East1

This wonderful accommodation offers some views over the bay. Creaden View B&B

Haven Hotel Dunmore East Haven Hotel Dunmore East1

More lovely accommodation in Dunmore East: The Haven Hotel.


Park Hotel Dungarvan Park Hotel Dungarvan1

As one of the leading hotels in Dungarvan,  The Park Hotel is a real treat.


Ashmore House Cashel Ashmore House Cashel1

Ashmore House is close to all amenities.

How to get to Kilkenny City:
Dublin is the best airport to fly into as has the best transport options to Kilkenny:

From Dublin airport:
There is a bus service direct from the aiport to Kilkenny city available (Check JJKavanagh Coach for more info)

Alternatively take the Airlink shuttle service into Dublin city and transfer to get direct bus/train to Kilkenny. 
For more details on buses visit DublinCoach 

For more details on the train visit IrishRail . The Train takes approx 2hrs 40mins. 

From Shannon airport: 
There is a bus service to Kilkenny city available (Check BusEireann for info or GetThere.ie)

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Tour map

Great tour - great variety in terrain, scenery and places of interest.  Really enjoyed a guided walk in Dungarvan.

Clare G. (Copper Coast self led 2014)

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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