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The Dingle Peninsula Food Trail

Out of the Blue Dingle Out of the Blue Dingle

blas – taste

Did you know that our iconic Dingle Peninsula Bike tour offers the opportunity to experience the Dingle Peninsula Food Trail. While biking the Peninsula, you get to meet some of the amazing local food producers, and for instance, hear their stories and experience their passion. 

Click here for a complete itinerary of our Iconic Dingle Peninsula Bike Tour

It was once described by National Geographic as “the most beautiful place on earth”. It’s a place of spectacular seascapes and landscapes shaped by the elements. As a result, it offers a wild and rugged coastline of steep cliffs and wide sandy beaches.

Boats in Dingle Harbour

In the little fishing port of Dingle you will eat and breathe authentic Irish culture. Experience real food, real talk, real stories, and real ceoil agus craic. Here you’ll find the The Dingle Peninsula Food Trail and the real Ireland.  For instance, one that reveals the Peninsula’s thriving & unbroken traditions of language and music. In addition, folklore and storytelling, arts, crafts and artisan food.

Bia agus Deoch – food and drink

Dingle is a food haven for all connoisseurs. As such, it offers a repertoire of fabulous fresh fish delivered early in the morning from the boats. For meat eaters succulent prime Irish steak and West Kerry lamb are very popular and are a constant presence on all restaurant menus.

Sample Dingle Peninsula cheese flavoured with handpicked dilisk seaweed and matured in a 200 year old stone building.

 

The Dingle Peninsula Food Trail The Dingle Peninsula Food Trail. Photo Credits dingle-peninsula.ie

Take a tour of Dingle’s independent distillery and taste their award winning whiskey, gin and vodka. Or savour gourmet Dingle Ice Cream. It made the old fashioned way with free range eggs, fresh milk from the rare Kerry cow breed and organic cane sugar. Sample the unique flavours such as Dingle Sea Salt, caramelised brown bread and Dingle Gin.

teach tábhairne – public house

 

Traditional Irish Music Pub Session

Bars and pubs in Dingle peninsula are more than somewhere to drink. They are ancient places that carry memories and traditions. Reminders of a time when bars supplied most of a community’s needs. Household goods, hardware, groceries and even coffins were stocked behind the panelled wood and smoke stained veneer.

An teach tábhairne – The public house was just what it says on the tin –  a place for all to gather, do business, gather supplies and mark life’s passing. In more recent times the bar has become more hospitality based (a place of celebration) with good food, music, teas, coffees. Some offer overnight accommodation. Traditional music sessions lure the passing visitor into places offering warmth and soul and gentle conversation. Meet local people and chat with some interesting characters in their place of relaxation.

The Dingle Peninsula inspires, it connects, it “catches the heart off guard”, and it stays with you forever.  For more details of our Dingle Peninsula Bike tour please contact us at tours@cyclewest.com or go to: http://www.cyclewest.com/itinerary/dingle-peninsula-bike-tour/ 

Details for this blog post were sourced from www.dinglepeninsula.ie, Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula. 

10 Reasons to Bike the Ring of Kerry

 

Take in the coast and mountains on our epic Ring of Kerry self guided bike tour. Read the RING OF KERRY BIKE TOUR full itinerary here.

Enjoy the coastal contours of the Ring of Kerry, one of Ireland’s most famous scenic peninsulas. This is more than just a cycling route, it’s an incredible circuit of the Iveragh Peninsula with the warmest of welcomes, most picturesque villages and spectacular views.

1. Explore Killarney National Park

Explore Killarney National Park

 

Head to Killarney National Park for picturesque lakes, mountains and woodland that stretches across an astounding 10,000 acres. Explore the park’s abundant wildlife by foot, jaunting car or bike, and take a tour of Muckross House, a late 19th century mansion. Stroll through its landscaped gardens, have a picnic and visit Muckross Traditional Farms for an insight into what life was like way back when. Savour the breathtaking views in Killarney National Park.

 

Torc River and Waterfall

2. Take a break at Torc Waterfall

After Killarney National Park, make time for a break at Torc Waterfall, 7km from the town centre. Take the short stroll to the waterfall and bask in the sounds of nature tumbling from the falls. Explore the beautiful Lakes of Killarney on the Muckross Lake Loop for a fantastic adventure in the great outdoors.

Town of Kenmare Photo credit: @mdskyshots

 

3. Take a foodie tour in lovely Kenmare

Make your way to beautiful Kenmare where the colourful buildings and upbeat locals are full of character. The most rewarding way to experience this town is to book a place on a Kenmare Foodie Tour where you get a delightful insight into Kerry’s talented food producers. You won’t leave this tour on an empty stomach as local woman, Karen Coakley, brings you to the best foodie spots in town. Taste artisan treats, locally roasted coffee and homemade ice-cream.

 

Charming Sneem Photo credit: @tom_naiman

4. Charming Sneem

Visit the lovely village of Sneem, sometimes overlooked in favour of other towns but it’s worth stopping here to enjoy its local charm. Discover the Kerry Geopark in this pretty Irish village and learn about Ireland’s unique geology and ancient culture. Visit the sensory garden, take a stroll down the riverside wildlife trail, or check out the local farmer’s market. You could plan your visit around the Sneem Summer Festival, where you’ll experience live music, sheep dog trials and even crab fishing.

A View of Skellig Michael A View of Skellig Michael

5. Take a Tour to Skellig Michael

If you have time, we recommend you take a detour and pre-book a boat trip out to the UNESCO World Heritage site Sceilg Mhichíl (Skellig Michael) off the coast of County Kerry. Book early to schedule your journey around summertime when migrating puffins visit the island. Skellig Michael can be accessed by boat from Portmagee. Skellig Michael rises from the sea, reaching a height of 218 metres above sea level. On the summit of Skellig Michael there is a well-preserved 6th century monastic settlement. Skellig Michael gets its name from Saint Michael the Archangel

 

 

Visit Valentia Island

6. Visit Valentia Island

Accessible by bridge or by ferry, on Valentia Island to the south, explore the Bray Head Loop, a spectacular coastal trail. On a clear day, you’ll see out to the Skellig Islands and Dingle Peninsula. From there, head north-east to Valentia Island Lighthouse at Cromwell Point and take a tour of this intriguing place. A beacon of hope to guide incoming vessels, the lighthouse led many boats through the entrance of Valentia Harbour.

Stunning Scenery in Cahersiveen. Photo credit: @garskajessica

7. Discover the Stories of Cahersiveen

Arriving in Caherciveen, look up at the outstanding views of Bentee Mountain and Valentia Harbour. Relax by the marina or book in with Cahersiveen Walking Tours and travel back in time as an expert guide shares the history of the town.

Hear about Monsignor Hugh O’ Flaherty, known as ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican’, poet and playwright Sigerson Clifford, politician Daniel O’Connell and many more local tales. Tours are available from May to September.

 

8. Kells Bay House and Gardens

About halfway between Glenbeigh and Cahersiveen is the fishing village of Kells, and we recommend you make time for the enchanting Kells Bay House and Gardens. This family-friendly attraction has one of the finest collection of plants in Europe, as well as cool carved dinosaurs that keep the kids occupied as you stroll through 17 hectares of woodland. Relax with a well-deserved break in the on-site café or restaurant and afterwards, take a quick spin to the sea at Kells Bay.

 

Biking the Ring of Kerry

 

9. Gorgeous Glenbeigh

Community spirit is strong in Glenbeigh as you’ll see at their annual festival, a fun mix of sports, live music, entertainment and culture. Plan your visit around the Glenbeigh Festival and Races which takes place during the summer on Rossbeigh Beach. Or simply meet the welcoming locals in a lively traditional pub.

Wild Goats on Molls Gap Wild Goats on Molls Gap

10. Moll’s Gap

Moll’s Gap is lies between Kenmare and Killarney, with views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks. The area is a panoramic spot visited by thousands of tourists each year. Moll’s Gap is named after Moll Kissane who ran a shebeen, a small pub, on a rocky breach during the construction of the original Kenmare Killarney road in the 1820s. She became popular for selling home brewed poitín, whiskey, to the hardy men who worked on the road. For cyclists this 6.3 mile climb reaches a summit of 860 feet where you can see the Black Valley and further down on the descent you will find Ladies View and the Killarney lakes. Visit Avoca Food market  and woollen store ~ but remember, what you buy, you must carry on your bike!!

 

Make your trip a memorable one and discover the magic of the Kingdom. Come Join us!  Book your Ring of Kerry Self Guided Bike Tour today!  Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com

This blog post is an adaption of a previous post courtesy of Discover Ireland.

THE ISLES OF SCOTLAND

When the time is right and hopefully in the not too distant future, consider joining us in Scotland for an unsurpassed bike tour.

Towering mountains, glittering lochs, dense woodlands and miles upon miles of golden beaches – the Scottish Isle landscapes really will take your breath away. Tour the rolling hills and lush farmland of the Lowlands, or drive through deep glens surrounded by mountains in the Highlands. Uncover magnificent coastal features in the west, and explore the atmospheric, royal settings of the east.

The Isle of Skye is calling you…

Skye is loved the world over for its dramatic scenery, windswept mountains and swirling seascapes. The intoxicating blend of rugged scenery mixed with fairytale legends and island charm makes the largest of the Inner Hebridean islands and one of our most cherished spots.

But there’s more to this enchanting island than you might imagine, and we’re going to let you in to a few of its secrets.  Our Self Guided Isle of Skye and Inner Hebrides bike tour is an amazing adventure and one just waiting for you.  7 Days, 6 nights, Self Guided Bike Tour, from £995.00. Contact CycleWest Ireland at tours@cyclewest.com for more details, dates and travel updates, 

 

Glameig from the Isle of Raasay Distillery (c) Raasay DistillerySO WHEN CAN I TRAVEL TO SCOTLAND?  Read here for more details on when you can travel to Scotland: Scotland Travel Advisory 

 

When can we visit Ireland? Booking for 2022.

We hope to see you soon!

In light of COVID-19, everyone’s health and safety is the most important thing. This means despite the love and desire to share our friendly, passionate and unique country, we must ask everyone at this time not to travel to or around Ireland & Scotland. Please stay safe everyone.

The majority of Ireland and Scotland is in lockdown, though some island communities are under level 3 restrictions. Everyone is being asked to stay at home except for essential purposes. Check the COVID-19 restrictions in your area for the most up to date information on reopening. Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details or see the links below:

For travel to Ireland please see: General Travel Advisory COVID-19

For travel to Scotland please see: General Travel Advisory (COVID-19) and Current Status

We all hope to be back exploring Scotland again very soon, but in the meantime fill your screen with beautiful pictures of Scotland and plan your future trip.

Adventure is a State of Mind!

Prepare for a truly warm welcome and a fun filled memorable experience. 

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape around you while we take care of every detail. We personally select the accommodations you stay at, our favourite restaurants and the local village pubs as well as the most scenic roads each day!  All you have to do is read on to find your next great escape!

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YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS!

Here is a selection of our top tours, rated by our guests on the hospitality experienced, delicious food,  scenic landscapes, dramatic history, captivating stories an charming people. From family adventures to honeymoon breaks, solo travel and small groups, there is something for everyone on our list! Top contenders:

1. Our West Coast Odyssey

West Coast Odyssey: Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Description
Our award winning West Coast Odyssey explores the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way.  This bike tour includes panoramic views from dramatic cliff edges to some of Irelands’ most exhilarating coastal scenery. Explore the Burren,  and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO GeoPark; take an island safari to the Aran Islands and onward through the raw and rustic peatlands of Connemara. Here, a warm fireside seat at a traditional music session is waiting for you. Early Booking is Advised!

Duration
6 day /5 night  
Guided bike tour from Euro 1495.00 per person sharing. Self Guided options and Family Tour also available.

Suitable for Solo, Small Group or Families. Max no. 8.
Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details.

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2. Outer Hebrides Road Cycling 

Your Adventure Awaits: Outer Hebrides Road Cycling

Description
This amazing coastal and island cycling trip in the Outer Hebrides takes you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions of Scotland. Your journey takes you to  spectacular white sandy beaches, passing rugged mountains and through wild glens. In the Outer Hebrides, you will find the Gaelic language is still spoken and the rich history and culture is very much embraced.

Duration
7 day / 6 night Scotland Guided Bike Tour,
from  £1865.00 per person.

Suitable for Solo and Small Group Travel. Max. No: 8.
Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details.

Early Booking is Advised!

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3.  Family Connemara Adventure

Description
Our Connemara’s Family Bike tour takes place in Ireland’s wild and glorious Connemara, West of Ireland. See Ireland through your child’s eyes and explore  unspoiled countryside at your own pace. Learn of pirate queens, wild Connemara ponies, spanish armada, medieval castles and much more. Pedal at your own pace and enjoy each day as you make wonderful memories to take home.

6 day /5 night  Guided Bike Tour from Euro 1495.00 per person sharing. Self Guided options, small group and private tours also available.

Don’t see what you are looking for? Send us an email to us at tours@cyclewest.com and let us know what you are looking for!

Just Around the Corner

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

See What Tours are Just Around the Corner!

Ireland is a land of poets, revolutionaries, musicians, and storytellers where the landscape has a mythical quality, the country’s history still very much in evidence in every day life. Its people are undoubtedly charming, providing a warm, genuine welcome to visitors. We look forward to welcoming you to Ireland in 2022!

Traditional Irish Music Pub Session, Ireland

‘Céad Míle Fáilte’ – a hundred thousand welcomes!

Ireland’s small roads travel by craggy coastline with incredible bays, dramatic sea cliffs and inlets boasting clear pure waters and wide golden beaches framed by soaring hills. Perfect for biking.

Join us and get away to the rustic settings, small village pubs and off the beaten track.  And of course, there’s always our unique Irish produce, such as delicious wild smoked salmon, golden whiskeys and exquisite items hand crafted by local Irish artisans. Ireland awaits!

 

Guinness Brewery, Dublin, Ireland

“There midnight’s all a glimmer and noon a purple glow and evening full of the linnet’s wings”

W B Yeats

 

Westport Harbour at Dusk, Ireland

Ireland Bike Tours

Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details about your personalised small group tour, family adventure or private tour of Ireland.

OUR 2021 TOURS ARE HERE

A Message from Founder and Director, Fidelma Ray.

Our bookings are open!  Its been a long journey for everyone in 2020.  The effect of COVID -19 has been far-reaching.  So for 2021, we have personalised our itineraries to cater for each individual person, with your safety and health at the forefront of our planning and operating. 

Take a look at OUR MOST POPULAR TOURS FOR 2021  here, or read on below:

 

OUR WEST COAST ODYSSEY, IRELAND ~ read more >

 OUTER HEBRIDES ROAD CYCLING TOUR, SCOTLAND ~ read more >

WILD AND WONDERFUL CONNEMARA ADVENTURE, IRELAND ~ read more >

DISCOVER THE NATURAL WONDERS OF THE BEARA PENINSULA ~ read more >

EXPLORE WITH US WITH CONFIDENCE AND SAFELY

All of our tours are offered as small group tours, solo travel or customised for your family or small group of friends.  They are also offered as guided tours or self guided options.

We look forward to each new arrival and offer you a warm wlecome.  Come Join Us. We look forward to welcoming you and offering you a unique and memorable experience”.

Please contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details.

Fidelma Ray
Founder and Director CycleWest Ireland

Find me on linked in

Ireland and Coronavirus

March 24th 2020: As part of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis management, the Irish government, together with public support and the support of the Irish Tourism Industry, have officially asked everyone to stay indoors, except for limited essential needs such as essential  services, grocery shopping, food shopping, and travelling to and from essential work. This is to remain in place until April 19th. 

This morning, all non-essential shops, libraries, playgrounds, places of worship and public spaces are closed.  Last week saw last call in our pubs for a few weeks, and all clubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, gyms,  schools and gyms closed their doors.  Schools have been closed and will remain so until May.

We know that this will come to an end and when it does, we will work harder than ever to deliver trips of a lifetime for you and your friends and families.

How is living in Ireland during coronavirus?

It is very calm and quiet on our streets. This morning, employees all over Ireland are working from home on laptops at the kitchen table. Children remain at home, away from the playgrounds. Radio chat shows spread the news and offer tips on how to work from home and how to occupy children with board games, cooking classes, suggestions on books to read and other forms of entertainment. Students continue to study for upcoming exams, Garden mowers hum and neighbours greet each other from a distance – over the garden fence.  Grandparents are mastering Zoom and Whatsapp and chat with grandchildren over the internet. Its a new day…

Social distancing has been introduced and so far we can see it is working in the larger grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations that remain open.  It is heart-warming to see how quickly the community banded together to look out for the elderly and needing help with groceries, daily newspapers and other services. It’s wonderful to see everyone come together with kind actions like these.

Reaching Out…

We have a country whose economy relies heavily on tourism and hospitality, with thousands of small businesses closed for the time being. Some are lucky to have resources to have staff work from home while others are not so fortunate.

Our tours operate in some of the most economically fragile communities in Europe. Your support during time could make the difference between many rural enterprises staying in business, or potentially changing the face of the community forever. Likewise, our wonderful tour partners, accommodation providers and amazing guides are sitting tight. Your support can help keep them in a profession they love and one they excel at.

Looking Forward…

With this in mind at this time of uncertainty we want to reach out to reassure you that we will continue to speak with each of our partners as the situation evolves.  We would kindly ask for your support at this time to please encourage you to only postpone your travel arrangements with us if you are due to travel within the next 4 – 6 weeks, especially if you have booked a private or custom trip.

The situation is changing rapidly and hopefully we can each make an informed decision nearer your time of travel. At that point, if you would like to postpone their trip, we will be happy to help you do so.  Be assured that we will continue to speak with each of our partners on a personal basis as the situation evolves.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this wonderful, albeit nostalgic view of Ireland through the eyes of Rick Steve.  It will bring a smile or two!

CLICK HERE FOR :  RICK STEVE’S VIDEO GUIDE TO THE BURREN, ARAN ISLANDS AND DINGLE:

 

 

Beannacht Dé Oraibh ~ Stay Safe And Well!

Fidelma

Fidelma Ray
Owner and Tour Director
CycleWest Ireland
Gortnahowan, Athenry

Co Galway, Ireland

Tel: 353 (0) 91 877323

Website: www.cyclewest.com

 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE

 

We are passionate about our destinations and understand that it has become more important than ever to conserve our landscapes, our wildlife and our culture for future generations to enjoy.

We have always encouraged you to slow down to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Not only to reduce your footprint as you travel but to immerse yourself and experience more from your trip.

 

Living Landscape of the Burren. Image Source: The Burren Beo Trust. 

 

Our bike tours take place at a relaxed pace allowing you, as our guest, to relax and enjoy the slow pace of the journey. As we become more aware of our eco footprint, it is important for us to bring you new ways to travel mindfully and slowly.

 

Winter Cycling,  Image Source – Shutterstock

It is not just about the pace, but about truly absorbing the landscape, creating a connection with something that not everyone else may have seen.  Your travel time is precious to us and we encourage you to experience and enjoy each moment.

 

Enjoy a traditional Irish music session in a local village pub. 

 

Our slow travel is about choosing to go to the lesser seen sights. Slow Travel is about immersing yourself in a local culture and local life, so you can connect to a place and its people and feel more enriched by the experience.

‘Rolling through a country rather than over it’, as author Ed Gillespie describes in his book ‘Only Planet’

 

Gregans Castle Hotel, Featured in ‘Road Trip, The Burren’ – National Geographic Traveler, December 2018.

 

Our accommodations  have been hand picked for their slow pace and pride of place. They embrace their surrounds and local culture in their decor, food and activities.

You will enjoy that they are locally owned and run, and employ local staff. They are involved in giving back to the local community and enable us to do so too.

 

Wild Food Tours and Walks, image source: Wild Kitchen

 

Slow food experiences are also an integral part of our tourism experience. Our tours enable us to showcase local restaurants and pubs, producers, chefs and hosts that truly value our local cultures. You can embrace fresh seafood, locally grown herbs and vegetables, something for everyone’s palate.

 

Doonagore Castle, County Clare, Ireland. Image source: Shutterstock

 

Slow Travel for us is about preserving and sharing our country, heritage and local communities so that we can show you the delights in the detail.

Slow Travel is refreshing, relaxing and enriching.  Come Join us in 2020 – Lets Take it Slowly! For more details, please see our 2020 recommendations at www.cyclewest.com

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year.

 

Fidelma & the CycleWest Ireland team x

Our Great Family Escapes in 2020

Sample our Western Delights in 2020

Find a real fairy fort! Explore the Burren caves. Walk with a hawk. Take ferry boat ride to the Aran Islands. Visit the towering Cliffs of Moher. Ride a Connemara pony. Catch a trout! Come to the West of Ireland and see what fun you can have!

CycleWest Ireland Family Adventures are everything a curious young traveller could dream of. From toddler to teen, there is something wonderful for everyone!  Pedalling along coastline trails, horse back riding, island safaris, catching your first fish: just imagine the stories your family will tell for years to come!

Our family tours are designed to accommodate children aged 2+ with child bike seats and tagalong trailer bikes.  Routes are expecially designed for tiny legs!  Mom and Dad can take extended rides if desired.

See details of our Wild Connemara Family Adventure and our West Coast Family Adventure here.

 

Let us plan your family adventure in Ireland this summer! Please contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details.

Winners of Best Bike Tour 2020

Adventure is a State of Mind!

We hope to see you in 2020!

When our guests are asked which of our Coastal Bike Tours they loved the most, the places where the people are the friendliest, the landscape most awesome and the villages most fun, our  West Coast Guided Adventure tour ranked as number one followed closely by our Scotland Outer Hebrides guided tour.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape around you while we take care of every detail. We personally select the accommodations you stay at, our favourite restaurants and the localvillage pubs as well as the most scenic roads each day!  All you have to do is read on to find your next great escape!

__________________________________

YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS!

Our tours are rated on their scenic landscapes, dramatic history, captivating stories an charming people. From family adventures to honeymoon breaks, there is something for everyone on our list!

Here is our short list for Best Bike Tour of 2020:

 

1. Our West Coast Guided Adventure

Our West Coast Guided Adventure is a short odyssey along the Wild Atlantic Way.  This bike tour includes panoramic viewd from dramatic cliff edges to some of Irelands’ most exhilarating coastal scenery. Explore the Burren and Cliffs of Moher GeoPark; take an island safari to the Aran Islands and onward through the raw and rustic peatlands of Connemara. Here, a warm fireside seat at a traditional music session is waiting for you. 6 day /5 night 5 Ireland Guided Bike Tour, from Euro 1595.00 per person sharing. Early Booking is Advised!

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2. Outer Hebrides 

This amazing coastal and island cycling trip in the Outer Hebrides takes you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions of Scotland. Your journey takes you to  spectacular white sandy beaches, passing rugged mountains and through wild glens. In the Outer Hebrides, you will find the Gaelic language is still spoken and the rich history and culture is very much embraced. 7 day / 6 night Scotland Guided Bike Tour, from Sterling 1865.00 per person. Early Booking is Advised!

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Don’t see what you are looking for? Send us an email to us at tours@cyclewest.com and let us know what you are looking for!