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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. 

Beara Peninsula Bike Tour

Our Beara Peninsula bike tour in West Cork is possibly one of the most scenic tours in Ireland. Experience the unspoiled beauty of the sourrounding landscape and visit picturesque villages, including Kenmare, Castle

 

Dursey

Bantry ~ Allihes ~ Glengariff ~ Castletownbere
8 Days/ 7 Nights Self Led Bike Tour, from Euro 995.00 per person 

The Beara Peninula in Ireland’s West Cork, is an ancient, magical region where the power of the past is ever-present and the present just blooms with welcome for you the visitor. Laden with magnificent landscapes and history, the Beara peninsula is a special region and worthy of exploration.The rugged road that follows the coast along the Beara peninsula, on the SouthWestern coast,  is one of the most scenic in Ireland. The Beara Peninsula is quite remote and has remained perhaps the most unspoilt part of the south west region of Ireland, and like the peninsulas to the north, is a magical world of mountains and lakes surrounded by a picturesque coastlinet.  The Beara peninsula is possibly the least travelled but the most beautiful of the Kerry and Cork peninsulas.

Day 1: Welcome to West Cork!

Your tour starts in Bantry, West Cork. Famous in song, Bantry is located at the mouth of Bantry Bay. A trip welcome pack, itinerary, route directions and maps will await you at your first nights accommodations in Bantry.  Collect your bikes and, if time allows, take a short cycle around the town to get a “feel” for your surroundings. We recommend a visit to Bantry House and Gardens. The Desmesne, with panoramic views over Bantry Bay has been in the White family since the mid 1700′s and has a colourful history. Tearooms are open. A CycleWest Ireland favourite spot! Overnight in Bantry.

Allihies-Header-Slide

Day 2: Bantry loop

Today’s bike ride is a looped trip that takes you onto the Sheeps Head Peninsula following the spectacular “Goat’s Path” on the northern shores of this peninsula to Kilcrohane. From there you return along the southern shores to Durrus, renowned for some wonderful locally produced food, Durrus Irish Farmhouse Cheese being the most well known. We recommend a lunch stop at the Good Things Cafe located by the water in the village. It is part of the Durrus Cookery School. Aware winning chef, Carmel Summers uses only the finest local and seasonal ingredients. Return to Bantry for your overnight stay. Distance: 52kms/ 32 miles. Max. Ascent: 220m

Day 3: Bantry to Glengarriff

Leaving Bantry behind you, today’s cycle takes you on a lovely route to the beautiful Gougane Barra, meaning ‘the rock of Barra’, named after Saint Finbarr, who is said to have built a monastery on an island in the lake nearby during the 6th century. Today, the island is the site of a small oratory with ornate stained glass windows. The natural beauty of the lake and mountains is breathtaking. Spend some time in the forest park with its woodland walks and nature trails. Continue along the coast to Glengariff, which takes its named from the nearby Glengarriff Forest  (loosely translated as: rough glen) containing some of the oldest and most extensive oak and birch groves left in Ireland. Overnight in Glengarriff. Distance: 56kms/ 35 miles. Max. Ascent: 250m.

Day 4: Glengarriff to Lauragh

You might consider taking a boat trip from Glengariff to Garnish Island. Garnish is world renowned for its gardens which are laid out in beautiful walks and it has some stunning specimen plants which are rare in this climate. You can ake the Garnish Island Ferry from Glengarriff Pier to visit this amazing island garden. The very sheltered ferry trip includes a wonderful visit to seal island where you will visit the very tame seal colony. (Perhaps add an extra day to your itinerary to fully appreciate this day).

Cycling north from Glengarriff, you have a beautiful route over the “Caha Pass” a magnificent road through the mountains with wonderful views towards the Ring of Kerry. Descending onto the northern shores of the peninsula you cycle to Lauragh for your overnight. Overnight and dinner in Lauragh. Distance: 45kms/ 28 miles. Max. Ascent: 390m.

Beara-Peninsula-Header-Slid

Day 5: Lauragh to Allihies

Today your bike ride follows the northern coast by Coulagh Bay, with views of Miskish Mountain to the south, through the picturesque village of Eyeries, famous for its colorful houses.  Along the route there is ample evidence of ancient habitation with numerous standing stones, cairns and ancient burial sites. A twisting route with wonderful scenery. From there you continue to the tiny village of Allihies, reputed, by folklore, to be the spot where the four ‘Children of Lír’ came ashore after spending 300 years adrift on the Atlantic. The area was once noted for its copper mines and evidence of the long-ceased activity still remains.  Overnight in Allihies. Distance: 44kms/ 27 miles. Max. Ascent: 100m.

Day 6: Allihes to Castletownbere and Dursey Island

Your route today takes you to the Dursey Sound where a trip to the glorious Dursey Island can be taken by cable car.  Remember to pack a picnic lunch! Spectacular sea views – looking out to the Bull Rock (and its Lighthouse), Cow and Calf Rocks , the Skelligs and the wild Atlantic Ocean. Bull Rock  is reputed to be the site of Teach Doinn (‘the house of Donn’ ~ Irish God of the underworld) and it is here that souls wait to enter his domain.   Back on the mainland – you continue cycling east to finish in the fishing port of Castletownbere.   Take a walk on the expansive wharf where you will find lots of things of interest, from fishing boats to net mending. Overnight in Castletownbere.  Distance: 38kms/ 24 miles. Max. Ascent: 150m

Day 7: Castletownbere to Glenarriff

Today you have the option to take your bike over to Bere Island for a cycle around this beautiful place adding 14kms onto your day. The area is the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s 1943 novel Hungry Hill named for the mountain of the same name which is the highest peak in the Caha Mountains. From Castletownbere you then cycle east through Adrigole – with an option here to go kayaking if you wish. Continuing east ~ you finish your cycle back in Glengarriff. Overnight in Glengarriff. Cycle Details – Distance: 38kms/ 24 miles. Max. Ascent: 220m

Day 8: End of tour

After a farewell Irish breakfast you are then free to take the bus back to Cork & continue your onward journey from there.

Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details or to book this tour. 

Gourmet Ireland Bike Tour

Our Gourmet Ireland Bike Tour is a triple delight, blazing a new trail in luxury biking in the West of Ireland. This is one of Ireland’s surprises for the discerning traveller.

The Burren~Aran Islands~Connemara
Gregans Castle ~ Inis Meáin Suites~Ballynahinch Castle
Luxe Country Lodge, Island Retreat & Castle Hotel
7 Days / 6 Nights Self Led Bike Tour

Introduction

Explore the limestone plateaus with breathtaking views over the Burren mountain’s and Galway Bay, onward to Inis Meain, Aran Islands and continue to Connemara where you cycle through remote mountain passes, beaches and lakes. The surprise element of Our Wild Atlantic Way Bike Tour is the award winning, luxury accommodations and the gourmet delights that await you at the end of each day! Some of Ireland’s top chefs and restaurants at each of our chosen locations.

Come join us on this terrific Wild Atlantic Adventure and let your imagination do the rest…..

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Our Wild Atlantic Way bike tour  provides you with a terrific biking experience through the spectacular vistas of Galway Bay, the historical Burren, the Aran Islands and scenic Connemara and blends this with award winning menus and Chef’s tastings at the end of each day. Immerse in the history, the culture and local produce of the West of Ireland: a magical combination.

In the Burren, you will the Cliffs of Moher Geopark experience,  stone forts, monuments, alpine and arctic flowers and plants that grow side by side, the seeds having been deposited by glacier millions of years ago. This is the mystical land of disappearing rivers and lakes, closed valleys, caves and limestone pavements. You may even find a real fairy fort! Sample local farmhouse cheeses, smoked Burren Salmon, organic. locally grown produce, burren beef and much more.

Inis Meáin, The Aran Islands, a timeless island in an endless sea showcases weathered monuments, great labyrinths of limestone, quiet beaches and a welcoming island people. As the least developed of the three Aran Islands, its landscape, culture, and history can be explored in peace and at the visitor’s own pace.

“I have decided that Ireland is my favorite place on Earth! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the bike tour. It was so beautiful and amazing! I really want to go again”. Kelly Christensen, Colorado

Day 1: Welcome to the Emerald Isle!
Here you begin our celebrated tour of the West Coast of Ireland: the Burren region, the Aran Islands and Connemara. We meet in the village of Ballyvaughan at you first overnight tour accommodation. Further details and transfer options will be sent to you upon booking your tour. Welcome meeting and bike fit out with briefing in the late afternoon. You will spend the next two nights here in Ballyvaughan in the heart of the Burren at the Award winning Gregan’s Castle Hotel (2 nights). Warm Up Bike Ride: 12 miles

DAY 2: Castles and Caves
This day is designed a leisurely day to bring you into the heart of the Burren, explore Ailwee Caves and the Wild Bird sanctuary where you can watch the falcons fly. A day of history and scenery, of ancient ring forts and dolmans. Onward to the environmental initiative of The Burren – the Burren Interpretative Centre in Kilfenora. Discover a world of wildlife, folklore, ancient archaeology and wonderful plant life. Explore Kilfenora Cathedral and Celtic High Crosses. Overnight in Ballyvaughan at Gregan’s Castle Hotel. Daily Miles: Minimum 22

DAY 3: Moonscapes and Music
A leisurely ride along one of the most scenic coastal routes taking you to the towering Cliffs of Moher. The flaggy shoreline, Fanore Beach and Blackhead Lighthouse are amongst just some of the points of interest you view along the route this morning. An afternoon ferry ride from the village of Doolin will take you to the historical and remote Inis Meáin Island, where Gaelic is the spoken language. This is a visit you will treasure long after your visit to Ireland. Overnight for the next two nights at Inis Meáin Suites. Daily miles: 19 miles & ferry boat ride

DAY 4: Island Exploration
As the island is just 5km by 3km, it is easily explorable by foot and bicycle. explore the many internal roads which wind through tiny stone-walled fields. The island is a haven for outdoor types looking for a “get away from it all” experience in a unique landscape. Home to a close-knit irish-speaking community, the island features many historical and cultural sights of note, and inspiring natural terrain including beaches, cliffs, and limestone karst hosting unusual, wild, flora and fauna. Shopping at the world-renowned Inis Meáin Knitting Company factory store and socializing in the traditional island pub add to the attraction of Inis Meáin as a refreshing and unique destination. The Island also offers Pre-Christian stone forts, beehive huts, ancient burial grounds, Synge’s house, Harry Clarke Studio stained-glass windows, and many more. Daily Miles: walking, hiking and biking mix today

Day 5: Ferry Boats and Foxes
Mid Day departure from the Aran Islands to the Rosaveal ferry port. You traverse a route bordered by heather and bracken, through scenery that is wild and barren. Picnic lunch is possible en route followed by a bike ride through the rugged Twelve Bens mountains towards the rugged coastline. Overnight in Recess, Connemara at one of Ireland’s favourite hotels: Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Daily miles: Minimum mileage of 36 miles with extensions possible.

DAY 5: Seascapes and Sandcastles
Early morning start to Roundstone village, the most picturesque fishing harbour in Connemara where traditional Galway Hooker, lovingly cared for over the years, can be seen on Bertraghboy Bay. Coastal loop ride via Roundstoneand  Ballyconneely village ~ stunning beaches at Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse, perched on the water’s edge. Bike to the Alcock and Brown monument, dedicated to the first transatlantic flight in 1919 from New Foundland. Returning to Clifden via Ballynahinch Castle hotel by way of the scenic bog road where sheep are your only distraction! Overnight in Connemara at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Daily miles: minimum 25

DAY 6: Departure
Today, sadly, today we bid you farewell. This morning you depart from Clifden to your next point. We can assist you with any planning, be it rail, flight or car hire. Please also see our ‘trip arrival and departure’ instructions’ for transport options.

 

 

 

Coast to Coast Scotland Bike Tour

Trip Highlights

  • A stunning Coast to Coast Scotland bike tour from Aberdeen to Applecross
  • Quiet roads, testing climbs and superb descents in stunning landscapes.
  • Scenic Cairngorms National Park.
  • Boat tour on the Iconic Loch Ness.
  • Amazing mountains of Torridon.
  • Fully supported

Aberdeen ~ Cairngorms National Park ~ Lough Ness ~ Applecross ~ Inverness

Duration: 7 Days/ 6 Nights
Price: from £1,795 per person sharing

Coast to Coast Scotland Bike Tour

ITINERARY

This stunning Coast to Coast Scotland bike tour is not for the faint-hearted. It is a biking adventure that will take you on a coast to coast journey, from Aberdeen to Applecross and Inverness.

A combination of challenging climbs, magnificent descents offering stunning scenery each day. Combine this with along with a variety of quintessential cultural experiences, ranging from castles and distilleries to a fantastic boat trip trip along Loch Ness, this is sure to be holiday to remember.

Day 1: Aberdeen to Ballater

Early morning meet and greet at Aberdeen Train Station this morning. We begin our journey across Scotland.  A transfer takes us to our start point, on the shores of the North Sea. We begin with a  group welcome, bike fit out and a briefing from your guide. This is followed by a bike ride along the quiet South Deeside roads, arriving at the scenic village of Banchory in time for a riverside lunch.  The riverside bike ride continues,  along the River Dee, leading us to the village of Ballater. A wlecome dinner awaits. (L, D)

Distance: 64km / 40 miles, Ascent: 670m / 2,189ft

Coast to Coast Scotland Bike Tour

Day 2: Biking in Cairngorms National Park

This morning, there are a few hills, including some challenging climbs rewarded with superb descents. Climbing over the Lecht pass you take a break Tomintoul village, the highest village in the Highlands. It’s also home to one of Scotland’s best whisky shops which is well worth a visit. This is followed with an easy end of day ride to the village of Grantown on Spey and your overnight stay. (B, L, D)

Distance: 93km/ 58 miles Ascent: 1342m/ 4,405ft

Day 3: Grantown-on-Spey to Fort Augustus

Today starts easily with a pleasant ride through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge.  Following a fantastic country road, we climb over the challenging Garbole where the views of the Highlands open up. A quick descent to the village of Farr, followed by quiet backroads alongside the iconic shores of Loch Ness. We love our 5 mile descent to end the day, dropping us down to the shores of Loch Ness. From here, we transfer to our accommodation in the village of Drumnadrochit.  A well earned dinner awaits. (B, L, D)

Distance: 88km/ 55 miles Ascent: 1009m/ 3,312 ft

Day 4:  Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

This morning is a restful start. Mid-morning, we board a zodiac for a high speed trip on Loch Ness, passing historical Urquhart Castle, nestled on the shores of the loch. This is followed with a bike ride  along a lovely road alongside the River Glass.  We wind our way through the countryside to our accommodation secluded in the hills above Contin. (B, L, D)

Distance: 65km/ 41 miles Ascent: 594m/ 1,950 ft

Coast to Coast Scotland Bike Tour

Day 5: Into West Highlands

This morning we climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg, rewarded with one of the finest views right down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree. This descent is an absolute blast on a perfect road surface arriving at Kinlochewe. Late afternoon we ride  through the dramatic Glen Torridon. Here, the scenery offeres us the majestic mountains of Liathach and Beinn Eighe. We gently climb across the watershed, we get our first glimpse of the west coast. We end the day in the village of Shieldaig, your overnight stay. (B, L, D)

Distance: 69km/ 43 miles Ascent: 596m/ 1,958 ft

Day 6: The Applecross Peninsula

This mornings ride is a coastal one from Torridon to Shieldaig. We continue south through the hills on a winding single track road reaching the start of our final, challenging climb: The Bealach na Ba. Alpine in nature, this route crosses the rugged peak of Beinn Bhàn. Starting from sea level and rising through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626m (2,054ft) over a 6 mile climb. From the summit the views are panoramic, stretching accross the sea downhill all the way to the coast and journey’s end. Your Coast to Coast journey ends with a celebratory lunch at the legendary Applecross Inn. With views over the sea to the Isle of Skye, it’s the perfect end to an amazing trip.  (B, L, D)

Distance: 40km/ 25 miles Ascent: 973m/ 3,193 ft

Coast to Coast Scotland Bike Tour

Day 7: Farewell

Sadly today we bid you farewll. This morning we will have a leisurely breakfast before transferring to Inverness. The journey takes us around 1.5 hours, arriving into the city around 12 noon. You continue with your onward journey from here. (B)

Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details and booking information. 

See more Scotland Road Cycling Itineraries > READ MORE

 

Treasures of the Highlands

MULTI-ACTIVITY FAMILY ADVENTURE

Self Drive Tour
7 days, 6 nights from £1,065 pps

This activity filled family adventure promises to be a big hit for all of the family. Immerse the family is a land of myths and legends, castle ruins, spectacular scenery and wildlife. Enjoy sea kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and all with knowledgeable guides. All activities are suitable for beginners.

 

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE FORT WILLIAM

Your adventure begins at Fort William, a great location to use as a base for exploring the West Highlands. As this is a self-drive itinerary, you make your way to Fort William in the West Highlands. If you are coming from Edinburgh or Glasgow, you can drive via the stunning Glencoe valley. Or, if you are starting from Inverness, you will drive along the banks of Loch Ness. Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands and is nestled  in the shadow of Ben Nevis. . Settle into your B&B accommodation and overnight.

DAY 2: THE HARRY POTTER STEAM TRAIN

A relaxing day to recover from your journey. After breakfast, don your wizard cloaks and grab your wands and jump aboard the Jacobite Steam Train – also known as the Hogwarts Express – the Harry Potter steam train –  to enjoy one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Sit back and enjoy the immense and spectacular landscape as you cross the famous Glenfinnan viaduct on your way west. A lunch stop in the fishing port of Mallaig provides the perfect break  before you return to Fort William.
(B)

 

DAY 3: SEA KAYAKING TO DESERT ISLANDS

Your first adventure activity is today’s sea kayaking on the beautiful coastline, in the Sound of Arisaig.  Here we will find lots of tiny desert islands, quite possibly with hidden treasure buried somewhere! This beautiful stretch of water offers excellent sea kayaking in fairly sheltered waters. It is also an excellent place for seeing marine wildlife such as seals, otters or even dolphins. You will have lots of breaks during the day to ensure that no-one gets too tired. Late afternoon, return to Fort William. (B)

DAY 4: CANOEING IN THE GREAT GLEN

A fun day, starting and finishing near Fort William. Your first stop will be Neptune’s Staircase – the impressive series of 8 canal lock-gates where the Caledonian Canal meets the shore of Loch Eil. Here you collect your canoe equipment and start with a canal-side briefing on how to paddle canoes. Then jump in and paddle north up the canal, enjoying the easy paddling on the calm canal waters and the beautiful views of the  hills, including the north face of Ben Nevis – the highest peak in Scotland. On reaching Gairlochy you’ll be collected and transferred back to the start point. Fort William.

 

DAY 5: CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK – MOUNTAIN BIKING

Driving east this morning to the Cairngorms National Park, 1 hour & 30 minutes away,  you have time to stop for a short walk or visit a whisky distillery. Grab lunch and then you meet your guide and pick up your bikes. We’ll take our mountain bikes on an off-road journey thorugh ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of Rothiemurchus Estate. through the ancient forests, seeking out the wildlife as we ride. The trails  are well-known for wildlife, including reindeer, golden eagles, red deer, squirrels and ospreys. All in all la great biking day through magnificent scenery.

DAY 6: HIKING AND TREASURE HUNTING

During the week you will have been collecting clues as part of your great treasure hunt! Today is teh day to find the treasure! So today is the day you try our geocaching – learning basic navigation skills and then using them, combined with the clues we have already gathered, to find the treasure. So today, we take you on a guided hike, geocaching and treasure hunting along the way. Tonight, enjoy your last night in the Cairngorms.

DAY 7: DEPARTURE… OR CONTINUE WITH AN EXTENSION

Sadly today we bid you all farewell. You begin your journey home. Or if you prefer to remain in the area and do some additional exploring, we are happy to be of assistance in planning your extended stay.

Wild Connemara Guided Tour

Wild Connemara Guided Bike Tour

6 days / 5 nights, guided tour.                                               

Our Wild Connemara Guided tour is a splendid bike tour of Connemara’s remote back roads. Here the magnificent landscapes consist of some of the most dramatic settings in the West of Ireland. Enjoy off the beaten track routes and spectacular cycling. It features fresh seafood and local produce as well as an array of wonderful accommodations.

The introductory drive we take to the heart of Connemara from Galway City has been described as one of the top ten drives in the world (Conde Nast Traveller) and our journey gets better from there!

DAY 1: Untamed Landscapes
After arrival in Galway, we transfer to the heart of Connemara, where your tour begins. En-route we visit the carefully restored Aughanure Castle.  You will also learn of Grainuaile, Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland’s west. Her family castle ruins dominate the coastline from Ballyconneeley to Achill Island. We arrive in Clifden or Ballynahinch, depending on your accommodation choice. Here we have an introductory briefing and bike fit out.

DAY 2: Seascapes and Stunning Coastline
An early morning start takes us to Roundstone village. Described the most picturesque fishing harbour in Connemara. We visit Malachy Kearns Musical Instrument workshop. This is the home of the traditional Bodhran. Departing Roundstone to Ballyconneely village via stunning beaches at Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay. We follow the rugged coastline to Ballyconneely, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse, the region’s longest established smokehouse. We then take the scenic ‘bog road’ home – where sheep are our only distraction! Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant specializing in local seafood. Overnight in Clifden or Ballynahinch, depending on your accommodation choice.
Daily Miles: from 15 miles, with longer routes from 22 – 37 miles.

DAY 3: Carpe Diem
This morning you have time to relax and explore the little galleries, bookstores and shops of Clifden. Optional activities today include golf  or a pony riding. Others may choose to spend the morning or afternoon fly fishing at Ballynahinch Castle. Heading out, we bike the Sky Road on our way to Connemara National Park and Letterfrack village/ We arrive at the splendid neo-gothic Kylemore Abbey in time for a home baked lunch. We continue through the Lough Inagh Valley – described as one of the most beautiful valleys in Ireland or to the Renvyle Penninsula, a vista of pink and purple, wild fuchsia, and ocean. Overnight at Lough Inagh Valley or Renvyle Peninsula depending on your accommodation choice.        Daily Miles: from 19 miles, with the average miles to day covering 32- 45 miles. Extensions available.

DAY 4: Sand, Sea and Sky.
This morning’s ride takes you through a stunning vistas of peatlands, lakes, and forests and around the Killary Fjord, Ireland’s only fjord. Passing through Tully Cross village and onward by Lettergesh beach we spin through some amazing landscapes. We also have the opportunity to stop by an area of bog. Here you will see where peat is still cut and harvested by local farmers.  We spend tonight in Leenane village. Here you have the opportunity to celebrate the day at the Connemara Seaweed Baths, one of  the only salt water seaweed baths in the West of Ireland.
Daily miles: Day’s average 22 miles with extensions up to 42 miles.

Day 5: Clew Bay Biking
Immerse yourself in your surrounds this morning. We spin through a mountain pass between Mweelrea, Connemara’s highest mountain and the Sheefry Hills. We reach Louisburgh, a quiet, traditional village in time for lunch. We then continue westward along the beautiful shoreline of Clew Bay. This afternoon offers the opportunity to climb the famous holy mountain of Croagh Mountain in county Mayo. Otherwise we recommend adding an extra day in Westport and allowing time to do this climb. The hike up the 784m mountain offers fantastic views of Clew Bay where you will see Ireland’s best example of sunken drumlins. Cycle onward to the lively heritage town of Westport, a charming planned town with a unique blend of the old and new, where you will spend tonight.    Daily Miles: days average miles 22, with optional challenging extension ride over the Sheefry Hills.

DAY 6: Slán go fóill!
Today, sadly, today we bid you farewell. This morning you depart from Westport to your next point. We can assist you with any planning, be it rail, flight or car hire.

 

Mediterranean Flavours of Puglia

Our Mediterranean Flavours of Puglia Bike tour is a journey that reflects all that is authentic, culturally rich, sustainable and superlative in the world of travel today.

Pulgia Trulli

Alberobello ~ Ostuni~ Lecce
7 Day/ 6 Night, Guided Tour

From Euro 2800.00 per person sharing. 

This southern corner of  Italy’s ‘heel’ is an exotic and unique region due to its historic interaction with Greek, Norman and Arab cultures . These blended influences can still be seen today, most notably in the surviving vernacular architecture – with  its Romanesque churches Baroque towns and charming Trulli, squat houses of whitewashed stone and unusual conical roofs.  This culturally rich and authentic heritage has led in part to Puglia being named one of National Geographic’s Best of the World travel experiences. This trip takes you along coastal roads through Adriatic fishing ports then inland past olive groves, vineyards and grazing sheep. It also offers you the chance to enjoy the region’s exceptional cuisine with its abundant seafood, fresh vegetables, homemade pasta and outstanding bread.

Day 1: Welcome to Puglia!

Arrive in Monopoli, a coastal town with a beautiful aragonese castle before setting off to check into your rooms at your first luxury hotel in the countryside. Meet and greet with your guides during your bike-fitting session. Overnight at il Melograno, Monopoli, a beautiful 17th century Masseria. Distance: 20 km/12,5 miles

Il-Melograno-2

Day 2: Polignano & Castellana grotte

After setting off from Monopoli we pedal through groves of olive trees to the spectacular cool limestone caves of Grotte di Castellanna . Following this, we cycle to Polignano a Mare, a postcard perfect whitewashed village overlooking the Adriatic: be sure to explore the old town’s narrow winding streets and marvel at the incredible views of the bright blue sea. Return to your charming Masseria for a poolside apertif. Distance: 50km/31 miles

Day 3: Alberobello & Ostuni

Cycle along rolling country roads lined with ancient stone walls through the fertile Valle d’Itria (Itria valley). Your goal is Alberobello, a UNESCO world heritage site known for its unique historic architecture consisting of whitewashed trulli with conical roofs dating back to the 13th century. Afterwards, follow the coastal panoramic road through the towns of Savelletri, Torre Canne and up to Ostuni. Overnight at Ostuni Palace, a four star luxury hotel in the centre of charming Ostuni. Distance 58km/ 36 miles.

Day 4: Martina Franca & olive oil  tasting

Your highlight today is a loop bike ride to the picturesque Martina Franca.  This historic walled hill town is reached following a ride along roads  dotted with olive groves, vineyards, maquis shrub and ancient oak trees to Carovigno and Ceglie Messapica, and is  a must-see town for its marvelously intact historic center, Baroque architecture, and stunning palazzo. This region is famous for the quality of its olive oil, which you will get to sample following a ride to Frantoio d’amico, for a tasting and lunch. Return to Ostuni for dinner at Taverna della gelosia.  Distance 95km/ 59 mikes.

Day 5: Winery Liveli & Lecce 

Take a leisurely ride from the Ostuni to Cellino San Marco and Liveli, one of Puglia’s most renowned wineries. After a tour with the vineyard’s expert oenologist,  enjoy lunch & wine tasting in a dining room overlooking the aging barrels. Following this, continue on to the pink city Lecce, often referred to as the gem of Apulia. In Lecce, you stay at the luxury heritage residence, the Risorgimento Resort. Distance 62 km/38,5 miles.

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Day 6: Santa Cesarea & Zinzalusa

Today, take a coastal route along the Adriatic, pausing at the wonderful historic seaside town of Otranto. Discover beautiful spots and striking views including brightly painted houses and the fortress walls overlooking the south bank of the harbor.  Pedaling on we pass Santa Cesarea, famed 16th century since the  for its hot springs and  the striking Grotta Zinzalusa sea cave. Return to Lecce for your overnight stay. Farewell Dinner at Le due Corti, known for its authentic local food. Distance 55 km/34 miles.

Day 7:  Arrivederci ancora!

After a farewell breakfast, enjoy sightseeing in  the beautiful baroque town of Lecce.

2019 departure: October 20th – 26th

CONTACT US FOR PRIVATE TOURS. 

Please contact us at tours@cyclewest.com to book this tour.

Bike the Cotswolds and More

BIKE THE COTSWOLDS AND MORE….
Cotswolds ~ Windsor ~ Oxford ~ Stratford

6 day / 5 night Self Guided Bike Tour

Cotswold-Cottage

INTRODUCTION

Our new Bike The Cotswolds and More Bike tour takes you through the beautiful English countryside and explores a host of iconic places.

From London to Windsor, Oxford, Churchill’s Blenheim Palace, Shakespeare’s Stratford and the Cotswolds. See the REAL England in all its glory.

DETAILED ITINERARY:  6 Day /5 Night Journey

Day 1: Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet in Oxford, which is about 1 hour outside of London (trains go directly from London Paddington to Oxford Station). We will fit you with your bikes, give you maps, GPS and written instructions and give you a safety briefing.

Ride out of Oxford and stop for lunch in Woodstock, home of Winston Churchill and then head into the Cotswolds. The day ends at the beautiful market town of Moreton in Marsh.

Daily Mileage: 33 miles (shorter options available)

Day 2: Stratford-Upon-Avon

With beautiful ride through the North Cotswolds, through Chipping Campden, and the amazing American inspired Hidcote Gardens you will arrive in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the early afternoon.

Stratford-Upon-Avon-Map-Det

In Stratford, you’ll get a chance to learn about the life of the great playwright William Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon stands where a Roman road forded the River Avon (Upper Avon), and a 19th-century bridge still spans the river alongside a 15th-century arched stone bridge. Shakespeare was born in 1564 in a half-timbered house on Henley Street. He attended the local grammar school adjoining the medieval Chapel of the Guild of the Holy Cross. In 1597 Shakespeare returned from London to the house known as New Place, where he died in 1616. His grave is in the parish church of Holy Trinity. Daily Mileage: 20-40 miles

Day 3: Bike the Cotswolds

A day dedicated to the Cotswolds, a renowned rural area of south central England covering parts of 6 counties, notably Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. It’s rolling hills and grassland harbour thatched medieval villages, churches and stately homes built of distinctive local yellow limestone. The 102-mile Cotswold Way walking trail follows the Cotswold Edge escarpment from Bath in the south to Chipping Campden in the north.

Chipping Camden Sheep

You bike to the stunning Broadway Tower at the northernmost extreme of the Cotswolds, see the stunning lavender fields at Snowshill and after lunch visit the Slaughters, the Swells and some of the best known and iconic treats the Cotswolds has to offer. Overnight in Moreton in Marsh where you have the opportunity for a half day out the saddle to explore the village. Daily Mileage: 20-30 miles

Day 4: Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace, the World heritage site, is arguably England’s greatest Palace. The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim has an illustrious history, stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown. Your route travels through the stunning Cotswolds right into the Palace and its magnificent grounds.

Routes from 20 miles through to over 40 miles as desired. Overnight is at the stunning Lamb in Burford. Daily Mileage: 20-45 miles

Day 5: The Cotswolds and into Oxford

Through the flatter part of the Cotswolds, and via Bampton, where all the outdoor shots from the well known TV programme, Downton Abbey are shot. You will arrive in Oxford for a full tour of the most famous University City in the World, including Harry Potter and Inspector Morse locations, the magnificent Christchurch College and great atmosphere and pubs! Return to the Lamb in Burford in the evening. Daily Mileage: various routes up to 30 miles

Bike the Cotswolds www.cyclewest.com

Day 6 – The Cotswolds

Today you bike out of the Cotswolds towards White Horse Hill, the Neolithic Ridgeway and the Longbarrow at Wayland Smith. This is a great opportunity to see the Uffington White Horse, the oldest of the English

hill figures. It’s a 3,000-year-old pictogram the size of a football field and visible from 20 miles away.

Encompassing Neolithic history, this is a bike ride that will leave the 21st century behind for a few hours as you uncover the fascinating history of this ancient landscape.

Your tour will end after the trip to White Horse Hill. We will help guests with all ongoing travel arrangements, back into London or to other locations. Daily Mileage: Various routes up to 28 miles 

Cotswolds-Biking-Header-Ima

Accommodation

Guests stay in the best 4* hotels in the Cotswolds region, with unbeatable settings, wonderful accommodation and wonderful food – just see Trip Advisor for The Manor House Hotel.

Further options are available for those who want to stay in a country cottage location or in a selection of hand-picked bed and breakfasts or pubs.

Support and Equipment

Our self-guided tours are designed to be as flexible as possible, with daily options on the length of ride you would like.

The roads are generally very quiet and our drivers really respectful.

All guests will be given a full safety briefing, GPS / Garmin, written instructions and a detailed map and guests choose which method of route planning they require. Panniers are also available.

Should there be a major equipment issue we are on hand (normally within the hour) to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

With a fleet of bikes from Giant and flat bar, drop bar, road, hybrid and e-bike options all bike types are catered for. Helmets as standard, just bring your shoes and pedals if you have them and away you go.

All luggage is transferred between hotels.

CONTACT US TO BOOK:  tours@cyclewest.com or tel + 353 91 877323 for more information.

North by NorthWest Donegal

North by NorthWest Donegal Bike Tour North by NorthWest Donegal Bike Tour

Our breathtaking self guided Donegal bike tour is truly a memorable adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in stunning surrounds, or fancy an exhilarating outdoor adventure, the NorthWestern Headlands of Donegal have it all!

Donegal ~ St Johns Point ~Killybegs  ~ Glencolmcille ~ Adara ~ Donegal
9 Days/ 8 Nights Self Led Bike Tour, from Euro 995.00 per person sharing

With breathtaking scenery, golden beaches, rugged islands and a beautiful array of wildlife, this northern – almost untouched – stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way is an absolute essential, any time of year.

It’s no wonder Donegal was named the ‘Coolest Place on the Planet for 2017’ by National Geographic Traveller.

Day 1: Welcome to Donegal

Your Donegal Bike Tour tour starts in Donegal town.

Be sure to take time to explore Donegal Castle. Built by the O’Donnell chieftains in the 15th Century, beside the river Eske in Donegal Town, the Castle was rebuilt in Jacobean style in the 16th Century by Sir Basil Brooke, after Hugh O’Donnell burnt it to the ground rather than let it fall into enemy hands. Information panels chronicle the history of the castle and guided tours are available.

Day 2: Lough Eske Loop

This morning we meet you and provide you with a full bike fit out and detailed tour briefing.  Following the briefing, today’s  ride takes you along the quiet roads and tranquil shores of Lough Eske,  in the mystical surroundings of the Blue stack mountains.

If you have not had enough time to explore the town ~ you can spend the afternoon browsing and relaxing. Perhaps take a local tour on the Donegal Waterbus and discover the rich history of this region. Relax and enjoy the traditional pubs, music and restaurants in the town tonight. Distance: 26kms/16mi

 

Donegal Bike Tour Donegal Bike Tour

 

Day 3: Donegal to Killybegs

Today, your bike ride takes you west along Donegal Bay.  You pedal the quiet roads of St John’s Point Peninsula following alongside the Atlantic Ocean. View the remains of Rahan Castle and the Killaghtee Cross.

Continue to your overnight destination in the traditional fishing village of Killybegs. Once the second largest fishing port in the county, Killybegs is the gateway to Sliabh Liag one of the signature points on the Wild Atlantic Way noted amongst the highest sea cliffs in Europe with stunning panoramic views across Donegal Bay.  Distance: 39kms/ 24mi. 

 

Slieve League, Co. Donegal, Ireland Slieve League, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Day 4: Killybegs to Carrick

Following the coastline west from Killybegs this morning the scenery becomes quite dramatic. Bike through the village of Kilcar, famous for its production of Donegal Tweed. Just a short ride from Carrick, you will encounter  towering cliffs, golden sandy beaches and breathtaking headlands. Visit the cliffs at Slieve League – one of Ireland’s greatest attractions.

These stunning cliffs are some of the finest marine cliffs in Europe. Accessible all year round and standing 600m tall, the sheer drop down into the crashing Atlantic swells below is quite the sight. Stand on the edge and breathe in deep – guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs!

If you can, take an archaeological tour too; you’ll learn about the region’s rich and interesting history. Be sure to also pay a visit to the nearby Tí Linn craft shop, where you’ll find a gorgeous selection of Irish giftware items, or grab a coffee and cake in the charming Tí Linn Café. If you fancy a maritime adventure, you can gaze up at these immense cliffs from the sea on a local boat tour – which takes you out to meet the area’s friendly dolphins.  Overnight in Carrick, Distance: 47km /29mi.

Day 5: Carrick – Glencolmcille – Carrick Loop

Today you cycle to the valley of Glencolmcille, a place of tremendous natural beauty and changing colours. You will be in awe of the sorrounds today: mountains, lakes, sea cliffs and beaches; a place of quiet roads, stone walls and fuschia-bordered lanes. It is an ancient corner of Ireland witnessed by 5000 years of history, the sites of dwellings and the tombs of the Megalithic period and by the cross inscribed stones of early Christianity. Distance: 33km /22mi.

 

Donegal Sheep in Landscape

Day 6: Carrick to Ardara

This morning you bike through the peatlands and bogs of Donegal.  The region is a colourful palette of heathers, mosses, lichens and rough grasses.

You bike the Glengesh Pass ~ a windy section of road which links Glencolmcille to our beautiful Ardara. This meandering cycle can assault your senses with the magnificent scenery that abounds and bring you back in time. Enjoy the magnificent views before a well earned descent! A pleasant, unspoilt trip that is well worth taking.  Arrive at tonight’s overnight destination, the heritage town of Ardara with its selection of pubs and restaurants. Distance: 22km /13mi.

Day 7: Ardara Loop Ride

The possibilities today are endless. Take the leisurely 8 km bike ride along beautiful Loughros Point. Alternatively, cycle to the golden sandy beach, caves and waterfall at Maghera. A third option is to cycle around Dawros Head. Here you can step back in time to view the Kilclooney Dolmen, and the mystical Doon Lough Fort. The choice is yours!  Or simply take time to enjoy this heritage town.

The town boasts top class blue flag beaches and a first rate links golf course. The name Ard a’ Ratha which means ‘high hill of the fort’ comes from the earthen ring-fort, which crowns the hill to the northeast of the town.

Ardara has been long associated with the tweed and knitwear industries.  From the 1870’s this trade became a cottage industry with home spun and hand dyed woollen and tweed items being created.  The Ardara Heritage Centre, formally the town Courthouse, profiles the development of the tweed industry.  To this day several shops in the town still sell high quality tweed and knitwear.  Distance: up to  37km /29mi. 

 

DonegalBay

 

Day 8: Ardara to Donegal

Cycle back to your starting point in Donegal Town. Cross more wild boglands as you climb out of the town. Great views open up over Donegal Bay with its many headlands and islands. Enjoy one last descent to the pleasant village of Mountcharles. Return to your starting point in Donegal Town, completing your biking tour around the beautiful and historic coast.  Distance: 30km /18mi. 

Day 9: Departure

The final day of your Donegal bike tour brings you back to your starting point in Donegal Town.

From here it’s time to depart, taking with you treasured memories of your biking adventure, the natural wonders and friendly people of Donegal.  Distance: 30km /19mi.

 

Isle of Skye and the Inner Hebrides

Island Hopping through Mull, Iona and Skye on this easy graded road cycling adventure. This self guided bike trip explores the islands on quiet country roads and brings lots of opportunity for cultural encounters, great landscape and stunning island scenery

Inner Hebrides ~ Isles of Skye ~ Mull ~ Iona

7 Days/ 6 Nights Self Guided Plus Bike Tour
From £995 per person sharing *

Trip Details

Our Skye and Inner Hebrides self guided bike tour is the ideal way to explore the iconic Scottish isles by bike.  Take time to soak in the atmosphere of these wild and dramatic landscapes.

Watch the stunning views unfold as you journey from the Isle of Mull, through the wilds of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and on to the fabled Isle of Skye.

This brand new bike trip offers the best rides from place to place, stopping to explore and appreciate places of natural beauty, cultural interest and wildlife sightings. Our carefully chosen accommodation will welcome you at the end of the day. As always you will enjoy the finest Scottish ingredients in your meals – especially the bounty of the sea on this island hopping trip.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Northwest Mull

We will meet at the Oban ferry, you will cross on the ferry to the Isle of Mull. Enjoy the views over the Sound of Mull. On the island, we will undertake a bike check to get everything set up correctly before your first day of riding. Today it is a shorter ride to get warmed up, following a gorgeous coastal road to our accommodation in the village of Dervaig. Here you will spend the next two nights at the oldest inn on Mull. Enjoy local fare of award winning cheese, local ales and island malts as well as home made desserts.

Distance: 24 miles / 38km  Ascent: 1183 ft

Day 2:  Cycling to Iona & the Isle of Mull

Today you transfer to Fionnphort where you board a ferry for the short trip across to Iona. Famed for its monastic history dating back to 563AD,  you get to explore the beautiful village and wonderful Iona Abbey, which has roots older than Scotland itself. Afterwards  transfer back to Mull for our cycle. We’ll follow the coast alongside Loch Scridain towards to the small village of Pennyghael , where we pick up a single track road under the shadow of Ben More, the highest mountain on the Island. After our ride we will have some time to explore some beautiful white shell sand beaches. (B)

Distance: 35 miles / 56 km  Ascent 1702 ft

 

Museum of Island Life, Skye

Day 3:  The Ardnamurchan Peninsula

Today you head to the colourful town of Tobermory and board the ferry across the Sound of Mull to Ardnamurchan – a wild peninsula of the mainland. Back on dry land, the only way is east. You will follow the peaceful and undulating single track roads through the peninsula, watching the views of hills, sea and lochs gradually unfold in this beautiful wilderness. Your destination tonight is the little hamlet of Acharacle, overlooking scenic Loch Shiel. (B)

Distance: 27.8 miles / 43 km  Ascent: 2322 ft

Day 4: The Isle of Skye Via the Road to the Isles

Your journey today follows a classic Scottish route past the Sound of Arisaig before joining The Road to The Isles. The road is winding, almost car-free and beautiful. Passing many gorgeous beaches, we suggest you stop at a local smokehouse to stock up on fish, meats and cheeses for your picnic lunch. After reaching Mallaig you embark on the ferry to cross to the Isle of Skye and transfer to our hotel in Portree. This will be your base for the next 3 nights. (B)

Distance: 35 miles / 56 km  Ascent: 2869 ft

Day 5: Isle of Raasay and Calum’s Road

This morning you ride to the village of Broadford and transfer to the village of Sconser, From here, it is a short hop to the Island of Raasay, located between Skye and the Applecross Peninsula.  Here you cycle on the quiet single track roads, passing through the famous “Calum’s Road”, built almost single-handedly by Calum MacLeod between the mid 1960s and the mid 1970s, with hand tools. In the afternoon you can explore the famous Trotternish peninsula and take in some of Skye’s most iconic sights such as the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing. Two night stay on the Isle of Skye. (B)

Distance: 21 miles / 34km  Ascent: 2,788 ft

 

Glameig from the Isle of Raalsay Distillery (c) Isle of Raasay Distillery

Day Six – Dunvegan Castle and Western Skye

This morning we set out with a ride to ancient Dunvegan Castle on the west of Skye. Delve deep into Scottish history by taking a tour of this ancestral stronghold of the Clan McLeod. Have lunch at a local cafe and then ride the final stage of your trip. This will take you to Neist Point, the most westerly point on Skye. Stunning views of the Outer Hebrides. Transfer back to Portree to enjoy a final evening meal and a wee dram! (B)

Distance: 43 miles / 67 km  Ascent: 3,160 ft

Day 7: Return to Inverness

After breakfast we head back to Inverness, stopping for a photo opportunity at Eileen Donan Castle to break up the journey. (B)