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Bantry Bay was the location for an attempt to spark off rebellion in Ireland by one of the founding United Irishmen, Wolfe Tone and the French navy in 1796. Poor weather forced the fleet to turn back and the rebellion was delayed until 1798.

Ireland Experiences

Beara Peninsula Bike Tour

One of the most scenic tours in Ireland.

Itinerary

Our Beara Peninsula bike tour in West Cork is possibly one of the most scenic tours in Ireland.

 

Dursey

Bantry ~ Allihes ~ Glengariff ~ Castletownbere
8 Days/ 7 Nights Self Led Bike Tour, from Euro 975.00 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. 

What’s Included?

This tour includes

  • 7 nights accommodation. Bed and Full Irish Breakfast. Family run B+B’s,
  • Quality, Hybrid Bikes, ladies and gents, with full back-up service.
  • Luggage transport each moving day
  • Full cycling details and maps of the area.
  • Full cycling descriptions of each suggested days route.
  • Meet and greet telephone contact to assure that all is in order.
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • 24 hrs Emergency/Information contact/back-up number.
  • Airport transfers arranged/booked if required.

What’s not included?

  • Any personal expenses – drinks, medical, gratuities etc.
  • Lunches or evening meals
  • Any extra days/nights
  • Any costs to cycle repairs that are caused by bad care of bicycles whilst in your care
  • Helmet and Water Bottle are NOT provided,

Dates and Pricing

Dates

Start any day of the week. March to September. Subject to availability.

 

Pricing : €995 per person sharing.
Single Supplement : €250.

Pricing for additional days:

If you choose to extend your holiday into a tailor made tour, the rate for an extra night in any of the accommodations is €49.  An extra days cycle hire is €25.

A luggage transfer supplement will apply for a single cyclist booking.

Please contact us at tours@cyclewest.com if you have any queries with regards to specific dates or would like more information.

Helpful Notes

Optional extra days

This tour can be tailored to suit your needs and we can organise a shorter or longer tour depending on your preference. If you are hoping to expand on your time in west Cork, we recommend the following extra days:

  • Day 1: Stay a night in Kilcrohane, allowing you more time to explore the western tip of the Sheeps Head Peninsula.
  • Day 2: Take the opportunity to stay in Kenmare and enjoy time around this magnificent heritage town famous for its handmade lace & wonderful restaurants.
  • Day 3: Stay an extra night in either Allihies or Castletownbere to give sufficient time to explore Dursey or Bere Islands. This is such a fantastic area it is well spending some extra time exploring it.

If you would like to incorporate any of these or another activity into your itinerary, please feel free to contact us at tours@cyclewest.com.

Difficulty level

This tour is suitable for people who cycle regularly. Please contact us if you have any questions!