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West Cork & Kerry Safari

West Cork & Kerry Safari

Degree of difficulty - B

A tour that takes in the stunning remote beauty of the Beara peninsula,  the unique beauty of Gougane Barra along with the bustling character of Killarney and its lakes. Shadowed by mountains and adjacent to Muckross National Park, Killarney has been impressing visitors with its dramatic scenery, long before Queen Victoria made it fashionable.

Our Safari winds its way through the National Park, passing by the famous "Ladies View", to bring us to the coast and the picturesque town of Kenmare. We then make our way out along the Beara Peninsula following its Northern Edge with its stunning vistas and colourful villages of Eyeries and Allihies.

Castletownbere offers an obligatory pint at the famous McCarthy's bar before we take in the views and vistas afforded by the southern side of the peninsula. We continue on to the village of Glengarriff which gives us a chance to visit the magnificent Garnish Island.

The serenity of the glacial valley of Gougane Barra is a wonderful overnight stop before completing our loop by returning to Killarney for a final night together.

On arrival in Killarney you should make your way to your accommodation and explore this bustling town. If you have time you could visit Ross Castle a wonderfully restored 16th Century Norman Tower House overlooking Lough Leane. You can even hire a boat from here and row out to a 6th Century monastic site located on one of the nearby islands. Ross Castle is about 1.5 miles from the town.

DAY 2 KILLARNEY TO KENMARE 23 miles / 37 km
The day starts off by following a cycle track into the beautiful grounds of Muckross House. Located on the grounds is a Franciscan Abbey founded in the 15th Century. It is now in ruins but is beautifully situated with a large yew tree rising up through the cloisters. After a stroll around the celebrated Muckross gardens there follows a wonderful cycle along a quiet path between two of the Killarney lakes before we return to the main road. A steady climb up to Molls Gap is rewarded with a delicious lunch in a restaurant with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon we sweep down to the picturesque seaside town of Kenmare. There are longer cycles available if you fancy stretching your legs this afternoon.

You follow a spectacular coast road hugging Kenmare Bay with its wonderful views of the MacGillikuddy Reeks Mountains, before stopping for lunch at a small pub overlooking the bay. In the afternoon you can visit the nearby Dereen Gardens with its amazing variety of flora. Leaving the Gardens you cycle west where you can visit an ancient stone circle or explore the beautiful scenery and quiet back roads of the Beara Way. Castletownbere, where we will spend the next two nights, is nestled at the foot of the Cahas Mountains.

Today’s cycle is a circular route, taking in the Beara Peninsula, one of the week’s highlights, with its twisted mountainscapes and breathtaking coastal scenery. We begin by retracing our route to Eyeries; from here, to our lunch-stop in Allihies, you can really feel you are away from it all, experiencing an undiscovered part of Ireland well away from some of the bustling tourist routes. After lunch you continue cycling around the peninsula with more wonderful views of the ocean. You can detour off the main route for a scenic bike ride to the crossing point for Dursey Island, which can be reached by catching a ride on the only cable car in Ireland. After this interesting detour you return back to the main road and continue on towards Castletownbere, passing the entrance for Dunboy Castle, which is well worth a visit.

You cycle along the shores of Bantry Bay, one of the deepest natural harbours in Europe. Glengariff, meaning “Rugged Glen” occupies a beautifully sheltered position, surrounded by mountains which, together with its mild climate, permits a variety of luxuriant plants to grow. Located just outside Glengarriff is Garnish Island, which was transformed between 1910 and 1913 from a bare limestone rock into a luxuriant garden island, known worldwide for its huge selection of plants and its Italian Garden full of exotic plants. A local regular ferry service provides a non-stop ferry service to the island, as well as water tours of Glengariff Harbour.

Today we head inland and cycle along quiet country roads with rolling fields dotted with grazing cattle and sheep, before arriving at the lakeside retreat of Gougane Barra, Ireland’s first National Park and the source of the River Lee. This is a beautiful peaceful place and an ideal setting for your last night in the countryside before you head back to the hustle and bustle of the great metropolis of Killarney!

For the last day you cycle up into the Coolea region via remote, peaceful mountain roads where you can really feel you are away from it all. You can stop for a cup of tea at Irelands Highest Pub before descending back down into Killarney for a final night on the town. There are a number of hills on the route but you have all day to do the cycling. You will be provided with a more comprehensive route description and map at the start of the tour. There is an option each day for a variety of longer routes. With the exception of the roads in and out of Killarney, the traffic on the route should be quite light. You should however cycle carefully at all times, especially when going downhill.

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

€ 830.00 per person sharing off peak
€ 865.00 per person sharing 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)

€ 635.00 per person sharing off peak
€ 655.00 per person sharing July and August
€ 195.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€ 300.00 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 including pannier bag, repair kit, lock, bottle holder
- Helmet rental (on group tour only)

- Guide in a support van (on group tour only)
- Luggage transfer
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:

Bike helmet on self guided tours (on request only) €10

All tour prices and what's included are listed in the individual tour dossiers

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)


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.


Killarney Inn Killarney Inn1

We stay in some lovely guesthouses close to the centre of Killarney and the famous Muckross Lake.
Above: Killarney Inn, below: Parkfield House

Parkfield House Killarney Parkfield House Killarney1


Brass Lantern Brass Lantern1

In this bustling little village we use the Brass Lantern (above) 
or you might meet the lovely hosts Eilish & Pat in Cahas B&B (below)

Cahas Kenmare Cahas Kenmare1


Sea Breeze Castletownberre Sea Breeze Castletownberre1

These guesthouses offer fantastic seaviews!
Above: Sea Breeze, below: Cottage Heights

Cottage Heights Castletownberre1 Cottage Heights Castletownbre


Arches Glengarriff Arches Glengarriff1

You will enjoy your stay in The Arches Guesthouse in this little town.
and just a short boat trip away from Garnish Island!


Gougane Barra Hotel Gougane Barra Hotel1

One of the highlights of this trip! Gougane Barra is situated on a glacial lake surronded by mountains. 
Be aware, once there you don't want to leave anymore!

How to get to Killarney:
It is possible to fly to Kerry airport,  Cork airport,  Dublin airport or Shannon airport. 

From Kerry airport
Outside the main terminal is a Bus Terminus with services available directly from Kerry Airport to Tralee, Killarney and Limerick linking into the Bus Eireann network. Tickets for all bus services may be purchased on-board the bus.
You can visit the main BusEireann website for full timetables

From Cork airport
From Cork Airport, you can take the 226 to Parnell Place Bus Station, the main bus station for Cork city.
From here you can take a bus to Killarney,  you can visit the Bus Eireann website for more details
You can also take a train from Cork city to Killarney,  timetable and details are on the Irish Rail website 

From Shannon airport:
First you need to take a bus to Limerick city, and there you will transfer to another bus to Killarney town 
Check BusEireann for info or GetThere.ie for bus timetables

You can also take a train from Limerick city to Killarney,  but the train time on this route is not always quicker! 
All details are on the IrishRail website

From Dublin airport:
There are Bus services direct from Dublin airport to Killarney town. Check BusEireann for more information

Alternatively take the Airlink shuttle service into Dublin city and transfer to get train to Killarney. 
( Take note that the airlink bus requires exact change and the cost for a single ticket into the city centre is currently €7 )

The train to Killarney from Dublin takes approx 4hrs. Details on IrishRail )  

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

Tour map

We enjoyed our ride. Everything went well, with mountains, Guinness and glimpses of the ocean. Thank you again for your help. cycling in Ireland is a great experience.

J. Friedman (West Cork & Kerry 2016)

We enjoyed our West Cork and Kerry tour. The cycling holiday went very, the areas we got to visit were beautiful and well worth the long cycle. The accommodations were great and the breakfasts also. Thank you.

Belinda Ritchie (West Cork & Kerry 2016)

The trip was well organised, the B&B\'s were lovely and friendly and well placed and our luggage arrived safely each evening! The route was very well thought out and passed through gorgeous scenery. The itinerary was very comprehensive and we didn\'t take a wrong turn once! We were also blessed with amazing weather, glorious sunshine every day so we were very lucky!

Cathy Darbyshire (West Cork Kerry short break 2014)

It was an amazing trip. Our entire family loved the trip and would consider doing another biking trek with your company.

Eve R. (West Cork Kerry customized 2014)

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Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

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


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Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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