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West Cork Coastline Safari

West Cork Coastline Safari

Degree of difficulty - A/B

A wonderful tour that hugs the coastline all along West Cork.Our starting point is Cork City on the banks for the river Lee. It is the river that provides our inspiration as we begin our journey following backroads along its course to the wonderful glacial lake and hermitage retreat of Gougane Barra.

The fresh salty air of the Atlantic Ocean is our next inspiration as we sweep down towards Bantry Bay and take in the wonderfully remote and unspoilt charms of the Sheep's Head Peninsula. We hug the coastline for the rest of the week takin in the charming villages of Baltimore, Union Hall and Glandore, with the nearby Neolithic stone circle of Drombeg.

The towns of Clonakilty and Kinsale await where the brightly coloured villages compete with each other for your attention, all this connected by sweet scented fushia-lined backroads. The set departure date tours finish up in Kinsale, whereas the self guided tour heads back to Cork city for the last night.

Our guesthouse is located near the Western Road some 15 minutes walk from the centre of the city. We recommend that you take a taxi from the station or airport and check into the guesthouse as soon as you arrive so that you are then free to explore the city. Cork is a very lively town with plenty of music and entertainment and all the major points of interest are within walking distance. If you are arriving early the rooms may not be ready till midday but you can leave your bags here and head into town for a stroll.

DAY 2 CORK TO GOUGANE BARRA 42 miles / 67 kms
After fitting you onto your bicycles, you head out by the banks of the Lee and travel along quiet back roads to a lunch stop in the market town of Macroom. In the afternoon you continue up the Lee Valley through rolling countryside to the wonderfully peaceful Lakeside retreat of Gougane Barra, the source of the River Lee and Ireland’s first National Park.

You cycle down to the coast past fields of grazing cattle and sheep to the bustling coastal town of Bantry where you can stop for lunch. In the afternoon you head out to the beautiful Sheep’s Head Peninsula and cycle along quiet coastal roads with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

DAY 4 AHAKISTA TO BALTIMORE 16 miles / 26 kms
In the morning you cycle along the coast before heading inland through a gap in the mountains back to the coast once again and the village of Schull. You can have lunch in this bustling attractive seaside village. From there you pedal along a warren of backroads to the small fishing village of Baltimore where you will spend the next two nights.

The day can be spent in rest and relaxation or you can take part in a variety of activities including a visit to Cape Clear Island with its stunning views looking back at West Cork. You can go horse riding or hike through the beautiful forest that overlooks the unique Lough Ine, the only salt water lake in North Western Europe. For those who want to experience a unique part of Irish rural life you can take a bus to the local town of Skibereen for the weekly cattle market.

DAY 6 BALTIMORE TO CLONAKILTY 36 miles / 57.5 kms
In the morning you cycle along quiet back roads to the peaceful Lough Ine and then follow the West Cork coast to the village of Glandore where you can have lunch overlooking the beautiful Glandore Harbour with its two islands, Adam and Eve. In the afternoon you can visit a 3,000-year-old stone circle, one of the best examples of its kind in the country, before following another scenic coastal cycle to the bustling town of Clonakilty. You stay overnight in a family run hotel.

DAY 7 CLONAKILTY TO KINSALE 36 miles / 57,5 kms
(set departure dates only - self guided tour finishes in Cork)

In the morning you follow the coast road before heading inland to the village of Timoleague, where you can visit a 15th Century Franciscan Friary. After lunch you continue to the historic town of Kinsale, site of the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. Kinsale is a very colourful cosmopolitan town with a wide range of excellent craft shops. You will spend the last night of the tour in this colorful little town.

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

€860.00 per person sharing off peak
€895.00 per person sharing July & August
€255.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€395.00 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone on a self guided tour)

Tour Includes

- 7 nights accommodation ( mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal
- Bike rental including a pannier bag, lock, repair kit, bottle holder
- Guide in a support van (on group tour only)
- Helmet rental (on group tour only)

- Luggage transfer
- Route details and maps
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:
Helmet rental on self guided tours (on request only) €10

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.


Garnish House Cork Garnish House Cork1

A short taxi ride from Cork airport, Garnish House adds to a warm welcome to Ireland.
Garnish House is also famous for its award winning breakfast!


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!


Reenmore Ahakista Reenmore Ahakista1

These lovely guesthoueses also offer home cooked food!
Above: Reenmore Farmhouse, below:Bridgeview House

Bridgeview House Ahakista Bridgeview House Ahakista1


Fastnet House Baltimore Fastnet House Baltimore1

Old stone walls, wooden floors and traditional open fire places all add to the warm and cosy atmosphere
of Fastnet House

Corner House Baltimore1 Corner House Baltimore

Bernadette O'Driscoll welcomes you to the Beacon Shore Guesthouse, a friendly family-run guest house right in the heart of Baltimore


ODonovans Clonakilty

ODonovans Clonakilty1

O'Donovan's Hotel or "Óstán Uí Dhonnabháin" is a sixth generation family run hotel in the heart of Clonakilty.

Macliamlodge Clonakilty Macliamlodge Clonakilty1

Macliam Lodge is a well appointed, luxury bed and breakfast, just a 5 minute walk from Clonakilty town centre.


The Anchorage Kinsale The Anchorage Kinsale1

We stay in Kinsale for the last night of our tour.
Above: The Anchorage, below:Tierney's Guesthouse

Tierneys guesthouse Kinsale Tierneys guesthouse Kinsale1

How to get to Cork City:
You can fly direct into Cork airport.  It is also possible to fly to either Dublin airport or Shannon airport. 

From Cork Airport
From Cork Airport, you can take the 226 to Parnell Place Bus Station, the main bus station for Cork city.
For more bus options you can visit the Bus Eireann website 

From Shannon airport:
There is a bus service to Cork city available (Check BusEireann for info or GetThere.ie)
Alternatively you can take a bus just as far as Limerick city ( approx 30 mins ) and take a train from here to Cork ( IrishRail )

From Dublin airport:
You can take a bus direct from the Dublin airport to Cork city available (Check AirCoach for more info)

Alternatively take the Airlink shuttle service into Dublin city and transfer to get a direct train to Cork. 
(Train takes approx 2hrs 40mins. Details on IrishRail )  

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

Tour map

We had an absolutely wonderful time on our cycling tour. I would say it was a dream, but it was better than a dream. Honestly, it was the best trip of my life so far, and I've been raving about Cycling Safaris to everyone back home. The hotels were wonderful, the suggested restaurants were great, and the directions made it so easy to be self-guided.
Thanks for all of your help along the way. From my first inquiry to the day we landed back home, the Cycling Safaris staff was helpful, knowledgeable and accommodating. The roads were well-chosen and the scenery was breathtaking. I also loved having the options to do a longer route or shorter route (the longer routes were always worth the trip!). The equipment never malfunctioned, and all-around I cannot say enough positive things about your company.

Christine Webb (West Cork Coastline 2017)

Our holiday was a remarkable adventure that ranks amongst our best cycle tours we have experienced! 8 cycling days that raised the bar and provided splendid scenery, opportunities to meet the Irish and enjoy the local culinary fare. Irish Cycling Safaris is an excellent touring company that stands by its customers.
We has a wonderful experience!


Paul Gardiner (West Cork Coastline custom self led 2016)

Even without the splendid scenery, this would be a very enjoyable and pleasant tour.  The area is so remote and peaceful and the traffic so light, I felt like I was on a dedicated cycling path for much of the ride.  

Bob Hurley (Cork Coastline self led 2015)

We just returned from 14-21 July guided tour West Cork Coastline and want to let you know we had a wonderful time with our family.  Everything was excellent.

Norbert van den Bos (West Cork Coast group tour 2013)

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

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


Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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