Ring of Kerry & Dingle Peninsula
Ireland Bike Tour
Cycle Ireland’s West Coast
This Ireland cycling tour offers the most spectacular scenery in the country and is home to Ireland's highest mountain range. Each day presents you with even more stunning scenery as you cycle through majestic mountain ranges and beautiful lakes colored by the yellow gorse and purple heather that grows everywhere. This is one of our hillier tours, but all effort is greatly rewarded with wonderful scenery and colorful night stops.
This great tour starts and finishes in Killarney, shadowed by the MacGillikuddy Reeks and adjacent to the famous Muckross National Park. You will head deep into the Iveragh Peninsula along quiet back roads toward the villages of Sneem and Glenbeigh.
Then, you'll head to the Dingle Peninsula, the most westerly point in Europe, and cycle along the dramatic Slea Head coast amongst Neolithic ruins with a wonderful view out to the Skelling and Blasket Islands. You can rest amongst the great array of shops and restaurants that the colorful town of Dingle has to offer. The weary may pause for a well-earned pint in the famous Dick Macs pub, which doubles up as a cobbler!
After your rest day, Conor Pass will stretch your legs again as you take in the stunning vistas of the peninsula from its lofty perch before enjoying the freewheel lunch and the unique entertainment of the Railway Bar. Your last day’s cycle will take you through the Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley, a fitting finish to this dramatic tour, before ending up all too quickly back in Killarney.
The average daily cycling distance is easily 30 to 40 miles, with longer routes an option each day. The tour is suitable for adults of all ages and fitness levels but the self-led tours are not suited for children under 15 years of age. This particular tour has more hills than the other Ireland tours, and would be recommended for the fitter cyclist.
Where You’ll Stay
Bed & Breakfasts as well as small hotels
- 7 nights’ accommodations
- Full Irish breakfasts
- 1 evening meal
- 21-speed touring bike
- Luggage transfer
- Route details and maps
- Transfer from Glenbeigh to Dingle
- Also included in the Guided tour:
- Guide in a support van
What’s Not Included
- Individual arrival to your first hotel
- Lunches (approx. €10 to €12 per lunch)
- Dinners (approx. €20 to €30 per dinner)
- Self-guided tour: Arrival possible from May through September 2013
- Group tour: May 25, June 22, July 6, and August 17, 2013
- Arrival in Killarney
- Killarney - Sneem, 29 mi. (47 km)
- Sneem - Glenbeigh, 32 mi. (51 km)
- Glenbeigh - Dingle, 30 mi. (51 km)
- Day of rest in Dingle
- Dingle - Killorglin, 43 mi. (69 km)
- Killorglin - Killarney, 40 mi. (64 km)
- Departure from Killarney
DAY 1: Arrival in Killarney
Upon arrival in Killarney you should make your way to your accommodation after 2:00pm. If you get there early the rooms in the B&Bs will not usually be ready until midday so you can leave your luggage at the guesthouse and explore this bustling town. You can then phone our bike mechanic and arrange a time to meet him to collect your bikes (these will already have been pre-booked for you ). The bikes will be in his private home located near your guesthouse. Your route details and maps will be waiting for you in your guesthouse.
If you have time you could visit Ross Castle, a wonderfully restored 16th Century Norman Tower House overlooking Lough Leane. You can even rent 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 Sneem, 29 mi. (47 km)
The tour 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 you return to the main road. A steady climb up to Molls Gap is rewarded with a delicious lunch in the Restaurant with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon you sweep down through more breathtaking scenery to the picturesque village of Sneem.
DAY 3: Sneem to Glenbeigh, 32 mi. (51 km)
Avoiding the main Ring of Kerry road, you cycle across the peninsula. Passing along quiet country roads with stunning views of the surrounding mountains we climb to the beautiful Gap of Ballaghbearna and descend the other side into another valley with views of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. After lunch there is a wonderful cycle through quiet fields and over old stone bridges before coming to Caragh Lake. Following the lakeside you then head west to the seaside village of Glenbeigh where you spend the night in a comfortable Hotel.
DAY 4: Glenbeigh to Dingle, 30 mi. (47 km) - short option
You start the day with a taxi ride (with the same person that is transferring your luggage and bikes) to Dingle where you will be based for the next two nights. The taxi will bring you to Dingle where you get back on the bikes, then follow the Slea Head Circular Route around the tip of the Dingle peninsula. This is one of the highlights of the tour with a wide variety of archaeological sites to visit along the route and some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the country.
DAY 5: Rest day in Dingle
A wide variety of activities can be organized from the town. You can join an archaeological bus tour of the peninsula or you can swap your bike saddle for a horse saddle and go horse riding. There are boat trips to the largest of the Blasket Islands with its wonderful walking trails offering the most magnificent views of Dingle Bay. You can also take a boat trip to see "Fungi", the Dingle Dolphin, or simply explore the town with its many shops and aquarium. Finally, for those with stiff limbs there is also a massage center in which to pamper yourself!
DAY 6: Dingle - Killorglin, 43 mi. (69 km)
The morning starts with a long steady climb up to the Conor Pass with its stunning views of Mount Brandon and the coastline in the distance. There follows a wonderful descent and then a nice flat cycle along the coast to the village of Camp where you can stop for lunch. In the afternoon you head straight into the mountains and traverse the peninsula heading up over one side of the mountains to magnificent views of the other side of the peninsula with Dingle Bay and Ireland’s highest mountain range stretching out in front of you. You then descend down the other side and cycle the final stretch to our night stop in Killorglin and an evening of traditional music.
DAY 7: Killorglin - Killarney, 40 mi, (64 km)
Our first destination is Kate Kearney’s Cottage where you can stop for a cup of tea. You then enter the final highlight of the tour, the Gap of Dungloe, a place you will never forget. Coming out of the gap is an incredible view looking down the Black Valley. You will then follow a small quiet route through a peaceful valley surrounded by green fields full of grazing sheep. You climb out of the valley to return to Molls Gap where you had lunch on the first day. After lunch there is a wonderful freewheel back down to Killarney.
DAY 8: Departure from Killarney