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Enjoy the most spectacular scenery in Ireland as you cycle tour through the magical landscapes of Kerry and Dingle. Each day presents you with even more stunning scenery as you cycle through majestic mountain ranges and past beautiful lakes. The landscape is richly coloured by yellow gorse, purple heather and impossibly green fields. This is a fairly hilly cycle tour, but all your effort is greatly rewarded with wonderful scenery and colourful night stops.
Your cycle tour explores the famous Ring of Kerry (or Iveragh Peninsula). This mystical & unspoilt region of Ireland has attracted visitors for hundreds of years. Featuring brooding loughs, Ireland’s highest mountains and fine sandy beaches the beauty of this corner of Ireland is beyond question.
The Ring of Kerry has some of the finest beaches in Europe, not to mention the breathtaking scenery that greets you around each and every corner. Our tour of the Ring of Kerry sticks to the quiet country rounds so you can enjoy this magical corner of Ireland at your own pace. The Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland - see the Iron Age Forts & Ogham Stones, Old Monasteries and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
What makes a cycling holiday in Ireland particularly special is the wonderful scenery, quiet country roads, charming inns and B&B's, lively local pubs and the warm Irish welcome that you can expect along the way.
Our Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula Cycle Tour includes hand picked accommodation of character, daily baggage transfer, cycle hire, one evening meal, one transfer and emergency telephone support. So you can just relax and have fun as you cycle through Ireland.
On 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 till 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.
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.
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 breath-taking scenery to the picturesque village of Sneem.
Avoiding the main Ring of Kerry road you cycle across the peninsula. Passing along quiet country roads with stunning views of the surrounding mountains you 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.
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, you 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 breath-taking coastal scenery in the country.
A wide variety of activities can be organised 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 potter around the town with its many shops and aquarium. Finally for those with stiff limbs there is also a massage centre in which to pamper yourself!
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 .
Your first destination today 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 you have an incredible view looking down the Black Valley before following 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.
You stay in a mixture of B&Bs and small hotels, where we hope to fuse the best standard we can get with the warmest welcome. We ensure en-suite facilities almost all of the time however in some of the more remote spots one might occasionally have to share a bathroom.
We would be happy to help you organise extra accommodation outside of Dublin for the start or the end of the week. If you would prefer to organise it yourself please see the websites below. If you are planning to spend a few days in Dublin at the end of the tour, we recommend that you book accommodation well in advance as the capital is very busy on weekends. We do not actually organise accommodation in Dublin but there are a huge range of websites offering a reservation service. A good starting place is Dublin Tourism (www.visitdublin.com).
We will be using the new version of the GIANT ESCAPE 3 bicycle for our tours. To see the specification for this you can visit the website: www.giant-bicycles.com. We put mudguards and rear carries on these bikes. Bikes come in different sizes and in gents and ladies style frames.
It is important you give us your height on booking so that we can allocate the correct bike to you.
This tour is graded moderate as there are a number of hills to climb on this tour so we would recommend that you do try to do some cycling before the tour in order to make your week more enjoyable. Try to get out for a few hours cycling during the weekends coming up to your trip and, if possible, do it on varied terrain and include some hill climbing.
As this is a self-led trip you do not have the back-up of a guide and support van. Our aim is to allow you feel like an independent traveller, free to cycle each day at your own pace while at the same time having the security of knowing that your luggage will be waiting for you in your next accommodation.
If for any reason you are unable to cycle please contact us so we can liaise with the luggage transfers to organise the transfer of bike(s) and person(s). Please note that you will be charged for any additional runs made on your behalf.
Our bikes are serviced after each tour so they should be humming perfectly! If you experience small problems with the bike (i.e., a puncture) you will have a spare tube, pump and tyre lever. You can of course phone our office if you experience any major problems.
Because we are an island located near the gulf stream Ireland has a very mild climate making it ideal for cycling. We recommend that you bring your rain gear as well as your sun hat as a day that starts with rain can end with glorious sunshine! The temperature range during the summer is between 15 and 22 degrees centigrade (60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit)
If you hold an EU passport you only need to make sure your passport is valid for the period of your stay. You will need photo identification travelling between Britain and Ireland. All other nationalities require a passport that is valid for 3 months beyond the intended length of stay. Most nationalities including the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require visas for Ireland and receive an automatic 90-day visitor’s visa on arrival. If your nationality is not mentioned here you should check with your travel agent or consular office.
The standard electrical supply is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). To use small appliances mainland European visitors may require a plug adaptor to fit our 3-pin flat or 2-pin round wall sockets. The mobile phone system in use is a digital GSM 900 system.
Some recommended websites on Ireland that might help you organise your trip if you are planning to spend more time in the country before or after your holiday with us.
www.discoverireland.com – Irish Tourist Board (Failte Ireland) official website providing a wealth of information on all regions of the country.
www.heritageireland.ie info on historical sites If you plan to spend some extra time in Dublin, the following will give you some more ideas of things to see and do
www.visitdublin.com Dublin Tourism, Tourism Centre, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2
Ireland has a rich literary and musical heritage, some of which you will experience first hand on our tours. Should you like to do a little advance research the following websites should help you... www.kennys.ie is a long established Galway bookshop with an enormous online catalogue of books of Irish interest. www.celticnote.com is the perfect place to carry out your acoustic research!
It is a requirement of booking your tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear.
Killarney is less than 10 miles from Kerry Airport, which is well served by links from low cost operators like Ryanair from hubs like London and Dublin.
Shannon Airport is 83 miles.
Cork Airport is 55 miles
Killarney is 188 miles (4 hours) from Dublin, 55 miles (1.5 hours) from Cork and 83 miles (2 hours) from Shannon.
4 - 5 trains per day connect Killarney to Dublin. There are also links with Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. Visit www.irishrail.ie for times, prices and booking.
We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more advice from our cycling experts.
Although the average daily distances are not that long there are a couple of longer days and the roads have plenty of up and down so this holiday is better suited to regular cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness.
The beauty of cycling in Ireland is that the roads are generally very quiet.Often there will be a rush of traffic in the morning but generally the cycling is relaxed and traffic light.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Kerry and Dingle are extremely popular over the summer months. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need a helmet, normal cycling clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers and some warmer cycling clothes, a full detailed kit list will be included in your info pack.
Traditionally April/May and September have always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges are not as fierce. Although I think cycling in Ireland always offers a wonderful experience as long as you are properly equipped.
We use local taxis to transfer your baggage and they can normally move you, your bike and baggage to the next stop in case of emergency. Local buses can also sometimes take bikes.
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Comments about macs adventure Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula Cycle Tour:
Really well-organised - great guide to the routes and great routes, varied and gradually building up distance and elevations.