SELF GUIDED TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to see our hidden gems & discover the many routes less travelled.
7 nights stay, 6 days cycles
Participants need to have a good level of fitness and previous cycling experience is recommended.
The B&Bs were far out the best in service, hospitality and comfort. The bikes were great quality and very comfortable. We had a fantastic holiday with Ireland Walk Hike Bike!
– Jan, Netherlands, 2011
If you want to see rural Ireland at its best then Beara Peninsula Bike Tour is the holiday for you – explore a land rich in history, folklore and archaeology with imposing megaliths, tombs and standing stones. The offshore islands add another dimension to the beauty of the coastline frequently dotted with castles, forts and watchtowers.
Beara’s breathtaking panoramas are dominated by mountains and sea. The Caha Mountains and Sliabh Miskish Mountains form the spine of the peninsula, which is washed by Kenmare Bay to the north and Bantry Bay to the south. The folding of the rock strata throughout millennia has left the swirling wave-like patterns across the mountains, which are so characteristic of the Beara landscape. Few roads cross this massive natural barrier, and those which do are spectacular feats of engineering: the ‘Tunnels Road’ via Turner’s Rock and the Healy Pass road with its series of hairpin bends, as dramatic as any alpine pass. All of Beara’s towns and villages are dotted along the coastal road, which loops around the peninsula. The largest is Castletownbere (or Castletown Bearhaven), a major fishing port located on one of the deepest natural harbours in Ireland. Picturesque villages such as Eyeries and Allihies are renowned for their rows of brightly contrasting houses featuring every shade of the rainbow, where every house competes with its neighbours to be the most colourful.
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Arrive at your first Bed & Breakfast house in Bantry where your Information Pack with Route Suggestions & Maps await your arrival. Collect your cycles & if time allows, take a short cycle around the town to get a “feel” for your surroundings. Overnight in Bantry.
Cycling out of Bantry your first cycle 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 & on back to Bantry from there. Return to your accommodation for overnight.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 52kms/ 32mi.
Leaving Bantry behind you, today’s cycle takes you on a lovely route to the beautiful Gougane Barra before returning to the shores of Bantry Bay & finish in the picturesque village of Glengarriff. Overnight in Glengarriff.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 56km /35mi.
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.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 45km /28mi.
Continuing along the northern shores your cycle today takes you through the picturesque village of Eyeries famous for its colourful houses. From there you continue to Allihies – once home to a thriving copper mining industry. Overnight in Allihies.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 44km /27mi.
Today you are spoilt for choice but our recommendation takes you further west to Dursey Sound. If you wish a trip to the glorious Dursey Island, just at the very tip of the Beara Peninsula is well worthwhile … crossing over on Ireland’s only Cable Car service. This is a step back in time and gives you an opportunity to walk “West” to the end of land!! Back on the mainland – you continue cycling east to finish in the fishing port of Castletownbere. Overnight in Castletownbere.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 38km /24mi.
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. 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.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 38km /24mi.
After a final Irish breakfast you are then free to take the bus back to Cork & continue your onward journey from there.