Unspoilt Ring of Kerry Self-Guided Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Destinations:
Ireland
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C07KE
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Land only
Min age: 12

Trip Overview

The Iveragh Peninsula is a stunning region of islands. With Killarney at its epicentre, it is the largest of the 'five fingers' of Ireland, better known as the Ring of Kerry. Mystical, beautiful and grand, the route is also a tourist hotspot, so can be a little unkind to cyclists. Our routes maintain the same beauty and splendour but take you off the path to enjoy a more leisurely and quieter mix of inland and coastal scenery.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 6 days cycling
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • GPS provided

Trip Highlights

  • The Ring of Kerry - the 'real' Ireland, away from the crowds in beautiful scenery
  • Our cycle routes feature a quieter mix of inland and coastal routes
  • 10,000 years of dramatic history - an early Celtic tribe settled in the area around 300BC
  • The Gap of Dunloe - a magnificent glaciated valley
  • The stunning Three Lakes of Killarney in Killarney National Park - look out for native red deer
  • This trip is also available as a six-night tour, staying just one night at Killarney at the beginning of the holiday

Is This Trip for You?

Classification: Self-GuidedAverage daily distance on move on days: 45km (28 miles).No. of days cycling: 6  (including 1 optional ride)Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads and lanes.Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. We have suggested the minimum age for this trip is 12yrs as we feel they will be able to ride the bikes we have to offer and complete the route. However our local partner is able to offer child seats for children aged 2-4yrs (max. weight 22 kg, hills will be tricky). These are all subject to availability, and therefore we ask that you enquire about these on booking. As a guide we have suggested that 12yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities. Please bear in mind the weather when choosing to book, temperatures can be high in the middle of summer and the child seats provided do not have any shade.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age:
18
Child min age:
12
Child max age:
17

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Killarney
End City:
Killarney

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Killarney

    Check into your B&B and then explore the town, choosing from one of its many restaurants for dinner or enjoying some live music. (Staying at Abbey Lodge)

  • Day 2

    Killarney National Park

    A short warm-up ride through the stunning Killarney National Park follows a series of cycle trails where you'll see the meeting of the waters where two of the 'Three Lakes of Killarney' converge. Marvel at Torc Waterfall, the second highest in Ireland, visit Muckross House and its magnificent gardens, looking out for the famous red deer. (Staying at the Abbey Lodge)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 21 km / 14 miles
  • Day 3

    Killarney to Glenbeigh

    Leaving Killarney behind, you'll follow the Fossa Way cycle route, before heading on small country roads as you slowly climb up to the pretty Lough Acoose, below the peak of Carrauntuohill, Ireland's highest mountain. Descending, you'll cycle along the shores of Lough Caragh and on to charming Glenbeigh and its blue flag beach. If you have time, pedal down to Rossbeigh Strand and dip your toes in the Atlantic. (Staying at the Towers Hotel)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 53 km / 34 miles
  • Day 4

    Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen

    You'll follow the route of the coast today, passing small farms and on to the beautiful and peaceful shores of Kells Bay. Heading along a scenic narrow road fringed by large green meadows and peaks in the distance, a circular loop at the end takes you past Ballycarbery Castle and a wonderful seaside view and two early Christian stone forts. You'll arrive in the lively town of Cahersiveen, the birthplace of Daniel O'Connell, the Irish political leader (1775-1847). (Staying at the Ring of Kerry Hotel)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 38 km / 24 miles
  • Day 5

    Cahersiveen to Blackstones Bridge

    Leaving Cahersiveen on the old road you'll pass the ruins of Daniel O'Connell's birth home, before heading back inland where you'll see ruined abbeys and ancient graveyards. After a short descent, a climb up and over the stunning Ballaghasheen Pass will reward you with views back to Killarney and Ireland's highest mountain. A long descent on narrow roads alongside a gushing river takes you to Blackstones Bridge and your quirky and welcoming B&B for the night. (Staying at the Blackstones House)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 40 km / 25 miles
  • Day 6

    Blackstones Bridge to Kenmare

    Another stunning rural ride today as you head up and over the spectacular Ballaghbeama Gap; you are more likely to encounter sheep on the roads than vehicles. The road takes you through boulder-strewn countryside, cycling by small lakes, following the Blackwater River. Your day finishes in the beautiful town of Kenmare, also called 'the gateway to Kerry', and your luxury guesthouse for the night. (Staying at Rockcrest House, B&B)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 42 km / 27 miles
  • Day 7

    Kenmare to Killarney

    As final bike rides go, they don't get much better than this. You'll cycle to Moll's Gap - a panoramic spot that reaches a summit of 860 feet - and continue to the Black Valley. This is one of the last remaining areas of Ireland that is still remote and untouched; with rich fertile meadows and a roaring river, it feels like a land that time forgot. From here you'll climb to one of the most beautiful places in Ireland, the Gap of Dunloe, which was created during the Ice Age. Cycling along this glaciated valley, you'll meander around the many glacial lakes dotted throughout and marvel at the sheer jagged rock faces towering above you. You'll head back into Killarney through the National Park, passing the 15th century Ross Castle, before returning to your B&B for your last night (and perhaps a final Guinness). (Staying at Abbey Lodge)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 54 km / 34 miles
  • Day 8

    Leave Killarney

    We take you to Killarney Station for your onward journey, or perhaps enjoy extra nights in Killarney to finish your trip.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

You'll stay in a mix of bed and breakfasts, where you'll enjoy an Irish breakfast (one which is quirky and located off-the-beaten-track on the banks of the Curragh river) and an historic hotel. Along with the stunning scenery, you'll receive a hearty welcome everywhere you stay.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Accommodation - Pre trip

Additional nights can be added onto the beginning or the end of your trip whilst staying in Killarney.

Single supplement from £248.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and one evening meal included.

Irish food is not exactly famous, but what you will find is extremely good ingredients used to create basic and classic dishes, both Kerry beef and Kerry lamb, are certainly well known all over Ireland and further afield. You will see rack of lamb, lamb stew and shepherd’s pie, in most places. The county’s other basket is the Atlantic Ocean, and its rivers and loughs. Sea bream and Sea Bass are popular.Trout and Salmon can be served in many different ways, and there is an abundance of shell fish, local chowders are excellent and look out for crab gratin.

Wine is readily available but of course one of the symbols of Ireland is Guinness, and we can say from experience that it tastes better in Ireland, but if have a thirst after a long walk, beware the Guinness is not poured quickly, many might say there is a certain amount of time you need to leave after filling the glass halfway up the harp. However it should be left until you see a vivid distinction between the dark body and the creamy white head. Only then can the rest of the glass be filled. Learning from the locals, you should order your second pint before you have finished your first!

Craft beer is making a name for itself in Ireland and there are some excellent local ones. Then there is the Irish whiskey, the famous one being Bushmills and Jameson’s, and there are many local whiskies for you to try, the Dingle distillery produces a good whiskey and an excellent gin.

Transportation

Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel for you.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The climate on the South West Coast of Ireland is mild due to its location and the influence of the Gulf Stream. The weather, however, is temperamental and proves quite hard to predict, therefore it is important to be prepared for all weather. The warmer months tend to be the summer months, July and August, with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. Temperatures rarely fall below 0 during the year. The wettest months tend to be from October through to March. April is often the driest month. Rain can be expected at any time of the year.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

If you have pre-booked a transfer you will be met at Killarney train station and transferred to your bed and breakfast, less than five minutes walk from the centre of Killarney.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Transfers to and from Killarney train station can be pre-booked for a supplement.

 

Location start:
Killarney
Location end:
Killarney

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Waterproofs

Warm jumper/fleece

Suncream

Water bottle (1 litre) you will be able to refill each day at the accommodation.

 

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount off the price of the holiday, as specified above. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

Practical Information

Passport

Ireland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Ireland

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Ireland

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Ireland's Timezone:
Europe/Dublin IST (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Ireland's Electricity:

230v 50hz. The plugs and sockets are the same as the ones used in the UK, involving the three-pronged formation. 

Money

Ireland's Currency

The national currency of Ireland is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip. Cards are widely accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch or dinner is not included expect to spend €10-€15 for lunch and €15-€35 for dinner.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.