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The Dingle Way Highlights 21

Cycling the Dingle Way

Overview

One of the Wild Atlantic Way highlights, the Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne), culminates in the Irish mainland’s westernmost point. In the shadow of sacred Mount Brandon, a maze of fuchsia-fringed boreens (country lanes) weaves together an ancient landscape of prehistoric ring forts and beehive huts, early Christian chapels, crosses and holy wells, picturesque hamlets and abandoned villages. On this amazing eight-day cycling trip you will see Ireland how we believe it should be seen: slowly, intimately and knowledgeably. We will give you a real “taste and flavour” of Ireland, its history, culture, diversity, humour and charm. Ireland enjoys a relaxing pace of life, beautiful and varied scenery, with the sea never far from sight. The chance encounters with friendly locals, incredible characters, and the odd charismatic sheep is what will make your holiday a truly memorable experience.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tralee

Arrive in Tralee and check into your B&B.Use your free time for a short ride from Tralee to the lovely fishing port of Fenit and from there to the historic Ardfert with it’s newly restored cathedral. The impressive remains of 13th-century Ardfert Cathedral are notable for the beautiful and delicate stone carvings on its Romanesque door and window arches. Back to Tralee where you can visit the Kerry County Museum and the family-friendly wetlands centre.

  • Cycling for the day: 32 km, ↑­­­­255 m ↓255 m
  • Accommodation: Derreen Tighue House B&B (Tralee) or similar

Day 2: Tralee to Cloghane | 50 km

Today’s cycle takes you from Tralee along the Dingle Peninsula’s northern shores with the Slieve Mish Mountains on your left and Tralee Bay to your right. The route takes you through Castlegregory – also known as “The Gold Coast” of the Peninsula. The village lies on one of Ireland’s longest beaches, which stretches 12 glorious miles (20 kilometres) in length from the Maharees westwards through Castlegregory to just short of Cloghane village. Reach the picturesque village of Cloghane for your overnight stop.

Day 3: Cloghane to Dingle | 29 km

Leaving Cloghane, you head for Brandon and Brandon Point’s village and then on and over the famous Conor Pass with its breathtaking views that stretch for miles. In the distance, you will see the fishing port town of Dingle and your stopover for the next three days. Perched on the hem of the Atlantic Dingle is a delightful combination of scenic beauty, delicious restaurants, character-filled pubs and a welcome like no other. Enjoy the beauty of its surroundings for the next few days, cycling out towards the western shores and Slea Head with the Great Blasket Islands’ views looming in the distance.

  • Cycling for the day: 29 km, ↑­­­­658 m ↓656 m
  • Accommodation: Bambury’s Guesthouse (Dingle) or similar

Day 4: Slea Head or Great Blasket Island | 42 km

Heading west from Dingle you cycle via Ventry to Slea Head with its magnificent views across the Blasket Sound to the famous Blasket Island. From here you cycle on to Dunquinn and Ballyferriter on your way back to Dingle for the evening. Alternatively, today you can cycle to Dunquinn harbour and take the ferry to the Great Blasket Island and enjoy a walk around this mystical and
enchanting place. The island is located 3 miles off the Dingle Peninsula, 13 kilometres west of Dingle town. Explore the abandoned settlements, watch the seabirds, picnic on Trá Bán (a gorgeous white-sand beach near the pier) and hike the island’s many trails. Overnight in Dingle.

  • Cycling for the day: 42 km, ↑­­­­483 m ↓484 m
  • Accommodation: Bambury’s Guesthouse (Dingle) or similar

Day 5: Free Day in Dingle | 32 km

Today you can have the opportunity to take a boat trip to visit the Blasket Islands. Dingle is a lovely town to ramble around visiting the numerous art galleries and other interesting shops. If you want to cycle today, then make the trip to the Northern side of the Peninsula. Cycling north from Dingle through Brandon Creek and on to the village of Ballydavid before finishing back in Dingle.

  • Cycling for the day: 32 km, ↑­­­­327 m ↓325 m
  • Accommodation: Bambury’s Guesthouse (Dingle) or similar

Day 6: Dingle to Inch | 34 km

Cycling in an easterly direction by Dingle Bay’s shores again enjoy spectacular views and breathtaking scenery of this magnificent peninsula. Your destination is the tiny hamlet of Inch with its magnificent beach. Inch Strand is a 5km-long sand spit and dune system extending into Dingle Bay. This stupendous beach has attracted film directors as well as surfers, land-yachters and anglers and is ideal for a walk along its golden sands or a quick dip. On your way, you can detour to visit the village of Annascaul, home to the famous Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer Tom Crean.

Day 7: Inch to Tralee | 30 km

Today’s route continues along the coast to the historical village of Castlemaine with its neat little harbour and splendid bird sanctuary. From here you head north and take the “short mountain route” back to Tralee for your last overnight. This is a very historical area, and on your way, you will pass the legendary mythological Queen Scotia’s grave which also offers fabulous views over Tralee Bay and North Kerry.

  • Cycling for the day: 30 km, ↑­­­­440 m ↓454 m
  • Accommodation: Derreen Tighue House B&B (Tralee) or similar

Day 8: Departure

After a final breakfast and farewell, you leave your cycle behind you and follow your own arrangements for your onward journey.

What to Expect

Accommodation

We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

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*Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation!

Meals

Full Irish breakfast each day. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Evening meals can be enjoyed in the charming restaurants along the way.

Difficulty & terrain

The cycling is not hard, and still, to enjoy the trip to the maximum, it is recommendable to have some cycling experience and be in a good physical shape (read more about difficulty grades). You will be cycling in most parts of country roads and close to the coastline. Note that on a windy day, cycling can be challenging on the exposed coastline. The route is well sign-posted with a logo and a bicycle symbol. We will email you the essential pre-departure info. Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps, route description and access to our exclusive GPS Navigation App.

When to go

This trip is available from April until October. Weather is best in June – August. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking. The warming effect of the Gulf Stream is strong around the Dingle Peninsula. Average temperatures range from 7°C -16°C (44°F- 61°F). Frost and snow are rare, especially at the western end of the peninsula. When it does snow, it is usually only visible on the mountains and higher ground as it melts quickly at sea level. Atlantic weather fronts cause changeable weather, and the mountains are subject to rain and mist.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Dublin (DUB), Kerry (KIR), Cork (ORK) or Shannon (SNN).

By train or bus
  • Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK with several low-cost airlines covering the route as well as scheduled international carriers. Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin. From Dublin Airport there is a good bus service to Dublin city centre. From Dublin take bus or train to Tralee. Aer Lingus offers direct flights from Dublin to Kerry twice daily.
  • From Tralee to Camp and vice-versa there is a bus service, which takes approximately 25 mins. From Tralee to Annascaul there is also a bus service, which takes approx. 55 minutes.
  • Kerry Airport: There is a bus (30 mins – 1h 30 mins) from Kerry Airport to Tralee.
  • Cork Airport: Flights are available to Cork Airport from Bristol, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. It is a short bus ride (20 mins) to Cork Kent train station, then a 2h train ride to Tralee.
  • Shannon Airport: Flights are available to Shannon Airport from Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, London Heathrow and Birmingham, and Boston and New York JFK. From Shannon Airport, take a bus (approx. 2 – 3 hours, via Cork) to Tralee.
  • See Bus Éireann and Irish Rail for details or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in private en-suite rooms (B&Bs and guesthouses)
  • Full Irish Breakfast each morning
  • Welcome briefing
  • Luggage transfer between the accommodations on cycling days
  • Detailed travel documents with cycling descriptions and maps of each cycling day (Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site)
  • Access to our exclusive GPS Navigation App
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

Rental Bikes

  • Specialised Sirrus Sport Hybrid: The Sirrus Sport Disc with fitness geometry provides flat bar handling so you can ride faster on longer rides with stability and comfort. The hydraulic disc brakes mean you’ll have the confidence to ride regardless of the weather or what you are carrying on your racks, perfect for Ireland where you get 4 seasons in one day. The Body Geometry Targa Sport saddle makes for a sporty and comfortable cycle.
  • BMC City Streamer: With its more upright riding position this is a very comfortable bike to ride and with 30 gears to choose from and hydraulic disc brakes so you can go down to granny gear and save your knees, and you won’t have any problem on any climb or descent. The Fizik Rondine saddle has extra padding for a very comfy ride.
  • E-bike: You can tackle anything with the Giant Twist, no more groaning as hills are flattened, assisted pedal power is the future of uncomplicated mobility. The all-new Twist Lite features a new slimmer front hub motor, an ALUXX Aluminium frame and internal power cable routing, control, speed and safety are quite literally no sweat.

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