This part of the Wild Atlantic Way begins in the harbour town of Kinsale and traverses the coastline of West Cork, around the region’s three unique peninsulas – Beara, Sheep’s Head and Mizen Head. Picturesque villages, ancient stone circles and some fine sandy beaches mark the meandering West Cork coastal route starting from Cork to Clonakilty and on to Skibbereen and Baltimore. The landscape is constantly changing around every bend in the trails – from the crashing Atlantic Ocean to the quiet of pristine lakes and peaceful river valleys. Bask in the colourful buildings of Bantry, experience the charm of Clonakilty and the famous hospitality of Skibbereen. Beautiful harbours, insanely tasty seafood, a buzzing city and stunning, remote coastlines – this cycling tour has all you need for the perfect escape.
- The colourful village of Kinsale
- The laidback way of life and the friendliness of the local people
- The serpentine Healy Pass – some of the most spectacular scenery you are likely to see
- Wild Atlantic Way
- Gap of Dunloe and the stunning views of Auger Lake
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Killarney
Arrive in Killarney and check into your accommodation for the night. Collect your bicycles and if you have time. take the short circular cycle to Muckross House and Killarney National Park.
- Accommodation: Abbey Lodge (Killarney) or similar
Day 2: Killarney to Kenmare | 48km
Today you will be cycling cycling to the Black valley and through the renowned Gap of Dunloe – one of the most stunningly beautiful parts of County Kerry. Then along backroads to the famous Molls Gap offering wonderful views over the spectacular Three Lakes of Killarney. Built in the 1820s to replace an older track to the east, the vista-crazy Killarney to Kenmare road winds between rock and lake, with plenty of places to stop and admire the views. About 22 km south is the summit of the pass at Moll’s Gap, which is worth a stop for great views, snacks and refreshments at the local cafe. From there, you continue cycling to the Black valley and through the renowned Gap of Dunloe – one of the most stunningly beautiful parts of County Kerry. Your overnight today will be in Kenmare – an interesting and colourful market town, on the Roughty River banks where it opens up into Kenmare Bay.
- Cycling for the day: 48km, ↑602m
- Accommodation: Limestone Lodge B&B (Kenmare) or similar
Day 3: Kenmare to Bantry | 50km
Today’s route packs in quite a lot of hills in a short distance, quiet country roads flanked with bluebells and fuchsias as you meandering through lush emerald green farmlands. Once in Bantry, stop by stately Bantry House to soak up incredible views across the expansive bay and later check out the incredible food scene.
- Cycling for the day: 50km, ↑629m
- Accommodation: Doire Liath B&B (Bantry) or similar
Day 4: Bantry to Skibbereen | 44km
Today, there is a direct route along busy roads, so we recommend you to follow our longer suggestion that passes by coast, forest and inland scenery – a perfect combination for a day cycling. There are some steep climbs, but they are achievable if you take today’s route at a relaxed pace. Cycle through the picturesque waterside villages of Glandore (Cuan Dor) and Union Hall, which burst into life in summer when fleets of yachts race in the sheltered inlet of Glandore Harbour. Travel back in time with a visit to the fascinating Skibbereen Heritage Centre and enjoy a fresh catch of the day in one of the local restaurants.
- Cycling for the day: 44km, ↑716
- Accommodation: Ilenroy House B&B (Skibbereen) or similar
Day 5: Skibbereen to Clonakilty | 58km
Leaving Skibbereen behind you – today’s cycle is a lovely trip on to the town of Clonakilty. There is a direct route along busy roads, so we recommend you follow our longer suggestion that passes by coast, forest and inland scenery – a perfect combination for a days cycling. There are some steep climbs but they are achievable if you take today’s route at a relaxed pace. You also cycle through the beautiful villages of Glandore and Unionhall which are typical west Cork villages. There are pubs and shops in the main villages with excellent food available. Arrive at Clonakilty – a must-see town that’s full of charm, colourful shop fronts with masterful, handpainted signs and warm welcomes. Visit the historic buildings and try the local delicacies.
- Cycling for the day: 58km, ↑795m
- Accommodation: Duvane B&B (Clonakilty) or similar
Day 6: Clonakilty to Kinsale | 52km
Stock with drinks and snacks before you leave Clonakilty, as the shops along the route are a little unpredictable in their opening hours.The first half of today’s cycle takes inland through forest and open countryside. From there you then cycle along the impressive coast to the “Olde Head of Kinsale”. There is some uphill cycling on this route, however it is generally a well paced day. Arrive at the wonderful fishing village of Kinsale (Cionn tSáile). Narrow, winding streets lined with galleries and gift shops, lively bars and superb restaurants, and a handsome natural harbour filled with yachts and guarded by a huge 17th-century fortress make it an engrossing place to spend the rest of the day.
- Cycling for the day: 52km, ↑644m
- Accommodation: Sunrise B&B (Kinsale) or similar
Day 7: Kinsale to Cork | 48km
Today you ride out of Kinsale, last chance for a coffee and cake in one of many of Kinsale’s renowned Cafe’s. Sections of today’s route are on relatively busy roads and you will want to exercise caution riding these segments. You will encounter some nice climbs and less road traffic once you pass Cork Airport. There are a variety of shops and pubs along the way where you can stop for refreshments.
- Cycling for the day: 48 km, ↑624m
- Accommodation: Fernroyd B&B (Cork City) or similar
Day 8: Departure
After a final breakfast, you leave the Coast behind. Extra nights and extensions available upon request.
What to Expect
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.
Click to view default hotels
- Abbey Lodge (Killarney), Limestone Lodge B&B (Kenmare), Fernroyd B&B (Cork City), Duvane B&B (Clonakilty), Sunrise B&B (Kinsale), Ilenroy House B&B (Skibbereen)
*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!
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, still, in order to enjoy the trip to the maximum, it is recommendable to have some cycling experience and be in good physical shape (read more about difficulty grades). You will be cycling on most parts on country roads and close to the coastline. 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.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
- Kerry Airport: Bus services to Killarney. Ryanair offers flights to Kerry from London and Manchester.
- Dublin Airport: Shuttle buses to Killarney or train from Heuston station in Dublin.
- Shannon airport: Take 343 to Limerick and then bus 300 to Killarney.
- See Bus Éireann, Dublin Coach and Irish Rail for details or use the Omio planner above.
- Accommodation in en-suite rooms (guesthouses and B&Bs)
- Full Irish Breakfast each morning
- Hybrid bike rental
- 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
- 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
Ridgeback Elements Hybrid Bike (included): Perfect all-round bike for town, country and beyond. It offers a fast and smooth ride thanks to a lightweight aluminium frame, fork and speedy 35mm tyres. A wide range of 27 gears means you’ll never struggle on steep climbs, and you can spin at speed on faster, flatter sections. Shimano Acera components are hardwearing and reliable, giving smooth shifting every time. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes also give assured and powerful stopping performance in all conditions, operated from a riser-handlebar that allows a more comfortable and upright position. Weight – 14.8kg.
SLR 8.9 Carbon Boardman Road Bike:
Frame: Boardman carbon SLR frame with aero tube profiles. Forks: Full carbon forks for better comfort and weight saving. Gears: 22 speed Shimano 105 and 11-30 cassette gives slick shifting over a wide range. Brakes: Tektro R315 brakes for controlled and powerful stopping. Wheels: Boardman wheels and Vittoria’s Zaffiro tyres keep you rolling. Weight: Approx. 8.9kg.
Kuma E-bike: The S1 is powered by the Silent and powerful Bafang m200 Mid motor offering 65NM of torque with 5 power levels. The lightweight frame features sleek integrated front and rear LED lighting. All bikes are powered by 500Wh Samsung batteries meaning the complete range is now capable of 100km+ on a single charge. All batteries are removable and lockable. Our new fast chargers allow a complete charge in under 5 hours. Weight – 23kg.