Sept 5th to 11th - 2021 tour

Many viewers of this site will be familiar with the NC500 in Scotland and this part of the world is just as beautiful, just as rugged, just as remote (in places) but probably less congested than the NC500 can be and of course its the beautiful west of Ireland with it's temperate, gulf stream warmed climate, and, it's part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Now there is some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel we have resurrected the tour which had to be cancelled last year. It’s a 6 night, 5 day tour, all of which you can do without having to cart all your luggage around as we return to the same base each evening.

The itinerary is as follows:

Sun 5th September - arrive in Kenmare, Co. Kerry, staying at the Kenmare Bay Hotel for the week. This hotel has been chosen for a variety of reasons;

  • safe off street parking for the bikes at the front of the hotel,
  • within walking distance (10 mins) of Kenmare town centre,
  • it has an indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, beauty and therapy treatment rooms all available FOC to guests.
  • the food is good and the breakfasts are copious.

Sunday evening we eat together in the hotel - a kind of get to know everyone meal.


The following is the planned itinerary but please be aware we reserve the right to change it slightly to take into account the weather on the day.

Mon 6th Sept - we head south, over the Cork & Kerry mountains (made famous by ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, Thin Lizzie and the Dubliners) via the Caha Pass to tour the Mizen & Sheepshead peninsulas. Our first stop will be in the small fishing harbour of Crookhaven, Ireland's most southerly mainland village. From here we will ride on to Mizen Head and the signal station from where Marconi perfected his idea for wireless transmissions. We return via the old coast road, a single track route, to Durrus and then out on the Sheep's Head Peninsula, stopping in Ahakista for lunch. After lunch we head out to the very end of the Sheep's Head and then return via the Goat's Path a cliff hugging single track route with fantastic views over Bantry Bay. Once in Bantry, it's back to Kenmare via the Caha Pass again. Depending on the weather we may take the Priest's Leap pass across the Coomhola Mt rather than the Caha Pass.

Tues 7th Sept - we take the coast road out of Kenmare, along the souther edge of the Kenmare river climbing up over the mountains then dropping back down to the coast at Lauragh where we take a turn inland and head up into the mountains to traverse the Healy Pass, a switchback of a road to rival any Alpine pass and which drops us down into Adrigole on the southern side of the Beara. We'll then head west to Castletownbere, one of Irelands two main Atlantic Fishing ports, then further west to Dursey, the site of Irelands only cable car, then around the headland to Allihies for lunch. After lunch we'll return via the northern Beara coast and, depending upon the majorities wishes, either take the Healy Pass for a second time, then via Glengarrif, the Caha Pass and back to Kenmare, or take the shorter coast road route back.

Wed 8th Sept - Departing Kenmare we'll take the coast road along the northern flank of the Kenmare River and around the Ring Of Kerry. We'll be going in a clockwise direction to avoid any tour buses and motorhomes which should be traveling in an anticlockwise direction. We'll pass through Sneem, Castle Cove, Caherdaniel and climb up and over the Coomakista Pass with amazing views around every corner. We'll drop back down to sea level at Waterville, take the Skelligs Ring, the bridge from Portage to Valentia Island and the ferry back to the mainland. Lunch will be either in Portage or Cahersiveen, after the ferry, depending on timings. From Cahersiveen we have two choices, we can either stick to the coast road along the northern edge of the Kerry Peninsula or we can take the road less travelled and head inland, via the Ballagasheen Forest, through the Kerry Highlands and over two mountain passes (Ballagasheen and Ballagbheama) in the shadow of Carrauntoohill, Ireland's highest mountain, back to Moll's Gap and down the mountain into Kenmare.

Thurs 9th Sept - free day - relax and explore Kenmare, Killarney or the surrounding area. Suggested routes can be provided if you want to ride out and here are plenty of other mountain routes and passes that can be taken and routes along the coast and inland that can be advised, with lots of points of interest to stop off at.

Fri 10th Sept - We'll head north from Kenmare, crossing the mountain via Moll's Gap and descend into the Killarney National Park - an area of outstanding natural beauty and you'll certainly see why. We'll pass by the Killarney Lakes, through Killarney, Millstreet, Castlemaine and take the coast road out to Dingle via Inch Beach and what can only be described as a quintessential coast road under Red Cliff before turning inland and heading into Dingle. From Dingle we'll take the Slea Head Drive around the end of the Dingle Peninsula (note this can be very wild at times) visit the Basket Visitor Centre and return to Dingle in order to take the mountain road over the peninsula and the Connor Pass. Depending on a the weather there'll be a photo opportunity detour to Fahamore then back onto the coast road, over the Caherconree Pass which crosses the Sleeve Mish mountains, back to Castlemaine, on to Farranfore and pick up the fast road back to Killarney and then Kenmare.

Sat 11th Sept - depart.

The tour is designed to provide relaxed touring days, no early starts, we’ll be leaving around 9.30 - 10am each day, no late returns and with several stops for photos, coffee/tea breaks and food; a local guide will be on hand each day to assist and guide.


Rooms have been booked on a B&B basis with the inclusion of a group 'get to know everyone' supper on the Sunday night. Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri nights people are free to do what they want and there are plenty of good bars and restaurants, of all standards, in Kenmare.


Costs : £790 per person on a single occupancy basis, if you’re bringing a partner then let us know as the cost/person will be less.

Included:

6 nights accommodation

6 breakfasts

1 evening meal

Dedicated parking outside the hotel (don't worry this is very low crime area, your bike will be safe).

Assistance of a tour guide each day.

Maps and route guidance instructions.


Not included:

Getting to and from Kenmare, although help, guidance and assistance with routes & ferries can be provided.

Bikes

Fuel

Tea/Coffee/Drinks/Lunch during the day

Evening meals on each of Mon-Fri

Travel insurance

Breakdown insurance


Payment:

£250/person deposit required when making the booking

Full balance due no later than 31st July 2021

In the event you have to pull out before 31st July you will receive a full refund of the £250 deposit

In the event you have to pull out after the 31st July deposits and any balance paid will only be refunded if your space can be re-sold.


There are a limited number of places available so don’t delay.


For further info contact swi500info@gmail.com