Pack your sense of adventure and get away from the everyday

Cycle through Irelands most scenic National Park and explore the forested hills, sprawling heather moors and jagged rock formations that make the Kingdom of Kerry so truly spectacular. This four-day Irish retreat experience offers a comfortable yet active way to get away from it all. Base yourself in the charming country town of Killarney and cycle your way over the scenic Gap of Dunloe, a boat trip around the famous Skellig Islands and on the lakes of Killarney, with ample time for short gentle hikes and to meet the locals and discover friendly local pubs along the way. A countryside escape awaits.


Start: Killarney, Republic of Ireland
Finish: Killarney, Republic of Ireland
Destination: Republic of Ireland
Style: Comfort & Adventure
Theme: Irish Retreats
Group size: Min 4, Max 16
Getting here: Please click here 

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Cycle in one of the Irelands most dramatic landscapes, the famed Killarney National Park with a local experienced guide– there are few better views than from handlebar height.
  • Marvel at McGillicuddy Reeks, and conquer the stunning Gap of Dunloe.
  • Enjoy the famous Killarney District hospitality in the many small cafes and shops, and be sure to try one of the area’s famous pubs.
  • Indulge in a cool brew from the Killarney Brewery at the local pub as a refreshing reward for a day in the saddle.
  • Take an Eco boat tour that circles both islands and you get up close to Skellig Michael and the small Skelligs to see both the wildlife and the historical sites
  • Enjoy the ease of leaving your cycling shoes & hiking boots at the same comfortable, conveniently located accommodation each night.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.
  • This trip includes a cycle around Killarney National Park & The Gap of Dunloe, approximately 30 kilometres in total but rather easy. Ability to cycle, however, is essential.
  • This trip includes a walk of approximately 3 kilometres, which includes a steep climb on what can be an eroded and stony path to the ridge.

Itinerary:

Welcome to the Kingdom of Kerry and the charming town of Killarney.  Unpack your bags and make yourself comfortable, secure in the knowledge that you will spend the next three nights in the same accommodation, with no need to repack until you leave.  After the 2 pm group meeting, get a bike fitting with the group followed by a short test ride to make sure everything is working properly. This afternoon’s ride is an excellent introduction to cycling in the Killarney National Park, a 3-hour flat ride that takes you out of Killarney town and through classic rolling scenery to reach Torc Waterfall, one of the largest in Ireland. Take a rest and enjoy the sounds of the water crashing down the green moss-covered rocks, Follow the path around the lake then turn back towards the Muckross House, enjoying stunning views of the lower lake and McGillicuddy Reeks. Upon return expect a mix of paved road and forest trails. Highlights may include sightings of rare red deer herds in native oak forest, a centuries-old yew tree at the centre of a ruined abbey and idyllic lakeside and mountain views, all towards a well-earned brew at the end of the day.
After fuelling up with breakfast this morning, today we’re touring the scenic Reeks District in County Kerry, Ireland. Firstly we’ll head to a nearby bike station to get fitted up for your first active adventure – cycling around Caragh Lake (approximately 30 kilometres). Take in striking panoramas of the loop and look out at Lough Acoose and the remote Glencar area, over the beautiful Blackstones bridge to Gortamaloon Cross towards the scenic Caragh Lake.  This cycle will provide you with the quietest and most remote roads within Kerry showing up wonderful and breathtaking views at every turn.  The road is mostly quiet and you won’t find yourself puffing up long steep hills, but there’s a satisfying downhill stretch on one side. For a fresh snack along the way, on the north side, you’ll find wee Pubs stocked with produce straight from the local waters. This evening, make the most of the warm atmosphere of a homely place to kick off your boots after an active day.
Today features a boat ride before a thrilling descent by bike through the Gap of Dunloe. Take a boat a trip through the 3 lakes of Killarney with folklore and legends delivered by the local boat drivers while passing through scenery which hasn’t changed since the last ice age; 10,000 years ago. When you reach Lord Brandon’s cottage you will have the option to hike or bike through the valley. The distance is 11 kilometres (7 miles), the road is sealed and hiking boots are not required but comfortable shoes are! The walk generally takes 2 – 2.5 hours. The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows. The river running through the gap is the river Loe from where the Gap gets it’s name.  The road, narrow in many places, winds through the pass and descends into The Black Valley passing five lakes, Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lough. A final ride into Killarney where your Kerry adventure comes to an end. Revive yourself with a refreshing brew in Killarney Brewery. Great tasting beer needs great water and all of our handcrafted beers are brewed using the purest natural water originating from atop Mangerton Mountain – the home of the legendary Devil’s Punch Bowl. This spring flows over thousands of feet of Killarney mountain rock before emptying into the glacial lake, Lough Guitane, allowing our artisan brews to embrace the finest elements nature can provide.
Your Irish Retreats experience of the Kingdom of Kerry comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Got a bit more time to spare? Maybe take on some of the other local adventures.


 

Inclusions:


Meals


Transport

Taxi, Private bus


Accommodation

Comfort style Guesthouse (3 nights)


Included activities

 

 

We’ve chosen high-quality accommodation in a variety of bed and breakfasts, Guesthouses & wilderness lodges.

Classic – Bed & Breakfast ­& House Hotels

Enjoy a warm Irish welcome in charming and locally owned Bed & Breakfast & Hotel accommodation.

Please note:

B&B Single Supplement – is mandatory for solo travellers – Solo travellers must pay extra to have their private room.

B&B –  Twin/Double Room Share – is automatically included when 2 travellers book together

DATES  2020TWIN/DOUBLE ROOMSINGLE ROOM
JULY: 30th€559€599
AUGUST: 16th & 27th€559€599
SEPTEMBER: 13th & 24th€559€599
OCTOBER: 11th & 22nd€559€599

FAQ’s

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Do you provide arrival and departure transfers or do I need my own car?

Yes, we offer optional arrival and departure transfers, please ask your consultant at time of booking.  If you have your own car or are hiring a car for onwards travel you are also welcome to use it to make your way to the trip starting point. Once you’re in your trip location, transport will be provided to and from activities. However, it may be possible to use your own vehicle at certain times if you feel more comfortable. Your own vehicle also offers the chance to explore more of the local area before or after your retreat if you have time.

All trips & retreats begin at the preferred accommodation with a welcome meeting. See itineraries for times and locations.

Once you’ve arrived,  a local private bus/taxi will be on hand for the duration of the retreat. (included in the price)

If you have difficulty getting to the accommodation – Airport transfers are available upon request.  Also, pickups and transfers will be available from the main Train & Bus stations closest to your accommodation.

For example,

  • pick up available at Killarney & Tralee bus and train stations to your accommodations for all trips & retreats in Kerry Region. Subject to certain times
  • pick up available at Galway bus and train station to your accommodation for all trips & retreats in Connemara Region.  Subject to certain times

Please CLICK HERE for further information about getting here by plane, bus and train

 

Will my Irish Retreat have a leader?

Yes! Your Irish Retreat comes with a new, specially named expert local host. They’re here to look after you, take care of all the important bits, and give you their unique insights into the region. Travelling with an experienced host means you can just enjoy the moment, rather than worrying about what happens next.

What is the group size?

Our groups are made up of 12 travellers on average. You get all the benefits of travelling in a group – safety, new friends – but small enough to feel like your exploring a destination independently and not stuck in a big crowd.

Is there freedom & flexibility in these itineraries?

Like all Irish Experience itineraries, we’ve made sure our Irish Retreats provide the right balance between the structured and the spontaneous, giving you the flexibility to digest a destination either with your group or on your own. Want to sleep in instead of getting up for morning hike? No worries! You might spend the morning on a guided walk with your host, then partaking in a cooking a delicious local dish with your group before heading off on your own to explore the town. Needless to say, your host will be there every step of the way with suggestions and recommendations.

What if I have dietary requirements?

Most dietary requirements can be catered for, please advise us at the time of booking.

 

Will my money be going towards the local community?

Our Irish Retreats uses only locally owned accommodation and transport, and local hosts to guide the itinerary. By choosing to visit – and spend – with local and small businesses, we help ensure our money stays in the local economy and benefits the places we visit. Above all, we’re committed to a style of travel that is culturally, environmentally and socially responsible.

What if I don't want to do one of the activities?

Our Irish Retreats offer included and optional activities. If you don’t want to participate in any included activities you are free to do so, however, please note that no refund will be provided for unused services. We will do our best to substitute your unwanted activity for another activity, if available at the time. 

 

 

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biking through Killarney National Park
boat trip on the lakes of Killarney
pristine lakes at the Gap of Dunloe , County Kerry , Ireland
solo traveler enjoying the Irish landscape on the Ring of Kerry
jaunting cart ride through the Gap of Dunloe , Kerry , Ireland
solo traveler overlooking Killarney lakes - small group tour of Ireland