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9 Day Wild Atlantic Way Self-Guided Motorcycle Tour In Ireland

The Brehon, Killarney, Ireland

Wild Motorcycle Holidays in Ireland

LemonRock's most popular tour, the classic Wild Atlantic Way Tour has been designed for riders who want to experience the lesser-known parts of Ireland on incredible roads! The tour includes seven days of fantastic riding and eight nights accommodation, starting at LemonRock's base in Killarney in the 4-star hotel and spa, The Brehon.

Key information

  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Bike: rental bike (BMW F700GS / Suzuki DL650XT / BMW F750GS / BMW R1200R / R1200GS / BMW R1250GS / Harley Davidson) or personal bike
  • Mileage: 1850 kilometers / 1150 miles
  • Daily rides: 220 - 285 kilometers / 137 - 177 miles
  • Riding gear: included: helmets, panniers, removable linings, top box, and GPS satellite navigation; available to rent: protective clothing such as jacket, pants, gloves, and boots
  • Meals: all breakfasts and 1 dinner at the Beach Bar

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Killarney Town
  • Enjoy the pubs and music nightlife in Dingle
  • Ride along dramatic and narrow, twisting roads
  • Ride on mountain roads twisting through hills and countryside
  • Observe the Ring of Kerry while riding with the sea on your left
  • Take a peek at Burren National Park and all its beauty
  • Enjoy the traffic-free bends while on bike
  • 8 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


7 riding days
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
Airport transfer included: Kerry Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Swimming pool (indoor)
  • Tennis court
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lobby
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Ironing / ironing board
  • Parking lot

You will be accommodated in three and four-star bed and breakfasts and hotels. Start and finish your tour at the four-star hotel and spa in The Brehon.

Program

The riding is engaging, with plenty of twisty scenic roads. Each day, you arrive at a new location after 5 or 6 hours riding. The routes are pre-programmed in detail on your Sat Nav systems, which ensures you see parts of the countryside that ordinary visitors rarely see. Each evening, you stay in lively towns where you can relax or engage in the local Irish social scene, normally with a great range of restaurants and pubs to explore. LemonRock Bike Tours provides a range of BMW motorcycles chosen for their suitability to Irish roads.

Day 1: Killarney Town

Arrival. Complimentary pick-up from Kerry Airport or Killarney Train Station. Pick up from Shannon and Cork Airports available. Check-in with The Brehon (four-star) for overnight accommodation. Early check-in when available for international arrivals. Complimentary drink at the bar or meet up with fellow riders. If you are early, you can check out your bike and riding gear. Kick back and enjoy the facilities of the Brehon or its sister hotel The Gleneagle next door, which has live music. Visit Killarney town and soak up the atmosphere.

Day 2: Killarney Town to Kenmare (259 kilometers / 160 miles)

Bike orientation - take your time to make sure you are comfortable on your bike, have the correct riding gear and understand the routes on Sat Navs. It’s good to get early as this will take the best part of two hours. Head south past the Lakes of Killarney on the Muckross Road. As LemonRock Bike Tours is situated right on the Ring of Kerry, it will be only minutes before you are witnessing the most fabulous sights.

Ladies View needs to be seen to be believed. Even on dull days, this is a world-class vantage point. The hilltop at the second car park commands the view much admired by Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting, when they visited here in 1861, hence the name Ladies’ View.

You will also ride through the Molls Gap - mountain roads twisting through the hills and countryside. The rocks at Moll’s gap are formed of Old Red Sandstone. Ring of Beara peninsula is very remote and quiet, leaving you time to get fully acquainted with your bike and not being distracted by traffic. The Caha and Healey passes are truly magnificent and the Priest’s Leap is another spectacular pass for the more adventurous solo rider.

Overnight in Kenmare, County of Kerry. Kenmare is a bustling town and has a superb choice of restaurants to cater for all tastes. Watch out for the “Session Trail Pubs” which host live traditional music and are free for all to enjoy. Accommodation will be a friendly three-star accommodation right in Kenmare Town center.

Day 3: Kenmare to Dingle (220 kilometers / 136 miles)

Your route starts on the famous Ring of Kerry, which is a “must-do” on every visitor's list while in the South West of Ireland. You will ride the Ring in a clockwise direction so that you ride with the sea on your left and in the opposite direction of the coaches. it is the perfect way to see the Ring of Kerry.

Riding with Kenmare Bay on your left, you will pass through Parknasilla and then divert up to see Staigue Fort. Back onto the ring for Coomakista Pass which offers fantastic views over Kenmare Bay. The Skellig Ring scenic drive starts in Waterville and takes in the wonderful Valentia Island accessed by a bridge from the picturesque Portmagee and Ballinskelligs.

The Valentia Island Tetrapod Footprints are the most extensive of the four Devonian trackways in the world. Riding down the island, you’ll reach Knightstown, where you can take a short ferry ride to Reenard Point back onto the mainland, with options for excellent lunch breaks in either town. Cahirsiveen, Mountain Stage, Kells Bay, Glenbeigh are famous parts of The Ring of Kerry. You can switch off your intercoms and enjoy the spectacular views in silence.

Killorglin is the home to the famous annual Puck Fair. Puck Fair, (‘POC’ being the Irish for a male goat) is one of Ireland’s oldest fairs. The “Queen of Puck”, traditionally a young schoolgirl from one of the local primary schools, crowns the goat “King Puck“. It takes place each August 10th. The goat is released unharmed.

Next stop will be Dingle, truly a gem of a town. Dingle is famous for its pubs and music nightlife and Fungi the dolphin. Optional rest day stay’s the second night in Dingle. There are lots to see and do. Overnight in Dingle, County of Kerry (four-star accommodation).

Day 4: Dingle to County Clare (285 kilometers / 177 miles)

Start early with Slea Head which is very popular with tourists. The Slea Head Drive is a circular route beginning and ending in Dingle, that takes in stunning views on the western end of the peninsula.

The Conor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland and provides the most dramatic and scenic way of entering or leaving Dingle. This narrow, twisting road runs between the town of Dingle and Kilmore Cross on the north side of the peninsula and on through Castlegregory. It is a lovely biking route but takes time to stop and look back at the views. You will pass through Blennerville, which was the main port of emigration from County of Kerry to North America during the Great Famine.

Tarbert to Killimer Ferry is the preferred route instead of riding up through Adare and Limerick, which you will see on the way home. You cross the Shannon Estuary leaving Kerry and crossing into Country Clare. Here, you will appreciate one of the many wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way, with ever-changing scenery.

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of one million visitors every year and is a Signature Discovery Point in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. They stretch for 8 kilometers as the crow flies, along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland and reach 214 meters (702 feet) at their highest point. The evening is the best time to view the Cliffs as the sun sets west over the Atlantic.

Overnight in Doolin or Ballyvaughan, County of Clare (depending on hotel availability, three-star accommodation). This is a very busy spot in high season. So LemonRock Bike Tours often has to juggle between hotels to accommodate all guests.

Day 5: Ballyvaughan/Doolin to Westport (280 kilometers / 173 miles)

Blackhead Lighthouse is more noteworthy for the moon-like landscape, which slopes down to the Atlantic, than for the lighthouse itself, it is a serene spot to savor.

The Burren National Park - the word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. You can spend hours riding around here - its landscape is very different from other parts of the Wild Atlantic Way. The recommendation is to visit the Burren Smokehouse and the set location for Fr. Ted, where Mrs. Doyle lookalikes still serve cups of tea.

Roundstone, Connemara is a very picturesque village by the sea and have a great selection of restaurants and gourmet food pubs. Visit Matt Molloy’s pub in Westport (Matt Molly is a member of the famous Chieftains) where live traditional musicians play seven nights a week, in an authentic intimate setting.

Overnight in Westport, County of Mayo (three stars). Westport is a regular winner of Ireland Tidiest Town and is truly a gem to visit.

Day 6: Westport to Sligo (220 kilometers / 136 miles)

Newport nestles on the shore of Clew Bay is famous for its 365 Islands, very pleasant seaside resort, and part of an attractive and unspoiled coastline.

Mulraney is acclaimed as Ireland's best small tourist town, a European Destination of Excellence. It is a superb stop for taking a walk on the beach and enjoying the spectacular views. Achill Island has a long history of human settlement and there is evidence that Achill was inhabited as many as 5,000 years ago. Megalithic tombs and promontory forts testifying to this can be seen at Slievemore, along the Atlantic Drive and on Achill Beg Island.

Kildamhnait Castle is a 15th-century tower house associated with the O’Malley Clan, who were once a ruling family of Achill. Grace O’Malley, or Granuaile, the most famous of the O’ Malley’s was born in Clare Island around 1530. Her father was the chieftain of the barony of Murrisk. The O’Malleys were a powerful sea faring family, who traded widely and refused to submit to English rule. Grace became a fearless leader and gained fame as a sea captain and pirate.

Ballina, situated on the famous River Moy, is Mayo’s largest town. Enniscrone - there are five kilometers of safe, clean, golden beaches. For eight decades people have come to bathe in hot seawater and seaweed renowned for its therapeutic qualities. Look out for the eclectic glamping village which plans to offer quirky accommodation in a range of vehicles, including London taxis or 747 jet!

Overnight in Beach Bar Guesthouse. Evening dinner included at the Beach Bar.

Day 7: Sligo to Galway City (268 kilometers / 166 miles)

Mountain pass to Easky Lough - this route brings you through one of the more remote parts of Ireland, with only the occasional sheep to keep you company. The road cuts through the Ox Mountains and brings you back to nature. A great way to start your day. Swinford to Castlebar has some nice biking roads where you can enjoy the traffic-free bends and enjoy the bike. Louisburgh is a charming seaside town, marking the beginning of yet another stunning ride into Connemara.

Doolough Pass in Connemara is a world-renowned fishery with spectacular views, make this a super riding route. Stop off to visit the famine memorial monument. It serves as a reminder of the Great Famine, which occurred in Ireland during the mid 19th century, marking one of the most tragic periods in Irish history. The memorial itself is a plain stone cross engraved with the words ‘Doolough Tragedy 1849’.

Clew Bay has, according to tradition, 365 islands, one for every day of the year. It’s probably the most beautiful bay in Ireland, and the views of it from all around Westport are spectacular. Most of the islands in the bay are uninhabited, although a few brave souls cling to the age-old tradition of living on a small island all year round.

Killary Harbour located in Leenane, Connemara, County of Galway, is Ireland’s only fjord. It forms a partial border between counties Galway and Mayo. It is 16 kilometers long and in the center, it is over 45 meters deep. Kylemore Abbey is definitely worth a visit. Kylemore Castle was built in the late 1800s by Mitchell Henry MP, a wealthy businessman, and liberal politician. Inspired by his love for his wife Margaret, and his hopes for his beloved Ireland, Henry created an estate boasting ‘all the innovations of the modern age’.

An enlightened landlord and vocal advocate of the Irish people, Henry poured his life’s energy into creating an estate that would showcase what could be achieved in the remote wilds of Connemara. Today Kylemore Abbey is owned and run by the Benedictine community who have been in residence here since 1920.

Overnight in Galway City (four-star accommodation).

Day 8: Galway City to Killarney Town (267 kilometers / 165 miles)

The ride home from Galway is quite relaxed with a small stretch of motorway which you will probably have all to your self down as far as Ennis. Back across the River Shannon by Tarbert Ferry, down through Killorglin until you turn off for the valleys and mountains. Ballagh Beama pass cuts across the mountains in the center of the Iveragh Peninsula and offers an isolated, but a breathtaking alternative route to the Ring of Kerry, with remarkably little traffic. This gives the sheep free reign of the landscape.

There is a beautiful flowing stream that flow’s from a higher point on the South, near the stunning area that is Ballagh Beama. It is located between Blackwater and Glencar with stunning views on either side of this mountainous region. It really does capture the imagination which makes it a must for any photography enthusiast.

Strawberry Field Pancakes is famed for its pancakes and indeed a variety of freshly served food. A treat awaits those who stop here. 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 its name.

The gap begins at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. 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. Within easy walking distance from Kate Kearney’s cottage is a picturesque old bridge known as the ‘Wishing Bridge’. It is said that wishes made here really do come true.

Kate Kearney’s Cottage is the síbin (an illegal unlicensed Irish pub) where Kate used to distill her famous poitín, ‘Kate Kearney’s Mountain Dew’, which was ''very fierce and wild, requiring not less than seven times its own quantity of water to tame and subdue it.” It was of course illicit. However, Kate flouted the law and invited the weary traveler to partake of her hospitality.

Returning bikes to LemonRock Bike Tours. Overnight in The Brehon (four-star accommodation). Relax in the complimentary vitality suite, which includes a pool with hydrotherapy jets, an herb sauna, a crystal steam room, an ice fountain, a tropical shower, and a Kubel dusche. Or consider booking ahead for a spa treatment in the Brehon’s Angsana Spa - a treat to end your week.

Day 9: Killarney Town

Transported back to your airport for the flight home. Depending on the time of flight, you may have time for shopping in Killarney or relaxing in the excellent Angsana Spa in the Brehon.

Skill level required for this tour: intermediate

Intermediate skill level

  • can ride for three to four hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Location

This motorcycle tour will take place in various locations in Ireland. You will visit Killarney Town, Kenmare, Dingle, Doolin, Ballyvaughan, Westport, Sligo, and Galway City.

Food

Enjoy the best of Irish food each morning, one dinner at Beach Bar Guesthouse, and a welcome drink on the evening of your arrival to The Brehon.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Enjoy the ride through magnificent nature without the traffic crowd
  • Visit Burren Smokehouse for a cup of tea served by Mrs. Doyle lookalikes
  • Listen to some live traditional music at Matt Molloy’s pub in Westport
  • Stroll across the Ireland Tidiest Town
  • Be enchanted with golden beaches of Enniscrone
  • Visit the Kate Kearney’s Cottage and soak up the local history

What's included

  • BMW rental motorcycles equipped with panniers, removable linings, and top box
  • 8 nights accommodations
  • Airport transfers from Kerry Airport (KIR)
  • Irish breakfast every morning of your tour
  • GPS satellite navigation with pre-programmed routes carefully planned by LemonRock
  • EU approved helmet (4 and 5-star sharp ratings) for rider and pillion
  • Comprehensive motorcycle insurance once you meet the insurer’s requirements, subject to excess
  • Full orientation to make sure you feel comfortable riding the bike prior to your tour
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Breakdown cover and puncture repair kit
  • Begin your tour with the bike fully fuelled, to be returned with a full tank
  • Access to a personal app / virtual roadbook which you can download to your smartphone
  • Souvenir printed roadbook
  • Enjoy a welcome drink on the evening of your arrival
  • Lemonrock merchandise (buff and earplugs)
  • Complimentary and secure luggage storage at LemonRock's premises

What's not included

  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Fuel
  • Ferries (other than stated)
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Fines
  • Admission fees
  • Gratuities
  • Anything else that is not mentioned in "what’s included"
  • Protective clothing such as jacket, pants, gloves, and boots (15 EUR per day)
  • Intercom
  • Transfers to / from Dublin, Shannon, or Cork Airports
  • Reduced collision damage waiver to 1000 EUR (25 EUR per day)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Kerry Airport (KIR). The transfer from and to this airport is included in the price. LemonRock Bike Tours will pick you up from the airport.

Arrival by bus

Dublin Coach runs inexpensive bus service from Dublin Airport and Dublin City Centre direct to LemonRock – select Killarney Gleneagle destination.

Arrival by train

Regular trains run from Dublin and Cork to Killarney. Five minutes shuttle bus service operated by Gleneagle and Brehon - please ask to be dropped off at The Brehon - LemonRock Bike Tours ais located right behind The Brehon. Check with Irish Rail.

Airport: Kerry Airport Airport transfer included: Kerry Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
9 days / 8 nights
from --
Tour information

Upon arrival, you will receive an app to install on your phone. This way, you will have access to the tour itinerary, the accommodation reservations and all the details of the tour.

There are more packages available for riders and pillions and groups of 2 riders. Please ask for details in your inquiry.

Low season
  • April
  • May
  • September
High season
  • June
  • July
  • August

Select your package:

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