A wonderful trip that follows the Wild Atlantic Way and so the Irish coastline. Highlights are Dublin with Guiness, Belfast, the Dingle Peninsula, the Giant Causeway, Bushmills, and some more.
|per rider in shared twin/double room (to book a separate room, please choose the single room surcharge)||€4,099.00 $4,332.11 ?|
|per pillion passenger in shared twin/double room (passengers cannot book without an accompanying rider)||€3,669.00 $3,877.65 ?|
|per person single room (surcharge - only available with an additional selection of the basic price "per rider in shared twin/double room")||€1,249.00 $1,320.03 ?|
|2 x double cabin with shower/WC on the ferry incl. half board|
|14 nights in double room in good hotels|
|German speaking tour guide|
|All scheduled ferries and entrance fees|
|Travel cancellation and repatriation insurance|
|Everything that is not specified under services|
|Total distance: about 3.400 km (from/to ferry, without arrival/departure)|
|Minimum number of participants: 6 riders. If the minimum number of participants is not reached, we reserve the right to cancel the tour up to 28 days before the start of the tour.|
|Group size: max. 10 motorcycles.|
|Riding skills: The motorcycle should be safely controlled at all times.|
|Motorcycles: You travel with your own motorcycle. Please make sure that you still have enough tire tread for the duration of the trip including arrival/departure to/from Rotterdam/Amsterdam.|
|Road conditions: Riding in left-hand traffic requires an enormous amount of concentration, especially on roads with little traffic. The condition of the roads is usually good, but in remote areas, there can of course be asphalt surfaces rutted by potholes. Caution is always advised, as the nastiest potholes almost always lurk behind blind curves. On the single-lane single-track roads, the parking bays are used to let oncoming and following faster vehicles pass. However, motorcycles can often pass without the parking bays if they ride slowly enough. Everywhere, where it permits marvelously curved asphalt strips with appropriate surface (and if there are those, then we ride those also!), can be waved naturally also times swinging. It goes without saying that the rider should be able to handle his motorcycle safely on Ireland's narrow roads.|
|Daily schedule: Normally a travel day starts at 8.00 a.m. with breakfast. At about 9.00 a.m., after the briefing from the tour guide, it's off to the next stage destination. Lunch and coffee breaks will not be missing, of course. We usually reach our hotel by 6:30 p.m. at the latest. Should it be exceptionally later, then there is certainly a good reason for it.|
|Incidental costs: Ireland is a relatively expensive destination. The liter of unleaded gasoline costs about 1.70 euros, a beer (0.5 l) five to six, a quarter of wine around five euros.|
|Accommodations: We have selected for you a typical cross-section of the Irish hotel industry. As a rule, these are good hotels of the 3-star category, but there can also be four. Each accommodation is distinguished either by its distinctive location, history, cuisine, or atmosphere. Of course, the rooms are always equipped with bathrooms. However, one should not be bothered by the partly outdated standard of the fittings. They are just so old stylish.|
|Power supply: The plugs in Ireland and the UK are different. So you definitely need an adapter, because the German and European plugs do not fit into the sockets in any case. In more modern houses you can find different sockets, but you should not rely on that. By the way, cell phones can also be recharged very well at an onboard socket if you have a suitable plug with you.|
|Meals: In the morning there is almost always and everywhere cereals and then the sumptuous, warm Irish breakfast (eggs, bacon, and toast, etc.), in the evening we go out to eat together. This can be either out of the house or in the hotel if it has a good restaurant to offer. But everyone can also cook his own soup or look for his extra sausage.|
|Climate: There is a nice saying that aptly describes the weather conditions: "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes". In fact, the climate up in the Northwest is very changeable, as it is always dominated by the presence of the North Atlantic, and therefore almost unpredictable. However, this also means that of course, it doesn't always rain, sometimes there are strong winds instead, rarely both together. Even in summer, temperatures average between 10° and 20° Celsius. However, it can also be really warm and sunny, so some people would like to cool down.|
|Entry: Swiss citizens and citizens of EU countries only need an identity card for entry. Participants of other nationalities please inquire themselves at the responsible national representation.|
|Language: This offer is usually suitable for English and/or German speaking participants. Please enquire for language options.|
|Mobility: The offer is not suitable for people with reduced mobility. Please contact us for more information.|
Mystical Ireland - Curvy cruise on the evergreen island
It is one of the longest coastal roads in the world. From the coast near Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way winds along the west coast all the way up to the Inishowen Peninsula. On this winding path, the traveler always feels the power and might of the ocean. Over thousands of years, the ocean has carved this coastline with its mighty cliffs out of the eternal granite. Between rugged cliffs, there are always picturesque bays with white beaches that invite you to swim. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, this is no mere pipe dream. But it's not just the coast that makes Ireland special. Many fine roads lead into the green hinterland, to pretty little towns with quaint half-timbered houses, rustic castles, and abandoned abbeys. Culture is everywhere, often in liquid form. In addition to the Shannon, Guinness and Bushmills also flow here in large quantities, which is why the sites of these cultural assets are a must for an intensive exploration of Ireland.
Journey to Rotterdam. Crossing to Hull
Arrival in Hull. Instruction in riding on the left.
Ride to Wales, the "Land of the Red Dragon".
After riding through the hilly landscape of Snowdonia National Park, the first stop is in the small Welsh town of Caernarfon (pronounced Kenawen) with the World Heritage Site of Caernarfon Castle. Because of many bitter wars between the Welsh princes and the Anglo-Norman kings, the comparatively high density of massive medieval fortresses is explainable. Caernarfon Castle, with its polygonal towers, was intended to be a symbol of Edward I's subjugation of the Welsh.
Photo stop at the station with the longest place name in the world. A seemingly random stringing together of 58 letters results in a word unpronounceable for non-Welsh people. Those who have tried the tongue twister may get back on their bikes and ride with us across the Anglesey peninsula to the ferry port of Holyhead.
During the ferry crossing from Wales to Ireland, you can still see the hilly Wicklow Mountains from the ship to the left of the course if the visibility is clear. We will pass through them tomorrow after spending the night in Dublin.
We stay directly for one night in Dublin, wherein the Irish capital the meanwhile largest attraction expects us: the GUINNESS Storehouse! Once the nucleus of the brewery, later only its hop storehouse. From here, the famous black beer started its triumphal procession all over the world more than 250 years ago. In the evening, the famous trendy district around Temple Bar beckons.
Any sightseeing we do the next morning is best with a hop on-hop off bus or on foot. This way everyone can decide individually what they want to see. There will be enough time until the late check-out around noon.
After everyone has visited the most interesting sights of Dublin individually in the morning, we will go to our today's overnight stay in Kilkenny after a late check-out.
Hidden in the mountains lies the former monastic settlement of Glendalough. This is where Irish monks retreated from the marauding Vikings in early Christianity. In this remote place, they created one of the most important spiritual centers of that time. The former refuge towers, which look like stone missiles, are striking.
Kilkenny is a lively little town with a medieval center. The industrious and enterprising inhabitants of the town, however, have always managed to keep their town from becoming a medieval museum village, but have always adapted it to modern times. Witnesses to this are the Kilkenny Design Center or the largest shopping center in Ireland, as well as an extensive range of restaurants. If you are not spooked easily, you can enjoy your beer in the pub "Kyteler's Inn", whose landlady was accused of witchcraft in the Middle Ages after several spousal murders. However, she was able to divert suspicion to her maid, whose ghost is now said to haunt the inn after being tortured and burned at the stake.
Via Mallow and Skibbereen we go to the peninsula Mizen Head, which is hardly developed for tourism and only little visited. Ireland has five peninsulas that extend from the southwest of the country into the Atlantic Ocean. They are also called the five fingers of Ireland, which stretch out into the sea. Mizen Head is one of these five fingers. The small village of Crookhaven is a good place to take a break. Those who are free from giddiness and are not afraid of looking into the sea abyss can cross the footbridge that leads to the Mizen Head Signal Station lighthouse. As is often the case on the following days, the visit is particularly impressive - and awe-inspiring - in stormy weather. It's back down the Mizen Head peninsula and on to your overnight stop today in Bantry.
The Beara Peninsula is another of the 'five fingers of Ireland'. From a tourist point of view, this peninsula is also somewhat overshadowed by its famous sister, which you will ride around the next day. We will start the round trip after a nice and winding ride in Kenmare and ride first along the north coast of Beara. In any case, we will stop in the small village of Eyries, whose colorful houses partly bright colors not only reflect the cheerful lifestyle of the Irish but are also a popular photo motif - or inspiration with a little color at home to surprise the neighbors for sure.
Dursey Island awaits you at the end of the Beara Peninsula. The offshore island can only be reached by a cable car, which is used to bring all the necessities of life for the handful of Dursey residents to the island. Also the cattle! We continue back along the south coast until we turn off and return to the north side via Healy Pass, "the Gotthard of the Emerald Isle". Once again we pass the town of Kenmare on a winding and scenic route to Killarney. The lively little town of Killarney is the capital of County Kerry.
Around the "Ring of Kerry"
At the beginning of the round trip around the "Ring of Kerry", we ride through Killarney National Park once again to Kenmare to start our round trip here. There is a reason why we do not ride the round trip the other way round: Tourist buses are instructed to ride the loop counterclockwise. However, with Kenmare as our starting point, we ride clockwise and the buses come towards us - it's much more relaxed that way. We follow the coastal scenic road, which bears its name "Ring of Kerry" because it runs in a ring around the Iveragh Peninsula within the province of Kerry. In the village of Waterville, you should at least have a coffee (tea is usually better in Ireland) at the Parknasilla Resort Hotel. Charlie Chaplin spent his vacation in this venerable hotel. At the very tip of the Ring of Kerry, you can see the cone-shaped Skellig Islands. No wonder, if the contours of the islands should look familiar to you: The two rocky islands were filming locations for two STAR WARS episodes.
The Skellig Experience Center in Portmagee shows how monks in early Christianity escaped persecution by taking refuge on the inhospitable islets, where they lived as a group of hermits in stone dwellings known as "beehive huts." A little further on, in Glenbeigh, we can see in the open-air museum Kerry Bog Village what poor conditions the Irish bog farmers had to live in, often for only a short time. Via Killorglin, we ride back to our second overnight stay in Killarney.
Today's topic: the Dingle Peninsula We have left out only one of the five fingers of Ireland, which extend as peninsulas from the southwest of the country into the Atlantic Ocean. But the last one, not riding Dingle, would mean leaving out one of the most beautiful corners of Ireland. A must, therefore. First, we ride along the north side of Dingle and then over the Connor Pass, which ends directly in the town of Dingle ("Dingle Town"). In this small town, we stop for a lunch break. Dingle is especially appreciated by friends of fish and seafood because of its numerous restaurants with preparations "fresh from the catch". One of the highlights of the trip comes now: the ride on the narrow road to Slea Head. This is the westernmost end of Ireland, apart from the offshore Blasket Islands, which had to be abandoned by their inhabitants because the Irish government judged the living conditions on the barren rocky island to be inhumane. How and from what the few fishermen and farmers on the Blaskets lived, one learns in the Blasket Centre. Halfway back to Killarney is the long sandy Inch Beach, which is even passable. It's back to Killarney for the last night there.
From Killarney, we travel via Tralee to the mouth of the Shannon River. We cross Ireland's longest river by ferry and ride via Kilrush to the outermost tip, the cliff coast of Loop Head. In strong winds or even storms, it is an impressive experience when the roaring sea hits the cliffs with such force that you can no longer understand your own words. Over millions of years, the surf has cut a tunnel into one of the cliffs. Impressive proof of the elemental force that was and still is at work here. Scenes from Star Wars were also filmed at Loop Head. We continue along the west coast to the Cliffs of Moher.
The cliffs drop vertically up to 210 m into the Atlantic. At Loop Head, it is also impressive here when the waves of the Atlantic break at the foot of the cliffs in stormy weather. Most of the time, however, the weather at the cliffs is calm. Then you can hear the cries of thousands of seabirds nesting in the narrow ledges, including seagulls, guillemots, and puffins. Overnight very close to the cliffs.
Barely twenty kilometers from the cliffs we find a geological feature: the Burren. The Burren limestone plateau is one of the most beautiful natural rocky landscapes in Europe and has developed over the centuries into a treasure trove of nature that delights every botanist. The Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants grow harmoniously side by side out of the rock crevices. From May on, they are in rich bloom and form a unique community of life. The fauna of the Burren would rather be expected in European low mountain ranges than here, at the edge of Europe to the Atlantic.
Shortly after, we ride through Connemara, one of the loneliest and most pristine landscapes in Ireland. Oliver Cromwell once sent Irish rebels into exile in this region, which has wildly romantic landscapes, but whose barren soil almost lead a farmer to certain starvation in the 17th century. What a difference to the lush green soil in the southwest of the country. We ride through the hilly landscape, past what feels like thousands of sheep, through high moors, and along the shores of lakes to the town of Westport, our overnight stop for the next two nights.
Today we sail to the remote Achill Island. For some years the German writer Heinrich Böll lived here. He summarized his observations in Ireland in his book of stories "Irish Diary". One story describes a doctor's wife's fear for her husband, who has to drive along a winding, narrow road at night to a woman in childbirth. The book was written in the 1950s. The smaller roads are now paved, but still narrow and winding. Today we concentrate entirely on Achill Island and enjoy this stage of the day to the full. Including a visit to Heinrich Böll's cottage, we still have enough time for the riding highlights of this wild region. We spend the night once again in Westport.
Shortly behind the town of Sligo rises the table mountain Benbulben. After passing the town of Donegal, we enter the county of the same name. Donegal, in the extreme northwest of Ireland, is one of the most remote areas of Europe - nevertheless, it is also one of the most charming. If you are looking for Ireland where it is most typical, you have to come to Donegal, they say. During the ride, we can decide which way to take to our today's overnight stay in Letterkenny. The national road 56 leads in a wide semicircle once around Donegal and is undoubtedly the most scenic route, although the farthest. We will of course try to surf as long and extensively as possible along the coast on the Wild Atlantic Way. Some surprises included. In between, we have the choice at several junctions to shorten the route on smaller roads through Glenveagh National Park. Overnight stay in Letterkenny.
Not far behind Letterkenny the British part of Ireland begins. From Derry (only the British refer to this city as Londonderry) we follow the shore of Lough Foyle and cross it with a short ferry crossing. At the end of a long beach, we find Mussenden Temple, a circular building situated directly on the beach above the sea. The building originally stood farther from the cliff edge, but due to the erosion of the sea, it now stands right on the edge of the cliff. At some point, it will probably be unsalvageable. Mussenden Temple was formerly built as a library for the Bishop of Derry, but its real purpose is said to have been more of a secret love nest for the clergyman. Mussenden Temple was one of the filming locations for the series "Games of Thrones". Along the north coast, we make a photo stop at Dunluce Castle, another filming location. We stop here not because of that, but because of the ruin, which looks spooky even in daylight. During a stormy night in the 16th century, the entire kitchen wing is said to have fallen over the cliffs into the sea - along with the kitchen staff. Who knows, maybe cook, kitchen boy, and mamsel really haunt Dunluce Caste at night? Our next stop is the Giants Causeway, a formation of thousands of hexagonal basalt columns that slope down into the sea in terraces. According to legend, they are the work of a giant who wanted to use them to build a way to Scotland so that he could reach his beloved on dry feet. The columns are of volcanic origin and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since we have enough time today, we can take our time to see the sights. Of course, a visit to Bushmill's Distillery is a must.
A very short motorcycle day brings us today to the other capital of Ireland. To the capital of Northern Ireland, to Belfast. We have the whole rest of the day to visit the rival. Let's see which city will win your favor in the end. Again, a trip on a hop on - hop off bus is a good way to get introduced to all the highlights during a short bus ride. After that, you can decide what you would like to see. We stay overnight in the capital.
In the late morning, we take the ferry from Belfast over to Cairnryan, which is in Scotland. In the afternoon, after the two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride, we get to know a little bit more about Scotland, so we go to the center of the main island so that we don't have to go quite so far the next day. How about a portion of delicious haggis? The typical lamb roast is now often served in a baked potato. It's much tastier than the explanation sounds. The exact location of our overnight stay has not yet been determined.
After a hearty Scottish breakfast, we take a few last turns through the Scott until we reach Hadrian's Wall, the northernmost limes, or a border wall, of the Roman Empire. If time permits, we visit a small Roman fort, which explains very vividly how things must have been here shortly after the birth of Christ. In the evening we check in for our return trip from Newcastle to Ijmuiden near Amsterdam.
Day 17: Saturday, 25.06.
Arrival at Ijmuiden near Amsterdam in the morning