Other dates available on request.
Group Size: Minimum 3 Maximum 12.
The Three Coasts Bike Tour is a guided cycling holiday along the South East Coast of Ireland it will average approx 55 kms/35mls per day, The route hugs most of South Wexford, Waterford and East Cork Coasts. In terms of grading this very scenic route would best be described as moderate to strenuous but your effort will be well rewarded with spectacular views and visits to many interesting places. The tour will start out from the world renowned Crystal City of Waterford and finish in another world famous place Cobh, the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. Over the 6 days the tour will travel through 3 counties and visit many towns and villages each with their own attractions and stories to tell.
See Glassmakers use their unique skills to form intricate shapes from molten glass, visit Abbeys, gaze out into the Atlantic Ocean from the Hook Lighthouse. Cycle through 25 kilometres of the spectacular Waterford Coastline also known as The Copper Coast, dwell in picturesque fishing villages. See the Round Tower at Ardmore which dates back to the 12th Century. The gardens at Ballintray House are also on your itinerary, watch the potters turn clay into the exquisite Stephen Pearce Pottery at Shangarry. Take a drop of the hard stuff at The Jameson Whiskey Experience in Midleton. Wonder at the sight of the flamingos and other species at the Fota Wildlife Park before you visit the historic port of Cobh the final calling place of the ill fated Titanic.
Towns and Villages on the tour include,Waterford, Passage East, Ballyhack, Arthurstown, Fethard on Sea, Duncannon, Dunmore East, Tramore, Annestown, Bonmahon, Stradbally, Dungarvan, Ring, Ardmore, Youghal, Garryvoe, Ballycotton, Midleton, Fota Wildlife Park, Passage West, Carrigaline, Crosshaven and Cobh.
The Tour starts on Sunday from Waterford. The tour will have the services of a guide and full backup; luggage will be transferred in advance each day to the next stopover. Accommodation will be in 3* hotels some with leisure centres. We use Giant Escape 4 Bikes which have aluminium frames and 21 gears to make pedalling that bit easier, the bikes are equipped with helmets, front and rear bags, rainwear, small first aid kit, lock, water bottle, high visibility jacket, pump and a map of the route. Cost for the 6 days with your own bike is €769 pps with B&B in hotel and evening meal. Single supplement €120 extra. If you take your own bike it will have to be in a good roadworthy condition and serviced recently.
The Complete package for the 6 days is €869. Single supplement €120 extra. This price includes the use of a fully equipped lightweight bike and accommodation in 3* hotels on a bed and breakfast basis with evening meal included and use of leisure facilities at some of the hotels. There is an option to stay in Waterford or Cobh for an extra night at an extra cost. There are many places to stop and have a tea/coffee break, coffee breaks are at your own expense as are entrance to the attractions on the route, entrance to the attractions vary in price from €6 to €15. Discounts are available for groups and for direct payments through bank draft or bank transfer, for more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaving Waterford we make our way to catch the ferry at Passage East, this 10 minute crossing will take us across the River Suir to the beautiful South Wexford Coast and the village of Ballyhack, from here we cycle the short distance to Arthurstown and then onto our first attraction Tintern Abbey. A Cistercian abbey, founded c. 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall, and named after Tintern in Wales. The remains consist of nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister. Next stop the Village of Fethard on Sea where we take our first break of the day, here there are some excellent coffee shops and pubs where good food is served. We continue our journey and Cycle out the Hook Peninsula to the Hook Head Lighthouse situated at the entrance to Waterford Harbour, the present lighthouse is about 800 years old and is one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world. Take a guided tour and hear all the fascinating stories and facts about this unique building, check out the stunning views from the top of the lighthouse. There is also a first class restaurant and giftshop on site. About 6kms from Hook head as we move towards our first overnight stop at Duncannon is the legendary Loftus Hall this bleak and exposed landmark which dominates the landscape on the Hook peninsula is famous for its ghost and some spooky stories will be told here. The village of Duncannon has a famous Fort which was built in 1588 in the expectation of an attack on the area by the Spanish Armada. The Fort is surrounded by a 30 ft high dry moat and has one of the oldest lighthouses of its kind in Ireland. All the major buildings in the Fort surround a parade ground. A walk around the outer ramparts affords spectacular views across the estuary to Co. Waterford and down to Hook Head. Located at a lower level than the moat is the croppy boy cell
Towns and villages on this stage include the picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East, the holiday resort of Tramore (meaning big strand in Irish) it is also home to the Metal Man, which is perched on one of five towers which were erected in 1823. This ancient mariner is about 14 feet tall. Each pillar is about 61 feet high. A romantic legend says that if a girl succeeds in hopping around the Metal Man pillar three times on one foot she will be married within the year. From Tramore we cycle along the Copper Coast to Bonmahon which lies at the heart of the Copper Coast European Geopark. This is one of the copper coast's unchanged and most scenic areas as it has not been touched by developers and boasts numerous beaches and wildlife. The wildlife includes wild foxes, rabbits, and many different species of birds. The local beach is popular with holidaymakers and surfers use it all year round. Our final stop of the day is Dungarvan which is nestled between the Comeragh Mountains and the sea, the town derives its name from Saint Garbhan who founded a monastery here in the 7th century. There are many places of interest here such as King Johns Castle, The Waterford County Muesum and The Old Market House Arts centre.
Setting out from Dungarvan we continue on the coastal route to the Ring Gaeltacht where the Irish language is still spoken, a little further on is the pretty fishing harbour of Helvick. Next stop is Ardmore The round tower overlooks the beautiful sandy beaches and the quiet picturesque fishing village. The beach was one of the first in Ireland to be awarded the E.U. Blue Flag. Ardmore is also a winner of Ireland's Tidiest Village Award. It is the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. St. Declan lived in the region 350-450 AD and Christianised this area before the coming of St. Patrick. St. Declan's feast day is "Pattern day" every 24th of July. Before we reach our final stop of the day we deviate slightly to visit Ballintray House Gardens It is the site of Molana Abbey, famous for its collection of Irish Canon Law, the battle ground of Viking raiders, resting place to Raymond (le Gros) Fitzerald, and not least the location of a Desmond Castle at Temple Michael owned at one time by Walter Raleigh and home to his advisor Thomas Hariot. Youghal has many connections with the past and history the most notable being Sir Walter Raleigh, Youghal used to be a busy textile centre and one of Cork's most popular seaside resorts, it is one of the most historic and interesting towns in Ireland being situated at the mouth of the Blackwater one of Ireland's best known salmon fishing rivers, there is a promenade leading to a magnificent 8 kilometre beach. It is well worth a visit. Here we have an ancient walled seaport town: it was occupied in turn by the Danes and the Normans, and received a charter from King John. It was part of the great tract of lands granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. His home, Myrtle Grove still stands there (open to the public). Tradition has it that here he smoked the first cigarette and planted the first potatoes: but tradition and historians don't always agree. The main street is spanned by an old clock tower. St. Mary's Parish Church has recently been restored to good effect, along with the adjacent town wall. Here you will find the tomb of Margaret, Countess of Desmond, who died at the age of 147 from a fall from a cherry tree. There are several other old abbeys, towers and buildings in the town - follow the signposted Town Trail. The film Moby Dick was shot on location here. The name Youghal derives from the Irish "Yew Wood". Yew was once extensive throughout Ireland. In Youghal, yew wood was used to feed the ironworks of Richard Boyle during the 17th century.
We are now in County Cork also known as the rebel county, from Youghal we travel by the coast to Redbarn. Taking in some spectacular scenery on our way to Garryvoe which is our first stop of the day. Just up the road from Garryvoe is Shangarry the home of the world famous Stephen Pearce Pottery, here you get the opportunity to see the potters creating their wonderful pieces. The Village of Cloyne is our next stop where you can see the Round Tower which is the village's symbol. We move onto Ballycotton which is a picture postcard fishing port much favoured by deep sea anglers. It offers fantastic views over a boat filled harbour to a steep island crowned by a lighthouse. There are cliff walks, and inland an extensive marshy bird sanctuary. Roches Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour is worth a visit for its extensive views of both the Atlantic and entrance to Cork Harbour. Roches Point Lighthouse guards the entrance to this the second largest natural harbour in the world. We travel the final 16kms up the Eastern Side of Cork Harbour to Midleton where the world famous Jameson Whisky is distilled. The town is the site of Cork Distilleries, formed in 1825, merged into Irish Distillers in 1967, opened in 1975. The Old Midleton Distillery which boasts the world's largest pot still - a copper vessel with a capacity of 140,000 litres - has been restored as a visitor-centre and hosts a number of attractions, including Ireland's largest working water-wheel (with a diameter of 7m). Paddy Whiskey, produced in the town, takes its name from Patrick J Flaherty, a salesman for Cork Distilleries in the 1920s.
The route is predominately flat for the final day; Start out from Midleton and cycle to Fota Wildlife Park and Fota House Arboretum and Gardens which are next door to each other, after exploring these two interesting attractions we cycle to meet the Carrigaloe to Glenbrook ferry which takes all of 5 minutes, we continue the journey down the scenic west side of Cork Harbour to Carrigaline and onto the yacht filled harbour at Crosshaven. A visit to the family run Cronins Pub is highly recommended. The pub where you'll never be bored! Everywhere you look there is something of interest. The walls are adorned with historical artefacts and there is something to interest everyone from boxing to sailing to backward clocks, even the famous Cronin's Pub ghost! And you won't go thirsty or hungry either. They carry a full range of beer, wines and spirits, including a large selection of deluxe, blended and single malt Irish whiskeys and serve the most beautiful food. We follow the same route back to the historical town of Cobh. Queenstown as it was previously known for some decades before reverting to its old Irish name in 1922 - the Cobh (cove) of Cork. Is there anywhere in Ireland more full of poignant memories than this embarkation point for America? From here hundreds of thousands of mostly hungry and penniless Irish men and women left to build a new life, especially in the Famine years of 1844-48. Many thrived and prospered, but many died on the journey in the terrible travelling conditions of the time. Cobh is a pleasant waterside town, with brightly coloured houses where its streets climb the steep slope of a hill, the top of which is crowned by the imposing Cobh Catherdral, St. Coleman's Cathedral with its carillon of 47 bells. Cobh is situated on Great Island, one of the three large islands in Cork harbour; Little Island and Fota are the other islands. The harbour is one of the largest and safest anywhere, being capable of taking the largest vessels afloat. The great Transatlantic liners used to come in up to the 1950s. Today Cobh offers a dedicated area for Cruise Liners in Cobh and can have up to 50 Liners call to Cobh annually. Attractions include The Queenstown Story which is based in the Heritage Centre of the railway station at Cobh. This highly imaginative visitor attraction tells the story of emigration from Cobh in the period of the famine in 1845 up to the era of the great Liners in the 1950s. The historical role which Cobh harbour has played as a port is also illustrated. Spike Island is also worth a visit it was previously a prison, Spike became a convict prison in 1847 and by 1850 housed over 2,000 inmates. It was here in 1848 that John Mitchell was held on his way to Van Diemens Land. Mitchells classic Jail Journal, was written while he was imprisoned at Spike. In 1883, Spike Island became a military post and the last of the prisoners were relocated to other prisons in the country. However, during the War of Independence, Spike was once again used as a prison for hundreds of republicans and their sympathisers. The conditions under which the men were imprisoned were appalling. Cobh Museum is located in the former Scots Presbyterian Church on the High Road above the Heritage Centre. Cobh Museum opened in 1973 and has grown over the years. The exhibitions reflect the cultural, social and maritime history of Cobh and the Great Island. There is a small genealogical reference section in the museum where visitors can do their own research.
Getting to Waterford
By train or Bus from Dublin
By Air to Waterford Airport.
By Air to Cork Airport and bus to Waterford
By Ferry to Rosslare and bus to Waterford
Getting from Cobh/Cork
By train or bus to Cork
By Air from Cork Airport
We will be happy to advise you on your travel arrangements within Ireland.
Lismore Cycling Holidays does not provide travel insurance. We require that you have a travel/medical insurance policy which will specifically cover cycling holidays abroad. We would strongly recommend that none of our clients undertake this trip without adequate insurance cover. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure you have the necessary cover before travelling.