Finding bliss on a family vacation is easy. All it takes is getting rid of the non-essentials. No e-mail. No video games. No gadgets that begin with the letter "i." Then hightail it to a beautiful place. Like Ireland. Out here, on two wheels, it's easy to feel connected to your surroundings - and to each other. Gaze at the clouds. Listen to birdsong. Feel the wind on your face. Visit quaint villages like Ballylickey and Gougane Barra. And share a giggle as you pronounce their names. There's an ancient fortress for all to explore, whiskey tasting for adults and sheepshearing for kids. Ease, simplicity and a family vacation that suits you to a T.
Day 1 Spin through the classic Irish landscape: green hills, small farms, quaint cottages and woolly sheep Revel in the lilt of Gaelic in Inchigeelagh Arriving in Gougane Barra, a hamlet surrounded by lush forest and mountains, spot the 300-year-old church set on a tiny island Villages painted in cheery colors line our country roads to Ballylickey.
Day 2 The hospitality of the acclaimed Park Hotel Kenmare Bike past streams and waterfalls in scenic Glengarriff State Forest Reserve en route to a unique sculpture garden A gradual five-mile climb leads to magnificent Caha Pass, complete with tunnels and sweeping views of Bonane Valley A festive Irish dance and music demonstration is sure to get your feet stomping!
Day 3 A private whiskey tasting with expert John Moriarty for adults, while youngsters indulge in fish n' chips Pedal by pristine lakes, stately cliffs and glacier-carved mountains on the sparsely populated Beara Peninsula A lively sheepshearing demonstration inspires kids to give it a whirl The younger set learns about "soloing" during a game of Gaelic football, giving grown-ups the chance to browse Kenmare's boutiques, golf or just relax at the hotel - spa time, anyone?
Day 4 Soak up fascinating history and lively village culture Gorgeous cycling routes wind through Moll's Gap and the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow pass cutting between the Purple Mountains and MacGillycuddy's Reeks.
Days 5-6 An evening with a well-known Irish storyteller Wind past ancient churches, cemeteries and working farms to beautiful Caragh Lake The incredible scenery just does not quit! Feast your eyes on spectacular ice-scraped Glencar Valley Relish the joyous energy of Killarney, full of pubs and shops Make your way to 15th-century Ross Castle on foot or horse-drawn cart for a fun and interesting tour.
- Spin through the classic Irish landscape: green hills, small farms, quaint cottages and woolly sheep
- A private whiskey tasting for adults
- Soak up fascinating history and lively village culture
- The hospitality of the acclaimed Park Hotel Kenmare
- An evening of storytelling with a well-known Irish seanachie
Seaview House Hotel (1 night): Owner Kathleen O'Sullivan pampers us at her country house on the shore of Bantry Bay.
Park Hotel Kenmare (2 nights): It's just a short walk to the pubs and shops from this regal Victorian estate, nestled amid magnificent parkland on Kenmare Bay. A Relais & Châteaux member. (pool, spa, tennis, golf)
Killarney Park Hotel (2 nights): A handsome family-owned hotel, promising and delivering "warmth beyond the smile," in the heart of Killarney. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Kids: Sheepshearing Demonstration (1 Hour)|
|6||Ross Castle Guided Visit and Walk (1.5 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/9-14 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/16-21 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/30-7/5 Price: $4198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/21-26 Price: $4198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/4-9 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/11-16 Price: $4198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- No Burleys or Piccolos available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|2 - 3 guests from $6,398 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $4,898 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $5,598 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $4,298 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $5,098 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $3,998 pp dbl. occ.|
Guest Trip Reviews
This was my best vacation ever! I can't say enough about the trip leaders who made this trip so much fun for my family.- Manitou Springs, CO
I know it can sound insincere to rate a trip so highly, but I simply cannot find anything to complain about on this trip. It absolutely exceeded my expectations in every way. I think Backroads is such an awesome company. This is our second Backroads trip, and I would gladly go on many more. The combination of keeping to a schedule and being flexible is perfect, and the balance of physical and cultural activity just right.- Seattle, WA
I was really impressed with the planned kid activities, which exceeded our expectations. Our leaders were extremely patient with the children and created fun for them. They clearly love their jobs, people and families, and it shows.- Sun Valley, ID