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Ireland Family Bike Tour
Ireland Family Bike Tour

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.

Trip Highlights
  • 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
big map

Premiere Inns

Seaview House (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)

Routes For All Abilities

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.

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
1 11* 800 25 1000
2 16* 1100 31 1700 45 2300
3 15* 400 24* 600 47 1100
Kids: Sheepshearing Demonstration (1 Hour)
4 20* 1400 49 2800
5 23* 400 28* 1000 42 1700
6 Ross Castle Guided Visit and Walk (1.5 Hours)

* Includes a shuttle

2015 Dates & Pricing*

  • 6/16-21 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)
  • 6/30-7/5 Price: $4398 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: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $570 for sgl. occ.)

*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.

Recommended Kids Ages

Minimum Ages:

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: Please note that a trip may feature an activity with an older age requirement than the minimum age recommendation for the trip. Younger kids are still welcome on the trip and while they will not be able to participate in the activity, the leaders will suggest an alternate activity. For safety reasons, children under 7 may not ride their own bikes and are required to ride on a Kazoo or in a Burley Cub trailer. For certain destinations, children must be 9 or older to ride their own bikes.

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.

If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

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.

Please note: Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.

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.
Margaret Dlugos- 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.
Vicki W.- 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.
Pam Fleischer- Sun Valley, ID