The Copper Coast tour blends some of Ireland’s best heritage sights with a relatively undiscovered but still stunning coastline. This tour focuses on what is locally known as the “Sunny South East”, the Irish Med if you will!!
MAKE AN ENQUIRY
The tour starts and finishes in the beautiful city of Kilkenny before heading south to the coast. Kilkenny is perhaps the most attractive Irish city. It is dominated by a spectacular castle on a bend in the river Nore and has a wealth of historic buildings knitted together by narrow cobbled streets boasting many lively pubs and fine restaurants.
Leaving Kilkenny behind, the cycle brings you towards the coast where our first stop is New Ross, whose famine ship gives a haunting reminder of a dark chapter in Irish history. Some more recent history can be experienced at the Kennedy Visitor centre before a quaint ferry will bring us across Waterford Harbour to stop at the truly special place of Dunmore East. Here there are lovely beaches and magnificent views to enjoy. The Copper Coast is a spectacular cycle where the road twists along cliffs and then plunges into and out of coves. The picturesque seaside town of Dungarvan is where we take our rest day, before heading inland to the Rock of Cashel. This is one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites, standing proudly atop a limestone hill dominating the surrounding countryside. The nearby Bru Boru Heritage and Cultural centre provides an interesting insight into Irish traditional music. Some quiet country roads with lovely views will then bring us back to Kilkenny.
Day 1 – Arrive in Kilkenny
The cycling safari starts with a meeting of the group at 6:30pm in the city of Kilkenny. After an introductory talk from the guide, an evening meal is organised in nearby pubs, while your luggage is transported to our guesthouse(s).
If you get there early you can leave your luggage with the hotel reception and explore this beautiful medieval city with its impressive castle. . There are also lots of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops to wander around
Day 2 – Kilkenny to New Ross – 28 miles/45km
The first day of our cycle takes us south on quiet backroads. We pass Mount Juliet, one of Irelands most prestigious golf courses en route to Jerpoint Abbey. You have a chance to visit this 12th Century ruined Abbey before we stop off for lunch in Thomastown.
The afternoon cycle takes us further south on our journey to New Ross, a lovely town on the River Barrow. Local merchants sailed their own ships back and forth to the colonies often carrying Irish emigrants. A replica of one of those ships, the Dunbrody (www.dunbrody.com) is now berthed on the quay in New Ross and offers visitors to the ship an insight into life as a passenger during the late 19th century.
Day 3 – New Ross to Dunlore East – 35 miles/57km
The morning starts on quiet roads, cycling further south, until we hit the South Coast of Ireland en route to the seaside village of Duncannon for lunch. That afternoon we keep to the coast as much as possible, we take a short ferry ride across Passage East, that brings us ever closer to the beautiful seaside town and fishing port of Dunmore East where we spend the night.
Day 4 – Dunlore East to Dungarvan – 35 miles/57km
Todays cycle brings us along the beautiful Copper Coast, and inspiration for this tour. A stunning section of the Irish Coastline, it rolls up and down along an unspoilt shoreline. Although hillys in sections all climbs are worth the literally breathtaking views.
The last section of the cycle is on one of the few dedicated cycle paths in the area. Our nights destination is the attractive town of Dungarvan where we are spending two nights.
Day 5 – Rest Day in Dungarvan
A chance to relax in this seaside town. There is an attractive harbour area with restaurants where you can relax and watch the world go by. There is a golf course nearby if you fancy something different.
You can visit Waterford Country Museum, or even download an app onto your phone and to discover the history of the town explore some of the historic landmarks. This easy to use audio tour features contemporary accounts from soldiers, travellers and writers from times past!
Day 6 – Dungarvan to Cahir – 30 miles/51km
As we leave Dungarvan the cycle takes us on some very quiet and remote roads between the Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountains. We then follow the river Suir along its valley to the unique Swiss cottage, designed by the regency architect John Nash. From here it is just a few more gentle kms to the delightful town of Cahir, home to one of the largest and best preserved castles in Ireland.
Day 7 – Cahir to Cashel/Kilkenny – 16 miles/25km
The terrain gently undulates as we make our way towards the town of Cashel. Cashel is home to the iconic Rock of Cashel, the ruined castle and traditional seat of the Great Munster Kings. One of the more spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the most visited, indeed it was one of the few places outside Dublin the Queen of England visited on her trip to Ireland in 2011! http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/south-east/rockofcashel
We keep the last day cycle short to give you a chance to visit this attraction before taking a short transfer back to the city of Kilkenny, where we have a final night together amongst the Medieval streets.An option for those not wishing to visit the Rock of Cashel is to cycle into the Glen of Aherlow (64km).
There are a number of hills on this route but you have all day to do the cycling. With the exception of the roads in and out of the larger towns, the traffic on the route should be quite light. You should however cycle carefully at all times, especially when going downhill or during any rain showers.