Itinerary

Please check out the daily details of our Celtic Camino itinerary from June 5 - 17, 2017 below.  The route is 913 kilometers long (420 kilometers in Ireland and 493 kilometers in France) over ten cycling days, which averages out to just over 90 kilometers (55 miles) per day.  Most of the terrain is either undulating or flat with limited elevation gain so cycling should be easy to moderate in difficulty.  Anyone with a basic level of fitness should be able to complete the trip.  Road bicycles are strongly recommended.  For more technical details about the trip, consult the blog.  We will be staying in a remarkable variety and quality of lodging - many 4-star.  For a summary sheet of the trip, click here.  

 
 
dublin-World-Study.jpg

Monday, June 5

Participants should arrive in Dublin in the morning.  We are booked at the Barnacles Hostel in the heart of Dublin.  We need to get the Irish Camino de Santiago Pilgrim's passport at St. James Church in the morning.  The rest of the day is free to explore Dublin, put bicycles together, and meet as a group for dinner for initial introductions and orientation.  Some participants may wish to to take part on their own in the Gran Fondo Giro d'italiani, a well-run ride in Northern Island on Sunday, June 4.  In order to do so, you will need to arrive in Dublin on Saturday morning, June 3 and take a 2-hour bus ride to Belfast.  Registration closes at 5:00 P.M. on Saturday.  Contact VisionQuest if you would like more information about the ride (we are participating) and go to the ride website to register.  We are holding hotel rooms in Belfast for interested participants.  Costs for this portion are not covered by the VisionQuest trip registration fee.  The Northern Island ride registration fee includes a new jersey.  


Tuesday, June 6

We start in the morning on a 66 kilometer ride to the beautiful region of Glendalough in County Wicklow.  Our accommodation for the following two days will be at the Trooperstown Wood Lodge (pictured right), a traditional bed and breakfast with a lovely meeting area.  It will be nice to have the entire place to ourselves for two nights.  On the way to Glendalough we will detour to make a stop at the historic Powerscourt House & Gardens, which must be seen to be believed. To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.      

Trooperstown 2.jpg

Glendalough (4).jpg

Wednesday, June 7

The Glendalough region is famous for a number of early Christian sites (one pictured left) and beautiful scenery.  We will plan a day outing on a route (approximately 60 kilometers) yet to be determined to visit around Glendalough and County Wicklow.    


Thursday, June 8

Departing Glendalough after a hearty Irish breakfast, we head south on small roads with planned stops in the castle town of Ferns and then at the ancient manor house at Wells House and Gardens where we may be privy to reenactments of landed gentry life in 18th century Ireland.  The region has multiple castles along the route.  The route ends after 103 kilometers at the coastal town of Wexford where we have booked the modern 4-star Talbot Hotel.  An indoor pool and spa invites.  The hotel is situated right on the harbor.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.   

Wells House.jpg

Blowing Image.jpg

Friday, June 9

We depart Wexford early in the morning, heading west along the southern coast of Ireland, stopping first at Tintern Abbey followed closely after by Dunsbrody Abbey.  Both sites were pivotal to the growth of Christianity in the region.  After 67 kilometers we finish in Waterford at the historic, quaint Granville Hotel in plenty of time to also be able to catch the 90-minute tour at the famous nearby (10 minutes walk) Waterford Crystal Factory.  Waterford is Ireland's oldest city.  Our hotel is situated right by the harbor.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.


Saturday, June 10

We leave Waterford very early on the longest cycling day (124 kilometers) in Ireland, traveling west along the southern coast.  The first 42 kilometers will be on the new Waterford Greenway, a bike and walking lane built on the old railway line that connected Waterford with Cork.  We will have to move along at a good clip to reach the Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal just before Cork in order to board before the 4:00 P.M. departure of our 14-hour ferry for Roscoff, France.  Britannia Ferries runs the route once a week on a luxury ferry (see here) so we know everyone will get a good night's sleep in 4-berth cabins prior to arrival in Roscoff at 7:00 A.M. the following morning.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.  

Brittany Ferries.png

Brittany 2.jpg

Sunday, June 11

We will ride our bikes off the ferry at 7:00 A.M. and stop for breakfast in Roscoff.  Brittany, in northwest France, is a fiercely proud region with many houses decorated with flowers.  In Roscoff we will begin following the Velodyssey Cycle Route, a 1,200 kilometer route along the Atlantic (Western) coast of France.  This should take us off the beaten track into the interior of Brittania.  We will end our ride in the small town of Carhaix, 80 kilometers later, where we will stay at the interestingly named Hotel Noz Vad.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.  


Monday, June 12

We will continue riding 87 kilometers along the Velodyssey Cycle Route in the interior of Brittany before we finish in the town of Pontivy.  From Pontivy we will take an approximately 3-hour car transfer to the town of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye in the scenic Loire Valley where we will stay for two nights at Fontevraud L'Hotel, a converted abbey which is part of a larger historic royal complex.  It's a truly stunning setting, one that recently hosted filming for several episodes of the series Game of Thrones.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.     

Game+of+Thrones+at+the+Idyllic+Fontevraud+Abbey+Profile.jpg

Loire Valley 2.jpg

Tuesday, June 13

We will use this as a rest day to explore the rich history, architecture, cuisine, and vineyards of the surrounding Loire Valley.  


Wednesday, June 14

We will depart quickly after another unbelievable breakfast at Fontevraud L'Hotel on a 2.5 hour drive to Royan, where we will get on our bikes and cross on the short ferry ride over to Soulac-sur-Mer on the coast.  Here we begin riding 105 kilometers in the Medoc, France's richest wine region where world famous Bordeaux wines are from.  The terrain is very flat.  Our route will take us past vineyards that sell bottles of wine for over $1,000.  We finish our ride at Hotel L'Auberge du Pont Bernet in the town of Le-Pian Medoc, where the chefs will be preparing a late dinner for everyone using primarily locally-grown products.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.    

Bordeaux 2.jpg

Contis Plage 2.jpg

Thursday, June 15

We depart Le-Pian Medoc in a southwesterly direction and eventually rejoin the Velodyssey Cycle Route before joining and following the Atlantic Coast directly south.  The coast is characterized by wide, sandy beaches, sometimes turning into significant dunes.  The interior is almost entirely flat.  We arrive at the coastal village of Saint-Julien-en-Born after 134 kilometers to our appropriately named beachfront Hotel de la Plage.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.    


Friday, June 16

Our cycling route continues to hug the Atlantic Coast heading south for 87 kilometers until we reach our final destination, the coastal Basque resort of Biarritz where we will stay at the centrally-located Hotel Mercure Le President Biarritz Centre.  We will have our farewell dinner on the coast in the evening and prepare bags for departure the following day.  To download a route map of the day's cycle, click here.    

biarritz-beach-france-1.jpg

Mallorca Group.jpeg

Saturday, June 17

All good things eventually come to an end, and so must our trip.  Groups (like our June 2016 group left) have a special way of bonding, so saying good-bye is never easy.  We still have wonderful memories of our trip from Madrid to Valencia and then around Mallorca in June 2016.  We hope this experience will be just as good.  Biarritz has an airport (only 4 kilometers from our hotel) with direct connections to Dublin and London on RyanAir and to Paris on several airlines.  People coming on the trip may want to book a roundtrip from their point of origin to Dublin (Dublin is the cheapest city in Europe to fly in and out of) and then add the connecting flight from Biarritz to Dublin on RyanAir (which is quite cheap).  However, in a number of cases this may mean overnighting in Dublin or another European city before reaching final destination on Sunday if it is back in the USA.  We are happy to accommodate any variation and will gladly make sure you a delivered safely to your departure from Biarritz Airport.  

 

We have over 25 years experience running cycling tours all over the world and can guarantee a fantastic trip similar to the ones many others have had before!  Register now and become a part of the Celtic Camino 2017 trip!  Contact us if you need any further information!