Riding a Harley-Davidson on a tour in Ireland has a magical feel about it. Your mind seems to slow down as you take everything in, riding along admiring the views, particularly of the countries rugged Atlantic coast. Most of the roads are smaller, the pace of life slower and the welcome from the Irish is wonderful. Life is certainly different here.
On this tour, we will show you some of the best roads in Ireland and a way of life that is different to almost anywhere. You will see much, from the nightlife in Dublin, to scenery shaped by millions of years of all types of weather. You will see mountains, valleys and of course, plenty of green grass that gives the country its name of the Emerald Isle.
This is one of our favourite tours and with just a small number of other riders (normally up to 12) you will get to experience a terrific way of exploring Ireland.
We will spend seven days in Ireland and the tour includes crossing the Irish Sea by ferry from Wales, and back again.
We ride every day, but due to the types of roads we will be riding, the distances we cover are not huge. In total we ride an average of about 150 miles a day.
Many riders don’t have the experience of riding in Ireland, or don’t have time to research and plan the best routes to get the best out of a ride there. Wouldn’t it be terrific if someone was able to do all the hard work for you, plan great routes, book good hotels and lead the ride on the way to show you some of the best riding there is? That is exactly what we do!
Depending on where you are from, you could ride your own bike on the tour, or rent one from one of the Harley-Davidson dealers we work closely with (see ‘Rentals’ tab at the top of this page).
The day before the tour starts – Tuesday 19 July 2022
The tour officially starts on the Wednesday in north Wales, but if you want to, you can meet our tour leader on his route from Kent, through Sussex, Hampshire or onto South Wales, on the morning of Tuesday 19 July and ride to north Wales with Tour1, over two days. Details of this will be included in the tour road road. Alternatively, we will see you in north Wales on Wednesday evening. Any hotel you need to stay at en-route to Llanberis is not included in the tour price.
Day One – Wednesday 20 July 2022
The tour officially starts today at a hotel in Llanberis in north Wales. You should arrive there by 5pm and meet the rest of the group. The hotel for tonight is included in the tour price.
Day Two – Thursday 21 July 2022
We ride 32 miles from the hotel to Holyhead, where we catch a morning ferry to Dublin. The ferry takes about 3 hours and there are full facilities on board, such as a restaurant and a shop.
When the ferry docks in Dublin, it is a short ride to our hotel. We will likely eat out in the centre of Dublin tonight and no doubt take a drink or two in some of the cities famous drinking establishments!
Day Three – Friday 22 July 2022
We cross the middle of Ireland this morning at arrive at its wonderful west coast. The roads closest to the west coast of Ireland are collectively known as the Wild Atlantic Way and for much of the next few days we will be riding those roads. The west coast faces the Atlantic Ocean and the erosion caused by the powerful waves has caused the coastline to become famously rugged.
Today we start to travel south along these coastal roads as we head south.
The National Famine Memorial sits overlooking Clew Bay and we will stop to look at this curious sculpture. One million people died in Ireland from disease and starvation during the Great Famine of 1845 to 1849 and the sculpture represents the people who died in ‘coffin ships’ when trying to flee the famine.
With its stunning scenery, the highlight of the afternoon is riding through Doolough Valley. With mountains to both sides and two picturesque lakes, this is a terrific place to stop and take in the scenery.
We stay the night at a hotel on the banks of Killary Harbour, a natural inlet from the ocean.
Day Four – Saturday 23 July 2022
We have a busy day today, with much to stop at and see as we continue our journey south along the Wild Atlantic Way.
First we stop to admire the view of Kylemore Abbey across the waters of its lake.
After Kylemore we ride Sky Road, as stunning 16km circular route that takes us out west from Clifden, onto the Kingstown peninsula. The views here are wonderful.
Next we stop at Derryclare Loch where we will hopefully get a moody photo of this beautiful lake.
We then ride along the northern shore of Galway Bay before arriving just beyond the town of Galway where we stay the night.
Day Five – Sunday 24 July 2022
We continue southbound, and have another day filled with great places to see and ride.
We first stop to see Dunguaire Castle, a 16th century tower-house, on the southern bank of Galway Bay.
Our next main stop is to visit the Cliffs of Moher. These near vertical cliffs rise majestically out of the sea and we will walk for a short while along their tops to get to the best viewpoints.
As we continue south we then have to cross the estuary of the River Shannon, which we do by ferry. Just before we arrive in Dingle, we ride Connor Pass. This is a stunning road to ride a motorcycle on, with terrific views from the top of the pass.
We stay the night in Dingle, a terrific town with some terrific pubs that play traditional Irish music every night.
Day Six – Monday 25 July 2022
First thing this morning we go ride another fabulous road, Slea Head Drive. This follows the line of the Atlantic Ocean and we will look down to see the waves crashing onto the rocks at the side of the road.
Then we ride one of Ireland’s gems, the Ring of Kerry. This is a 111-mile loop road that runs around the Iveragh Peninsula and we will ride most of it. As we near our destination for the night, we will stop to see one of the most photographed places in Ireland, Ladies View. Its name stems from the admiration of the view given by Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting during Victoria’s 1861 visit to Ireland.
We stay for two nights in a pub hotel in the centre of Killarney. This is a lively town which much to see and do.
Day Seven – Tuesday 26 July 2022
Officially this is a rest day, but what might a group of motorcycists do on a day off? Umm, go riding of course! For those that want to, there is a real motorcycle riding treat as we will go ride the Ring of Beara. This includes riding Healy Pass, one of the most twisty and scenic roads in Ireland. We will also ride another fabulous, but not so well-known road and to keep it that way, we do not say here where this is!
Day Eight – Wednesday 27 July 2022
Today we depart Killarney and head east across the southern part of Ireland.
We will stop to visit Blarney Castle, to not only walk around its grounds, but to also climb its tower to kiss the Blarney Stone. Legend says if you do this, you will be blessed with eloquence and the gift of the gab.
We stay the night in a 4-star hotel near Wexford.
Day Nine – Thursday 28 July 2022
Today we catch an early morning ferry from Rosslare back across the Irish Sea. We arrive in Fishguard at about 11:15. The tour officially ends as we depart the boat, but you are welcome to ride back to Maidstone with the Tour1 tour leader should you wish.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.
Each day, we normally start riding at 8.30am sharp and cover in the region of 100 to 170 miles. We try to avoid motorways wherever possible and only use these when there is no real alternative. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive at that evening’s hotel by around 6pm.
The hotels we stay at vary in size and quality, and where possible, we only use hotels with good off-road parking. The hotels are not super luxury and not bottom end, but mid-range – normally 3-star. We don’t use large chain hotels in larger towns, but prefer smaller remote locations. On some nights on the tour, your evening meal is included within the tour price and on the rest of the evenings, you are free to eat where you like. Often, we will eat as a group, but it is really up to you.
We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders. We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds. We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.
As we have pre-booked hotels and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers. During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods. We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs, just in case.
We like these tours to be about having a real adventure, riding on great roads with like-minded people. For that reason, we do not use a support van, but we always have a back-marker.
Each of our rides has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘moderate’. That means this tour is not recommended for new riders. You should have at least four years of riding experience on large motorcycles. You must have ridden on the right-hand side of the road before and you must be comfortable with travelling in a group of riders and be able to keep a good pace within that group. We do not ride fast, but at the same time, it is better if riders do not go too slowly. While there is not much motorway riding on the tour, as a guide, the group will be riding at speeds of 75mph on motorways. You must be confident of riding in rain and on wet roads.
Each day’s riding will be around 9 hours, with breaks. You should be able to ride all day. If you are at all unsure if your riding ability is good enough for this tour, then you must contact us by telephone to discuss.