First draft of my cycle tour around Ireland

Planning my next bike tour, the Wild Atlantic Way

I returned safely from my first long-distance bike tour in late Summer 2023. You probably know this, as this site talks about nothing else. Right now I'm sitting in cold and dark Winter and I really want to get going again. In 2024 I won't be able to do such a long trip, or rather I decided not to do one, as I have another project planned, setting up a garden. That means I can be away for a month, max. This makes the planning quite a bit different than for this year, I have time constraints.

The Wild Atlantic Way was on my list for this year's tour, but after having heavy rain on the Shetland Islands and Scotland, I decided to go South to mainland Europe. I debated it back and forth with myself for several days. But the weather forecast was so bad and I wanted to really enjoy Ireland, it would have been my first visit. Despite the rain was another factor, namely that I had reached the most Northern part of my trip and really was drawn back home. But I definitely wanted to do it, just not this time!

The Wild Atlantic Way is basically a road trip along the Irish coastline. From the pictures I've seen it looks absolutely fabulous and it seems to follow smaller country roads, which are my favorites. I believe it will be a little bit similar to the North Coast 500, as well in regards of being quite populated with RVs. This might not be ideal for some people, but works well for me.

The current plan is to bike around all of Ireland, including Northern Ireland. It's not fixed, but for now, it's the plan. I will take a train from Fulda to Paris and then Cherbourg, followed by a ferry to Dublin. I never traveled by plane with a bike and don't intend to do so this time. It seems too much of a hassle to pack the bike, unpack it, and pack it again. The biggest point not to fly though is the uncertainty whether the bike will be handled well. I was always flying with hand luggage only because I didn't want to risk my luggage getting lost. If the bike would get lost, that would be a catastrophe. Another consideration is, that I generally don't want to fly anymore, unless absolutely necessary. Caveat, I did not research whether the ferry would be better or worse in terms of emissions... I will book the ticket to Ireland quite a bit in advance, but will leave the return open. Needing to be on a very precise day at a very precise location is too strict for my liking.

I developed the first draft of the route on Komoot in a similar way how I planned a week on the longer trips. Simply picking a start point and adding points to the route. This sometimes works, sometimes not. When Komoot is really persistent in sticking on an endpoint I have to start again. Once the rough outline is there, I pick additional spots on cycle routes to force it to certain paths. Once this very rough draft is there, I save it as trip and plan then the different stages. Komoot is really good with that. In this case I divided it into 30 days, which leaves me each day with roughly 80km. Enough to make it in a month, but not too ambitious. The total distance is around 2300km.

This will be then the base to search for accommodations. I will be biking in April, meaning the weather is going to be not too warm. According to google though, April seems to be the driest month in Ireland. I will pack my camping equipment, but will definitely give Warmshowers a try. This trip will be far less flexible, which means I can easily contact people beforehand. I'm quite curious whether this will work out.

That is enough of a plan for the time being. Once March has come, I will look into more details.

Last update: 21. December 2023
Mood: happy :)