Unknown Northern Ireland, Thalassa
Green island and vast sea between Bangor and Londonderry
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Guided group tour
Arrival in Bangor
Arrival to Belfast is organised individually. You then have a taxi ride to the boat in Bangor. An early arrival will give you time to visit the lively harbor town. The first evening meal will give you the opportunity to get to know your travel group and guides, who will accompany you for the duration of the week.
After breakfast we will take a guided tour around Bangor on our bikes. Afterwards we leave the harbour of Bangor on board the Thalassa. The first boat crossing will bring us to Glenarm, the oldest town in the region. We have the opportunity to cycle along one of the most scenic coastal stretches in Northern Ireland on our way to Cushendall, where we spend the night at anchor.
In the morning a short first bike ride takes us from Cushendall to the nearby little coastal town of Cushendun. Here, we will pass by a cave, which was once a filming spot in the popular series Game of Thrones. After a coffee break, we board the boat and take a majestic crossing to the nearby nature reserve, Rathlin Island. The small, rugged island is well known for its picturesque coastal scenery as well as it’s extraordinary birdlife in the Kebble Cliffs National Nature Reserve on the western point of the island, which is our first stop on today’s island cycle tour. Thousands of brooding birds of all varieties settle here, amongst them the guillmots, kittiwakes, razorbills and puffins. Those who wish can also explore the southern point of the island by bike, inhabited by hundreds of seals. We cross over to the mainland and enjoy the evening in one of the cosy pubs of Ballycastle.
Today we enjoy a day of sailing on the Thalassa. Enthusiasts can seize their chance to hoist the sails and tie the knots whilst those looking to relax can find a quiet space to read a book or gaze dreamily over the horizon. After arrival in (London)Derry we are able to take a guided walk along the ‘’Walls of (London)Derry’’, the exceptionally preserved city walls, or to enjoy exploring the city at our own free will.
On today’s cycle tour we will leave Northern Ireland behind and will explore a small part of Donegal County. Numerous migratory and endemic bird species share this peninsula as a place of refuge and living space. Enjoy a marvelous 360° degree view from an old fortress, where you can look across Derry from one side and far up to Ireland and Northern Ireland from the other one. Back in Derry, we go for a stroll on the well-maintaned city wall of the old town and visit some of the most important places of the long-lasting conflict in Northern Ireland. After an eventful day we board the Thalassa for a crossing to Greencastle. With a bit of luck we will have the chance to witness members of the local seal colony as they poke their heads out from under the water close to Greencastle.
We start our bike tour from Portstewart to Ballycastle in the morning. A couple of great highlights await us on today’s tour. A visit to the Bushmills distillery, Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery, gives us the chance to taste the famous whiskey produced here, as well as an education of the various whiskey types of Northern Island. After our visit we immerse ourselves in Irish mythology on a stroll to the ‘’Giant's Causeway’’, following in the footsteps of the giant, Fionn Mac-Cumhaill. This UNSECO World Heritage site features 37,000 fascinating basalt columns thought to have been formed by lava flows more than 60 million years ago. Our cycling tour continues along rolling hills all the way to Ballycastle, where the Thalassa is already waiting.
Today is our last bike tour on this holiday. We will go along the Torr Head Scenic Road, which offers incredible views along the way. Once more we find ourselves in Cushendun, the small holiday destination. A short stroll leads us past impressive caves and looming cliffs, along small coastal walkways to an idyllic sandy beach. Afterwards we board the Thalassa which takes us back to Bangor, where we spend a celebrative last evening meal on board together with guests, crew and guides.
Moderately difficult tour, which involves cycling up hills most days. You cycle 12 – 37 mi./20 – 65 km daily on quiet asphalt roads. Sometimes you cycle on paths through fields too. Main roads without separate bike paths are only used for short sections. This tour includes some longer and steeper ascents along which bicycles may be pushed at any time if it is too difficult. Strong headwinds may also be encountered. It is compulsory to wear helmets on our tours. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own (well-fitted) helmet. A limited number of rental helmets are available (reservation necessary). Our tours are dependent on local weather conditions and the final decision is that of the captain. You are free to set aside a half or full day to swim or spend time on board the boat, instead of going on a planned bike tour.
- 8-day/7 nights cruise on a tall ship with crew
- 4 x half board, 3 x full board, Tea and Coffee
- Guided cycling tours as described in itinerary
- Overview-maps for the daily tours on board
- Bed linen and towels
- English speaking tour guide
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Fly to Belfast
Number of participants
- Minimum of 16 people
- Program and details are subject to changes due to nautical and meteorological reasons (this is no reason for a free cancellation).
- The cook on board is a member of the crew and prepares the breakfast and one or two warm meals a day. The catering starts with dinner on the arrival day and ends with breakfast on the departure day
Bike & Barge Thalassa
Discover the beauty of Northirland on the bike. The Thalassa takes you over the waves of the Atlantic.