ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours, which in 1972 became the first North American tour company to offer bike tours in Europe, has announced that it is assisting in “The Gathering Ireland 2013”, which encourages people to visit the “Island of Saints and Scholars” this year.
ExperiencePlus! 2013 itineraries will allow travelers to take in The Gathering activities during, before and after a tour, creating a travel experience enhanced by spontaneous interaction with the people and places of Ireland.
Bicycling Ireland's West Coast Plus! County Mayo is an 11-day/10 night pedal tour of syllabic villages and coastline that includes centuries-old pubs, traditional music and popovers to Connemara and the Aran Islands, one of the few regions where the Irish language is still spoken. Departures are on June 16, July 14 and Aug. 12. Included are use of a late-model high performance aluminum road or hybrid bike with compact gearing; 10 nights accommodation; seven dinners with wine or beer, and 10 breakfasts; island ferries; and a guided walk in Dun Aenghus, a prehistoric site overlooking a karst landscape on the Aran Islands.
An eight-day option is also available on the same departure dates.
Meanwhile, art and music festivals will abound on the Emerald Isle as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. The cycling company has selected events open to the public but not coinciding with the bike tour dates if people want to plan extra travel pre or post tour, including: from June 7 to 9, International Quilt Festival of Ireland 2013; from June 7 to 9, International Gordon Bennett Rally; from June 29 to 30, Westport Festival of Music and Performing Arts; from June 28 to July 7, West Cork Chamber Music Festival; and from August 2 to 4, Spraoi (International Street Arts Festival).
Launched in Italy in 1972, the Colorado-based ExperiencePlus! now offers global cycling tours immersed in local character to 31 countries on five continents. Tours in 2013 go to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, India, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, UK, US and Vietnam, among others.