Last updated on November 24, 2023
You are planning your motorbike trip in Ireland and come to the point where you should book your accommodation. You scroll uninspired through the long list of 0-8-15 hotels.
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“Do I even want this? Maybe I’d rather do something else? I don’t feel like it now….” The mobile phone flies into the corner and the accommodation problem remains unsolved for today…
Does this sound familiar? It certainly does to me. On the one hand, what I enjoy most about motorbike touring is the motorbike travelling. Overnight stays are just an annoying interruption. They also cost a lot of money.
By the way, my family and I have our second home in Ireland and I run a motorbike rental business there in the summer (see: www.easycruiser.tours). We also offer nice guest rooms (www.the-view-accommodation.ie). In this respect, I travel a lot not only as a hobby, but also professionally.
But let’s get back to our overnight dilemma: If you’re travelling alone, which I usually am, it’s not particularly interesting to have dinner alone in a restaurant or pub in the evening. It’s more fun in company. So all in all it’s a tiresome issue.
On the other hand, I can enjoy a good, quiet room, especially if I sleep well in it. The more energy I have the next morning to experience a lot and absorb the many new impressions of the day.
A great place to stay also becomes part of your travel experience: through the architecture, the atmosphere of the place, the scenic location, the good food, the super nice hosts or the city life around it. Whatever you like, whatever inspires you, your place to stay can contribute to it.
Maybe that’s the right approach for standard hotel grumpiness: think about what kind of accommodation you would enjoy and consciously look for it!
I’ve written down a few ideas for places to stay on your Ireland motorbike trip. This is not an extensive travel guide, but I want to give you a little inspiration.
1. The B&B – Irish traditional and simply cosy
Yes, of course, a B&B is a must on your trip to Ireland. It is simply the traditional form of accommodation on the island. My tip: Look for a small B&B with just a few rooms that is inhabited by the owners themselves. I have often stayed in these B&Bs in a plush atmosphere, been cooked with love and had nice conversations with locals and received great travel tips. Simply cosy!
2. The wellness hotel – really relax after a long day on the bike
I admit that I know little about wellness, but many of our guests swear by it. The idea: you fall off your motorbike in the evening and get revived by massage, various treatments and sauna – hmmmm, sounds quite convincing, maybe I should try it…
3. The castle hotel – stately and magnificent
There are many beautiful castles in Ireland. Some of them are only ruins, many of them can be visited and quite a few of them are hotels today! You can find them in different price ranges – in any case, you’ll be staying in a very special piece of Irish history! Also looks good on your Instagram account….
4. Glamping in a yurt – close to nature – but with comfort
Glamping continues with luxury camping. You don’t need to bring a tent, because you sleep in a fully furnished round tent (yurt or bell tent). these are beautiful, spacious tents, often in very beautiful surroundings! Alternatively, small wooden huts are often offered. Some of them have a bathroom and kitchenette. And sometimes breakfast is also available!
5. Eco-camping directly on the water (also available with rental tents)
Here you will probably be able to make your own breakfast, but the location will compensate you many times over! You can often rent your tent and equipment, so you don’t have to carry everything with you.
Plus, with eco-camping you’ll sleep soundly in the peace of mind that you’re leaving a minimal impact on the environment. Leave nothing but your footprints in the sand….
6. Sleeping in a horse drawn caravan
This is a piece of Irish history that continues to this day: Ireland is home to a community of travelling people. The Irish call them “Travellers”.
They used to travel across the island in beautiful colourfully painted wooden caravans, pulled by brightly coloured Irish Cobs, one of the oldest breeds of horses in Ireland. Today you can leave your steel steed in front of the carriage and simply spend the night in the rustic wooden caravan.
7. Sleeping on a houseboat – falling asleep to the lapping of the waves
Let’s move on to the counterpart of the gypsy wagon – but on water. Ireland has several thousand kilometres of navigable inland waterways. In the past, barges were pulled along the canals and rivers by horses, but today there are many leisure houseboats.
There are still many older barges that have been converted into residential vessels. Some of them still sail and others are now stationary floating holiday accommodation.
8. Spending the night in a shepherd’s caravan
There are more sheep on the island than people – a lot more sheep!!!! You’ll notice that, especially when they’ve escaped again and waddle haphazardly in front of your motorbike. The only thing that helps is to drive slowly. At least there are sheep fences nowadays, even if they are usually not watertight.
In the past, when sheep roamed freely, they were herded by shepherds with dogs. The shepherds slept at night in a small wooden horse-drawn wagon, a bit like the gypsy carriage. Today you are the itinerant shepherd and you can sleep in these wagons!
9. Sleeping in a classic cottage
The cottage was the home of most Irish people for a long time. One room downstairs, and one room upstairs. Later there were larger cottages with more rooms. One or two open fireplaces heated the cottage, using peat cut from the high mountain bogs.
Today you can find super nice and comfortably furnished cottages in many places in Ireland. Most of the time you will have to book them for a week, but outside the high season you might be able to stay 2-3 nights.
By the way, it can be a very good idea to rent a cottage in a nice area for a week and do star tours there. It doesn’t always have to be a round trip!
10. Homestays – staying overnight with family connection
Quite a few of our clients rent homestays for the road. They are usually cheaper than B&Bs and can be super nice. Here, too, you have a “family connection”, but you may not have a bathroom in your room, but on the other side of the corridor. The ambience is often less professional, but more “like home”.
11. The hostel – cheap and fun
Another option that many of our clients have already used. In a hostel you usually stay very cheaply. Depending on how busy it is, you may not always have a room to yourself. But you’ll meet lots of travellers from all over the world, with whom you can exchange ideas or enjoy some nightlife in the evening.
12. Stay in a mobile home
Around the Irish coasts there are numerous mobile home parks where you can rent a mobile home. In the high season, this is usually for a week, in spring and autumn perhaps for a shorter period. Here, too, it can be an idea to stay in the same place for a few days and do star tours.
13. Spend the night on a farm
You like animals and country life? Then why book a hotel in the city? Why not take a room on a farm? Makes sense, doesn’t it?
14. Stay in a lighthouse
There are of course lighthouses all around the island. A lot of them, in fact! And some of them are no longer in operation today. Or their operation is fully automatic, so they no longer need a lighthouse keeper. And what happens to his little house then? Yes, exactly! You can spend the night in there! What do you get out of it? A unique location by the sea! As they say in real estate: location, location, location!
15. Spending the night in a tree house
Yes, this is also possible in Ireland (there’s nothing that doesn’t exist…). The ultimate tip for all those who want to go high up and are afraid of poisonous snakes…There are none in Ireland, but you can still book the tree house!
And how do you find cool places to stay?
You don’t have to find a sensation for every night, but it’s great to include at least a few special nights in your holiday – isn’t it? There are many possibilities and if you do a little research, you can find really nice places to stay.
How do you find them? You can of course use the usual booking portals.
I usually search for keywords in Google or Google Maps, e.g. “Ireland treehouse” or “Ireland lighthouse holiday home”.
You can also combine different keywords. For example, B&Bs are also listed for the keyword “glamping”. But if you combine “glamping camping”, you will get more campsites with glamping accommodation. Or search for “yurt glamping” or “pod glamping”. This also works with German keywords (or keywords in your language), because Google usually understands them quite well.
The hosts often have a homepage where you can book directly, or they indicate on which platform they are represented. In Ireland, for example, Booking.com or Airbnb are very widely represented.
If you are a bit unsure about your English – it doesn’t matter, you can still book directly. The Irish are generally very helpful and friendly.
Wherever you stay – by and on the water, in a horse-drawn cart or in a tree, I wish you a great motorbike trip in Ireland.
And if you are still looking for a rental motorbike for your motorbike trip, you can find us here: www.easycruiser.tours.