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10 Reasons to Bike the Ring of Kerry
Take in the coast and mountains on our epic Ring of Kerry self guided bike tour. Read the RING OF KERRY BIKE TOUR full itinerary here.
Enjoy the coastal contours of the Ring of Kerry, one of Ireland’s most famous scenic peninsulas. This is more than just a cycling route, it’s an incredible circuit of the Iveragh Peninsula with the warmest of welcomes, most picturesque villages and spectacular views.
1. Explore Killarney National Park
Head to Killarney National Park for picturesque lakes, mountains and woodland that stretches across an astounding 10,000 acres. Explore the park’s abundant wildlife by foot, jaunting car or bike, and take a tour of Muckross House, a late 19th century mansion. Stroll through its landscaped gardens, have a picnic and visit Muckross Traditional Farms for an insight into what life was like way back when. Savour the breathtaking views in Killarney National Park.
2. Take a break at Torc Waterfall
After Killarney National Park, make time for a break at Torc Waterfall, 7km from the town centre. Take the short stroll to the waterfall and bask in the sounds of nature tumbling from the falls. Explore the beautiful Lakes of Killarney on the Muckross Lake Loop for a fantastic adventure in the great outdoors.
3. Take a foodie tour in lovely Kenmare
Make your way to beautiful Kenmare where the colourful buildings and upbeat locals are full of character. The most rewarding way to experience this town is to book a place on a Kenmare Foodie Tour where you get a delightful insight into Kerry’s talented food producers. You won’t leave this tour on an empty stomach as local woman, Karen Coakley, brings you to the best foodie spots in town. Taste artisan treats, locally roasted coffee and homemade ice-cream.
4. Charming Sneem
Visit the lovely village of Sneem, sometimes overlooked in favour of other towns but it’s worth stopping here to enjoy its local charm. Discover the Kerry Geopark in this pretty Irish village and learn about Ireland’s unique geology and ancient culture. Visit the sensory garden, take a stroll down the riverside wildlife trail, or check out the local farmer’s market. You could plan your visit around the Sneem Summer Festival, where you’ll experience live music, sheep dog trials and even crab fishing.
5. Take a Tour to Skellig Michael
If you have time, we recommend you take a detour and pre-book a boat trip out to the UNESCO World Heritage site Sceilg Mhichíl (Skellig Michael) off the coast of County Kerry. Book early to schedule your journey around summertime when migrating puffins visit the island. Skellig Michael can be accessed by boat from Portmagee. Skellig Michael rises from the sea, reaching a height of 218 metres above sea level. On the summit of Skellig Michael there is a well-preserved 6th century monastic settlement. Skellig Michael gets its name from Saint Michael the Archangel
6. Visit Valentia Island
Accessible by bridge or by ferry, on Valentia Island to the south, explore the Bray Head Loop, a spectacular coastal trail. On a clear day, you’ll see out to the Skellig Islands and Dingle Peninsula. From there, head north-east to Valentia Island Lighthouse at Cromwell Point and take a tour of this intriguing place. A beacon of hope to guide incoming vessels, the lighthouse led many boats through the entrance of Valentia Harbour.
7. Discover the Stories of Cahersiveen
Arriving in Caherciveen, look up at the outstanding views of Bentee Mountain and Valentia Harbour. Relax by the marina or book in with Cahersiveen Walking Tours and travel back in time as an expert guide shares the history of the town.
Hear about Monsignor Hugh O’ Flaherty, known as ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican’, poet and playwright Sigerson Clifford, politician Daniel O’Connell and many more local tales. Tours are available from May to September.
8. Kells Bay House and Gardens
About halfway between Glenbeigh and Cahersiveen is the fishing village of Kells, and we recommend you make time for the enchanting Kells Bay House and Gardens. This family-friendly attraction has one of the finest collection of plants in Europe, as well as cool carved dinosaurs that keep the kids occupied as you stroll through 17 hectares of woodland. Relax with a well-deserved break in the on-site café or restaurant and afterwards, take a quick spin to the sea at Kells Bay.
9. Gorgeous Glenbeigh
Community spirit is strong in Glenbeigh as you’ll see at their annual festival, a fun mix of sports, live music, entertainment and culture. Plan your visit around the Glenbeigh Festival and Races which takes place during the summer on Rossbeigh Beach. Or simply meet the welcoming locals in a lively traditional pub.
10. Moll’s Gap
Moll’s Gap is lies between Kenmare and Killarney, with views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks. The area is a panoramic spot visited by thousands of tourists each year. Moll’s Gap is named after Moll Kissane who ran a shebeen, a small pub, on a rocky breach during the construction of the original Kenmare Killarney road in the 1820s. She became popular for selling home brewed poitín, whiskey, to the hardy men who worked on the road. For cyclists this 6.3 mile climb reaches a summit of 860 feet where you can see the Black Valley and further down on the descent you will find Ladies View and the Killarney lakes. Visit Avoca Food market and woollen store ~ but remember, what you buy, you must carry on your bike!!
This blog post is an adaption of a previous post courtesy of Discover Ireland.