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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

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.

 

Torc River and Waterfall

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.

Town of Kenmare Photo credit: @mdskyshots

 

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.

 

Charming Sneem Photo credit: @tom_naiman

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.

A View of Skellig Michael A View of Skellig Michael

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

 

 

Visit Valentia Island

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.

Stunning Scenery in Cahersiveen. Photo credit: @garskajessica

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.

 

Biking the Ring of Kerry

 

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.

Wild Goats on Molls Gap Wild Goats on Molls Gap

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!!

 

Make your trip a memorable one and discover the magic of the Kingdom. Come Join us!  Book your Ring of Kerry Self Guided Bike Tour today!  Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com

This blog post is an adaption of a previous post courtesy of Discover Ireland.

The Wild Atlantic Way By Bike

EXPLORE THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY BY BIKE ~ Stretching Ireland’s western seaboard, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal touring route in the world. Over 2,500km in length, spanning Ireland’s western counties, the route takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see. 

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The Wild Atlantic Way is not a destination but a journey. Here, you’ll discover warmth in the wild continuous landscape and visit the most spectacular places: UNESCO World Heritage site Skellig Michael; the largest karst landscape in the world, The Burren; and the traditional Irish towns dotted along our western coast.

The Wild Atlantic Way is alive with literature, music, stories, and surf. Its landscape, flora, fauna, and sheer size have inspired everyone from WB Yeats to John Lennon.

Where else would the rolling landscape and Gaelic spirit inspire the dreamers, and the Atlantic Ocean call the world’s greatest surfers? Where else could attract such storied names as actor Sean Connery, Hollywood legend Maureen O’Hara and beloved poet Seamus Heaney over the years?

The Wild Atlantic Way, that’s where.

Here’s a list of the 10 locations you can’t afford to miss on the route:

1. CLIFFS OF MOHER

The magic of the Cliffs of Moher meeting the untamed wild headlands of the Atlantic Ocean. Located on the edge of the West Ireland you will experience some of the most spectacular views of the western shoreline. Read More >

2. CLEW BAY

A magical place that kisses the west coast of Ireland, Clew Bay has an island for every day of the year, so storytellers say. The bay’s beach marries pure Blue Flag shores with submerged drumlins forced into existence an ice age ago. The beautiful coastline awaits you on our Wild Connemara Bike Tour.

6. CONNEMARA

Where water and mountain crash, the Atlantic surf has shaped everything from Connemara’s unique fjord to the spirit of the city of Galway. Welcome to Ireland’s largest traditional Irish speaking region. Along its Atlantic coastline, you’ll meet the most spirited of locals who’ll give you “Céad Míle Fáilte” – a hundred thousand welcomes. Visit Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord; take a boat to the traditional Aran Islands; and explore the Irish music that awaits you on your return.  READ MORE>

7. THE BURREN

Even in the wildest of places you can find calm and even in the raw, weather-beaten conditions there is warmth. The Burren means ‘the great rock’ and this moonscape of karst limestone is a World Heritage Site. Between the cracked limestone that stretches over 250km you’ll find pretty wildflowers, rich in flora and fauna. As well as megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt’s pyramids, you’ll take away memories that will last a lifetime. READ MORE>

8. DINGLE PENINSULA

A little dream world, Dingle town is a hub of literary and creative culture. Music plays long into the night, and festivals can be found along its winding roads. With the watchful gaze of the Blasket Islands, wander ruined cottages; take in dramatic views from Slea Head; discover the stories; and taste its famous seafood cuisine. READ MORE>

9. RING OF KERRY

Ascend through mystical scenery encircled with unspoilt lands. Kerry’s majestic energy and breathtaking landscapes will shimmer in memory long after you’ve gone. Explore UNESCO pilgrimage site Skellig Michael, which writer George Bernard Shaw described as “part of our dream world”. Climb old stone age ring forts, indulge in local chocolate making, and not to forget the national parks – a feast for the eyes.
Explore the Ring of Kerry – READ MORE>

 

There’s no end to the discoveries to be made on the route, find out more with our selection of Breathtaking Moments along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Ring of Kerry Bike Tour

Our Ring of Kerry Bike Tour is an epic self guided bike tour explores the magic of the kingdom of Kerry! Wind your way along the island-dotted Atlantic coastline, visit small fishing villages, explore medieval ruins and pedal in the foothills of the mountains of South Western Ireland.

Killarney ~ Glenbeigh ~ Cahersiveen ~ Kenmare
Self Guided Tour, 8 Days/ 7 Nights, Euro 975.00 per person sharing

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The Ring of Kerry bike tour offers breathtaking views and wonderful scenery.  Starting in the town of Killarney, the “Ring” continues anti-clockwise through the village of Killorglin. It continues onward to Cahersiveen,  Waterville and Sneem before returning to Killarney.

Day 1: Arrival Day

This epic Ring of Kerry bike tour starts in the lovely town of Killarney, County Kerry. A trip welcome pack, itinerary, route directions and maps will await you at your first nights accommodations in Killarney. We arrange for you to collect your bicycles and Information Pack. We highly recommend a short circular cycle to Muckross House and Killarney National Park as a warm up bike ride, returning to Killarney for your overnight stay. Distance 20km / 12ml


Killarney-lake

Day 2: Killarney to Glenbeigh

This morning, you bike trip takes you from Killarney, cycling westward in the foothills of Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrantuohill, around the beautiful Caragh Lake before heading to the picturesque village of Glenbeigh, a place often referred to as “The Jewel in the Ring of Kerry”. It is cosily tucked in to the surrounding horseshoe of hills and Seefin Mountains. The Caragh River and the Behy River flow at either side of the village into Castlemaine Harbour. Overnight in Glenbeigh. Distance 45km /28ml 

Day 3: Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen

Heading west from Glenbeigh, today’s route takes you to the peaceful and tranquil shores of Kells Bay. Pedal west to finish the days cycle outside the town of Cahersiveen. This beautiful town overlooks Valentia Island. One highlight of this area is the offshore Skellig Island. We recommend you try to visit the island during your stay in this area. Failing that, we recommend  ‘The Skellig Experience’, and exhibition and visitor centre that relates the history and archaeology of Skellig Michaels Early Christian monastery. Learn about sea birds, their habitat, their world wide travels. Discover the lighthouses which have given 161 years of service to mariners. The Underwater Skellig, which has colour and magic equal to any sea in the world. You spend two nights here in Cahersiveen. Distance 43km /27m

Music-in-pubs 

4: Rest day

Today you have a free day. You can arrange a boat trip to the famous 6th century Skellig Island.  As an option take the ferry over to Valentia Island and explore this lovely little island that is steeped in history. Nearby  ‘The Skellig Experience’ gives you a close an encounter with a unique way of life completely apart from the rest of the world!

Day 5: Cahersiveen to Kenmare

From Cahersiveen, today you bike one of the most glorious route’s imaginable. An inland trip takes you through the Inny Valley and the legendary Ballaghisheen Pass. This gets its name from Oisin, the son of the legendary warrior Fionn MacCumhail. Continue through Ballaghbeama Pass, a low but beautiful pass in the centre of the peninsula. Spectacular views as you descend to the southern shores of the peninsula into heritage town of Kenmare. This is your stopover for the next two nights.
Distance 55km /34m

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Day 6: Kenmare Circular Route

Today brings a looped bike ride to the remote and rugged Beara Peninsula. You pedal around Lough Inchiquinn before returning back to Kenmare. Alternatively, continue on to Glengarriff and return to Kenmare through Turner’s Rock tunnel road. Experience two dramatically different peninsulas today, in terms of landscape and geography. Distance 40km /25m

 

Day 7: Kenmare to Killarney

Today you cycle along backroads to the famous Molls Gap. Named after a local woman, Moll Kissane, who reputedly ran a shebeen (a hostelry of dubious reputation) in this area in the 1800s. Set high on a rocky ridge, the gap overlooks mountains, rivers and the famous Lakes of Killarney. Truly breathtaking views. Vistas include Carrantuohill, Ireland’s highest mountain to one side, the Gap of Dunloe to the other. Ladies, Avoca have a wonderful shop and Café here for you to enjoy ~ but remember, what you buy, you must carry on your bike!! Return to Killarney for your final night. Distance 38km /24m

Day 8: Slán go Fóill!

After a final breakfast and farewell, we sadly bid you adieu!  Today you continue on your onward journey. We are happy to assist with journey planning. If you have any questions! Contact us at: tours@cyclewest.com

Self Guided Bike Tours In Ireland

Self Guided Bike Tours in Ireland: Travel At Your Own Pace

CycleWest Ireland’s self guided, luggage free bike tours take you to some of Ireland’s best and most unexplored destinations.

Available in 2021  we take you to the rugged and unspoiled South West of Ireland with our Beara Peninsula tour in West Cork. The Dingle Pensinsula is a special destination that also features along with the Ring of Kerry.

Pedal at your own pace, luggage free and discover the beautiful sights, sample the local fare, take time to walk on a sandy beach and stop to absorb the breathtaking landscapes. Choose your dates and take advantage of a flexible schedule.

Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details.

 

Here are a list of our Self Guided Tours available as of August 1, 2021:

Small Group Adventures

Organising a bike tour for friends, colleagues or family? Our small group trips can be a welcoming, personal and safe way to see the off-the-beaten-track side of Ireland, to learn all about its history and culture, its myths and legends, to take part in some refreshing activities and to enjoy great Irish scenery, welcome, music and pub life. Come join us!

 

Contact us today at tours@cyclewest.com to arrange your small group bike tour! Choose yoru destination and let us take care of the detail.