A 56km loop trail that takes in some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, the Gap of Dunloe + the Black Valley cycle route is a tough-going but worth-the-effort excursion. There is bike hire available if you don’t have your own gear and there are plenty of places to stop along the way for scenic breaks and light refreshments. Take in the stunning views from Molls Gap and enjoy some fast-paced downhill sections after a couple of steep climbs!
If you’re looking for a gentle (and flat) cycle, The Waterford Greenway needs to move up on your list of places to go and things to do. It’s 46km stretching the length of the old Waterford to Dungarvan railway line, but you can hop on and off as you see fit. The Greenway is a dog-friendly trail and there are plenty of history- and myth-rich spots along the way for short breaks. Check out the G+C MLR Map formore things to do and see in Waterford!
The Kingfisher Trail is Ireland’s first-ever long-distance cycle route, encompassing a whopping 480km of cycling network. The full tour takes in Counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Roscommon and Fermanagh and is a figure-of-eight shaped journey. If you’re looking for a smaller commitment, the trail can be split into shorter, day-long routes (or you can take on the whole thing which can be completed in 5-8 days depending on your speed!) There’s a great mix of scenery and trail styles here so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a bit of variation in your cycling!
Starting at 18km (around 1.5 hours) and stepping up gradually to a whopping 47km (closer to 5 hours),these four coastal and Burren-based cycling routes will keep you busy for Day One and possibly more than a little sore on Day Two! Each route has its trailhead centred in the village of Doolin and all have various stop-offs along the way. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, take a tour up to Corkscrew Hill between Ballyvaughan and Lisdoonvarna. This roadway takes in hairpin turns and steep inclines - all worth it for the views and bragging rights!
There’s plenty of options in the Wicklow Mountains for cyclists of all ages and fitness levels. The Sally Gap route is a great, sort-ish option at around 40km, with several steep climbs and some incredible views. You’ll pass by picturesque Glendalough where you can detour to if you want to stop off for a little packed-lunch-picnic, adding around 4km to your route. Catch the Glenmacnass Waterfall and take in views of Sugarloaf Mountain along the way.
Cycle along the Atlantic coastline and drink in the incredible views on offer in County Kerry. The Slea Head Loop is 54km of undulating landscapes and beautiful scenery and makes up part of theRing of Kerry cycle route, where every year cyclists ride all in the name of a good cause!. The route is suitable for most fitness levels with around a 536m height gain but there are a few peaks and valleys so you’ll still get the blood pumping! Stop for a packed lunch at Coumeenoole Beach and enjoy!
Ireland is full of incredible cycle routes for all abilities and through all types of terrain. Stay tuned for more coming up when we look at some of Ireland’s best mountain biking trails!