The diversity of such a tiny country is something that is both baffling and captivating about Ireland. We’ve hand pickled a selection of our favourite routes that showcase our little island at its finest. Whether it’s a leisurely ramble you’re after or something a little more challenging, we’ve got a cycling holiday to suite everyone’s tastes
For the adventure-hungry
Described by playwright Oscar Wilde as “a savage beauty”, the heather clad, scorched earth of Connemara is a land that has inspired many. Stone walls will be your guide through rugged mountains and windswept bogs. The Irish character of melancholy and mischief will begin to sink in as you wander. The Connemara cycling route really packs a punch when it comes to variety, just as you’re done pondering the meaning of life in the poetic isolation of Connemara you’ll be plunged into Galway city refreshed and ready to soak up what this exuberant little city has to offer, known for its lively party scene, traditional feel and culmination of the highly sought-after “craic”.*
For the leisure cyclist
The Great Western Greenway is a favourite among the Irelandways.com team. The route is mapped by a former railway line from Westport to Achill Sound, making it virtually traffic free and absolutely stress free. Just about the only traffic you’ll meet on the off-road path is the tenacious Mayo sheep who pay little heed to cyclists.There’s nothing too taxing or strenuous about the track so you can just take in some of the beautiful scenery as you go on your way.
For the food-lover
West Cork has long been ahead of the curve with its reputation for wholesome and fresh local produce, particularly if seafood is your thing, this route is the one for you. This Wild Atlantic Way cycling route sets off from the fishing port of Kinsale, known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland you’ll cycle along rugged coastline stopping off in the charming villages of Clonakilty and Skibbereen. Quality cuisine is not the only draw to this part of the country, the route is also steeped in history, with so much to discover from the 17th Century Charles Fort, to the home of Michael Collins and the long and tumultuous past of the seaside village of Baltimore.
For the thrill-seeker
We’re heading back into the wilderness of the wild West in magnificent Kerry, The landscape here mirrors the unpredictable quality of the local brogue. The Dingle Peninsula cycling route takes you from the quirky town of Killarney through mountainous landscape stopping off in character-filled Dingle town, accompanied for much of the way by dramatic views of the rugged Atlantic coastline. This is a cycling holiday that’s not without its fair share of effort though, you’ll face some steep ascents for your troubles. The climb of Coomanaspic is one of the toughest climbs in the country but rewards for your efforts are plentiful with a wide open descent that takes you all the way to Portmagee as well as some of Ireland’s most impressive views as your backdrop.
*Craic – We mention this word a lot, but just to be on the safe side. The “Craic” we are referring to is the Gaelic word for “fun” – but anybody who has ever been in the company of an Irish person knows that our meaning of the word craic encompasses a very unique Irish way of having a good time.
For more information about cycling holidays in Ireland or to book your trip, contact our travel specialists