10 scenic cycle routes in Ireland that are simply breathtaking

By Brian Dillon

April 14, 2021 at 2:00pm

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10 scenic cycle routes in Ireland that are simply breathtaking

Looking for some of the best cycle routes in Ireland? We have you covered...

It looks like it'll be another year of staying on our little green island. But you know what? It's all that bad because if Ireland is known for anything, it's absolutely stellar scenic views that seem like they were almost hand-crafted to take your breath away.

One of the best ways to get around and see some of the most amazing natural views in Ireland is to cycle. So, we decided to highlight 11 of the best scenic cycle routes in Ireland that we think you should absolutely have on your bucket list.

Rosslare - Kilmore Quay, Wexford

This South Wexford route brings the cyclist to Rosslare Strand and on to the busy ferry port at Kilrane. Besides a few uphill moments, it's mostly flat and fast with some sudden turns. Off the quiet roads to Lady’s Island, you'll pass several signposts for beaches if you fancy a brief stop off by the sea to rest and feel refreshed. Find out more here.

Dingle to Tralee Cycle

There is no other word for this corner of the country except for 'breathtaking'. It should also be noted that some of this route involves the main road, so high-vis jackets are recommended! You can start in either Tralee or Dingle and it takes in the entire Dingle peninsula. It's a long route at 135km, so it'll take at least a full day or multiple days, meaning you can just make a whole trip out of it!

Great Western Greenway Cycle

Stretching from Westport to Achill in beautiful County Mayo, this perhaps the best way to experience this glorious part of Ireland. The 42km Great Western Greenway is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland and feels like a true escape from life when you're on your bike.

Connemara - Clifden to Leenane Cycle

This is definitely one of the longer routes on the list, but still absolutely worth it. Passing by sights such as Kylemore Abbey, Lough Muck and Connemara National Park, you will probably stop multiple times to whip out your phone and grab some insta-worthy snaps.

Lough Gill Cycle Loop

Lough Gill Cycle Loop is a 40km on-road cycle route around Lough Gill that brings you through some of the most stunning parts of Sligo and Leitrim. Along the route, you'll pass multiple viewing and picnic spots. The route brings you close to Hazelwood on the shores of Lough Gill, a place that William Butler Yeats paid tribute to in his poem The Song of Wandering Aengus.

Inis Mór Island Loop

This loop around the entire island of Inis Mór may be the most unique entry on the list, allowing you to cycle around the whole island in one day at 55km. Some of the notable viewpoints along the way include the ancient stone fort of Dun Aonghasa and the natural rock formation and blowhole known as 'Poll na Peiste' (the Serpents Lair).

The Gap of Dunloe and Black Valley

This route is actually quite popular with horse and carriage tours, but cycling this route is a great way to experience the magic of Kerry. The 56km route really shows off some of the best natural scenery the south of Ireland has to offer.

Glendalough Loops

There's a reason Glendalough seems to appear on every must-do list. That's because it's nothing short of stunning. And there are three cycling routes here; the green route around the lower lake, the purple route down the Miners’ Road as far as the Miners’ Village and back again, and the orange route around the Derrybawn woodland trail. It should be noted that cyclists must give way to walkers as these routes are open to them as well.

Find out more here.

Inishowen Cycle Route, Donegal

This 160 km cycle route is a well-signposted trail around the Inishowen Penninsula. Passing most of the top tourist attraction in the area, it can be completed in a single day or over a few days. The scenery is some of the best Ireland has to offer, one might say.

Waterford Greenway

Passing through old railways stations, by lakes, over bridges and through peaceful woodland, it's no surprise that this cycling route is one of the most popular in Ireland. You can start in either Waterford City or Dungarvan and cycle the whole route. If you're not up for the whole route, you can stop halfway at Kilmacthomas and resume the next day!

So, which of these stunning cycle routes in Ireland are you trying first?

READ NEXT: Nine class adventure holidays in Ireland to try when restrictions lift

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