7 Best Places to Cycle in Ireland 2023
Ireland is brimming with dramatic coastlines, unspoiled landscapes and scenic national parks with some of the best places to cycle in you will find.
No matter where you go, you can see enchanting ruins, mystical castles, world-class cities and so much more.
While you can explore large parts of the country by public transport, car and on foot, there is a better way to experience everything this beautiful nation has to offer.
We’re talking about cycling around Ireland, or at least, parts of Ireland.
If you’re new to cycling, our Ultimate Guide to Cycling in Ireland might help you appreciate it that bit more.
Many of the cities are very bike-friendly and there are also several established cycling routes around the island, this even includes part of the EuroVelo network’s Atlantic Coast Route.
From beginner to advanced cycling paths, there is something to suit every type of cyclist, trip and preference and in the guide below, we’ll share our 7 Best Places to Cycle in Ireland in 2023.
So what are you waiting for?
Pack your bags and your bike (or have it shipped for an easier and more relaxing trip) and start your adventure on two wheels right away.
1. The Wild Atlantic Way
Did you know that the Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest uninterrupted coastal driving route at some 2,500km in length?
The stretch of road goes from Malin Head in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork and offers incredible views of the entire west coast of Ireland.
There is so much to take in along the way, but some of the highlights include Downpatrick Head, Killary Harbour, Cliffs of Moher and Galway City.
This route may be better suited to those who have more cycling experience, as even for avid riders this can take up to 25 days to complete.
However, it’s up to you whether you choose to do the whole stretch of the road or just part of the journey.
Beginners may be better suited to selecting just one or two areas of focus on this long coastal road.
2. The Ring of Kerry
If you’ve got a good level of fitness and you don’t mind cycling on the road for some of the loop, the 179km route around the Ring of Kerry is spectacular.
You will start and end in Killarney town and along the way you’ll travel through Killarney National Park and see some of the key sites, including Kerry Cliffs and Derrynane Beach.
You can also enjoy the beautiful ocean road as you ride alongside the Atlantic.
Plus, there are plenty of places to stop for great food, drinks, accommodation and good old Irish hospitality on the way.
3. The Great Western Greenway
The Great Western Greenway is one of Ireland’s longest and most beloved off-road tracks.
This is ideal if you don’t enjoy riding along the road and is suitable for most people, including those with moderate levels of fitness.
The route is 42km in length and is part of the National Cycle Network.
The picturesque trail runs along the old railway line, flanking the beautiful coast of Clew Bay. It can be broken down into three parts which connect the towns of Westport, Newport and Mulranny.
Then you’ll cross the Michael Davitt Bridge to Achill Island, where you can enjoy beautiful beaches and lush green landscapes, as well as castles and other historical sites.
4. The Antrim Coast
The Antrim Coast is home to the Giant’s Causeway and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most popular areas in the country thanks to its scenic landscapes and incredible views.
If you choose to cycle the route you have to be prepared to go on the road again, but you’ll head north along the coast from Larne to Ballycastle.
On the way, you can enjoy passing the Causeway Coast, Kinbane Castle and many beautiful little villages, including Cushendun.
The main circular is 56km in total, but if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you can also take a slight (14km) detour to The Dark Hedges in nearby Ballymoney, a location used in the popular TV series.
Blessington is one of the nation’s most scenic and beautiful areas. Every vista looks like a postcode and the best way to soak up these unforgettable views is on a bike.
The route is located in County Wicklow and is 75km in total. However, the route can be broken down into smaller trails if you don’t want to ride that far.
For example, the route around Blessington Lake is 45km instead.
As well as the lake, some of the other key sites you can see on this route include Wicklow Mountains National Park, Baltyboy House and Valleymount Village.
6. The Beara Peninsula
Starting in Kenmare, this 60km coastal cycling route is centred around the stunning Beara Peninsula.
The headland looks across from Kenmare Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula, and all the way to Bantry Bay, so there are plenty of breath-taking views to enjoy on your journey.
The route is tarmac but does contain at least two slightly more challenging inclines.
However, these are worth the effort as the route runs through Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, where you’ll have the choice to go on to Adrigole and Castletownbere.
Alternatively, if you fancy a bit of island hopping over to Garnish Island, you can see the famous gardens there.
If you’re feeling more athletic or you’re an experienced rider, you could even take a detour from Adrigole and travel through the Caha Mountains along Healy Pass.
This will add an hour and a half to your journey but you’ll see some incredible views.
7. The Waterford Greenway
Last but not least we have The Waterford Greenway.
This is the nation’s newest off-road walking and cycling track and is the longest at 46km.
This, like Great Western Greenway, is a former railway track that connects Waterford City to the town of Dungarvan.
There are several key attractions on this route, including the ruins of a Norman castle and an 18th-century Georgian mansion, complete with award-winning gardens.
On the final stretch, you have the Ballyvoyle Viaduct, Clonea Strand Beach and finally, Dungarvan Harbour.
Before you go and enjoy any of the gems above, it is no harm to familiarise yourself with some of the cycling rules of the road in Ireland.
Intersport Elverys also has a wide variety of bikes and accessories to help you enjoy on some of the best places to cycle in Ireland.
Check them out here, or click on the link below.