Planning a bikepacking holiday? Then why not consider Ireland. Ireland is enriched with culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes making it the perfect destination for a cycling tour. Whether you are interested in short loop routes or multi-day adventures, The Emerald Isle’s scenic landscapes are guaranteed to give you a bike ride you’ll never forget. We have put together a list of some of the best cycling routes the country has to offer.
A Litelok on a bike, taken just outside of Dublin by a Litelok Customer
Inishmore Loop Cycle, Aran Islands - 50Km
Inishmore (also known as Inis Mór) is the largest of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. With an area of 31 km², it’s possible to spend the day cycling the island and still find time to stop to appreciate the sites. The proposed tour takes you through some beautifully scenic landscapes and right up to Dún Aonghasa, a clifftop fort that is believed to have been built in the 2nd century BC. You can catch the ferry from Galway and bikes are available to rent when you get to the island.
Gap of Dunlow and Black Valley Cycling Loop - 56Km
This may be similar in length to the Inishmore Loop, however it is a lot more challenging. This cycle route takes you over the mountainous range of Killarney National Park, located in the south of Ireland. This may be a strenuous ride, but it does provide you with stunning views of the Black Valley and Lough Leane.
Blessington cycle loop - 75Km
The Blessington cycle loop is a scenic cycling trail on the west coast of Ireland just south of Dublin. This quiet road leads you around the Blessington lakes and past the Glendalough Cathedral, which dates back as far as the 12th century. You’ll also be cycling along some mountain roads so it isn’t the easiest cycling route, however it is close to Dublin so it’s perfect if you wish to escape from the city for a day.
The Ring of Beara Cycle - 140Km
The Mare's Tail Waterfall
The Beara Way encompasses the entire Beara Peninsula. Located in South West Ireland, this cycle route is similar to other routes previously mentioned, as it is a little strenuous, but the scenery and views makes it worth it. This route takes you past the Mare’s Tail Waterfall, which is the largest waterfall in Ireland. The route is possible to do in a day or you can spread it out, take your time and visit some of the local towns along the way. If you don’t want to do this route alone, then join the annual Ring of Beara Cycle. It has been going since 2015 and has welcomed over 20,000 cyclists during that time. They offer a 110Km route as well as a 140Km route.
The Ring of Beara Cycle's 140Km route
Connemara Loop Cycling Route - 150Km
View from The Connemara Cycling route
The Connemara Cycling Route takes you from one picturesque village to another whilst you loop Connemara on the West Coast of Ireland. This route takes you along parts of the western coast, allowing you to visit beautiful beaches and cliff tops. The route is fairly moderate and you’re able to start from any of the towns along the way, each offering bike rentals if needed.
Kingfisher Cycling Trail - 480Km
Views from The Kingfisher Cycling Trail
This Route takes you in and out of Northern Ireland, through the counties of Leitrim, Fermanagh, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan. This 480Km long route was the first long distance cycle trail in Ireland, taking you mainly through signposted county roads. This will take you a few days to complete and taking it at a moderate pace allows you to experience the gorgeous scenery and local wonders that Ireland has to offer. If you don’t wish to tackle the full 480Km route then shorter routes are available.
Wild Atlantic Way - 2,500Km
The Cliffs of Moher
This isn’t a short route. This takes you all along the scenic Western Coast of Ireland, starting from Kinsale in the South (Just south of Cork), to Londonderry in the North. If 2,500Km isn’t enough for you then you can join up with the Causeway Coastal Drive and carry on into Belfast. This is a mammoth cycling route that takes you across breathtaking landscapes, through quaint villages and bustling towns. There are hundreds of sights to see and places to visit along this route but we would personally recommend taking some time at the Cliffs of Moher. These stunning cliffs have featured in movies such as The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and are a thing of natural beauty. They run for 14Km along the Atlantic Coast so make up a very small portion of this ride, however there are plenty of other wonderful caves, cliffs, heritage sites, and beaches to see on your ride.