Ireland has often been a highly favored country for passionate cyclists around the world. Whether it is the locals or tourists visiting the country, cycling in Ireland certainly has a charm of its own.
Ireland offers cycling enthusiasts a variety of routes suitable for all kinds of bikers. Bike rides in Ireland range from riding simpler flat terrains to more challenging and rocky tracks. If you one of those enthusiasts possessing innate love for biking, here are some of the major cycling routes Ireland has to offer.
Great Western Greenway (43 km)
The Great Western Greenway is the longest path for off-road cycling in the country. Owing to its more or less steady terrain throughout, it can be pursued by everyone.
The 43 km long route is divided into three major stretches – Achill to Mulranny (13 km), Mulranny to Newport (18 km), and Newport to Westport (11 km). You can also choose to make your trip to smaller segments according to your wish.
Sandymount to Dun Laoghaire (9.8 km)
This is a beautiful and calm seaside route taking you along the picturesque countryside of Dublin. This is also a simple and easy terrain suitable for anyone wanting to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Dublin Bay.
When this almost meditative short route ends at Dun Laoghaire, you can take the opportunity to go for a dip at The 40 Foot, one of the most popular swimming spots in Ireland. All you need to do is get your bike or find a bike shop in Dublin to rent one.
Howth to Malahide (14.9 km)
This route will impress you whether you are a mountain person or a sea person. Starting at the mountain top vista of Howth and taking you all the way to the gorgeous coastal region of Malahide, this is one of the most wholesome and fulfilling cycling routes Ireland has to offer.
Do not forget to take the bird’s eye view of the beautiful city of Dublin from the Summit Car Par at the Howth Head before starting your journey.
Lough Gill (40 km)
This is the cycling route that will take you on a loop around Lough Gill. If you are a sucker for scenic locations and need a tad bit of thrill in your ride, this is the route to go for. As you circle the loop on your bikes, you will pass through picturesque locations having a cultural significance in Sligo and Leitrim.
Slead Head Drive (46 km)
This is again a route ideal for cyclists looking for a little adventure. Starting and terminating at Dingle, this track along the Slea Head Drive will take you to a number of gorgeous cliffs along the coastline of Kerry.
However, it is important to note that the route also serves as a popular scenic drive, which means you may have to ride alongside different vehicles.
Connemara Loop (150 km)
This is probably the most challenging route of the lot. It will require you and your bikes to wind around the challenging terrains of Connemara. However, with the adventure, the trip is also bound to offer you several picturesque locations.
If you don’t own one, get your favorite giant bikes Ireland has to offer and head towards Connemara to witness scenic cliffs, majestic caves, several beaches, and other noteworthy backdrops.
Coastal Causeway (200 km)
This is a route crafted for more frequent cyclists. It takes you along the scenic coastline where you cycle on largely undisturbed and raw terrain. The route essentially stretches from Derry to Belfast, making a total distance of 200 km to cover. While you can also choose to pursue the route in smaller segments, it is advisable to give two good days to complete the track.
Rostrevor Route (27 km)
This scenic biking route starts and ends at Rostrevor, taking you to witness the beauty of the Mourne Mountains. You will encounter multiple hills along the way, which implies you need to prepare your calves for some real exercise! As the terrains are rough, it is advisable to get a bike with thicker tires.
Waterford Greenway (46 km)
In this route, you will be riding along a 140-year old railway line that was renovated for cyclists and hikers. Stretched between Waterford and Dungarvan, the terrain is fairly flat and simple for all kinds of riders. In fact, it is often utilized for family trips.
Blessington Loop (75 km)
This is the route to go for if you are fond of calm and quiet trails. It is a full-day loop that would take you on a journey to several scenic locations, including the Blessington Lakes, the Glendalough Monastery, and the Wicklow Mountains. Although it is not a thoroughly easy ride, the experience of having a glimpse of the country’s Ancient East is certainly worthy of being cherished.
Dublin to Wicklow Mountains Loop (75 km)
If you are in the city of Dublin and looking for a brief escape from its bustle, this is the route to choose. An ideal option for a weekend ride, the route would take you out of Dublin with moderate climbs and quiet roads on the loop. Do not forget to catch the breathtaking panoramic view of the city at the end of the route.
Black Valley Loop (56 km)
This is one of the most challenging yet popular routes for bicycling in Ireland. You start at Killarney and cycle through the Black Valley, witnessing scenic lakes, Molls Gap and the gorgeous Gap of Dunloe. Though the final climb to Dunloe is a little challenging, everything will be worth the effort once you reach your destination.
Wild Atlantic Way (2,500 km)
This is the route to go for if you want to make the most of cycling in the country of Ireland and leave nothing unexplored. Stretching from the Northern tip in Donegal to Cork in the south, the route will take you along the length of the country, passing through three provinces and nine counties.
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