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The Ring of Kerry Cycling Route 70

Cycling the Ring of Kerry

Overview

Enjoy Ireland’s unspoilt beauty on the mystical Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, including the famous Ring of Kerry. This unique experience will take you from rugged cliffs to golden beaches, small villages, green pastures, peat bogs and always picturesque mountain ranges. Explore the “real” Ireland where each kilometre of this route is a highlight in itself with stunning Wild Atlantic Way views, some old-world charm and fabulous scenery.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Killarney

Arrive in Killarney and check into your accommodation for the night. If you have time, take the short circular cycle to Muckross House and Killarney National Park.

  • Cycling for the day: 19 km, ↑­­­­271 m ↓271 m
  • Accommodation: Abbey Lodge (Killarney) or similar

Day 2: Killarney to Glenbeigh | 52 km

Leaving Killarney, you cycle west under the foothills of Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrantuohill, around the beautiful Caragh Lake. Heading to the picturesque village of Glenbeigh for your overnight stop, enjoy the six miles of golden, sandy, blue flag Rossbeigh Beach or the peace and beauty of the rivers and lakes. Glenbeigh is cosily tucked into the surrounding horseshoe of hills and Seefin Mountains. The Caragh River and the Behy River flow at either side of the village into Castlemaine Harbour.

Day 3: Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen | 37.5 km

Start cycling west from Glenbeigh as today’s route takes you to the peaceful and tranquil shores of Kells Bay. Continue to the town of Cahersiveen overlooking Valentia Island. The town is indelibly linked with the fight for Irish independence – it was the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell, ‘the Great Liberator’, and was where the first shots of the 1867 Fenian Rising were fired.

  • Cycling for the day: 37.5 km, ↑­­­­474 m ↓466 m
  • Accommodation: The Ring of Kerry Hotel (Caherciveen) or similar

Day 4: Valentia Loop | 39 km

Today is free to enjoy the incredible Kerry coastal scenery. We recommend taking the local ferry to Valentia Island (not included) where you can explore by bike. Valentia is renowned for its high-quality slate, which was first quarried here in 1816 – Valentia slate was used to roof London’s Houses of Parliament and Westminster Cathedral, and Paris’ Palais Garnier opera house. The island measures just 11km long by 3km wide. Go even further back in time and visit Tetrapod Tracks, representing the transition of life from water to land. Lunch in the quaint village of Portmagee is a nice option before finishing your day at the Skellig Islands interpretive centre.

  • Cycling for the day: 39 km, ↑­­­­562 m ↓562 m
  • Accommodation: The Ring of Kerry Hotel (Caherciveen) or similar

Day 5: Caherciveen to Glencar | 37.5 km

From Caherciveen, today’s cycle takes you on one of the most glorious routes through the Inny Valley. As you wind your way through this wonderful landscape and over the legendary Ballaghisheen pass, the views that meet you are as majestic as the valley that sweeps away below you. Your day will finish on the banks of the Blackstones River as you settle in for a night of home-cooked Irish food and relax to the sounds of the babbling water.

Day 6: Glencar to Kenmare | 39 km

Continuing through the Heartland of Kerry, you will enjoy the views across the Brida Valley as you meander your way along the quiet country roads to the spectacular Ballaghbeama Gap. This route is isolated, unspoiled and feels almost other-worldly. Today’s cycling adventure finishes in Kenmare’s beautiful town – a pretty spot for an overnight with a neat triangle of streets lined with craft shops, galleries, cafes, and good-quality restaurants.

  • Cycling for the day: 39 km, ↑­­­­592m ↓602 m
  • Accommodation: Limestone Lodge B&B (Kenmare) or similar

Day 7: Kenmare to Killarney | 51.2 km

Start your day along backroads to the famous Moll’s Gap offering wonderful views over the spectacular Three Lakes of Killarney. Built in the 1820s to replace an older track to the east, the vista-crazy Killarney to Kenmare road winds between rock and lake, with plenty of places to stop and admire the views. About 22 km south is the summit of the pass at Moll’s Gap, which is worth a stop for great views, snacks and refreshments at the local cafe. From there, you continue cycling to the Black valley and through the renowned Gap of Dunloe – one of the most stunningly beautiful parts of County Kerry. Overnight in Killarney.

  • Cycling for the day: 51.2 km, ↑­­­­679 m ↓659 m
  • Accommodation: Abbey Lodge (Killarney) or similar

Day 8: Departure

After a final breakfast, you leave the Iveragh Peninsula behind. Extra nights and extensions available upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation!

Meals

Full Irish breakfast each day. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Evening meals can be enjoyed in the charming restaurants along the way.

Difficulty & terrain

The cycling is not hard, still, in order to enjoy the trip to the maximum, it is recommendable to have some cycling experience and be in a good physical shape (read more about difficulty grades). You will be cycling in most parts of country roads and close to the coastline. Note that on a windy day, can it be challenging on the exposed coastline. We will email you the essential pre-departure info. Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps, route description and access to our exclusive GPS Navigation App. The route is well sign-posted with a logo and a bicycle symbol.

When to go

This trip is available from April until October. Weather is best in June – August. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking. The hottest month in the area is July, when the average maximum temperature is 20°C. The sunniest days are in May, which has the most hours of sunshine per day, making it a quite sunny month with some cloud cover.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Dublin (DUB), Kerry (KIR), Cork (ORK) or Shannon (SNN).

By train or bus
  • Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK, with several low-cost airlines covering the route and scheduled international carriers. Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin. From Dublin Airport there is a good bus service to Dublin city centre. From Dublin, take the bus or train to Killarney.
  • Kerry Airport: There is a bus (25 mins) from Kerry Airport to Killarney.
  • Cork Airport: From Cork Airport, it is a short bus ride (20 mins) to Cork Kent train station, then a two-hour train ride to Killarney.
  • Shannon Airport: Bus service via Colbert Station to Killarney. 
  • For bus/train timetables, see Bus Éireann and Irish Rail for details or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms (guesthouses and B&Bs)
  • Full Irish Breakfast each morning
  • Welcome briefing
  • Luggage transfer between the accommodations on cycling days
  • Detailed travel documents with cycling descriptions and maps of each cycling day (Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site)
  • Access to our exclusive GPS Navigation App
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

Rental Bikes

  • Specialised Sirrus Sport Hybrid: The Sirrus Sport Disc with fitness geometry provides flat bar handling so you can ride faster on longer rides with stability and comfort. The hydraulic disc brakes mean you’ll have the confidence to ride regardless of the weather or what you are carrying on your racks, perfect for Ireland, where you get 4 seasons in one day. The Body Geometry Targa Sport saddle makes for a sporty and comfortable cycle.
  • BMC City Streamer: With its more upright riding position, this is a very comfortable bike to ride and with 30 gears to choose from and hydraulic disc brakes so you can go down to granny gear and save your knees, and you won’t have any problem on any climb or descent. The Fizik Rondine saddle has extra padding for a very comfy ride.
  • E-bike: You can tackle anything with the Giant Twist, no more groaning as hills are flattened, assisted pedal power is the future of uncomplicated mobility. The all-new Twist Lite features a new slimmer front hub motor, an ALUXX Aluminium frame and internal power cable routing, control, speed and safety are quite literally no sweat.

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