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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 Sneem | 52.5 km

Today’s route takes you on coastal roads to your next destination of Sneem, passing through the quaint little town of Waterville on your way, the home away from home for Charlie Chaplin and his family throughout the 60s. Leaving Waterville you take on the climb of Coomaskista, to be awarded with stunning coastal vistas at the viewing point on the summit of the climb before skirting the Derrynane coastline and beaches on your final push to Sneem. Options to visit Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, one of Ireland’s most important historical figures.

  • Cycling for the day: 52.5 km, ↑­­­­597 m ↓610 m
  • Accommodation: Coomassig View B&B (Sneem) or similar

Day 6: Sneem to Kenmare | 33 km

Departing Sneem, the routes head back inland on rolling country roads, surrounded by Emerald Green farmland and dense ancient hedges with dry-stone walls. 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: 33 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
  • Hybrid bike rental
  • 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

Ridgeback Elements Hybrid Bike (included): Perfect all-round bike for town, country and beyond. It offers a fast and smooth ride thanks to a lightweight aluminium frame, fork and speedy 35mm tyres. A wide range of 27 gears means you’ll never struggle on steep climbs, and you can spin at speed on faster, flatter sections. Shimano Acera components are hardwearing and reliable, giving smooth shifting every time. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes also give assured and powerful stopping performance in all conditions, operated from a riser-handlebar that allows a more comfortable and upright position. Weight – 14.8kg.

SLR 8.9 Carbon Boardman Road Bike:

Frame: Boardman carbon SLR frame with aero tube profiles. Forks: Full carbon forks for better comfort and weight saving. Gears: 22 speed Shimano 105 and 11-30 cassette gives slick shifting over a wide range. Brakes: Tektro R315 brakes for controlled and powerful stopping. Wheels: Boardman wheels and Vittoria’s Zaffiro tyres keep you rolling. Weight: Approx. 8.9kg.

Kuma E-bike: The S1 is powered by the Silent and powerful Bafang m200 Mid motor offering 65NM of torque with 5 power levels. The lightweight frame features sleek integrated front and rear LED lighting. All bikes are powered by 500Wh Samsung batteries meaning the complete range is now capable of 100km+ on a single charge. All batteries are removable and lockable. Our new fast chargers allow a complete charge in under 5 hours. Weight – 23kg.

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