Top 5 best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork, RANKED

If you’re a lover of cycling, then travelling on the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork is an absolute must-do.

Cork is a beautiful and scenic county located in the wondrous west of Ireland; it is home to many stunning cycle routes that showcase the best that the local landscapes have to offer.

From lakes to rivers, beaches to forests, and mountains to lush green landscapes, there is such a huge abundance of beautiful scenery to enjoy throughout County Cork that makes it easily one of the best places to visit in Ireland.

In this article, we will list the top five best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork that everyone should experience at least once.

5. Mahon Peninsula Route – a pleasant cycle from the city centre

The Mahon Peninsula kicks off our list of the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork.
Credit: Instagram / @jose.silva.oliveira

If you’re looking for a pleasant cycle from Cork city centre, then the Mahon Peninsula Route will suit perfectly. If you’re unsure you can book a Cork City cycle tour.

It runs along with the River Lee, past the Blackrock Castle Observatory, through overgrown ruins until, finally, you will reach the calm and serene shores of a beautiful expanse of water known as Lough Mahon.

Starting point: Link Rd, Mahon, Cork, T12 X7HK, Ireland

4. Blarney Castle Route – cycle to the legendary Blarney Stone

The Blarney Castle route is one of the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork.

The Blarney Stone is not only one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cork but also in Ireland. It is one that you will have a chance to see when you cycle the Blarney Castle Route.

The route starts from Central Cork and brings you northwards out of the city towards the quiet suburb of Blackpool. From here, you will then follow the N20 until you reach the lovely surroundings of Blarney.

From there, you will follow the River Martin until you reach the castle grounds. Once you get here, you can kiss the stone and see if you will be blessed with the gift of the gab!

Starting point: City Centre, Cork, Ireland

3. Cobh Route – experience a beautiful seaside town

Cycling through Cobh is one of the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork.

If you have ever wanted to experience the best that the coast of Cork has to offer, then the Cobh route, which brings you through one of the most beautiful villages in Ireland, should be on your itinerary.

Beginning at Albert Quay and ending in the picturesque village of Cobh, this route will bring you along the water. From here, you can admire the spectacular views of the harbour before cycling towards Cobh.

Once you arrive in Cobh, you will have the opportunity to see the Titanic’s last port of call.  The village of Cobh is imprinted in Irish history, and the cycle provides a scenic tourist drive by Irish roads to the historic town with plenty of time to take in all the village offers. 

Starting point: Albert’s Quay, Ballinatemple, Cork, Ireland

2. Sheep’s Head Cycle Route – take in the stunning scenery of Sheep’s Head Peninsula

The Sheeps Head cycle route is one of the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork.

The Sheep’s Head cycle route is one of the most scenic cycle routes in Cork and one for which you should grab your bike to explore to ensure that you will have the best experience possible.

Starting at Ballylickey, cyclists will have plenty of opportunities to soak in the panoramic views and natural beauty while on this 120km (70-mile) route that runs through charming villages and quaint little towns, all of which have retained a traditional Irish atmosphere.   

It’s important to note that this is a long route and one which you should certainly give yourself an ample amount of time for.

Starting point: Ballylickey, Co. Cork, Ireland

1. The Wild Atlantic Way Route – the best cycling route in Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

In first place on our list top five best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork is, of course, the world-famous Wild Atlantic Way Route, which provides magnificent coastline views. 

This route offers, in our opinion, one of the best bicycle rides in Ireland and certainly the best one in Cork, which was part-funded by the Cork County Council.

It offers cyclists the opportunity to undertake the Wild Atlantic Way trail that lasts 470 km (292 miles) and brings them from the colourful fishing town of Kinsale to the Beara Peninsula.

The Wild Atlantic Way Route stretches onto Kenmare with views of Bantry Bay. So, if you wish to explore further along the coastal route, this is perhaps best on this list for a day trip out. 

Starting point: Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland

That concludes our article on the top five best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork that everyone should experience at least once. Have you cycled any of them already and if so which one was your favourite?

Other notable mentions

Fitzgerald Park is another of the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork.
Credit: Flickr / William Murphy

Fitzgerald Park: This seven-minute cycle route from the city centre brings you through the Georgian-era Fitzgerald Park, which is lavished with ornate pavilions, lily ponds, and fountains.

Bishopstown: This route provides a gentle escape from the city centre and is a 20-minute cycle that will bring you past the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Fin Barre and a historic university. On this scenic route, you may also be able to spot some of the abundant wildlife.   

Cork City: Cycling through Cork City itself can be quite a great experience, too, as it offers cyclists the opportunity to explore Cork’s interesting history, rich culture, and capture scenic views of the city. 

FAQs about the best and most scenic cycle routes in Cork

Read our FAQs about cycling in Ireland.
Credit: Flickr / Sean Rowe

Where is the best cycling in Ireland?

In our opinion, the best area for cycling in Ireland would be the West Coast of Ireland and, in particular, the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Route, which stretches over 2,500 km (1553 miles) in its entirety.

Where can I cycle in Cork?

There are many great places to cycle throughout Cork; any of the routes mentioned on this list would be perfect for a great cycling experience. If you are in for the long haul, there are often cycles from Malin to Mizen Head, taking in the Bantry Loop. Mizen Head is one of the best things to do in Cork.

Where can I cycle in West Cork?

West Cork is a great area for cycling and is home to some truly glorious views. The Schull loop route around the village of Schull is, in particular, a hidden gem that all should take time to discover and explore.

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