The 10 best cycling routes in Ireland, ranked

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or first-timer, outdoor enthusiast or adrenaline junkie, these are the ten best cycling routes in Ireland to tackle.

Ireland is an ancient island, brimming with mystique and majesty.

Its marvellous backdrops painted with grazing herds and dramatic coastlines, weather-worn cottages and wild flora are not merely a postcard feat; they thrive in abundance.

And, how better to explore this dynamic land than by bike?

From winding routes to leisurely looped trails, epic multi-day adventures to marathon experiences, these are the ten best cycling routes in Ireland.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for cycling in Ireland

  • Ireland’s weather can be quite unpredictable. As such, even if the weather looks good, be prepared for some rain! Have waterproof gear available just in case. 
  • Make sure when cycling in Ireland to follow all road safety rules. Have a helmet on and wear bright and reflective gear. Give others, especially drivers, every opportunity to see you. 
  • If you are not 100% sure how to cycle around Ireland or you are unfamiliar with a particular route, we would recommend to use navigation apps or a GPS device. 
  • Irish cities in particular will have lots of bike rentals available to you. So, if you are stuck or don’t have your own one, then avail of these options. 
  • It is also wise to have with you a bike maintenance kit, just in case anything goes wrong. This could include tools, a spare tub and a pump.

Now, you are ready to embrace Ireland’s stunning mountains, greenways, nature, and countryside!

10. Portumna Forest Park – the leisurely bike ride

Portumna Forest Park is well worth a visit too.
Portumna Castle

If you’re cycling with beginners or family in tow, we suggest you explore the Portumna Forest Park cycle track.

Located on the shores of Lough Derg in Galway, this marvellous park makes for a great day adventure by bike.

By combining the Rinmaher (green arrow) and Bonaveen (red arrow) trail, you can enjoy the 18-kilometre (11.1-mile) cycle route.

Address: 6 St Joseph’s Rd, Portumna Demesne, Portumna, Co. Galway, H53 AH10

9. Great Western Greenway – the off-road adventure

The Great Western Greenway is great for fresh air.

If a west coast cycling adventure sounds up your alley, we suggest you take on the Great Western Greenway.

Working its way along the Mayo coastline, this 42-kilometre (26-mile) trail begins in the picturesque village of Westport and ends on Achill Island.

It is family-friendly with much of its track off-road. Bite-sized routes are available for those who seek a smaller cycle route, too.

LEARN MORE about this stunning route in our detailed article on the Great Western Greenway: Cycling info for 2023


Cycle route: HERE

8. Causeway Coast cycle route – the northern trail

The Cauesway route is a great one to try.

Tracing the coast along the northern tip of the island, the Causeway Coast Cycle Route is one of the best cycling routes in Ireland, without a doubt.

The trail stretches from Castlerock to the Giant’s Causeway, passing key heritage sites and impressive vistas along the route.


Cycle Route: HERE

7. Black Valley loop – for one of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes

Black Valley Loop is another great trip.

At 56 kilometres (34.7 miles), Black Valley Loop in Kerry, Ireland is one of the best cycling routes in Ireland, and one of the most popular trails.

Best suited for more experienced cyclists, you can indulge in dazzling views of the Lakes of Killarney, Moll’s Gap, and the world-famous, Gap of Dunloe.

Expect to work up a sweat as you conquer one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Ireland.


Cycle route: HERE

6. Inis Mór loop – the Aran Islands experience

Inis Mór Loop is another of the top best cycling routes in Ireland.

Set against the backdrop of the Aran Islands, this remote cycle route will have you revelling in the wild beauty of this ancient island off the coast of Ireland.

The looped route travels forgotten lands that are rich in heritage sites and traditional Irish culture.


Cycle route: HERE

5. Wild Atlantic Way – the marathon cycle route

Another of the top best cycling routes in Ireland has got to be Wild Atlantic Way.

If you’re keen to tackle one of Ireland’s most epic cycle routes, look no further than the Wild Atlantic Way.

This is the world’s longest defined coastal pass (2,500 km/ 1,553 mi), and tackling it by bike is a challenging suited for only experienced cyclists.

We suggest carving out at least three weeks to discover all this route has to offer! You can start from either Donegal or Cork depending on your preference.


Starting Point: HERE & HERE

READ MORE: Wild Atlantic Way Route: a 7-day itinerary of the best stops

4. Connemara cycle route – for a multi-day adventure

Another of the top best cycling routes in Ireland includes Connemara Cycle Route.

If you are longing for a longer endeavour, Connemara Cycle Route is a perfect fit.

With its endless wilderness acting as the stage for this multi-day adventure, you’re bound to fall in love with Ireland’s wild west.

Expect epic valleys, gentle lakes, wild ocean, towering trees, vast mountain ranges, and the sound of nature along this way, which so happens to be one of the best cycling routes in Ireland.


Cycle route: HERE

3. Blessington loop – The Garden of Ireland circuit

Another of the top best cycling routes in Ireland is the Blessington Loop.

Blessington is known to be one of the most stunning areas in all of Ireland. Located in the “garden of Ireland” (aka Wicklow), the postcard-worthy setting is nothing less than spectacular, and how better to explore it than by bike?

This route should take an entire day, so if you’re debating road bikes vs touring bikes, now’s the time to invest in a touring bike, which will ease your load as you travel the long and winding roads.


Cycle route: HERE

2. The Ring of Kerry – for beauty beyond your wildest dreams

Another of the best best cycling routes in Ireland has got to be the Ring of Kerry.

Travelling the scenic Ring of Kerry looped route (179km/111.2mi) is nothing short of spectacular.

Beginning and ending in Killarney town, adventurers will cover Killarney National Park and key sights, as well as winding the ocean road along the Atlantic Ocean.


Cycle route: HERE

RELATED: Add a bit more into your cycle by reading our article on the Ring of Kerry highlights: 12 unmissable steps on this scenic Irish drive

1. Loop Head cycle route – the heritage trail

Loop Head is another of the top best cycling routes in Ireland.

With cycle route options ranging from 50-90 kilometres (31-55 miles), there’s a little something for everyone when biking Loop Head – not to mention breathtaking scenery along the way.

Cliffs, castle ruins, and lighthouses pepper the landscape, not to mention archaeological sites and impressive ancient history, making this easily one of the best cycle routes in Ireland.


Cycle route: HERE

NEXT: If you need more inspiration for cycling on the Emerald Isle, have a read of IB4UD’s article on 5 reasons for cycling through Ireland

Your questions answered about the best cycle routes in Ireland

What is the longest bike path in Ireland?

The Beara Way cycling route offers 136km (84 miles) of terrain, stretching from West Cork to counties Leitrim and Cavan.

Is Ireland good for biking?

Yes – Ireland is excellent for biking. There are challenging routes, but there are also easier routes through its greenways and parks to use.

What time of year is best to cycle in Ireland?

Spring and Autumn (Fall) are the best months to cycle. It avoids the summer heats and will offer a cool breeze during your cycle.

What is the best bike friendly city in Ireland?

This is probably Cork. Cork can boast of a rich cycling history and culture.


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