Irish cyclists are blessed to never be too far from absolutely breath-taking views. Between the coast, forests, loughs and mountains that make our country so magnificent, there is no doubt that we are completely surrounded by beauty. However, with all the scenic trails we have at our fingertips, deciding on your route can be a difficult task. Whether you’re looking to break away from your usual routes this year or simply want some new picturesque views from behind the handlebars, we’ve compiled a list of our top cycling routes to try in 2020
This 46km trail will take you from Waterford City to Dungarvan along what once was a railway line, still featuring impressive viaducts, bridges and its original tunnel. This route has everything, with views stretching over the sea to areas almost completely enclosed by whimsical green shrubbery. This is an easy route for beginners as the actual trail itself is mainly flat. Beautiful nature completely surrounds the route, which is shared by walkers, runners and cyclists. We would recommend this route for those looking to cycle at a leisurely pace or those looking to embark on a cycling holiday with their family.
Ring of Kerry
If you’re an avid cycler, you’ve probably been told all about how amazing the Ring of Kerry is. And all the accolades this route receives are completely deserved – there is a reason this route is hailed by both locals and tourists alike. If you haven’t already, why not make 2020 the year to tick this rite-of-passage-route off your cycling bucket list? The beauty of the West of Ireland shines through this 171km trail, with highlights including stunning views of the Skellig Islands and the charming towns of Kenmare and Sneem. This route is typically broken into seven sections which makes it perfect to divide up and experience what each area has to offer. For any Irish cyclist, this route is an absolute must.
The Moore Mountain Cycle Route
If you’re in the North of the country, this is a stunning trail you must try. This route combines the beauty of the Irish coast with magnificent mountains, resulting in spectacular views around every corner. In fact, C.S. Lewis is said to have used this route as inspiration for the children’s classic Narnia. The scenery on this route is like something from a fairy-tale – moss covered stone walls, secluded lakes and enchanting wildlife. This trail is adaptable, with areas suitable for beginners as well as harder climbs for those looking to sculpt calves of steel.
The Kingfisher Trail is one of the country’s longest cycling routes, and is often split into sections due to its 480km. The trail spans over the border counties Fermanagh, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal – so you’ll certainly be covering a fair bit of ground. If you fancy seeing some scenery which is typically off the beaten track, then this is an ideal route. Panoramic views over lakes, rivers and rolling hills will accompany you, with plenty of lovely B & Bs to stop off in to replenish and rest. There is a wealth of online resources available to help you plan this trail – all you need to do is download your map, pump your tires and you’re off!
Wild Atlantic Way
Our last pick is an absolute must for any avid cyclist. People travel far and wide to undertake the Wild Atlantic Way, with the trail getting more and more popular each year. If you’re not quite ready to commit to this route in its entirety, decide on a section of the trail based on the areas you’d most like to go. From cosy towns in Cork to hidden gems in Donegal, picking your ideal location will mean you can make the most out of your trip. The distance for each route varies, meaning that those looking to push themselves can do so with ease by planning a longer trip. There are too many highlights on this trail to list, but some of our must sees are the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal and the golden bay of Mullaghmore. The beauty you’ll experience along the way is truly incomparable.