Festive Irish Cycling Routes to Get You in the Yuletide Spirit!

By We Love Cycling

Tis’ the season to be jolly, so why not combine the joys of cycling with some Christmas festivities? With lots of towns and cities decked out in lights, and attractions open for the season, there’s no better time to wrap up warm, get on your bike and enjoy this time of year.

This article is your one-stop guide to the most enchanting cycling routes across the island that are sure to get you in the yuletide spirit. Happy cycling!

Wonderlights at Malahide Castle

Begin your cycling journey at the historic Malahide Castle, where the Wonderlights Experience promises a mesmerising spectacle for all ages. The cycling trail around the castle is perfect for both beginner and experienced cyclists with smooth paths along the whole route. Also, don’t forget to stop off at the on-site Avoca Cafe for a well-deserved hot drink and a mince pie!

As you cycle around, you’ll be sure to enjoy the stunning light displays, with the option to take longer or shorter loops depending on your preference. The trail around the castle is around 2km in length, making it perfect for a family ride with regular benches and viewpoints to stop and soak in the yuletide atmosphere!

Yulefest in Kilkenny

If you fancy a cycle through charming Kilkenny City during Yulefest, you’ll find a mix of flat roads and gentle inclines, a good option for the intermediate cyclist. The route around the city has you winding through its historic streets which are packed full of festive fun for the season.

For the more adventurous cyclist, there are optional detours to nearby hills for a more challenging ride, which offer stunning views of the city’s Christmas lights from higher ground! Why not try this loop around North Kilkenny for a scenic tour towards Dunmore Caves?

Christmas Markets in Galway

Galway City is an urban cyclist’s dream. The streets are well-paved and flat, making it suitable for all levels. The best part about this city cycle is that there are plenty of opportunities to soak in the cosy atmosphere during this time of year. Don’t forget to stop and explore the must-visit Christmas Market which is located in the heart of Galway in Eyre Square!

For those looking for a longer ride, carry on along the scenic Galway Bay route, which combines the best of winter cityscapes with gorgeous coastal views out towards the Aran Islands!

A Cork Christmas Celebration

Cork City becomes an enchanting wonderland during the festive season, making it an ideal place for a gentle cycle! The city’s pebbled streets offer a picturesque backdrop, and after you meander your way through the city, be sure to visit the renowned English Market, a culinary treasure trove – perfect for enjoying local delicacies like artisanal chocolates.

You can find plenty of cycling route inspiration on this Cork City map which details the best routes on offer – the ultimate pocket guide to get you started!

Make it a Belfast Christmas

Belfast combines the best of urban streets and greener paths around its famed City Hall and Botanic Gardens. Cycling around the city is a great way to experience the city’s festive hustle and bustle, with over 100 traders descending on the city for its annual Christmas Market.

There is also the option to extend your cycle towards the Lagan Towpath if you’re looking to enhance your cycling experience. The Towpath is traffic-free and suitable for all ages, making it a great option for families and couples.

Winterval in Waterford

As Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford beautifully blends its historical charm with the joy and magic of Christmas with its yearly Winterval, an event you won’t want to miss! With an ice rink, helter skelter and circus, you’ll be spoilt for choice with things to do in Waterford this Christmas.

The nearby Waterford Greenway is an excellent choice for exploring the local area on two wheels, with several access points for convenient start and end points which makes it ideal for both beginners and advanced cyclists. Just make sure to wrap up warm!


Whether you prefer a leisurely family ride or a more challenging excursion, these trails offer a blend of scenic beauty, cultural richness and festive cheer to get you in the Christmas spirit. The only thing left to do is to make sure you’re ready for the cold spell with our essential cycling tips for winter!