Coupling up for a cycle – Ireland’s most romantic biking routes

By We Love Cycling

February is known as the month of love, so there’s no better time to go on a couple’s cycle with your partner. Whether you fancy a city cycle, or a countryside ramble, Ireland is home to some of the most romantic cycle routes that are simply waiting to be explored…

The Wild Atlantic Way, Galway to Clifden

The stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way from Galway to Clifden is a cyclist’s dream, offering beauty in its wildest form. This route takes you through the heart of Connemara, where the rugged landscapes meet the untamed Atlantic Ocean, creating a backdrop that’s both dramatic and beautiful. As you pedal through this part of the island, the Connemara National Park offers endless opportunities for detours to explore some of Ireland’s most majestic landscapes.

In the village of Clifden, couples can enjoy the vibrant local arts scene and cosy up in one of the town’s many charming cafés. For an unforgettable dining experience, Mitchell’s Restaurant in Clifden serves up locally sourced seafood and hearty Irish dishes in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The restaurant’s intimate setting and exquisite food make it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner after a day of cycling! And, don’t miss the chance to watch the sunset at Sky Road, offering panoramic views that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Phoenix Park, Dublin

For couples who prefer the convenience of a city cycle but still crave a slice of nature, Phoenix Park in Dublin is the perfect option. As one of the largest enclosed public parks in any European capital, Phoenix Park offers kilometres of smooth paths that meander through herds of deer, historical monuments and lush greenery.

A leisurely cycle here can be combined with a visit to the Victorian Walled Garden or a trip to the nearby Dublin Zoo, where couples can catch a bird’s-eye view of some of the world’s most precious wildlife. You’ll also find plenty of spots by the Wellington Monument or near the Ornamental Gardens to stop and take in the picturesque surroundings.

As the day winds down, consider having a bite to eat at The Hole in the Wall, located on the very edge of the park. This historic pub claims to be the longest in Europe and offers a cosy atmosphere with blazing fires and quaint snug corners. Their menu features hearty Irish fare, ensuring a warm and inviting end to your day exploring Phoenix Park.

The Kerry Way, Killarney National Park

Cycling through Killarney National Park on The Kerry Way is akin to pedalling through a picture perfect postcard. This route offers ancient woodlands, scenic lakes and the imposing MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range. The natural beauty of the park creates a magical and intimate setting for couples. Stop by the Torc Waterfall for a quiet moment, and continue to Muckross House and Gardens for a leisurely stroll through the elegant grounds of this Victorian mansion.

For a meal as memorable as the scenery, The Lake Hotel on the shores of Lough Lein promises a dining experience with beautiful views of the lake and mountains. Their bistro and castle-side dining room offer a range of local and international dishes, perfect for refuelling after a day of exploration.

The Barrow Way, Carlow to St. Mullins

The Barrow Way offers a gentler cycling experience but is no less romantic, winding along the tranquil River Barrow. This route is flanked by lush greenery, making it a peaceful escape for couples seeking a slower pace. The path leads you through a tapestry of idyllic countryside, past ancient monastic sites, and under stone bridges.

In the picturesque village of Saint Mullins, take a moment to explore its ancient ecclesiastical ruins and enjoy the serene riverside setting. For a truly unique dining experience, visit the Mullicháin Café, part of the old grain store buildings that have been lovingly restored. Here, you can savour homemade cakes, light lunches and excellent coffee on a beautiful terrace overlooking the river. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and reflect, surrounded by the gentle sounds of nature.

Lough Gill Circuit, Sligo

The Lough Gill Circuit is a hidden gem in Sligo, offering an enchanting loop around the lough. This route is a peaceful escape into nature, with stunning woodlands and historic estates aplenty. You’ll also pass the ‘Isle of Innisfree’, famously immortalised by W.B. Yeats, providing a poetic backdrop to a romantic cycling adventure.

No visit to the Lough Gill Circuit would be complete without enjoying a meal at The Cottage Restaurant in Jamestown. This award-winning restaurant offers a menu that celebrates the best of local produce, served in a uniquely intimate and rustic setting. It’s the ideal culmination of a day spent exploring the natural beauty of Sligo, providing a serene and romantic dining experience that lingers in the memory long after the meal has ended!

Fancy a cycling staycation with your other half? We take a look at what to do and where to stay in the beautiful region of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlandsthe ideal destination for a cycling holiday you won’t forget!