County Kerry in Ireland is a cyclist’s dream. In this place you will find the MacGillycuddy Reeks – aka the highest mountain range in Ireland – and the Wild Atlantic Way, probably one of the best trails in the world with 2,500km in length. When you plan to cycle in Kerry, expect to see lush valleys, refreshing ocean breeze and a number of physical and mental challenges along the way. However, you can take a break in some of the best places to see and check out when cycling in Kerry. Here are five of them.
Killarney National Park is one of the most visited landmarks in County Kerry by both tourists and cyclists. This vast, rugged forest park is located southwest of Killarney where you will find the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and a number of scenic Killarney lakes at the foot of the mountain range. The 26,000-acre national park also covers woodlands and waterfalls that will surely leave you breathless. Other places to see and check out when cycling in Kerry (which some are included in this list) are located near the reeks.
Caragh lake is located Just up north of the MacGillycuddy, sandwiched between Glenbeigh and Killorglin. This freshwater lake is part of the Special Area of Conservation, meaning this beautiful place is protected. Aside from its fantastic view and a perfect cycling destination, Caragh Lake is also perfect for fishing and leisurely boat trips.
The Gap of Dunloe is called as such because it serves as a gap between the Macgillycuddy Reeks and the Purple Mountain. Cycling through this pass can be a bit of a challenge especially if you bike in groups as the road going to the gap is narrow. In addition, the trail going there includes very difficult steeps so conserve some energy when you cycle there. Don’t be discouraged, however, for the trip going there would feel like going back to the historic Ireland and the view is simply breathtaking.
Now let’s get out of the mountainous parts for now and enjoy some saltwater and ocean breeze at O’Carroll’s Cove. The cove, beach bar and restaurant is located in between the villages of Caherdaniel and Castlecove and is part of the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way. You can get to enjoy some white sands, turquoise waters and some possible sighting of dolphins and seals. The beach side bar and restaurant was established in 1984 and still managed by the O’Carrolls today.
If you want to just bike to relax and see beautiful spots around an area then you should go bike around Killorglin, a dreamy historical town found on the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way. The way to Killorglin from Killarney is relatively flat so it can be enjoyed by everyone. The town is friendly for cyclists and has many popular places to visit such as the ruins of Castle Conway.
These are just some of the best places to visit when cycling in Kerry. Don’t forget to drop by Bookshelf Coffee House for a taste of the best coffee in Kerry.
Paul O'Carroll is the owner of Bookshelf Cork and co-owner of The Bookshelf Kerry. As a barista he is in charge of all things coffee. When he isn't plotting new ways to create amazing new coffee, brunch or dessert ideas, he likes to explore the Wild Atlantic Way of Kerry and Cork. He also writes about what makes these amazing 2 counties special.
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