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Long Distance Road Cycling in Ireland a la Tour de France

By Darragh Devaney, Operations Manager
More by Darragh

Long Distance Biking Made Fun

tour de France Ireland bike

Whipping and zipping down hills through the brilliant Emerald Isle countryside is both fun and jaw-dropping beautiful!

Every year, the international and insanely famous Tour de France bike race kicks off, with beautiful routes through France (of course!) as well as other countries – the UK, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland to name a few!

Though as of yet the Tour de France hasn’t come to Ireland, that’s not to say Ireland doesn’t have beautiful cycling routes.

While few people are privileged enough to participate in the Tour de France, the epic race is a huge motivator when it comes to biking. While you might not be competing in the Tour de France, go ahead and let yourself be energised by the trifecta of competition, a beautiful backdrop and long distance biking.

It’s okay to feel jealous, motivated and even a little intimidated. Though you’re not doing the Tour de France, there’s nothing stopping you from doing a long distance biking trip of your own.

So if the annual Tour de France competition has inspired you to start biking longer distances, consider coming to Ireland for your upcoming long distance biking journey!

Benefits of Long Distance Road Cycling a la Tour de France

Tour de France Ireland bike

Kerry might be one of Ireland’s most popular regions, but the 3 peninsulas of Kerry still have hidden, secret gems once you turn off the main road.

  • The sense of accomplishment you’ll get after finishing a hard day’s cycling over the course of a week is unparalleled! A week or more of cycling is a huge achievement that is great for a self esteem boost and make you feel as if you can do anything.
  • Bragging rights. Not many people can say that they cycled across entire counties, let alone entire nations!
  • Improve your physical and mental stamina. Choosing to cycle for several days in a row takes a lot of determination, and actually accomplishing it takes even more! A multi-day road cycling tour is a great way to work on strengthening that stamina – even channelling it into other parts of your life.
  • Stay in shape. This is the obvious one – but no less important or worthy! You’ll want to be in top condition for your cycling trip, so it’ll motivate you to exercise – and cycle! – often, as well as watch your diet. All of which is great for your health!
  • Explore the backcountry of Ireland at a ‘slower’ pace. Biking across Ireland means you’ll actually get to see – and interact with – the landscapes as well as the people, cultures and wildlife of Ireland. Seeing rural and coastal Ireland from the window of the car just isn’t the same!

Best cycling trips if you're looking for a challenge

Biking Donegal cliffs to coast

Not all of the climbs are as impressive as the Mamore Gap in Donegal, but no matter what trip, you’ll have a few climbs.

  • The 5 Countries Trip – This trip, in which you bike across England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, actually starts on the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France – so you can start your 12 day challenging trek through the UK and Ireland feeling like a Tour de France competitor!
  • Bike the Kerry Peninsulas – Southwest Ireland – Bike Ireland’s extremes, from the southernmost point – Mizen Head – to the westernmost point – Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula – while exploring some of Ireland’s most exhilarating routes, such as the Gap of Dunloe, the Conor Pass, and Moll’s Gap across Cork and Kerry.
  • The Wild Atlantic Way Bike Trip – Bike the best of the Wild Atlantic Way on this classic and challenging route from the extreme south to the extreme north! Impossible to sum up all you’ll see, this 12 day trip won’t leave you wanting! From the sunny southwest, to the wild west coast, the laid-back northwest, and the rugged Inishowen Peninsula and Malin Head, this is truly the trip of a lifetime.
  • Donegal From Cliffs to Coast – Northwest Ireland – Remote Donegal has it all – breathtaking landscapes, charming coastal communities, traditional pubs, amazing cliffs (Slieve League!) and rugged mountains. Donegal also has some great climbs like the Mamore Gap and the Bluestack Mountains for those looking for a challenge.

Meet the Author: Darragh Devaney

“Joining Wilderness Ireland in 2015, Darragh is our Trip Operations Manager. He's also Wilderness Ireland's resident cycling expert! Darragh has travelled throughout the world - cycling across France, living abroad in South Korea, travelling through Canada and the US, but still prefers cycling in Ireland to anywhere else!”

View profileMore by Darragh

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