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    Essential Guide to Biking in Ireland

    Biking in Ireland

    Ireland is a cyclist’s paradise, from winding roads that meander emerald landscapes to high mountain passes offering an exhilarating challenge for biking enthusiasts and windy laneways tracing picturesque coastal routes.

    Embark on the enchanting bike journey across Ireland, where stunning backdrops and fascinating historical locales beckon cyclists to explore the beauty of the Emerald Isle. Whether navigating the rugged coastal cliffs or pedalling through the tranquil countryside, read our guide to discover the best routes, loops, climbs and descents to bike, what to pack, as well as tips on everything from bike kit to pack, favourite ride snacks to self guided bike tours.

    Whether you’re an avid cyclist seeking challenging mountainous terrains or a casual rider exploring quaint villages, coastal vistas, and wooded areas, Ireland’s biking routes promise an immersive experience that seamlessly blends nature, history, geology, folklore, and the vibrant flora and fauna. Strap on your helmet, clip on your shoes, and feel the cool breeze against your face on your next bike tour of Ireland.

    Benefits of Biking

    Female cyclist biking behind a stone wall with a flat craggy hill behind

    Enjoy immersive cultural experiences. Cycling the winding roads and coasts of Ireland allows travellers to interact with locals and discover hidden gems. Slow down and explore off-the-beaten-path places that cars tend to wizz by.

    Scenic exploration. Pedalling through quintessential Irish landscapes, from sheep-dotted hills to heather-capped hills and windswept coastlines, offers cyclists the opportunity to soak up breathtaking views with plenty of opportunities for photos.

    Authentic connections. Embrace slow travel by bike, fostering genuine connections with the places visited and the people encountered along the way. Drop into a local cafe to share a coffee with fellow coffee lovers or chat with other cyclists on the road to create meaningful interactions enriching your travel experience.

    Cyclists group standing at the bottom of a climb on a backdrop of azure blue sea

    Flexibility and freedom. By touring Ireland by bike, you have the freedom to explore at your own pace, taking detours and photo breaks, and spontaneously discovering hidden treasures. Want the ultimate flexibility? Check out our self guided cycling tours.

    Sustainable travel options. Opting for cycling over motorised tours reduces carbon emissions and minimizes the environmental impact of travel. Bike tours are a sustainable and eco-friendly way to explore the magic of Ireland while minimizing one’s carbon footprint. Want to know more? We have given each trip a carbon score for you to understand your own impact and make informed choices.

    Health and well-being. Cycling is not only a fun way to explore Ireland, but it also promotes physical activity and well-being while travelling. From the moment you book your tour, you’ll be out on your bike to get bike fit, creating lasting positive habits. When you arrive in Ireland, enjoy leisurely rides through tiny villages to challenging mountain ascents. Biking is a rewarding way to travel while staying active and energised on the road.

    Where to Bike in Ireland

    Best Bike Loops

    While point-to-point adventures can offer a sense of accomplishment, nothing beats the joys of finding fantastic bike loops. From start to finish, let us share some of our absolute favourite cycling circles with you.

    Read More

    Best Climbs and Descents

    The views from the high points get the glory, but sometimes, it is the sense of pride in surpassing an epic climb or the thrill of the supersonic descent. Check out our list of Ireland’s top iconic cycling climbs and descents.

    Read More

    Best Bike Routes in Ireland

    But where are the best bike routes? From north to south, from the salty spray of the Wild Atlantic Way to the dramatic backdrops of inland stretches, have a peek at a few of our favourites on this list of best bike routes in Ireland.

    Read More

    Biking in Ireland: What to Expect

    Biking in Ireland offers a unique and unforgettable experience, blending wild landscapes with rich cultural history. Expect to encounter diverse terrain, from coastal roads with breathtaking views to lush green countryside and challenging mountain routes. Stumbling across ancient history in rural Ireland is par for the course.

    The weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for rain and varying temperatures. You’ll have the opportunity to explore charming villages, historic sites, coastal vistas, and hidden gems while enjoying the warmth of Irish hospitality.

    Keep in mind that road conditions may vary, and traffic rules may differ from what you’re accustomed to. We drive (and therefore bike) on the left. Roads are often narrow and windy, with thick hedgerows and stone walls lining the lanes. There are limited bike lanes, and so largely cyclists will share the road with cars. Pay attention to road surface conditions as rural roads may not be maintained to the same level as national roads.

    Overall, biking in Ireland promises an adventure filled with scenic beauty, friendly locals, and a chance to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Irish life.

    Terrains & Landscapes

    Coastal Read More

    With several thousand kilometres of coastline, there are plenty of opportunities to cycle Ireland’s coasts. While few roads hug the coast, many detours and small roads include stunning coastal stretches. And of course, we recommend you get off your bike, dig your toes in the sand and take a dip in the Atlantic waves at a few beaches!

    Ireland is also home to coastal cliffs, like the famous Cliffs of Moher as well as Slieve League in Donegal. Don’t expect cliffside cycles (thankfully!), but you plenty of biking and hiking options are available to make the most of your adventure.

    Generally, expect fresh air, relatively straightforward terrain and lots of wind. Most coastal areas will have plenty of amenities too.

    Forests and Lowlands Read More

    Lush and leafy forests dot Ireland’s wild spaces. Though sadly one of Europe’s least-forested nations, there are still swathes of forests canopying the roads. These offer great cover when the patter of rain starts above.

    Keep in mind the rural road conditions might not be maintained to the highest standard, and that roads will likely be narrow and winding. Forested roads may reduce visibility further.

    Hills and Mountains Read More

    Much of Irish terrain would be classified as hilly, boggy, and rugged. This makes for many epic climbs and descents for the cycling experts and plenty of rolling terrain between the slopes.

    As always, good equipment is paramount. Irish weather is unpredictable, so the best way to explore the rugged corners of Ireland is to have the right gear, lots of layers, and plenty of waterproofs.

    Ireland Biking Tips

    What to Wear:
    Cycling Kit

    Read More

    What to Wear:
    Female Cycling Kit

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    What to Eat:
    Bike Snacks

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    Bike Tours: Guided or Self Guided

    Read More

    5 Things to Know About E-bikes

    Read More

    5 Bike Tips from Local Experts

    Read More

    Learn More In our FAQs

    Have more questions about travelling in Ireland? Looking for helpful tips or more information about joining a group trip?

    Check out our FAQ page, where we’ve answered popular questions. If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, get in touch below.

    Read FAQs

    Ireland By Season

    Spring

    Spring weather is mild, but the days are lengthening and consistently drier. The landscape is buzzing with life and colour, with flowers blooming and bustling wildlife.

    Find out more

    Summer

    Summer promises long days, pleasant temperatures, and festivals galore. The countryside transitions from vibrant green to breath-taking purple as the heather blooms.

    Find out more

    Autumn

    Autumn is a time of colourful landscapes and glowing skies. Witness some of Ireland’s most beautiful autumn sunsets and taste flavours unique to our autumn months.

    Find out more

    Winter

    If the conditions are right, marvel at the snow-dusted landscapes during Ireland’s winters. Crunchy snow underfoot, roaring fires in the cosy pubs, and beautiful starry skies.

    Find out more

    Tours by Month

    Bike Tours in Ireland

    Wilderness Ireland Departure DatesAvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    Self Guided plus+ Cycling – Connemara & The Burren

    13th Apr - 19th Apr 2024

    9 place(s) leftGuaranteed 1,980Book Now
    Deluxe Bike Tour – The Kerry Peninsulas

    11th May - 17th May 2024

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 3,480Book Now
    Bike Tour – The Wild Atlantic Way

    1st Jun - 14th Jun 2024

    5 place(s) leftGuaranteed 5,620Book Now
    E-bike – Ireland’s West Coast

    22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    3 place(s) leftGuaranteed 3,350Book Now
    Self Guided plus+ Cycling – Connemara & The Burren

    22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2024

    10 place(s) leftGuaranteed 1,980Book Now
    Bike Tour – Donegal From Cliffs to Coast

    6th Jul - 12th Jul 2024

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 3,210Book Now
    Self Guided plus+ Cycling – Wild Atlantic Way Southwest

    13th Jul - 19th Jul 2024

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,160Book Now
    Self Guided plus+ Cycling – Connemara & The Burren

    3rd Aug - 9th Aug 2024

    7 place(s) leftGuaranteed 1,980Book Now
    E-bike – Ireland’s West Coast

    10th Aug - 16th Aug 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 3,350Book Now
    Bike Tour – Donegal From Cliffs to Coast

    24th Aug - 30th Aug 2024

    6 place(s) leftGuaranteed 3,210Book Now
    Self Guided plus+ Cycling – Wild Atlantic Way Southwest

    7th Sep - 13th Sep 2024

    1 place(s) leftGuaranteed 2,160Book Now
    Deluxe Bike Tour – The Kerry Peninsulas

    14th Sep - 20th Sep 2024

    10 place(s) leftAvailable 3,480Book Now
    E-bike – Ireland’s West Coast

    21st Sep - 27th Sep 2024

    8 place(s) leftAvailable 3,350Book Now

    Our holidays reviewed
    in your own words

    Group size good, much easier getting around, able to use the smaller van. I now appreciate a part of Ireland unknown to me previously. The accommodation was centrally located which was excellent for the evenings. A well thought out itinerary with enough activity to fill the day. Highly recommended. We hope to participate in another WI trip in the near future. Having mild weather added to the enjoyment!

    Elizabeth (Liz) Ward
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Cork & Kerry
    Reviewed on 02/08/2019

    Rated 4.94 out of 5 based on 1,447 reviews

    Read More Reviews

    As Recommended By...

    You'll be in good company on a Wilderness Ireland Trip. Some of the biggest and best known names in the business have recommended us.

    Los Angeles Times
    National Geographic Adventure
    Vogue
    Men's Health
    USA Today

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