Ireland is legendary for so many reasons, and we think we should add cycling to that list of reasons. In Ireland, you’ll encounter narrow country lanes taking you from hilltop to hilltop, all the while traversing small, neat farms. The towns you encounter are bustling with life, and if that life is not immediately visible, it’ll be there behind the doors of the local pubs.
The Gaelic welcome, “Céad Míle Fáilte” translates to “one hundred thousand welcomes.” In our experience, this is what we rode into, over and over again. The warmth of the Irish welcome cannot be easily described, it has to be experienced. Further enhancing that warmth is the beauty of a LifeCycle trip: you are not riding with a large group of others which can often result in impersonal experiences. Instead, walk in to the local pub at the end of a long day of riding across the Irish countryside with just your travel partners…and take in the hundred thousand welcomes you are bound to receive.
While the specific highlights are too many to list, your cycling days will be varied and traverse quiet lanes, rolling countryside, fishing villages, sandy beaches, sheltered harbors, and medieval castles. For your non-cycling days or activities, enjoy distillery visits, national park hikes, and boat trips to neighboring islands.
The climate in the southwest of Ireland is influenced by its proximity of the Atlantic Ocean and the prevailing winds that blow onshore from the southwest. These conditions result in a climate that is mild, changeable and moist.
The best time to visit is from mid-May to early-September. The sunniest months are May and June, with an average of five to seven hours of sunshine per day. July and August are the warmest months, but it is rarely hot. While the wettest months are December and January, rainfall is common throughout the year. However, the Atlantic weather fronts pass quickly, and it is common for a day to include both sunshine and rain.
Whenever you choose to travel, you should pack waterproofs and warm clothing.
Our bike tour focuses on the southwestern portion of Ireland, in beautiful County Kerry. You will enjoy a mix of coastal and inland vistas alike, all of which features rolling hills covered in an iridescent green. While every day is unique and different, the description below is a typical day on the road touring Ireland.
Tralee to Dingle
Your trip starts with a van transfer to Tralee. Tralee is the county town for County Kerry and dates back to the 13th century.
On the Intermediate route, you ride out of town on a bike path alongside the River Lee – passing windmills and wetlands. You then enjoy a flat section around Tralee Bay with views of the sea to your right and the Slieve Mish Mountains to your left.
After the small hamlet of Kilcummin, the road climbs steadily over Conor Pass. This twisting climb, with panoramic views across craggy moorland, is classic Ireland! From the top of Conor Pass, you enjoy five miles of descending to Dingle Bay.
Leisure riders will start their ride partway up Conor Pass.
Those looking for a Challenge ride will head into the Slieve Mish Mountains for hillier riding along quiet lanes. The Epic ride starts to the east of Tralee and adds 50 miles across rolling countryside before joining the intermediate route in Tralee.
You stay overnight in the pretty fishing village of Dingle. The narrow streets and brightly-colored houses of Dingle make this a charming place to wander around. The numerous pubs with live, traditional music are ready when you decide to head indoors. There is even a dolphin – Fungie – who has lived in the harbor for the past 32 years.