The Iveragh Peninsula is a stunning region of islands. With Killarney at its epicentre, it is the largest of the 'five fingers' of Ireland, better known as the Ring of Kerry. Mystical, beautiful and grand, the route is also a tourist hotspot, so can be a little unkind to cyclists. Our routes maintain the same beauty and splendour but take you off the path to enjoy a more leisurely and quieter mix of inland and coastal scenery.
You'll pedal through lush countryside and lively, friendly towns, soaking up the charming Irish welcome, which is certainly as great as people talk about. Starting in the large town of Killarney, which offers an array of bars and restaurants where live Irish music can be found every night.
After a lovely warm-up day seeing the sights of Killarney National Park, the routes follow quiet country roads and lanes (boreens in Irish), passing dramatic mountains, sparkling blue loughs, boulder-strewn fields, lush green meadows, fast running rivers and spectacular beaches and bays. This small corner of Ireland is quite rightly famous but still holds on to its traditions and general rural feel - with enough sites to explore for longer than one week. From 19th century Muckross House to the UNESCO World Heritage (and, more recently, of Star Wars fame), Skellig Islands.
You'll stay in a mix of bed and breakfasts, where you'll enjoy an Irish breakfast (one which is quirky and located off-the-beaten-track on the banks of the Curragh river) and an historic hotel. Along with the stunning scenery, you'll receive a hearty welcome everywhere you stay.
Check into your B&B and then explore the town, choosing from one of its many restaurants for dinner or enjoying some live music.
You stay at the Abbey Lodge (breakfast included)
A short warm-up ride through the stunning Killarney National Park follows a series of cycle trails where you'll see the meeting of the waters where two of the 'Three Lakes of Killarney' converge. Marvel at Torc Waterfall, the second highest in Ireland, visit Muckross House and its magnificent gardens, looking out for the famous red deer.
You stay at the Abbey Lodge (breakfast included)
Leaving Killarney behind, you'll follow the Fossa Way cycle route, before heading on small country roads as you slowly climb up to the pretty Lough Acoose, below the peak of Carrauntuohill, Ireland's highest mountain. Descending, you'll cycle along the shores of Lough Caragh and on to charming Glenbeigh and its blue flag beach. If you have time, pedal down to Rossbeigh Strand and dip your toes in the Atlantic.
You stay at the Towers Hotel (breakfast included)
You'll follow the route of the coast today, passing small farms and on to the beautiful and peaceful shores of Kells Bay. Heading along a scenic narrow road fringed by large green meadows and peaks in the distance, a circular loop at the end takes you past Ballycarbery Castle and a wonderful seaside view and two early Christian stone forts. You'll arrive in the lively town of Cahersiveen, the birthplace of Daniel O'Connell, the Irish political leader (1775-1847).
You stay at the Ring of Kerry Hotel (breakfast included)
Leaving Cahersiveen on the old road you'll pass the ruins of Daniel O'Connell's birth home, before heading back inland where you'll see ruined abbeys and ancient graveyards. After a short descent, a climb up and over the stunning Ballaghasheen Pass will reward you with views back to Killarney and Ireland's highest mountain. A long descent on narrow roads alongside a gushing river takes you to Blackstones Bridge and your quirky and welcoming B&B for the night.
You stay at the Blackstones House (breakfast and evening meal)
Another stunning rural ride today as you head up and over the spectacular Ballaghbeama Gap; you are more likely to encounter sheep on the roads than vehicles. The road takes you through boulder-strewn countryside, cycling by small lakes, following the Blackwater River. Your day finishes in the beautiful town of Kenmare, also called 'the gateway to Kerry', and your luxury guesthouse for the night.
You stay at the Rockcrest House B&B (breakfast included)
As final bike rides go, they don't get much better than this. You'll cycle to Moll's Gap - a panoramic spot that reaches a summit of 860 feet - and continue to the Black Valley. This is one of the last remaining areas of Ireland that is still remote and untouched; with rich fertile meadows and a roaring river, it feels like a land that time forgot. From here you'll climb to one of the most beautiful places in Ireland, the Gap of Dunloe, which was created during the Ice Age. Cycling along this glaciated valley, you'll meander around the many glacial lakes dotted throughout and marvel at the sheer jagged rock faces towering above you. You'll head back into Killarney through the National Park, passing the 15th century Ross Castle, before returning to your B&B for your last night (and perhaps a final Guinness).
You stay at the Abbey Lodge (breakfast included)
We take you to Killarney Station for your onward journey, or perhaps enjoy extra nights in Killarney to finish your trip.
This trip is also available as a six-night tour, staying just one night at Killarney at the beginning of the holiday. In addition it is easy to add extra nights in all of the towns - perhaps you'd like to visit Valencia Island or take a boat trip to the Skellig Islands. Just ask your sales adviser to arrange.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Abbey Lodge offers guests complimentary WiFi, spacious en-suite rooms, and onsite car parking. The large rooms have a power shower, radio, and a TV. Each also includes a safety deposit box, a work desk, and ironing facilities.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:The Towers Hotel is centrally located in the small village of Glenbeigh. This historic hotel was built in 1895 in the late Victorian style. Throughout the years it has hosted many famous people and it is where the cast of Ryan's Daughter (filmed locally) stayed when filming. The famous Irish artist Marshall C Hutson, spent a lot of time here drawing inspiration for his famous pieces.
NEARBY:The family run Glenbeigh Hotel is located in the seaside village of Glenbeigh on the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula. The hotel started life back in 1792 as a stage coach inn and it retains many of its period features. Today it is a cosy and friendly place to stay, with just 12 bedrooms. It boasts lovely gardens to the rear along with a gastrobar and a restaurant with views onto the gardens.
The ideally located family owned Ring of Kerry hotel offers a warm welcome from friendly, helpful staff. The 23 comfortable rooms all come with DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities and wifi. Enjoy a drink and the craic at John D's, the popular lobby bar which has an Irish pub atmosphere and live entertainment. Alternatively, there is locally produced contemporary Irish food served in the Restaurant.
Blackstones House is a lovely, quirky B&B, set in a rural area on the banks of the River Curragh. You will be afforded a warm welcome by your hosts. The rooms are well-appointed with panoramic views of the river, mountains and woodlands together with the soothing sound of Blackstones Falls. They also have tea & coffee making facilities. There is free Wi-Fi, a small lounge with a TV and some seating outside.
Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, the Rockcrest Bed & Breakfast offers clean, modern, spacious rooms and a very warm welcome from hosts Marian and David O'Dwyer. Excellent full Irish breakfasts are cooked to order using local produce. Situated within a 5 minute walk to Kenmare and a choice of pubs and restaurants for evening meals.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Ring of Kerry's scenery and hospitality is wonderful - extremely earthy and heartening. You truly feel connected to both the people and the land through this experience. The riding is by no means for the faint hearted though. The hills over mountain passes are challenging, particularly with Ireland's wet and windy conditions. You will need to be fit, resilient and prepared to be wet!. Bring wet weather gear. The rewards are significant though - a sense of achievement and a highly authentic cultural experience riding through Irelands farmlands, history and natural landscapes.
The Go Ride App was great, Maurice was very knowledgeable and Neil from the bike shop was very helpful. The scenery was very beautiful, we were lucky with the weather but it was not easy even with e bikes, be prepared for some challenging hills towards the end. A rest day in Cahersiveen would be good to explore Valentia Island. The Climbers Inn was a great place for a rest along the way.
Ireland is stunningly beautiful. Cycle paths were quiet. Accommodation was fantastic with very friendly and helpful Irish hosts who made you feel most welcome.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
This 7 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of , and hotels
All breakfasts and 1 evening meal
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
GPS route directions and maps
RideWithGPS navigation app
High quality bikes
Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)
Luggage transfers between hotels
GPS routes available
How to book:
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Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Every 2 days from 1st Apr 2020 to 24th Oct 2020, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All breakfasts and 1 evening meal
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £244 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement to and from Killarney train station.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Unspoilt Ring of Kerry Cycling. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.