The very name of this road sounds like the setting of a fantasy film in which little trolls, dwarves and other mythical creatures scurry through the unbelievably green landscape against a magical backdrop. But the Ring of Kerry really does exist. I explored the picturesque bays, rugged cliffs and mountain ridges covered in lush greenery on a fantastic trip. Again and again, this unique, panoramic route in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland granted me epic views. I passed through idyllic villages and saw mystical stone circles and ancient bridges, silent witnesses to the long history of this extraordinary landscape.
There’s nothing more beautiful than discovering all this by bike; you’re just fast enough to discover the Ring of Kerry on a (long) weekend but you’re still in the midst of nature and can take the time to admire everything around you. Feel the gentle wind around your ears, hear the sound of the waves as you roll along the coast and smell the scent of the many rare herbs and plants on the lush green hills. Stop at any time if you see something amazing along the way or just want to enjoy the breathtaking scenery a little longer.
There's just one catch: the main route is popular and busy with cars and buses, especially in summer. Luckily, on two wheels you have access to roads and paths that are rarely used by cars. That's why I chose (sometimes somewhat bumpy) side roads. A gravel bike is a good choice as a result, even if you’re mainly on asphalt. This way, you’re much more flexible and can, for example, take a detour to the beach. There’s also a second trick to alleviate the traffic problem: trucks and buses usually drive the Ring of Kerry in the opposite direction because the roads are so narrow. My route simply goes the other way. So, when it goes along the main route, it uses the lane with less traffic.
When you drive through such an enchanting landscape, it makes sense to spend the nights as close to nature as possible. That's why I've been on the lookout for campsites that make the Ring of Kerry weekend a great bikepacking outdoor adventure. If you prefer something a little more comfortable, the small towns along the way also offer plenty of opportunities to sleep with a roof over your head. A simple and inexpensive option is the numerous bed & breakfasts, which are often well adapted to cyclists.
Even though the Ring of Kerry adventure works as a weekend trip, it makes little sense to travel to Ireland for such a short time. Since I generally don't fly but take the train, I always plan more time anyway. In the case of Ireland, however, it's a really good idea either way, because the rest of the country is also beautiful. I recommend you plan the Ring of Kerry ride as part of a longer trip. If you plan to travel by train, make sure you reserve a place for your bike or rent one locally.
¿Te gusta esta aventura? Personalízala a tu gusto usando como base esta plantilla de la Ruta completa.
Última actualización: 3 de mayo de 2022
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