After having cycled direction south Europe for a couple of years, we decided in 2019 to be brave and challenge the wind and rainy weather of Ireland. We followed the route by Paul Benjaminse and also took his advice that April was a good time to do this. We just had 3 days of mild rain during 6 weeks.
We flew to Dublin with Aer Lingus. For the bicycles, you only need to take of the pedals, turn the handle bar and put the bikes in a big plastic bag.
From Dublin, we took the train to Belfast where the tour starts (seems there are no good cycling paths between Dublin and Belfast).
Our route did not pass via the Giant's Causeway, so this is something you may want to plan extra if you are planning a trip.
Detailed info on the tour around Ireland can be found on the site : www.cyclingeurope.nl from where you can also download the gps tracks. We always buy the paper book to support the initiative.
Bank holidays (long weekends): Most b&b's and hotels will be fully booked for a long time ahead. On these days, try campsites or stay in someone's garden.
Ring of Dingle: Very touristic but if you go outside the season, it's really worth it. We cycled up to Dingle city, stayed for 2 days and cycled the western top of the peninsula without panniers. The road back to Tralee is mainly the same as coming up and we've taken the bus back, bicycles in the luggage compartment.
Ring of Baera: Recommended by the locals and far less touristic as the tourist busses cannot drive on the small roads. Castletownbere has a cable car for sheep which brings you to Dursey island.
Breakfast: Every little village has at least a post office combined with grocery shop where you can drink a nice cup of coffee.
Taking the bike on trains is for free.
Best B&B: Bunlin Bay house in Milford, Donegal. Just fantastic, a must try.
Cliffs of Moher is again very touristic. As we visited this years before, we skipped it on this tour. Instead, we passed by Lahinch. Nice walk on the beach.
Worth staying a little bit longer: Belfast, Galway & Bantry
(Photographic impressions and tips via Menu)