Bike Around Killarney
Killarney is a fun town full of outdoor activities in Southwestern Ireland. One of the first things Scott and I wanted to do was bike around Killarney. After we checked into our hotel, we walked five minutes up the street to one of the many bike rental vendors placed strategically throughout the town.
For only 15 euros each, Scott and I were able to rent bikes for the rest of the day. We were given brief instructions on how to brake and shift gears. Then, we were given a map of the area. Since we hiked through Killarney National Park and into town, we had an idea of where we would like to explore.
The first place on our list was the Ross Castle. It was about a fifteen minute bike ride from our hotel. I was nervous about riding on the roads for part of the way, but it wasn’t bad. We just needed to be extra cautious of the cars, as they drive on the opposite side of the road than we are used to back in California.
The Ross Castle was before us on the shore of Lower Killarney Lake called Lough Leane. It was built in the 15th century, by one of the O’Donoghue Ross chieftains. We parked our bikes and walked around the castle property. It was especially picturesque next to the lake.
Next, we hopped on our bikes to explore the 150 acres of property and trails behind the castle. I was surprised by the trail system and how much fun we had riding there. Our first stop on the trail was the old copper mine. It was in use until the early 1900’s . The section we saw was now flooded with lake water. After we were on our bikes again, several minutes later we made a stop at Governor’s Rock. It’s a lookout point over the lake which gives a beautiful lake view in each direction.
Bike Killarney Town
After we explored the island, we rode through part of town. There are many restaurants and pubs, you could easily spend all day downtown. It was too busy for us, so we got on the bike path back into Killarney National Park. The path meanders along the side of the lake and led us to our next stop.
Muck Ross Friary
From the path, on one side was the lake and the other we could see the Muck Ross Friary. After we parked our bikes we explored the grounds of the Friar’s Abbey, which was founded in the 1400’s by Donal MacCarthy.
There were many tombstones in the yard and we stopped to read them and wonder about their stories. I would say 80% of the women’s names were Margaret, which we found of interest as we looked at the stones. The friary is in excellent condition. We wandered the rooms and admired the detailed cement work and window shapes.
The End of the Ride
The wind began to chill us to the bone and it slowly became colder, so we made our way back to the bike shop. We enjoyed our time on the bike immensely and it was a highlight of our visit to Killarney.
Bike Around Killarney Tips
- The Killarney National Park is huge and there are many areas to ride.
- The Torc Falls is a popular bike ride destination
- It is popular to ride around the lake and it is about 20-30 kilometers.
- There are specific bike rules about riding around the lake and one rule is to ride counter-clockwise.
- Always double check the rules with the bike shop before heading off.
To read more about our time in Ireland, please click here.