Another wonderful cycle that you may wish to cycle with me brings us further South West onto the Ring of Kerry, Iveragh Peninsula cycle. This is also part of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Leaving Killarney by motor vehicle we travel for 1 hour. We park up at the coastal town of Caherciveen and cycle to Renard Point. Tea/Coffee is an option at Renard Point before we catch a ferry onto Valentia Island, landing at Knightstown- a stunning mix of period building and houses including the former transatlantic cable building. Knightstown has a marina and RNLI lifeboat station.
From the village we take the old school road cycling past the light keepers dwelling which was home to light keepers and their families for years. A visit to Cromwell point lighthouse dated 1841, and a pre-historic tetra pod track way is highly recommended which takes us off track for approx 3km. The tetrapod imprints on rock are reckoned to date back between 350 and 370 million years and represents a transition of life from water to land. The tracks are regarded as the oldest reliably dated evidence of four legged creatures (vertebrate/amphibian) moving over land.
We resume our cycle and pass close to Valentia slate quarry which opened in 1816 and provided the slate for the Paris Opera House, London Houses of Parliament and many billiard tables including one made for the Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria.
We cycle over the top of Valentia Island and at this point the road offers up the first glimpse of the UNESCO world heritage site – the Skellig Islands, standing majestically 8 miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean and which appears in the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We arrive at a point in the western side of Valentia Island which was the start point for the first transatlantic cable between Europe and North America. It first opened in 1866 and stretched 3074km to Newfoundland.
The cycle continues back onto the mainland by crossing over Valentia Bridge to Portmagee, a small fishing village. By now it will be time for refreshments and amongst the colourful row of houses along a quayside that makes up Portmagee is the Bridge bar which has in the past been awarded best Munster gastro pub.
Leaving Portmagee we take a secondary route known as the Skellig Ring that leads to Ballinskelligs Bay. This coastal route opens up breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline. Sweeping down the mountain pass from Portmagee you are struck by the panoramic view of St Finians bay and the Skelligs, proudly standing out in the wild Atlantic surf. This is a place of tranquillity, relaxation and spirituality. We will call to Skelligs Chocolate factory in Ballinskelligs to sample and purchase some wonderful local made chocolates.
We then join up with the Ring of Kerry roadway and cycle back to Caherciveen town where we started from, all the while enjoying wonderful scenery. After loading up our bikes, rather than returning the same way (if time permits) we travel onwards on the Ring of Kerry route towards Waterville and Caherdaniel onto Sneem, eventually leading back to Killarney through the scenic Molls Gap.
Bring swim wear as we pass beautiful beaches along the way back.