Castletownbere to Kenmare Cycle Directions
0 to 10km
Go west from the R571 turnoff through Castletownbere. Outside the town you climb slowly uphill. Ignore all turnoffs [5km marker]. You go down the other side.
10 – 20km
As you approach the coast again you can see the 200-year-old signal tower on Blackball Head to your left.
The road then curves north and the first left turn is signed Lehanmore. Take this to go to Dursey Island.
The road goes down, then up [15km marker] a hill. Keep left when you join another road. Later, at a narrow gap between two hills, keep straight, ignoring the fork that goes right and uphill. After going down a short hill, keep left at another fork, following the sign for the cable car.
20 – 30km
You soon reach the cable car station.
Return the way you came, keeping straight [25km marker] all the way. At the last fork, where you came in on the right hand road, this time you can go back on the left.
30 – 40km
You rejoin the main road, the R575, just a few metres on from where you left it. Turn left to continue the way you were going.
Go over the top of a hill and down the other side. Cycle into the colourful village of Allihies. Keep left on the main road at a fork as you enter the village. The Copper Mine Museum is on the right hand side just after this.
###Optional climb up Knockoura Mountain###
###11km return – 380m climbing###
Take the first right turn as you leave the village, up a narrow road. The climb rises 383m to the mountaintop at 438m. Ignore the first turnoff, where you can see an old copper mine. The road turns sharply right. Stay on it for another 1.25km.
It starts to climb, and then a left turn goes uphill at a fork. Take it and keep going on the extremely narrow climb with magnificent views. At the very end the surface deteriorates at several hairpins but is still rideable. Return the same way.
###Optional trip to Old Copper Mine###
###2.6km return – 60m climbing###
Climb 60m Descend 60m
After taking the first turn above, go left at the first turnoff when you see the mine. It is not far up. The mine is a few metres off the road on the right. The road continues and becomes a dirt track a kilometre later at the top of the climb. Return the same way.
Continue north from Allihies the way you were going.
40 – 50km
Stay on the main road. You encounter two short, stiff climbs as the road rounds a headland through spectacular scenery. From the top of the second one it [45km marker] is 7.0km to the junction with the R571 at a crossroads. Turn left, signed Kenmare.
50 – 60km
Stay on the R571. There is one gentle rise, and a twisting descent on the other side. Continue [55km marker] on to Ardgroom.
###Optional trip to Glenbeg Lake###
###8km return – 60m climbing###
At the edge of the village of Ardgroom, take the right turn signed Glenbeg Lake. There is a gentle rise to the lake. The road runs along the edge of it, nestled between two mountains. Return back the way you come, down the hill.
Follow the R571 through the village. Soon after leaving the village you enter County Kerry.
60 – 70km
Continue along the road [65km marker] and eventually you reach a left turn, signed Derreen Gardens and Tuosist. Take this turn. The entrance to the gardens is only 500m down the road.
Continue beyond the gardens. The road twists and turns on its way to the coast.
70 – 80km
You soon have remarkable views of the bay and the Iveragh Peninsula. Stay on it [75km marker] and 3.1km after leaving the coast, part of it uphill, you reach the R571 again at a t-junction. Turn left, signed Kenmare.
80 – 90km
2.5km later there is a crossroads. The right turn is signposted Gleninchaquin Park.
###Optional detour to Gleninchaquin Park###
###14km return – 120m climbing###
This follows a quiet boreen along three lakes and past a stone circle to the beautiful Gleninchaquin Park. There are several hikes of varying lengths available there. Return the same way.
Keep going east the way you were going [85km marker] and stay on the R571 for 12.2km.