The north side of the Healy Pass

Healy Pass Cycle Loop

Distance: 83km
Climbing: 1246m

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This fantastic loop takes you through the beautiful Beara Peninsula and over our favourite cycling road in Ireland – The Healy Pass. It combines a gentle gradient with twisting hairpins and extraordinary views. This will be a day on the bike that you won’t forget in a hurry.


Kenmare is a popular tourist town in a beautiful setting.

Kenmare Stone Circle is close to the town centre.

Bonane Heritage Park has a collection of antiquities from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age.

The Caha Pass is the famously scenic main road from Kenmare to Glengarriff.

Barley Lake is a remote lake in the mountains accessed by a remarkable and steep road. One for the bravest cyclists.

Garinish Island has many unusual plants and a restored Martello Tower. It is accessed by a very short ferry ride.

Bamboo Park has various tropical plants in a lovely location.

The Healy Pass is one of the most spectacular roads in the country and a must-do for cyclists in the area.

Derreen Gardens covers more than 60 acres and contains plants from all over the world. It also has a lot of wildlife.

Inchaquin Valley – There is a wonderful twisting road through this valley past several lakes. It ends at Gleninchaquin Park, which has three excellent hiking routes.

Uragh Stone Circle is in Inchaquin Valley, a short way off the road. It’s signposted.

Healy Pass Cycle Loop Useful Info

This route combines backroads, R roads and a short spell on an N road up the Caha Pass. Most of it should not have a lot of traffic but be prepared. The last section to Kenmare is not particularly cycle-friendly but it is the only option to get back.

There is a lot of climbing on this route but you can skip the ride up to Barley Lake if you want to make it easier. In fact, you can just descend the main road from the top of the Caha Pass as far as Glengarriff and then continue on the route if you want to save time – the route that we give is more scenic and quieter.

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