Kenmare to Castletownbere Cycle Directions
0 to 10km
From Kenmare Main Square head south up the hill of Main Street, turning right at the top to follow the one-way system. At the small roundabout turn left and cross the bridge leading out of town. On the other side, keep left on the N71, signed Glengariff.
After a few metres, take the first left turn. Then take the second right along a narrow road. this brings you to a crossroads, where you turn right and head towards the hills [5km marker].
Stay on the main road when it curves right.
10 – 20km
The next right turn goes over a stone bridge – take it. A few metres later take a left turn when the road forks and this will bring you back to the N71. Turn left at the main road.
The climb to the tunnel [15km marker] is very gradual the whole way, and the road widens for much of it.
20 – 30km
Stop at the first right turn after the top. From here you can see the road to Barley Lake. Before you descend, you have the option to ride a couple of kilometres along the main road before returning, for some extraordinary views over Glengariff.
Take the right turn down a very steep hill. At one point the road bends right, while a track goes straight. Keep right on the good surface. At the bottom you reach a t-junction. Take a left, signposted Barley Lake. At the next right turn, go right for Barley Lake and straight ahead for Glengarriff.
###Optional detour to Barley Lake###
###6km return – 240m climbing###
Take the next right, also signposted. Soon the climb will begin with a brutal stretch of 32%. Keep going – it gets easier. At the top there is a tiny car park. It’s a couple of minutes walk to great views of Barley Lake.
Descend the way you came, all the way back to the small bridge where you come to a t-junction. Go right this time, not the way you came.
Ignore the right turn soon after. Go straight and after many turns [25km marker] you will reach the N71. Go right and it is 1.5km to Glengariff.
From Glengariff take the R572 west, signposted Castletownbere.
30 – 40km
It will slowly climb uphill. Once you reach the top after about 7km, there is a flat section [35km marker]. Soon after, take the first right turn, marked Lackavane. If traffic is quiet you can continue to Adrigole on the R572, but the road narrows and becomes less pleasant.
This quiet backroad makes a good alternative to the R572. After 3km, take the first right turn, which goes up a short hill.
40 – 50km
When this road bends left, take a right turn. Climb a hill and on the other side you pass the ruin of Massmount Church, go straight through the crossroads and then ignore a left turn to emerge back on to the R572. Turn right and Adrigole is around the corner.
Adrigole itself is tiny. After crossing the bridge, take a right, signposted Healy Pass, Kenmare and Lauragh. It is a gentle 7km uphill [45km marker] to the top of the Healy Pass.
50 – 60km
You go over the top of the pass. The descent on the other side is steeper [55km marker]. At the bottom, at the first t-junction you reach An Sibin Pub in Laragh. Keep right here and cross a bridge.
Turn left on the R571, signed Castletownbere. Soon you reach a right turn. If you take it, the entrance to Derreen Gardens is 500m away. Otherwise continue straight ahead.
60 – 70km
You pass back into County Cork [65km marker], which occupies the rest of the peninsula west of this point. Soon after this you enter the little village of Ardgroom.
Stay on the main road as it turn left at Harrington’s Shop and Cafe, and then right.
After leaving Ardgroom, take the first right turn, signed Derryvegill Lake (L4910).
70 – 80km
This will take you over the hill that is ahead. It offers fantastic views from both sides. On the other side you reach a t-junction. Take the left turn. You cycle along the coast [75km marker] with magnificent views of the bay and the Iveagh Peninsula on the other side. You then climb a small hill and return towards the centre of the peninsula.
80 – 91km
After cycling along the coast you reach a t-junction. Take the right turn, signed Ring of Beara and Eyeries. 2.9km later you reach the small town. Go through it and rejoin the R571. Turn right.
After [85km marker] 600m, a right turn is signed The Ring of Beara, but you continue straight. You travel across the interior of the peninsula to the fishing village of Castletownbere.
After 4.0km the road forks. Take the right fork, off the main road and up a slight rise, to take the quiet way into the town. When you reach a t-junction in the town, go left and then go right and down the hill to Main Street.