The Healy Pass

Kenmare to Castletownbere Cycle

Distance: 91km
Climbing: 1099m

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This ride from the lovely town of Kenmare takes you through the beautiful and remote Beara Peninsula along the border between Cork and Kerry. There are two climbs on the way, but rarely has it been so worth the effort.

You start with some easy riding along backroads before you climb the gentle Caha Pass. This offers fantastic views north and south before you descend to Glengarriff, with an optional trip to Barley Lake on the way.

The road to Adrigole offers a stone circle and the ruined Massmount Church. Then you enjoy the spectacular climb and descent of the Healy Pass – possibly the greatest cycling road in Ireland.

The rest of the route is an easy spin to Castletownbere. You can combine this with the Castletownbere – Kenmare route for a great two-day spin.


Kenmare is a popular tourist town in a great location at the head of a bay between two mountain ranges.

Bonane Heritage Park near Kenmare features numerous points of interest and historical curiosities.

Caha Pass is a spectacular road between Kenmare and Glengarriff.

Barley Lake is a lake set deep in the mountains, accessed by a steep road.

Glengariff is a lovely town in the heart of West Cork.

Garinish Island offers exotic gardens and is a few minutes boat ride from Glengarriff

Derreen Gardens near Lauragh is a popular attraction.

Castletownbere is a colourul fishing village in West Cork.

Kenmare to Castletownbere Cycle Useful Info

There isn’t much public transport to Kenmare.

There is a bus from Cork to Castletownbere – Bus Eireann has details.

You spent most of the first half of this route on backroads, with the rest on r roads. This area is exceptionally quiet – a lot of visitors to Kerry don’t make it down this far.

There is plenty of other good, no, great cycling in this area. It is worth staying a few more days.

Useful Links

Bus Eireann

Castletownbere – Kenmare



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