10 of the Best Motorcycle Touring Roads in Ireland

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Riding a motorcycle can be fun and one of life’s greatest joys. Travelling with it brings even more joy and excitement to enthusiasts. The world is big, and so you should get on your bike and go exploring. 

However, the big question is where to go on your bike? Well, there are many best drives in the world for bikers, and there is something for every motorcyclist. Whether you are heading on a day trip to have a leisurely ride to take in the picturesque surroundings, to have some quality time alone, or riding across the country to see unique attractions and differing landscapes in other locations, there is a fantastic motorcycle tour in Ireland for you.

Riding a motorcycle in Ireland is an interesting, exciting, and unforgettable experience. From high mountain passes to wild winding coastal roads, gentle lakeside rides to road trips through endless lush green valleys, Ireland has some of the best scenic drives in Europe.

You not only enjoy the great scenery at every turn, but you experience Ireland’s rural villages, local people, pubs, ancient history, mythology, heritage, and ancient trading and pilgrim paths. When you return from your holiday, long vacation or weekend trip, you’ll have many stories to tell about riding on the left-hand side along the winding country roads.

If you are looking for the best motorcycle touring roads in Ireland, check out these 10 routes!

1. The Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 1,550-mile (2,500km) long road connecting Ireland to Northern Ireland. It is the longest coastal route in the world. That is why it’s a sensational journey full of astonishing views. This road is very popular for those who want to explore Ireland and Northern Ireland, and one of the best motorcycle touring roads.

Enjoy plenty of natural beauty along the way, a dark blue sea and a lot of greenery throughout nine counties on the route. Most riders cover one country a day, starting by getting a boat to a plane to Derry, moving through counties until Cork or vice versa.

Selected post offices provide Wild Atlantic Way passports for €10. While it may not be essential, it can be a good way of documenting your trip. It is a great souvenir after a long journey.

2. Ring of Kerry scenic drive and cycle (200km/124 miles)

The world famous Ring of Kerry in County Kerry, in the south west of Ireland, is one of them ‘must do’ scenic motorcycle drives or cycles. Several top travel publications have named it as one of the best motorcycle road trips or drives.

The Ring of Kerry is a 180 to 200 km riding and cycling loop, which follows the Kerry coastline along the Wild Atlantic Way, visiting several great places including Killarney, Valentia Island, Derrynane, Kenmare and more.

3. Lough Corrib Scenic Loop Drive, Cong and Galway City

The Lough Corrib Scenic Loop Drive is 150km, starting from the Galway City in the south to the Cong, Co. Mayo’s picturesque village in the north. It forms a spectacular and beautiful inland circuit of Lough Corrib, the second largest lake in Ireland.

This is one of Ireland’s great motorcycle touring roads with the ever-changing scenery, castles, ruins, sheep-lined roads and many places to visit. Lough Corrib covers an area of about 175 square kilometers, starting from Galway City and encompasses the villages and towns of Moycullen, Cross, Maam Cross, Cong, Oughterard, and Headford.

With picnic spots, walks, cycles and scenic views at every turn, Lough Corrib separates the Maumturk Mountains and Connemara to the west from the rest of county Galway and Ireland to the east.

4. Inishowen Peninsula 100 mile Scenic Loop Drive, Donegal

The Inishowen 100 scenic tourist drive is a 100-mile (160km) signposted scenic riding route around the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way. The coastal motorcycle touring route passes many places of interest and top tourist attractions on the peninsula, and every turn comes with greats things to do from golf to fishing, blue flag beaches to Whale watching, and from hiking to cycling.

5. Boyne Valley Scenic Loop Drive, Meath

Follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s ancient High Kings and wander through the rich Irish history (9,000 years) on the 120 miles (190km) Boyne Valley Scenic Drive in County Meath. County Meath, the epicenter of Irelands Ancient East, is still known as the Royal County because High Kings have sat in this place since the second century AD.

You can start anywhere along the route, but for now, we’ll start in Drogheda, a historic town, where a St. Peters church contains Oliver Plunket’s real head. He was an Irish saint from the 1600s.

The high number of historic monuments shows the significance of this area now and during ancient times. Starting your motorcycle tour with a bang, you visit some of the oldest man-made structures in the world, the Dowth, Knowth and Newgrange burial mounds from the Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre, The Hill of Tara, where The Book Of Kells originated, the Battle of The Boyne site, Slane Castle, Trim Castle (of Braveheart fame), ancient Cairns and more.

6. Causeway Coast Scenic Drive, Co. Antrim

The 212-km (130-mile) Causeway Coastal Scenic Drive takes its name from the Giants Causeway. It’s a motorcycle road trip along the rugged and stunning coast of Northern Ireland connecting Irelands Wild Atlantic Way to Belfast City.

The riding route, following the coastline from Derry to Belfast, is one of the most scenic motorcycle touring roads in Ireland with some of the premier tourist attractions including the Giants Causeway and the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge among several other equally impressive sights and activities.

ireland route touring motorbike motorcycle travel

7. Lough Gill and Yeats Scenic Drive, Sligo

From a spectacular landscape and the people who inspired the great works of WB Yeats to Irish Mythology and ancient prehistoric tombs, the Yeats County and Lough Gill Scenic Loop Drive or Cycle in Co. Sligo is a 115-mile (185-km) motorcycle road trip and a heritage trail through the most scenic, awe-inspiring and interesting places on Irelands Wild Atlantic Way.

Starting and ending in the center of Sligo, this motorcycle drive gives you a perfect mix of scenic views, Irish culture, beaches, literary history, Irish mythology, walks, mountains, watersports, ancient tombs, cycles and more.

8. Dingle Peninsula Drive incl. Slea Head from Tralee

The Tralee to Dingle Scenic Drive is an 84-mile (135-km) full day or multiple days road trip on the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s one of Ireland’s most spectacular scenic motorcycle touring roads, with breathtaking coastline views, cliff top roads, nearly 200km of great beaches, high mountain passes, Blasket Islands, diving, surfing, walking and other awe-inspiring things to see and do along the way.

You can start the trip in either Dingle or Tralee, and it takes in the entire Dingle peninsula with a magnificent figure of 8-loop that lets you break up the route into many days or interesting places to stop for food and drink.

9. Copper Coast Scenic Drive, Waterford and Wexford

The Copper Coast Scenic Drive and Cycle Route is 100-mile (166-km) full day or multiple days, spectacular coastal road trip starting from Rosslare in Co. Wexford or Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

The Copper Coast Drive is one of Ireland’s most scenic riding and cycle routes and a great way to explore Ireland’s Ancient East. The route takes in the entire Copper Coast European Geopark between Tramore and Dungarvan in County Waterford and extends onwards to Dunmore East, passing Waterford City, down to the Hook Head Peninsula and Lighthouse, Kilmore Quay, Tintern Abbey and more.

10. The ComeraghMtns, Cashel and TheVee Drive, Co. Waterford, and Tipperary

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient hero of Irish Mythology FionnMacChumhaill on this scenic motorcycle-touring road, in a place that was home to Ireland’s first settlers almost 10, 000 years ago when ice covered the rest of Ireland.

This 140 mile (230 km) full day route takes over a week to finish properly and see all sights attractions including the secluded Nire Valley, the magical and scenic ComeraghMtns, the splendid Glen of Aherlow, The Vee scenic mountain pass, the banks of the River Suir, the world famous Rock of Cashel, Tipperary, the heritage town of Lismore, Cahir Castle, and the seaside town of Dungarvan in an area now known as the Munster Vales that covers Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick and Cork.

As you plan your motorcycle road trip, you should find and book your accommodation as well. You can book quality and affordable traditional Irish cottages at Donegal Thatch Cottages where you will stay while on your road trip. Call us today to book your reservation.

Author: Emma Henry

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18 thoughts on “10 of the Best Motorcycle Touring Roads in Ireland”

  1. OMG 1550 miles lol it’s only 287 miles from Londonderry to Cork are for riding up and down 5 times???

    1. Hi Allan, thank you for your comment. This post in particular is actually a guest post but we have just researched the official route of the Wild Atlantic Way and can confirm that it is in fact a 1600 mile route. It must be a scenic route but we’re sure it’s beautiful regardless of the distance!

      1. Good list, but a bit more detail on actual routes would be useful, or links to where one could find them.

    2. Believe me Alan it’s well over 1500 miles. I did a circuit of Ireland 3 years ago and we were blessed with clear blue skies fo 8 days. An experience I’ll never forget and the scenery was out of this world. Try it and see.

  2. Hi there Emma, What a great review of our beautiful country from both North and South. Sure any biker would enjoy the trip. Cheers. BTW the Guinness is not bad either.?

  3. 287 as the crow flies,but yes 1550 beautiful miles as every curve and outline of the magnificent west coast is linked in to this wild way

  4. Hi all I’m thinking of doing the wild Atlantic way next year never been to Ireland on me bike I was wondering how long it takes and any advice would be great

  5. There is another great route, it goes from Costello (Casla) in west Galway to Louisberg in Mayo via Maam cross. A mix of costal, lakes and mountains. Short spin but well worth it.

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