Ireland Wicklow Mountains Cycle Tour

This weekend Amy and I thought we would do something different; we've always wanted to explore Ireland and recently I got inspired reading the book Raising the Bar by Gary Cliff the founder of Cliff energy bar company. In the book he likens his business ethos with his cycling tours of Europe, travelling light and always taking the smaller scenic roads that allow more adventurous exploration and allow you to experience more of the surrounding culture, people and local cuisine rather then taking the fast highway which may get you to your destination sooner, but at the price of increased danger from traffic and closes your eyes to the surrounding opportunities for discovery.

Stunning Glendalough lake

After a smooth early morning ferry from Holyhead and a breakfast mini Guinness we set off on our bikes from Dublin towards the Wicklow Mountains carrying only the bare minimum: small water bottle, puncture repair kit, flip-flops, light fleece and of course a few Cliff Bars!

Powering up with a Guinness breakfast on a sunny ferry crossing :-)

On the first day we rode from Dublin to Glendalough via the Old Military Road directly over the middle of the Wicklow Mountains. This was a fantastic scenic ride on quiet (once we left Dublin behind!) and generally good quality (smooth) roads. I used my Pebble watch running NavMe linked with Google Maps navigation on my Android phone set to give cycle directions which keeps us away from busy roads, this worked really well, we hardly ever had to stop to look at the map.

Pebble Watch Navigation in action crossing Wicklow Mountains

Made it to Sally Gap

Sally Gap the highest point on the Wicklow Mountains Old Military Road..not much here actually!

Traffic Congestion 

After a nice meal and an Irish whiskey in the Wicklow Heather and, the next morning we woke up in Glendalough Hostel to a stunning sunny blue-bird morning. Glendalough lake looked amazing and the valley looked like a fantastic place to boulder on nice looking gritstone-like rock.

Glendalough Lake

For the rest of the day we had a leisurely ride down to the Wicklow coast and went for a swim on a stunning little beach which we found with some local knowledge from our friend and outdoor instructor Konrad Doyle. We then carried on along the coast to Wicklow for a celebratory Guinness and Irish coffee (we are in Ireland after all!).

Beach Near Wicklow

Celebrating our arrival to Wicklow with more Guinness and an Irish Coffee :-)

On the third day after a night in a hostel in Wicklow and some home made Irish soda bread for breakfast we had an early start and rode the 60km back for Dublin in time for an afternoon ferry.

Over the the days we rode 170.7Km with 1654m ascent in 9.2hrs moving of actual time, this felt about the right amount of riding to do each day without it stopping being so much fun! I really enjoyed the experience of our mini bike tour. One day it would be great to repeat such an activity through the European alps.

I used website to help me plan our route. If anyone is interested here's the route we took each day:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3