Biking the Greenways of Ireland: What You Need to Know

Ireland's greenways feature some of the most beautiful and accessible biking routes around the world. If you are looking at an Ireland bike adventure, your treat is coming. Here's everything you need to know so that you can make the most out of your journey along Ireland's greenways.

What Are Ireland’s Greenways?

Greenways in Ireland are dedicated routes for cycling and walking; they are usually on old railway lines so that the traveler can enjoy a tranquil, scenic route that is traffic-free.

Popular Greenways in Ireland

Great Western Greenway

Route Location: Westport to Achill Island

Length: 42km (26 miles)

Highlights: Scenic views of Clew Bay, pretty little villages, and historic sites. This is a family-friendly route and great for a leisurely day trip.

Waterford Greenway

Route: Waterford to Dungarvan

Distance: 46 km

Highlights: Dramatic views over the coast, history in the viaducts and tunnels. It is here on this greenway that the beauty of nature combines with marvels of engineering.

Limerick Greenway

Route: Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale

Distance: 40 km

Highlights: Attractive rural landscapes, a look into the past from the heritage sites, and the peculiarities of the Barnagh Tunnel. It is ideal for anyone looking to explore Ireland’s rural magic.

Essential Gear for Greenway

Cycling Before setting out along the greenways, ensure that you are adequately equipped with the following items:

  • Bike: An excellent bike to use is hybrid or touring bike; remember, the surface varies.
  • Helmet: Always wear your helmet—it’s for your good.
  • Clothing: Wear suitable layers for all weather conditions; don’t forget your raincoat.
  • Navigation: Either a GPS unit or smartphone with maps.
  • Repair Kit: Tubes, levers, pump, and multi-tool.
  • Food and Water: Keep well-fueled and hydrated with plenty of fluid and high-energy food.

How to Make Your Cycle Trip Enjoyable

  • Plan your Route: Note the distance, terrain, and critical stops during the trip.
  • Check Weather: Irish weather can be erratic—be prepared for sun, rain, and wind.
  • Pedal Early: Start the ride early and avoid the rush. Daylight: Utilize the daylight as your days get shorter.
  • Rest Area: The breathtaking views and numerous attractions on the trail provide beautiful places to stop.
  • Share the Trail: All greenways are for shared use. Stay to the right, pass on the left, and be friendly.

Must-see Greenways Great Western Greenway

  • Westport: Beginning in a bustling and cosmopolitan town, nestled under the protective gaze of Croagh Patrick, this award-winning destination offers up the ideal mix of heritage, hospitality, glorious views, and great restaurants.
  • Newport: This quaint little village with a really big heart is the perfect place to stop for a coffee break.
  • Mulranny: Provides some amazing coastal views and access to some magnificent beaches.
  • Achill Island: Culminates your trip with its dramatic landscapes of cliffs and blue flag beaches.

Waterford Greenway

  • Waterford City: Ireland’s oldest city with a rich Viking history.
  • Mount Congreve Gardens: A beautiful garden just off the path.
  • Kilmacthomas: Perfectly located halfway, with lovely coffee shops.
  • Dungarvan: For a fitting finish with ample eating places, it is a coastal town.

Limerick Greenway

  • Rathkeale: A historic village to start the journey.
  • Ardagh: Known for discovering the Ardagh Chalice in the 19th century.
  • Newcastle West: Boasts beautiful parkland and historic castle ruins.
  • Abbeyfeale: It is a market town with great heritage.

Best Time to Visit

  • Spring (March-May): Mild temperature and the landscape starts blooming
  • Summer (June-August): The warmest and also busiest time
  • Autumn (September-November): Cooler with lovely fall foliage
  • Winter (December-February): An off-peak, quiet season – be prepared for cold and wet conditions.

Taking a ride on the greenways of Ireland will be an experience full of natural beauty and cultural heritage, mingled with elements of outdoor adventure. With the proper preparation and your spirit of adventure, each pedal stroke will be a delight across this land of enchantment.

Ready to hit the greenways? Get that gear packed, your route prepped, and brace yourself for an Irish cycle adventure of which you have only dreamed!


Q: Can beginners ride on the greenways?

A: Yes, greenways in Ireland are graded easy to moderate, suitable for all abilities. The track is mostly flat and has good services.

Q: Can you rent a bike along the greenways?

A: Yes! You can find lots of different rental shops within close proximity to the major greenway start locations, and indeed the selection is widespread, so variance is huge.

Q: Is it possible to do a greenway in one day?

A: Yes, most greenways can be comfortably cycled in a day, depending on your pace and how many stops you make.

Q: Are there places to eat along the greenways?

A: Yes, you’ll find an abundance of cafes, pubs, and restaurants along the routes, particularly in towns and villages.

Q: Do I need to be in great shape to bike the greenways?

A: While a minimum fitness level is recommended, the greenways are pretty easy and can be enjoyed leisurely.