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There are, in the main, only two types of cyclists who visit Valentia – firstly, there are those who use a bicycle to get from one place to another while taking in the spectacular views and interesting places along the way: These cyclists are highly evolved Homo sapiens, men, women and children, who know about the good things in life and how to live and enjoy themselves unconditionally. Secondly, there are the type of Homo sapiens, cyclists who like to keep one eye on a computer attached to a handlebars and the other eye fixed on the bottom of the cyclist in front of them which in turn is attached to a cranial arrangement doing the same thing and whose computer is giving the same mind numbing information. We cater for both types.

Both groups will love cycling on Valentia, but the first group will actually like it as they actually do it and not just in retrospect as they upload their minicomputers to their life cycle databases. None of the hills on the Island should prove too challenging on most of the routes suggested here (though there is a little surprise if you need a challenge). We suggest about four routes on the island itself, but the Island opposite (Ireland) has a vast array of routes, starting from here by ferry or the bridge, that will keep even the computerised bottom gazer and the self-loathing very happy indeed. We start easy and we suggest harder routes as we go.

If you find yourself on our island bicycle-less have no fear we have the man for that! Bicycles can be rented on  daily or weekly rates from Casey Cycles located in nearby Cahersiveen.

Casey Cycles, New Street, Cahersiveen
T: +353 (0)66 647 2474
E: caseycycles@eircom.net
W: www.bikehirekerry.com

 

All routes have two time grading’s:
1. “Has a Life”
2. “Good, but needs to get more of a life as well”


Route 1

Staring form the tourist office in Knightstown, take the lower road south to Chapeltown. At Chapel turn left and follows the main road as far as the turn for the bridge – fork to the right still heading south and then the road turns west to Bray head. This road continues around the back of Island in a Northerly direction with the Blasket Islands out in the Atlantic to your left. Continue on until you come to junction at the Northern end and then turn left and after 300 metres turn right and follow the signs back to Knightstown. This is a great way of getting in all the views of the island and has lovely pull ins along the way to take in the spectacular viewing stops.

Time grades 1. About one hour and ten minutes to about four hours. If you are at the outer end of this time you will likely have fallen in love along the way.

Time grade 2. About 45 minutes. (But people will nod knowingly at you in the pub, or push by you nervously and be unable to stop to talk).


Route 2

Start at the tourist office and head west through the village and fork right at the church. There is a gentle climb (really gentle) all the way in until you reach the slate quarry. Do a U-turn and go back the way you came about 3K to a junction with signs for Geokaun mountain and Feoghar cliffs. Follow this road along the back of the Island all the way to Bray head and continue on around to Chapeltown. Turn sharply right at Chapeltown along the Lower road and continue back to the start at Knightstown. This route is almost the reverse of route 1 but gives a very different perspective of the Islands and spectacular view of the Scellig rocks to the south.

Time grade 1. About one hour and fifteen minutes to about four hours – if you are at the outer limit you will likely have fallen in love along the way.

Time grade 2. About 45 minutes. (But people will nod knowingly at you in the pub, or push by you nervously and be unable to stop to talk).


Route 3

Starting from the tourist office in Knightstown, take the lower road south to Chapeltown. At Chapel turn left and follows the main road as far as the turn for the bridge – fork to the right still heading south and then the road turns west to Bray head. This road continues around the back of Island in a Northerly direction with the Blasket Islands out in the Atlantic to your left. Continue on until you come to junction at the Northern end and then turn left and after 300 metres turn right and follow the signs back to Knightstown. Just as you come into Knightstown take a sharp right turn at the protestant Church and take the middle road back as far as Chapeltown. As you descend into Chapeltown be ready for a sharp left turn as you pass the church (on your right). Take the left turn and it will take you back to Knightstown. This route is similar to route one  above but is a little longer. It is a perfect little workout and a great way of seeing the Island form different angles. You see the other big Island to the east of us (Ireland) on this route.

Time grade 1.  About one hour and thirty minutes to about four hours – if you are at the outer limit you will likely have fallen in love along the way.

Time grade 2.  About 63  minutes and seventeen seconds. (But people will nod knowingly at you in the pub, or push by you nervously and be unable to stop to talk).

route3


Route 4

Starting from the tourist office in Knightstown, take the lower road south to Chapeltown. At Chapel turn left and follows the main road as far as the turn for the bridge – fork to the right still heading south and then the road turns west to Bray head. This road continues around the back of Island in a Northerly direction with the Blasket Islands out in the Atlantic to your left. Continue on until you come to junction at the Northern end and then turn left and after 300 metres turn right and follow the signs back to Knightstown. JUSt as you come into knightstown take a sharp right turn at the protestant Church and take the middle road back as far as Chapeltown. As you descend into Chapeltown be ready for another sharp right turn just after the Church. Now, caution, this is a hill for the guy who like a challenge, it is out of the saddle stuff for the casual cyclist. When you get to the top turn left. Follow this road along the back of the Island (you will have done this road in the opposite direction earlier) all the way to Bray head and continue on around to Chapeltown. Turn sharply right at Chapeltown along the Lower road and continue back to the start at Knightstown.

Time grade 1. About one hour and forty-five minutes to about four hours – if you are at the outer limit you will likely have fallen in love along the way.

Time grade 2. About 112 minutes and seventeen seconds. (But people will nod knowingly at you in the pub, or push by you nervously and be unable to stop to talk).

route4


Cycling from Valentia on the Island to our east (Ireland).
These routes are for the more serious cyclists, the scenery is nearly as good as on Valentia but you do have to leave for a few hours and people are funny about that sort of thing. Here are two sample routes of good duration and challenge. They will take a couple of hours for even the very experienced cyclist and are well worth a go. (Leave your cycling computer behind and take in the views).

Leave Knightstown by the lower and head for the bridge. When you cross the brisge follow the road north towards Cahirciveen but don’t get there. You are looking our for a sign for Ballinaskellligs along the Bog Road. This is known locally as the Bog Road. After a few miles you may get lost but you will have worked out why it I called the bog Road. Turn right for Ballinaskelligs and right again at the next jusction. When you arrive at Ballinaskelligs you should stop at the chockalate factory. Then foloow the road around (see map) and you will eventually join the main Waterville to Cahirciveeen road. Stay on this until you come close to Cahirsaveen and take a left turn to the ferry for Valentia. Get on the Ferry. Pay the ferryman. Compare times with your friends and say things like “you’re much fitter than you were last year” and stuff like that. When you arrive back on Valentia, face east, (towards the other island (Ireland) and thank your lucky stars you are back on Valentia.

cycle-route

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