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Why you shouldn't do the Ring of Kerry on July 2, 2016

I'm an American now living in Waterville, on the Ring of Kerry. I'm adding this tip in case someone viewing this area of Rick Steve's Travel Forum (which is fantastic!) is planning an Irish trip in July!

On July 2, 2016 the 33rd annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle will be held. Over 5,000 - yes, FIVE THOUSAND cyclists will be riding the entire Ring of Kerry driving route in one day. They do NOT close the road to vehicles! They only close a small part - the area over Molls Gap - to vehicles. It's crazy. I know, I've done the cycle, myself!

So - unless you want to battle thousands of cyclists on the already difficult to maneuver on the "wrong" side of the road for Americans Ring Road ...... pick another day!

You'll want to see Molls Gap - it's an amazing view. Even if you book a bus tour, they will NOT be showing you that view, since the hill is closed to vehicles. Pick another day! I can't stress this enough.

Along the same lines, Killarney (the start and finish) is packed that weekend and it's almost impossible to get a room, and will be one of the most expensive times to be in Killarney. Rethink Killarney that weekend!

If you're seeing this and are interested in DOING the Ring of Kerry charity cycle, the on-line lottery for spaces closes on January 31st. See for details.

The Ring of Kerry area - the Iveragh Peninsula - is worth cycling any time of year! I know: I don't own a car, here, and cycle year round.


Posted by
977 posts

Lucky, lucky you to be living in Waterville I was there 20 years ago and I still have the fondest, most vivid memories of my all too short time there and travelling in that most beautiful part of the world. Had a couple of pints of Guiness at the Butlers Arms Hotel, where Charlie Chaplain often spent his holidays.

Posted by
15060 posts

My best memory of Waterville is the statue of Mich O'Dwyer . . . and I'm not even a soccer fan. Lovely little town, enjoy!!

Posted by
75 posts

These were the 2015 road closure for Ring of Kerry Cycle . there were 10,000 cycling

Fossa to Killorglin

Road Closed: N72
(Road Closing Times: from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m.)

Starting from the junction of the N72 and the R563, Milltown Road at Fossa via Ballymalis and Anglont and finishing at the junction of the N72 and N70 at LauneBridge, Killorglin.

(Traffic diversions will be in place via the R563 through Faha and Listry and the N70 from Milltown to Killorglin.)

Killorglin to Caragh Bridge (Eastbound Lane)

Road Closed N70 (Eastbound Lane)
(Road Closing Time: from 6.00 a.m. to 12 noon)

Starting at the Iveragh Road Roundabout via Iveragh Road, Tullig, Quaybaun and finishing at CaraghBridge.

(A one-way traffic diversion will be in place for traffic travelling eastbound from Caherciveen and Glenbeigh on the L-4022/L-4033/L-4034 Local Primary routes via Dooks, Cromane, Garraun and Castleconway. Traffic travelling westbound from Killorglin to Glenbeigh will remain on the N70.)

Sneem to Molls Gap

Roads Closed:R568
(Road Closing Times: from 11.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.)

Starting at the junction of the R568 and the L4074 at Derreendarragh Cross and finishing at the junction of the R568 and the N71 at Molls Gap.

Kenmare to Torc

Road Closed: N-71
(Road Closing Times: from 11.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.)

Starting at the junction of the N70 and N71 at Gortamullin via Molls Gap and Galway’s Bridge and finishing at Torc Waterfall Car Park.

(Motorists travelling between Killarney and Kenmare at the above times are advised to use the alternative N22 / R569 route via Glenflesk and Kilgarvan.

Posted by
2 posts

My husband and I are arriving in Ireland (Dublin) on July 2, we won't be in the ROK area until 7/5 and 7/6, I assume the cycling events and crowds will be disbursed by then? Thank you so much for the warning, what a fantastic resource you are!

Posted by
409 posts

Crazy as it sounds the cycle is one day! So you'll be all clear by the time you get there!