New ‘Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif’ To Be A Boost For Kerry Tourism

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A map of the Sportif.

MINISTER of State for Tourism and Sports Brendan Griffin TD announced today that Fáilte Ireland is teaming up with cycling specialists Ride Wild ( ) to launch the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportive which will take in stages in Kerry and could prove a huge tourism boost to the county during the off-season.

This is a series of bi-annual cycling events along the coastal route (from Kinsale in West Cork to Muff in Donegal and running through Kerry) which will promote the Wild Atlantic Way as a cycling destination internationally and domestically as well as attract visitors across the full length of the route during off-season months.

The inaugural ride will take place along the route this September and a further two events per year will take place from 2018 to 2020.

Continued below…


The route will take in three days in Kerry from September 16 to September 19 and potentially will create a boost to local tourism with overnight stopping off points in Kenmare, Knightstown, Ballyferriter and Listowel. (see full route below).

Welcoming the new initiative, Minister of State for Tourism and Sports Brendan Griffin TD said: “The Wild Atlantic Way is ideal for initiatives like this and the additional tourism activity generated will benefit many small rural communities all along the west coast including many in County Kerry. I am particularly pleased to welcome an event which has the potential to attract visitors and increase bed-nights across Kerry during off-peak times of the year. I am sure that when participants cycle through the county, they will be stunned by our great landscapes and the warm welcome on offer.”

Fáilte Ireland are planning to invest €650,000 in the initiative between now and 2020, with the ambition to grow the average number of cyclists per day from 400 in 2018 to 1,000 per day in 2020. It is hoped that, if the initiative becomes popular, it will become self-financing.

Participants in the Sportif will have the option of covering the full distance (over 2,000 km) over a set number of days, completing a stage of the Sportif over a multi-day section of the route or joining the event for a single day.

Organisers Ride Wild will provide all logistics for participating cyclists and entry to the multi-day events will include accommodation, meals, official cycling kit including cycling jersey and shower jacket, kit laundry service, and bag transfers as well as paramedic and mechanical support during the cycle. The costs for these services will be included in cyclists’ registration fee.

The Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif will take place bi-annually every April and September from 2018 to 2020.

However, this September 13-29th, Ride Wild are organising a pilot event and all interested cyclists and clubs are invited to saddle up and be the first to embark on what will soon be Europe’s signature cycling route.

Ride Wild is a cycling tour company, specialising in leisure cycling tours. The company is Ireland’s only Ride with GPS Route Ambassador, a prestigious title awarded to tour companies who demonstrate exceptional knowledge of cycling routes in their area.

The web page for September’s event can be accessed here:


The dates and route for the Sportif are:

13th Sept:        Stage 1: 144km Kinsale to Skibbereen

Via Old Head, Courtmacsherry, Glandore, Union Hall, Baltimore
14th Sept:        Stage 2: 124km Skibbereen to Bantry

Via Schull, Mizen Head, Durrus, Sheeps Head
15th Sept:        Stage 3: 127km Bantry to Kenmare

Via Glengarriff, Ring Of Beara
16th Sept:        Stage 4: 105km Kenmare to Knightstown, Valentia Island

Via Sneem, Waterville, Portmagee, Valentia island
17th Sept:        Stage 5: 128km Knighstown to Ballyferriter

Via Caherciveen, Inch, Dingle, Slea Head
18th Sept:        Stage 6: 132km Ballyferriter to Listowel

Via Dingle, Conor Pass, Camp, Tralee, Ballyheigue
19th Sept:        Stage 7:  142km Listowel to Lahinch

Via Tarbert, Kilrush, Loop Head, Kilkee, Spanish Point
20th Sept:        Stage 8: 106km Lahinch to Barna

Via Doolin, Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Oranmore, Old Road into Galway, Salthill
21st Sept:         Stage 9: 95km Barna to Roundstone

Via Spiddal, Kilkieran, Cashel
22nd Sept:       Stage 10: 97km Roundstone to Leenane

Via Clifden, Sky Road, Cleggan, Letterfrack, Tully Cross
23rd Sept:        Stage 11: 138km Leenane to Achill

Via Louisburgh, Westport, Newport
24th Sept:        Stage 12: 162km Achill to Ballina

Via Banger Erris, Belmullet, Ceide Fields Kilala
25th Sept:        Stage 13: 144km Ballina to Donegal

Via Enniscrone, Sligo, Mullaghmore, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, The Ross,
26th Sept:        Stage 14: 86km Donegal to Ardara

Via Killybegs, Carrick, Glencolumkille, Glengesh Pass
27th Sept:        Stage 15: 104km Ardara to Dunfanaghy

Via Portnoo, Dungloe, Burtonport, Gweedore, Brirlack, Falcarragh,
28th Sept:        Stage 16: 110km Dunfanaghy to Letterkenny

Via Carrigart, Fanad Head, Portsalon, Rathmullan, Ramelton
29th Sept:        Fri 29: Stage 17: Letterkenny to Muff, Overnight Letterkenny

Via Burrfoot, Buncrana, Malin Head, Moville, Quigley’s Point

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