What it’s like to cycle the Waterford Greenway? Tips and photos of beautiful Ireland
Since I live in Ireland one of the things that I love the most if our Irish summer. It is a great moment to visit new places in the middle of the lush Irish countryside. We decided to do the Waterford Greenway that has been opened not so long ago.
Because the views are amazing! This cycle tour takes you along the River Suir, through Mount Congreve gardens (entry paid separately), before taking you through some of Irelands most impressive countryside where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Comeragh Mountains, and cross not less than three viaducts to arrive to Dungarvan Bay.
If you start In Waterford, at the beginning of the route you will cycle beside the railway line that will take you through all ages of Irish history.
Some info about the route, map
The route has three main stops: Waterford, Kilmacthomas and Dungarvan. We took a train from Dublin to Waterford (irishrail.ie) that was 30€ return. There are no trains to Dungarvan so if you come from Dublin it is better to start the route from Waterford. The only downside is that most of the route will be slightly uphill. It is not a very steep hill, as it is very flat but if you are not used to cycle you will feel it a bit. You will find lots of information on this website: visitwaterfordgreenway.com and we hired our bikes with these company: waterfordgreenwaybikehire. I chose it as they have electric bikes, they give you bungees for your backpack and they have a free shuttle between the three different towns.
• This is Ireland so even if the weather says: plenty of sunshine you should bring your rain poncho just in case. We did and it made the last part of our cycle way easier.
• Pack a small scarf. It can do wonders if you are anything like me. It can be very warm, but the wind here is cold so a scarf will protect you from getting sick the day after.
• Pack some bars, snacks and water. Even though from Waterford to Kilmacthomas there are plenty of cute cafes and stops to buy a snack from Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan there is literally nothing! So it is better to pack something just in case.
• If you are not used to cycle long distances, choose the electric bike as that was a fantastic bike to cycle. You can cycle normally and when you are tired you can switch it on and it will sort of push you so you cycle more comfortably. It is good to have that choice unless you are used to cycle long distances.
• Book your accommodation in Dungarvan as there is more to choose from than in Kilmacthomas as this is where everybody stops. Another option is to make it to Dungarvan and take the shuttle back to Waterford (50’) but I thought that was a bit rushed and Dungarvan is quite nice to see.
What to visit in these towns?
• Waterford: Waterford Crystal (not in the city), Waterford Medieval museum, Mount Congreve’s House and Gardens (on the Greenway), Bishop’s Palace, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, the Clock Tower, Waterford Nature Park and many tours around their countryside.
Food: We didn’t stop much in Waterford this time but we had breakfast in the Granary Cafe (Yum!!) and it was just in front of the bike depot.
• Kilmacthomas: This is a very small town on the Mahon river. If you have a car or the time to cycle around it may be very nice to visit the surroundings. The Mahon River has a stock of wild brown trout. The salmon run mostly in the autumn and winter, but start running from the end of June. Salmon are also found in the river. Sea trout run in late July and August.
Food:We stopped at the Coach Café to have lunch and it was great. We had the hamburger with brioche bum, coleslaw and chips for a very decent price and outdoors as they have a lot of tables to eat outside.
• Dungarvan: St Mary’s Church and its graveyard overlooking the beach and the sea, Dungarvan castle, Clonea beach.
Food: We had lunch at The Moorings and it was delicious.It was recommended in TripAdvisor and the menu looked great. I had fish and chips and you could choose your fish between lemon sole, hake and plaice. They had so much fish! And it was delicious. After that we went to have coffee to the Interlude just besides that overlooks the harbour.
This is the perfect route for you if you love beautiful green fields, see nature and the local animals in their natural habitat. We saw horses, cows, rabbits and sheeps. There were lots of flowers and ancient train wagons (one was converted into a restaurant!)
The views from the aqueducts are breath taking and the tunnel at the end of the route was very impressive to cross. The nature around it was like from the movie Jurasic Park. Nature is extremely lush over there.
We started in Waterford, made it to Dungarvan on the same day and just relaxed in Dungarvan the following day. After lunch we took the bus (there are two that leave from there) at Davitts Quay (just besides Davitts Bar) to Waterford (5€). Once in Waterford you have to stop at the very last stop and then cross the bridge to the train station if you are going to Dublin.
I may do this route again, but taking some detours to see some of the surroundings as there was too much too see in only one weekend.
Here are some more pictures of this beautiful Greenway route:
Have you done this Greenway route or another one Ireland? What was your experience? Anything else you would recommend? I would love to hear your comments!
Also published on Medium.