Visit the Lakeshore and the hills above Lough Derg!

Takes in the Lough shore at Castlelough and Garrykennedy, heading up into the Arras mountain range, along with fantastic lake views. There are also castles and historic churches to view along the way.

There are 3 options, to cater to all abilities.

Option 1 (Rte 2 Easy on your Garmin device) is 33km, rated Easy, and takes you to Garrykennedy and back. This route is recommended for anyone who is not accustomed to cycling as it includes no climbs.

Option 2 (Rte 2 Moderate on your Garmin device) is 40km, rated Moderate, and avoids the major climbs, but still takes in most of the scenic views. This route is recommended for anyone who is moderately fit.

Option 3 (Rte 2a on your Garmin device) is 49km, rated Hard, and takes you up to the Graves of the Leinstermen site on Tountinna, right up in the Arras hills, before continuing down to the Lough shore at Castlelough and Garrykennedy. Please note, however, that this route involves some steep uphills and steep downhills, and is only recommended for the experienced cyclist.

About the Garrykennedy Loop Tour

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Rte 2 Easy- Garrykennedy
Rte 2 - Garrykennedy
Rte 2a - Garrykennedy Leinstermen

Pit Stops

First Stop - Nenagh

The tour starts in Nenagh, which is a historic market town, founded back in the 12th Century. The tour proceeds via quiet back roads through the North Tipperary countryside, passing through villages such as Ballycommon and Newtown.

Option 1 - Ballyartella

The Easy route brings us first to Ballycommon via Ballyartella. Here you will find a very picturesque crossing over the River Nenagh, where you can pause to admire the views, take a walk along the river banks, or visit Hanly's Woollen Mills.


All 3 routes bring us to Garrykennedy via a mixture of forest roads and back roads. This is a beautiful harbour village, which includes the 15th century castle built by the O'Kennedy family. Here, you can get a coffee from the street vendor, or if you prefer, a spot of lunch at Larkin's pub.

Options 2 and 3 - Castlelough

Between Garrykennedy and the Arras range lies the small townland of Castlelough. Here, there is a ruined church, a castle (which appears as if it is in someone's back garden!), and a recreation area which includes a beach and a short forest walk. If you wish, you can lock up your bikes by the play area and go for a walk down to the Lough shore along the woodland path. It's well worth the diversion!

Option 3 - The Graves of the Leinstermen

For Option 3, we start from Nenagh and proceed via backroads through farmland and villages such as Ballycommon, Newtown and Portroe. After Portroe we head up towards the Arras range. For the experienced cyclist only, we take a detour up almost to the top of Tountinna. This involves a steep climb, followed by a steep descent, so unfortunately we can only offer this section to the experienced cyclist. If you are able to do it, it is well worth the effort! At the top of the climb is a parking area where there are fantastic views down over the Lough, and a short walk takes us to the Graves of the Leinstermen, a group of standing stones which are said to be connected to the legends of Brian Boru.

Option 2 - The Lookout

For the Option 2 tour, from Garrykennedy and Castlelough we head up towards the Arras range, until we meet the main Nenagh to Ballina Road. At the top of the climb, The Lookout is a view point which offers some of the finest views over the lake. From here we can see Counties Tipperary, Clare and Galway.