One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the Midlands is to meander through the region on a bike. Although the area may not offer the spectacular scenery of the more hilly coastal regions, its level, Netherlands-like terrain means a less strenuous ride. New cycling blueways and greenways capitalize on this, as does the recent opening of the Old Rail Trail as a major cycle route leading from Athlone to Mullingar.
The twisting roads are generally in good (well, good enough) condition. There are picnic spots galore in the many state-owned forests just off the main roads. The more rural regions of Laois allow you to spend days exploring beautiful glens, waterfalls, nature trails, and wooded regions around the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Try to avoid the motorways that bisect the region–-after all, this is an area that deserves thorough and leisurely exploration. Contact the regional and township tourist offices for all the details.