Connemara Bike Tour
Seven nights; seven days by bicycle on the gently rolling paved roads of Connemara. Ride your bike between small inns, a charming castle, and an elegant 130 year old fishing lodge tucked among the Twelve Bens.
“The routes were terrific. They took us through amazing landscapes and drivers were very respectful of cyclists” – Carol J.
Galway, Park House Hotel, 13:00, day one. Galway is accessible from Dublin by train (2 ½ hours) www.irishrail.ie, or by express coach directly from Dublin Airport (~3 hours) www.citylink.ie. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Westport, 09:00, day eight. Train service from Westport to Dublin (~3 ½ hours) is frequent and can be pre-arranged at www.irishrail.ie.
Early afternoon pickup in Galway for one hour transfer to the Cliffs of Moher. After gazing down to the sea from your lofty perch atop the cliffs, coast down to your seaside inn in Doolin – a breeding ground for traditional Irish music. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Ballinalacken Castle, or
Aran View House, Doolin
Explore the castles, stones, barrows, megalithic tombs, expansive views, and fabulous coastline of the Burren, Co.Clare. In fair weather you’ll picnic on the Burren but in case of rain, you will find Monk’s Pub in Ballyvaughanh and other options in the village of Lisdoonvarna, where the annual Matchmaking Festival puts the town on the map for entertainers. The festival is at the end of September, but you’ll benefit at any time by the proliferation of places to stop for a bite. At day’s end, you can enjoy live music at your choice of pubs in Doolin. BL
10km or 42km
Board an early morning ferry to Inishmore. Cycle the length of the island on one of the extremely quiet and beautiful roads, and stop for a visit to Ireland’s smallest church, the stone fortress of Eoghanachta, and extraordinary clifftop Dun Aengus, the greatest barbaric fort in Western Europe. BLD
Ard Einne Guesthouse, or
Kilmurvey House, Inis Mor
Start the day with a short ferry hop to Rossaveal, to ride the coastal roads through Gaeltacht (Gaelic speaking) villages and along the beaches of Connemara. This is one of the most beautiful regions in Ireland, affected most by the potato famine in the 1840s. You’ll ride through peat bogs, lonely moorlands, and pretty fishing villages, through Screeb and Kilkieran to Cashel. BLD
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess
52 km or 112 km
Ride the Connemara coast through villages of whitewashed cottages, and around deep bays filled with islands to Clifden. Stop there for lunch, and perhaps tweed shopping, before riding out along the Sky Road to little Kingstown. Return to Roundstone, where you can explore a few options for an independent dinner. B
Up to 83km
Get an early start today, for what is perhaps one of the nicest rides in all of Ireland. From Leenane, you will begin across the Mweelrea Mountains and along Doo Lough. The coastal stretch past Croagh Patrick, climbed annually on the solstice by over 25,000 pilgrims, is a spectacular ride into Westport, where you can leave roads in favour of the paved trail that was once a Victorian era railway. The Great Western Greenway begins in Westport, and takes you through Newport on the way to Achill Island. The final stretch will reveal several epicurean delights - oysters, cheese, chocolates, and tearooms. BD
Lough Inagh Lodge, Recess
Loop ride options on Achill Island. Up to 70km
Today’s ride starts with spectacular sea cliff scenery along the Atlantic Drive. You can stop at the Pirate Queen's castle, Kildownet Church, megalithic tombs and promontory forts, a deserted village, and for swims at beautiful beaches on the north shore. These quiet lanes and trails make a wonderful last day of cycling in a quintessential part of the Emerald Isle. BLD
Following breakfast, you will be transferred about 30 minutes to Westport where your tour will conclude. Train service from Westport to Dublin (~3 ½ hours) is frequent and can be pre-arranged at www.irishrail.ie B
Note about the route:
Easy cycling on quiet roads with a few hilly sections. 20-40 miles/day, with many options for additional exploration. If you choose to hike on day seven, you will need good footwear and rain gear to be prepared for weather changes.
The cliffs, coves, beaches, moorlands, and beautiful, quiet lanes of Western Ireland are the setting for this fabulous bicycle tour. Dramatic skies, bracken and heather-clad hills, and remarkably emerald fields create scenery beyond your imagination. This is the landscape that inspired Yeats and Joyce to their litany of legendary prose. Populated by the musical folk of Celtic descent, the pub-peppered villages create wonderfully photogenic opportunities for exploration and indulgence in rich Irish culture. This is a place where you’ll wish you lived.
Starting at the Cliffs of Moher, you will descend to the coastal village of Doolin. From there, you will ride around the ancient Burren before ferrying out to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, to see such highlights as the cliff top fort of Dun Aengus. Another short ferry will take you to County Galway, where you will meander along the convoluted coast and many of the wee villages which make Connemara such a stimulating, rewarding place to ride. You will spend two nights in a lodge near the shore of Lough Inagh, surrounded by inviting mountains and breathtaking stillness. Finally, an exceptionally scenic ride will take you along the Sky Road.
Maps & Elevations
Galway, Park House Hotel, 13:00, day one. Galway is accessible from Dublin by train (2 ½ hours) www.irishrail.ie, or by express coach directly from Dublin Airport (~3 hours) www.citylink.ie. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necesary.
Westport, 09:00, day eight. Train service from Westport to Dublin (~3 ½ hours) is frequent and can be pre-arranged at www.irishrail.ie.
US 3385 C 3995(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, ferries, van support, full-time guide, luggage handling, maps and route notes, taxes)
US 3145 C 3695(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, ferries, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, essential shuttles, emergency support, taxes)
US 865 C 1025
US 190 C 225
US 245 C 295
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.