Ireland: 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.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- The cliffs, coves, beaches, moorlands, and beautiful, quiet lanes of Western Ireland
- Ballynahinch Castle on Day four
- Peaceful, wonderfully preserved villages.
- Idyllic valleys and pastures.
- Dramatic skies, bracken and heather-clad hills, and remarkably emerald fields create scenery beyond your imagination.
The Ireland: Connemara Bike Tour offers easy cycling on quiet roads with a few hilly sections. 36-83km/day, with many options for additional exploration. You may need rain gear to be prepared for weather changes. Note that the island day – day 3; Inismore – is self-guided when the group is fewer than six.
- DAY 1: Introductions, ~12 km
- DAY 2: ~60 km
- DAY 3: Up to ~40 km
- DAY 4: ~65 km
- DAY 5: ~52 km or ~67 km
- DAY 6: Up to ~82 km
- DAY 7: Up to ~70 km
- DAY 8: Farewells
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: 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.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Introductions, Cliffs of Moher to Doolin. 12km
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
Burren Loop. 60km
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
Inishmore Island. 4km to 40km
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
Kilmurvey House, or, Ard Einne Guesthouse, Inis Mor
Rossaveal to Ballynahinch Castle. 65km
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
Connemara Coast & Sky Road. 52km or 67km
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 Ballynahinch, where you can explore a few options for an independent dinner. Ambitious riders may ride the extra distance to see Rinvle Castle. B
Ballynahinch Castle to Mulranny. Up to 82km
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 takes you through Newport on the way to Achill Island. The final stretch will reveal several epicurean delights – oysters, cheese, chocolates, and tearooms. BD
Mulranny House B&B, or, Mulranny Park Hotel, Mulranny
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
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Guided: C 4495 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, ferries, van support, full-time guide, luggage handling, maps and route instructions, taxes
Self-Guided: C 3995 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, ferries, inn to inn luggage transfers, maps and route instructions, essential transfers, on-call support, taxes
Single Occupancy: 1135
Aluminum Racing: 295
Carbon Racing: na
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2023 Guided dates:
- Jun 17-24
- Aug 19-26
- Sep 23-30
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
The best parts of Southwest Nova Scotia are its Fundy coast, where the highest tides in the world create fantastic landscapes, and its Lighthouse Route, that so frequently follows the water’s edge. Quiet roads skirt myriad white-sand beaches, and there are many hidden coastal treasures. It is perfect for a gentle bike ride. Friendly people, fishing villages, secluded anchorages, boat builders, antique shops, artists’ hamlets, and beautiful beaches all contribute to the feeling of being in paradise.
This is our home, and we love showing you the secret swimming holes, little-known cafés, and fantastic rides along obscure coastal stretches You can dine on lobster, swim in warm lakes or the cool ocean, feel the warm sand between your toes, and appreciate the cooling sea breeze in your hair.
You will rest in the university town of Wolfville and the UNESCO heritage township of Lunenburg, whose uniquely crafted architecture reflects skills of numerous shipbuilders and fishermen whose lifestyle built the town. You will cross the cable ferry near the beaches around LaHave, and can venture on foot to two of the most spectacular headlands in the province. This is a perfect introduction to Nova Scotia’s coastal charms, and will show you why many visitors return again and again.