Ireland Bike Tour
This tour explores the beautiful region of Connemara, famous for its rugged granite landscape as well as its beautiful lakes and rivers. The route offers an incredible variety of scenery each day. In the morning you can be cycling along beautiful coastline while in the afternoon you could find yourself on a quiet bog road with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The roads are all tarmacked and the route is designed to ensure that you spend most of the week on quiet back roads, away from the main tourist routes. To experience the majestic scenery of this area the route does have some climbs, so it is worth getting a few weekends training on a bike in varied terrain before coming, ensuring that you can fully enjoy the week.
This tour begins and ends in Galway city, Ireland’s liveliest city with cobbled streets of entertainers and pubs spilling over with merriment with the wonderful backdrop of Galway Bay. The cycling starts from the village of Cong made famous by the film “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
Our route takes in the best of the area including the colorful town of Westport, the pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick, the stunning Delphi Valley, Killary Harbour, Kylemore Abbey, Clifden, and the famous Sky Road.
However, for many, it is the lesser known sections of this route that are the real draw as you ride across spectacular open bogland, past deserted beaches, and charming seaside villages.
Easy to Moderate self-guided or group hotel tour. Daily cycling distances reach 30 to 40 miles (48 to 64 km) per day with longer routes being available each day. The tour is suitable for adults of all ages and fitness levels but the self-guided tours are not suited for children under 15 years of age.
Where You’ll Stay
Bed & Breakfasts as well as small hotels
- 7 nights’ accommodations
- Full Irish breakfasts
- 1 evening meal
- 24-speed touring bike
- Luggage transfer
- Route details and maps
- Transfer from Galway to Cong
- Transfer back to Galway on day 7
- Ferry ticket to the Aran Islands (For Galway and Mayo version)
- Also included for the Guided tour:
- Transfer from Galway to Clonbur
- Guide in a support van
What’s Not Included
- Individual arrival to your first hotel
- Lunches (approx. €10 to €12 per lunch)
- Dinners (except for 1, approx. €20 to €30 per dinner)
- Self-guided tour: Daily from April through September, 2013.
- Group tour: May 18, June 8, July 6*, 20, August 3, 10*, 17, 24, and September 21, 2013.
- *Please note: These dates follow a “The Best of the West” itinerary.
This tour offers two, slightly different itineraries. Please see below.
Connemara, Galway & Mayo
Day 1: Arrival in Galway (transfer to Clonbur for group tour).
Day 2: Transfer to Clonbur for self guided tour after breakfast. Clonbur to Westport, 38 mi. (60 km)
Day 3: Westport - Leenane, 33 mi. (52 km)
Day 4: Leenane - Clifden, 35 mi. (58 km)
Day 5: Day of rest in Clifden
Day 6: Clifden - Aran Islands, 35 mi. (51 km)
Day 7: Aran Islands - Galway, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 8: Departure from Galway.
DAY 1: GALWAY CITY
(For group tour only: transfer to Clonbur)
Arrival in Galway city. If you arrive early, you can then explore this bustling medieval city. For the group tour only, at 8 PM there will be a transfer to overnight town Clonbur. This gives us more time to enjoy our ride on Sunday. We will send you full accommodation details and the necessary contact details for your tour closer to your departure date. A folder containing your route details, will be waiting for you at the guesthouse, along with your bikes which will be serviced and ready to go!
DAY 2: TRANSFER TO CONG. CONG - WESTPORT, 38 miles (60 km)
The morning begins with a transfer to Cong to start the bike tour. You begin your first ride heading north along quiet back roads through rolling green fields full of grazing sheep, before descending down to Lough Mask and a wonderful cycle along the lake. You can stop for lunch in a pub overlooking the Lake. In the afternoon you have your biggest climb of the week over the Partry Mountains and along a quiet back road with stunning views of the surrounding landscape before coming to Westport.
DAY 3: WESTPORT - LEENANE, 33 miles (52 km)
You cycle between Croagh Patrick and the beautiful Clew Bay with its many small islands to the village of Louisburgh where you can stop for lunch. In the afternoon you head south through one of the highlights of the week, the stunning Delphi Valley with its beautiful lakes overlooked by Ben Bury the highest mountain in Connemara. That night you stay in the small village of Leenane looking out over Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord.
DAY 4: LEENANE - CLIFDEN, 35 miles (58 km)
You cycle into the heart of Connemara overlooked by the Twelve Bens mountain range. Visit Kylemore Abbey, a wedding gift from a wealthy Liverpool businessman to his wife in 1868. You then cycle along quiet backroads past small fields with grazing cattle to the seaside village of Cleggan, where you stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you follow the scenic coast road to Clifden where you can watch cars travel across the beach to Omey Island only accessible when the tide is out! Clifden, the capital of Connemara, is a pretty and bustling town of art galleries, cafes, pubs and restaurants established 200 years ago at the whim of John D’Arcy
DAY 5: REST DAY IN CLIFDEN
This day can be spent in rest and relaxation or you can take part in a variety of activities, including a day sailing cruise, walking, and game of golf or horse riding. You can also spend the day just relaxing on one of the two beautiful white sandy beaches just outside the village, overlooking a clear blue sea.
DAY 6: CLIFDEN - ARAN ISLANDS, 35 miles (51 km)
Today's cycling is quite refreshing as you pedal along beautiful waterways and another picturesque bog road with its freshly cut peat waiting to be harvested, both offering wonderful views of the surrounding countryside before cycling the final afternoon stretch to the ferry in Rossaveel which will bring you to Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands where you will spend the night.
DAY 7: ARAN ISLANDS - GALWAY, 22 miles (35 km)
The day can then be spent touring the unique landscape of the island with its wealth of ancient stone forts and monastic sights. In the late afternoon we return to the mainland and take a bus back to Galway city. You are invited to a final dinner and night on the town to conclude this cycling vacation.
DAY 8 DEPARTURE
Below is the itinerary for Connemara, "Best of the West" version. Please contact us for a detailed itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival Galway City/Overnight in Clonbur
Day 2: Clonbur - Leenane, 20 mi. (32 km)
Day 3: Leenane - Westport, 32 mi. (52 km)
Day 4: Rest day in Westport
Day 5: Westport - Achill Island, 34 mi. (54 km)
Day 6: Achill Island - Mallaranny, 9 mi, 29 mi, or 45 mi. (14 km, 47 km, or 72 km) - different options!
Day 7: Mallaranny - Galway, 29 mi. (47 km)
Day 8: Departure