Clare & the Burren
Ireland Bike Tours
A County Clare cycling tour
If you want to experience a taste of Ireland’s musical heritage, you could not have picked a better Ireland cycling tour. Clare is the music center of Ireland and on this tour, you are sure to have your feet tapping to traditional tunes nearly every night of the week. The Burren region is also an amazing limestone moonscape, famous around the world for its wonderful variety of botany. The area is rich in ancient and early Christian historical sites and offers some beautiful coastal cycling overlooking Galway Bay that will give this Ireland bike tour memories you won't soon forget. Finally, you can bike the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, one of the best-known and most breathtaking landmarks of Ireland.
This tour begins in the historical town of Ennis, renowned for its traditional music. You will set off through rolling countryside on quiet backroads towards the Atlantic Ocean, where you will stay on its shores listening to the waves rolling in.
Every night will be spent along the coast and every day your Ireland cycling tour will be rewarded in some way. From the famous Cliffs of Moher to the wonderful freewheel into the village of Doolin (famous for its three pubs that compete to have the best music), or the spectacular coastal ride from the matchmaking town of Lisdoonvarna to Ballyvaughan with the Burren on one side and views across to the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and Connemara beyond on the other - this tour encompasses the very best of Ireland from start to finish.
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 thus ensuring that you can fully enjoy the week.
All of our bike tours in Ireland can be found here.
Easy to Moderate, self-guided or suported hotel tour. This is not an arduous tour however there are some hills on the route but you have all day to do the cycling. With the exception of the roads in and out of Ennis, the traffic on the route should be quite light. You should, however, cycle carefully at all times, especially when going downhill or during any rain showers.
Where You’ll Stay
Bed & Breakfasts and small hotels
- 7 nights’ accommodations
- Full Irish breakfasts
- 1 evening meal
- 24 speed hybrid bicycle with pannier bag, repair equipment, lock, and bottle cage
- Luggage transfer
- All route details and maps
- Also included for the Guided tour:
- 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)
Extra nights are available in Dublin.
Day 1: Arrival in Ennis, Co. Clare
Day 2: Ennis to Spanish Point, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 3: Spanish Point to Doolin, 29 mi. (46 km)
Day 4: Doolin to Ballyvaughan, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 5: Rest day in Ballyvaughan
Day 6: Ballyvaughan to Kinvara, 24 mi. (39 km)
Day 7: Kinvara to Ennis, 31 mi. (49 km)
Day 8: Departure from Ennis
*All distances are approximate.
DAY 1: Ennis, Co. Clare
On arrival in Ennis, you will make your way to your B&B. Check in is after 2:00 pm on the day of arrival. A folder containing your route details and information on collection of your bikes will be waiting for you at the guesthouse. Ennis is a fantastic town for music and entertainment so the rest of the day can be spent relaxing and enjoying the sights.
DAY 2: Ennis - Spanish Point, 30 mi. (48km)
In the morning you will cycle towards West Clare, cycling along quiet country roads through rolling green fields to the Coast. You stay the night in a comfortable Hotel at Spanish Point. The area gets its name named from those Spanish Armada Ships which sank here in 1588 during their retreat home to Spain.
DAY 3: Spanish Point - Doolin, 29 mi. (46 km)
Cycling along quiet country roads you meander your way to the popular holiday town of Lahinch where you stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you visit the Cliffs of Moher which rise a spectacular 660 ft up from the Atlantic waves below. You can stroll along the cliff face and watch the birds gliding in the updraft. After visiting the cliffs you head to the village of Doolin. That night you can have a pub meal and enjoy the wealth of traditional music for which the village is famous .
DAY 4: Doolin - Ballyvaughan, 31 mi. (50 km)
In the morning you begin to see the first hints of the limestone landscape of the Burren and visit the monastic site at Kilfenora and its stone high crosses. Kilfenora is also home to the Burren Heritage Centre which gives you an excellent insight into the formation and history of the Burren. Later you can stop off for lunch at the matchmaking town of Lisdoonvarna.
The afternoon's cycle is a beautiful run where the road hugs the coastline with Galway Bay and the Aran Islands on your left and the limestone cliffs of the Burren on your right. You stop for two nights in our comfortable Hotel in the seaside village of Ballyvaughan.
DAY 5: Rest day in Ballyvaughan
The day can be spent doing a wide variety of activities . There is a wonderful four-hour walking tour of the Burren with a local man who is a very entertaining character and an encyclopedia of knowledge on the area. There is also an optional short cycle to the impressive ruins of a Cistercian Abbey or you could visit the nearby Ailwee Caves. Alternatively, the day could be spent relaxing in this attractive village.
DAY 6: Ballyvaughan - Kinvarra, 24 mi. (39 km)
The cycle heads straight into the heart of the Burren where you can visit the Burrens most famous historical sight, the Poulnabrowne Dolmen a small ancient burial site dating back to 2500BC. Veering off the beaten track you can stop at the village of Carran for lunch in an old police barracks. In the afternoon, you cycle through quiet backroads to visit the Burren Perfumery which makes a wide variety of perfumes using the local flora and has a wonderful slide show illustrating the beautiful and unique botany of this region. You then descend through a limestone lunar landscape to the pretty seaside village of Kinvarra where you spend the night.
DAY 7: Kinvarra - Ennis, 31 mi. (49 km)
For the last day, you head back into the Burren through another limestone moonscape, passing Lough Buny and the impressive Mullaghmore before stopping for lunch in Corafin. In the afternoon, you can visit a 16th Century Tower House and an even older monastic sight . This is also the site of the famous battle of Dysert O’Dea where the Irish Chieftains defeated the Normans and kept them out of Clare for another 200 years. You then cycle back into Ennis for a final night on the town.
DAY 8: Departure