Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Ireland. Flickr:Kate. Get the picture.

Irish stew with soda bread and Guinness, a favorite Irish lunch! Flickr:Nomadic Lass
4.8/5 (5 reviews)

Connemara Bike Tour

Ireland Bike Tours

A breathtaking bike tour in Ireland

  • This bike tour in Ireland, the Emerald Island, explores the beautiful region of Connemara famous for its rugged granite landscape as well as its beautiful lakes and rivers. You will enjoy an incredible variety of scenery each day. In the morning, you can bike along the beautiful coastline, while in the afternoon you could find yourself on a quiet bog road with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

    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 in the village of Clonbur and the route leads through some of the best villages and towns Ireland has to offer,

    Highlights:

    • Galway City
    • Lough Mask
    • Colorful village of Westport
    • Pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick
    • Stunning Delphi Valley
    • Small village of Leenane
    • Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord
    • Kylemore Abbey
    • Clifden
    • Sky road

    For many, it is the lesser-known sections of this route that are the real highlights as you cycle Connemara across spectacular open boglands, past deserted beaches, and charming seaside villages.

    A full list of all of our bike tours in Ireland can be found here.

  • Self-guided or supported:
    May, June & September
    Twin/double:  $ 1540 £ 792 $ 1,366 935 $ 1613 kr 10075 $ 1,030 July & August
    Twin/double:  $ 1606 £ 826 $ 1,424 975 $ 1682 kr 10506 $ 1,074 Single supplement (when traveling in a group): $ 420 £ 216 $ 373 255 $ 440 kr 2748 $ 281 Supplement for solo traveler (when traveling alone): $ 651 £ 335 $ 577 395 $ 682 kr 4256 $ 435

    extra options

    Extra nights

    Galway: pending

    Electric bicycle: $ 165 £ 85 $ 146 100 $ 173 kr 1078 $ 110

    • Lappierre Overvolt Urban 300-Wh
    • Range of 70 - 100 km on a fully charged battery
    • 3 settings

    Discount for triple room applied to third person's price: $ 82 £ 42 $ 73 50 $ 86 kr 539 $ 55

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    It is possible to fly to either Dublin airport or Shannon airport. (Please note: Flying into Dublin airport will have more route options)

    Local Travel

    From the airport, you can take a bus directly to Galway. Travel time is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.

    Climate

    Because it is an island located near the gulf stream Ireland has a very mild climate making it ideal for cycling. The temperature range during the summer is between 15 and 22 degrees centigrade (60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit).

    Remarks

    On the supported tour, the group generally loves to get together each evening to discuss their adventures of the day over dinner. Your guide will prebook and arrange a suitable venue for you each night. Nearly all restaurants in Ireland now cater to vegetarians but please inform the guide if you are vegetarian so that he/she can organize something suitable for everyone.

    Documents

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's and the countries you plan to visit travel requirements. We recommend that you make copies of your important documents and papers (insurance cards, etc.). Leave a copy at home and have a copy with you. In the unfortunate situation that you lose your original documents, having copies facilitates the replacement process.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.

    More on Supported vs. Self-guided

    Supported Tours (set dates,  minimum number of participants: 8) operate in a very relaxed manner and in some ways can be thought of as self-guided tours but starting on a set date!   Everyone is given their own route details and have the freedom to explore the tour at their own pace,  stop as often as they like,  have lunch and dinner whenever it suits them.  The guide is in a support van on the road each day just to make sure everything is running smoothly and to help and give assistance if needed.    Meeting up with the group each night for dinner is not obligatory,  however, almost always people find this the highlight of the tour as everyone swaps stories from their days adventure. 

    On a self-guided tour, there is no support vehicle out on the route but assistance is just a phone call away if needed.


Tour Dates

2020

Supported Group Tour: May 16, June 13, July 4, August 1, August 15, and August 29, 2020*

*Minimum of 8 people needed to confirm a set departure date with a guide in a support van. If the minimum is not reached, the tour will proceed as self guided.
 

Self-Guided Tour: Daily arrival possible from April 18 to October 3, 2020

 

Skill Level

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. Supported tour means that there is a support vehicle with tour leader but he/she does not cycle with group. 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 heavy traffic. 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!

Where You’ll Stay

On this tour you will be accommodated in Bed & Breakfasts as well as small hotels. On each day’s details you will find the preferred hotel(s) listed. Please note that the final hotel list is based on availability. It is possible to upgrade the accommodation in three of the five overnights: Galway, Westport and/or Clifden. You can request an upgrade for all these nights or for only one or two nights. Please ask.

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights
  • Full Irish breakfast
  • 1 evening meal in Leenane
  • 24-speed hybrid touring bicycle with pannier (40 l), repair equipment, lock, and bottle cage
  • Mrida Crossway Urban 20-D
  • Alloy frame & fork with twin hydralic disc brakes
  • Luggage transfer
  • Route details and maps
  • Transfer from Galway to Clonbur on Day 1 of group tour and Day 2 on the self-guided tour
  • Transfer back to Galway on day 7
  • Ferry ticket to the Aran Islands
  • GPX files on request
  • Also included for the Supported Group Tour:
  • Guide in a support van
  • Helmets

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)
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance

Extra Stay

If you are planning to spend a few days in Dublin at the end of the tour, we recommend that you book accommodation well in advance as the capital is very busy on weekends. We do not actually organize accommodation here but there are a huge range of websites offering a reservation service

TourBike
TypeBoth
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length8 days
From935 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Connemara Map

Day 1: Arrival in Galway (transfer to Clonbur for group tour)
Day 2: Clonbur - Westport, 38 mi. (60 km)
Day 3: Westport - Leenane, 33 mi. (52 km)
Day 4: Leenane to Clifden, 35 mi. (58 km)
Day 5: Rest day in Clifden
Day 6: Clifden to Aran Islands 35 mi. (58 km)
Day 7: Aran Islands to Galway, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 8: Departure from Galway

All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Galway city
(For group tour only: transfer to Clonbur and overnight)

Arrival in Galway city. If you arrive early, you can cycle Galway exploring this bustling medieval city. For the group tour only, at 6:00 PM there will be a transfer to the overnight town of Clonbur where you will have dinner. The self-guided tour participants will remain in Galway City for the night and in the morning, there will be a transfer to Clonbur.

Accommodation in Galway: variety of small guesthouses that are located close to the beach.
Accommodation in Clonbur: Fairhill Hotel Clonbur

Day 2: Clonbur - Westport, 38 mi. (60 km)
For those who are cycling self-guided, you will be transferred to Clonbur where your bike tour begins. First, you head north along quiet back roads through rolling green fields full of grazing sheep and then descend down to Lough Mask to cycle along the shores of the lake. After lunch, the biggest climb of the week awaits you over the Partry Mountains, before continuing along a quiet back road with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The day ends in the colorful village of Westport.

Accommodation: Westport B&Bs. The B&Bs that are used are located away from the busy town and down on the quays by the ocean. They are often family-run and offer an insight to the Irish home with a fantastic breakfast.

Day 3: Westport - Leenane, 33 mi. (52 km)
You will cycle between Croagh Patrick and the beautiful Clew Bay with its many small islands, to the village of Louisburgh where can stop for lunch. In the afternoon, the route continues 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. The night will be spent in the small village of Leenane which overlooks Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord.

Accommodation: Leenane Hotel. On the shore of the Killary Harbor, this traditional seasonal hotel occupies an 18th-century coaching inn.

Day 4: Leenane - Clifden, 35 mi. (58 km)
Today you will cycle into the heart of Connemara overlooked by the Twelve Bens mountain range and visit Kylemore Abbey, a wedding gift from a wealthy Liverpool businessman to his wife in 1868. The cycle continues along quiet backroads past small fields with grazing cattle to the seaside village of Cleggan where you will enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, you will cycle along a scenic coastal road to Clifden where 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 full of art galleries, cafes, pubs, and restaurants established 200 years ago.

Accommodation: Foyles Hotel. A classic Victorian hotel in the heart of Connemara with one of the best restaurants in all of Ireland.

Day 5: Rest day in Clifden
The day can be spent in rest and relaxation or you can take part in a variety of activities including walking, golf or horseback riding. You can also spend the day just relaxing on one of the many beautiful white sandy beaches, or visit the landing site of the first transatlantic flight. The town itself is a nice place to spend time visiting the museum, art galleries, book shops and cafes. In the evening there are a number of bars which have traditional live music.

Day 6: Clifden - Aran Islands, 35 mi. (58 km)
Cycling out of Clifden along beautiful waterside roads, you will cross extensive wild bogs with freshly cut peat waiting to be harvested against a backdrop of the Twelve Benns Mountains. The afternoon cycle takes you through Gaelic speaking areas to the ferry in Rossaveel which will cross to Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands.

Accommodation:
Pier House B&B, located by the harbor within walking distance of all the pubs and restaurants in Kilronan
Aran Islands Hotel, a modern oasis overlooking the harbor and the bay

Day 7: Aran Islands - Galway, 22 mi. (35 km)
The day can be spent touring the unique landscape of the island with its wealth of ancient stone forts and monastic sights. In the late afternoon, you will return to the mainland and take a bus back to Galway city. 

Accommodation in Galway: variety of small guesthouses that are located close to the beach.

Day 8: Departure from Galway

Be sure to check out all of our bike tours in Europe or look at our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

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Tour Reviews

  • Alan G. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Amazing riding with different terrain each day. Wonderful scenery. Bikes good. Company good. Food good. Guide very good. Best cycling trip I have been on and I have been on a few. Can't wait to go back to Ireland.

  • Alan G. 4 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Highlights: The scenery. The guide. The route. Loved it.

  • Richard S. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    The ferry to the Aran islands, over night in a surprisingly modern hotel with an excellent kitchen and the ride around the island was the culmination of a very pleasant and interesting 5 days of riding.

  • Laurie C. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Our Connemara trip was a wonderful experience! This was our first bicycle trip outside of the US- I would highly recommend it. The guides were knowledgeable and attentive-the scenery was beautiful and the food was great! Don’t hesitate to sign up for this tour.

  • Mark R. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The person who dropped off the bikes did not have the tools to adjust the handle bars, so the bikes did not fit well.
    The saddle (bike seat) was the type that would be commonly found on a road bike and not on a touring bike.
    The gears were not aligned correctly, so it was extremely difficult to shift gears. Sometimes, in order to shift gears, it was required to repeatedly shift the gears up and down before the bike would shift into the lower or upper gear.

    • Jehiel, Tour Specialist 2 years ago     Staff

      Thanks for the feedback, Mark. Our local partner has since changed bike outfitters.

  • Lynn Tindula 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We went in July, two years ago. The Irish people were delightful. Everywhere we stayed was great!The Irish homes (B&B's) had all been updated and bedrooms and bathrooms were comfortable and modern. All of the hosts were just wonderful; so accommodating and fun to talk with! Irish breakfasts were great in the B&B’s. The food was delicious almost everywhere!

    You do a fair amount of riding on the road with cars in Ireland. The drivers are very nice and respectful of bikers, but I do like a dedicated bike path better. Also, some of the rides were a bit more challenging than our previous trips but you can take it at your own pace and they usually give you can easier option. The scenic beauty of the west of Ireland is spectacular!

    LOVED the Irish people - friendly, accommodating, with a terrific sense of humor. We ended our trip by staying four days in Dublin. I would recommend the trip! If you haven't been to Europe before and/or don't speak another Read more… language, Ireland is very easy to navigate and everyone is very helpful!

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