CycleWest Ireland - vacations and travel

Ireland: A Wild Connemara Guided Bike Tour

Ireland, Europe

from €1,450* per person 6 Days June, July, September
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: CycleWest Ireland 12 people max
  • Dublin airport, dublin, ireland
  • Active & Adventure trips
Trip Highlights:
• Where does the Connemara pony come from?
• Kylemore Abbey
• The Sky Road
• Learn about Mussel farming on Killary fjord.

Connemara is one of Ireland's best kept secrets. Located in the peaceful and pristine West Coast, Connemara is a haven for activities
and the great outdoors. Biking here becomes a terrific adventure, especially as you realise you share the roads with local sheep
instead of cars! With our intimate knowledge of small backroads, we prepare daily rides with you in mind. Optional activities include
horse back riding, surfing, hill walking, fly fishing and a fjord cruise. Steeped in history, we rage tales of pirates and wild horses as you
bike this wonderful coastline. Vehicle support is readily available for tired little legs.

Locations visited/nearby

Ireland, Europe

0 testimonials about this trip.

3 testimonials about the provider, CycleWest Ireland:

  • Reviewer: located in Raleigh, North Carolina USA
    "I have been telling everyone who will listen to me just how wonderful an experience my Ireland trip was. My pictures are developed and I carry them with me all the time. I can honestly say it was the best vacation I have ever had. The sights, the people, the accommodations and even the challenge made for a very fulfilling experience. You have really done an excellent job in developing this program. I would do it again in a heartbeat"
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Brevard, North Carolina USA
    "10 out of 10"
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Madison, Connecticut USA
    "My father and I had a wonderful time. The cycling was adventurous. I particularly enjoyed cycling on the tiny roads of Connemara---where sheep seem to be the only road traffic in many places. Your knowledge of the region combined with your dedication to all the details of our trip enabled me to learn about the region, enjoy its beauty and cycle without a worry"
    5

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Special information

  • Family oriented trip.

Itinerary

DAY 1: Untamed Landscapes
Arrival and tour start point in Galway City. We transfer to the heart of Connemara, where your tour begins. Enroute we visit the
carefully restored Aughanure Castle where we have a guided tour. Steeped in local history, the castle is located close to the banks of
Lough Corrib and conjures strong medieval images of the feuding O'Flaherty clan and their adventures in trading, piracy. You will also
learn of Grainuaile, Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland's west. We celebrate your arrival with a meet and greet reception and
introduction, bike fit out and gentle warm up ride along the shores of Cashel Bay. Evening dinner at an award winning local seafood
restaurant where the seafood and produce are all sourced in the West of Ireland. Truly the 'catch of the day'. Overnight in Clifden or
Ballynahinch, depending on your accommodation choice.

DAY 2: Seascapes and Stunning Coastline
Early morning start to Roundstone village, the most picturesque fishing harbour in Connemara where traditional Galway Hooker,
lovingly cared for over the years, can be seen on Bertraghboy Bay. We visit Malachy Kearns Musical Instrument workshop, the home of
the traditional Bodhran. Departing Roundstone to Ballyconneely village via stunning beaches at Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, we follow
the rugged coastline to Ballyconneely, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse, perched on the water's edge. Here the Roberts
family run Connemara's longest established smokehouse, are one of the few specialists in wild smoked salmon. We bike to the Alcock
and Brown monument, dedicated to the first transatlantic flight in 1919 from New Foundland. We take the scenic ‘bog road’ home –
where sheep are our only distraction! Overnight in Clifden or Ballynahinch, depending on your accommodation choice.
Daily Miles: from 15 miles, with longer routes from 22 - 37 miles.

DAY 3: Carpe Diem
Today is a day with splendid opportunities to explore the little antique stores and galleries of nearby Clifden town. There are optional
activities today including Horse back riding along the shores of Omey Island from the village of Cleggan; Golfing at the Connemara
Golf Club at Ballyconneely or Fly fishing at Ballynahinch Castle. We bike the Sky Road. 'C'est Magnifique', I heard one day as we
absorbed the island vista before us. We make our way to Connemara National Park and Letterfrack village, arriving at the splendid
neo-gothic, Kylemore Abbey, nestled between the cliffs of Doughruagh and Poulacappal Lough. Tonight we recap our day's adventure
with regaling tales. Overnight at Lough Inagh Valley or Renvyle Peninsula depending on your accommodation choice.
Daily Miles: from 19 miles, with the average miles to day covering 32- 45 miles. Extensions available.

DAY 4: Sand, Sea and Sky
Today our route will take us through the Lough Inagh Valley, one of the finest valleys in Ireland. On this morning's bike ride you'll see
a stunning vista of peatlands, lakes, and forests. Today we take a cruise on the Killary Fjord, Ireland's only fjord, on 'the Connemara
Lady'. We then continue biking around Killary Fiord surrounded by Maamturk and Mweelrea mountains. Overnight in Leenane, the
setting for the Oscar winning film "The Field" with Richard Harris. Ease into the evening as you watch the sunset and enjoy some local
gourmet delights and shared tales of the day's adventure.
Daily miles: Day's average 35 miles with extensions up to 42 miles.

Day 5: Clew Bay Biking
Immerse yourself in your surrounds this morning. We spin onward through the mountain pass between Mweelrea, Connemara's
highest mountain and the Sheefry Hills. Pedal by Doolough, spectacular in its dark beauty. This route is often referred to as the Famine
Trail, dating back to tragic local events during the famine years of the 1840's. We reach Louisburgh, which translates to the delightful
name of 'Meadow of the Buttercups' a quiet, traditional village and continue westward along Clew Bay. We arrive at Croagh Patrick, the
west of Ireland's pilgrim mountain. Explore Murrisk Abbey, hike part of the holy mountain - or climb to the summit (2300 ft). Onward
to the lively heritage town of Westport, a charming planned town with a unique blend of the old and new. Walk along the tree lined
river at 'The Mall' and enjoy a late afternoon drink to unwind from your day. We enjoy an evening of traditional, local fare, followed by
traditional Irish Music where the lass faint hearted can join in and sing or dance should you so desire! Overnight at Westport.
Daily miles: Daily Miles: days average miles 22, with optional challenging extension ride over the Sheefry Hills.

DAY 6: Castle Extension or Departure
Today, sadly, today we bid you farewell. This morning you depart from Westport to your next point. We can assist you with any
planning, be it rail, flight or car hire. Please also see our 'trip arrival and departure' instructions' for transport options.
You also have the option of extending your bike trip by one further day. Transfer or bike from Westport to Cong, and stay overnight at
the historical, five star, Ashford Castle Hotel. This is a magnificent opportunity to visit Cong Abbey, in the historic village of Cong, most
famed as the setting for the John Forde movie 'The Quiet Man' starring John Wayne and Irelands' famed Maureen O'Hara. Ashford
Castle, perched on the edge of Lough Corrib, was built in 1228 and in later years home to Sir Benjamin lee Guinness, of the famed
Guinness family. Avid gardeners, Sir Guinness and his son, Lord Ardilaun created the beautiful gardens and surrounding acreage of
woodlands. Nearby, the 12th century ruins of the Augustinian Abbey stand as a legacy to this fine castle.

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