DuVine Adventures - vacations and travel

Ireland Bike Tour

“The trip in Ireland was delightful. Guides were absolutely the best I have encountered after taking many bike trips with… ”
Connemara
, Ireland

from $4,495* per person 6 Days May-September
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 5
Operator: DuVine Adventures 16 people max
  • Galway airport, galway, ireland
  • Active & Adventure trips
“Wide is the door of the little cottage,” says an Irish proverb. When you join a bike tour in this tiny corner of Europe, you’ll be greeted with the heartiest welcome. The sea will always be nearby as we cycle wonderfully remote roads through the Emerald Isle’s western coast, and delight at gentle green hills, sheep-studded fields, and ancient castles that inspire poets. Bicycle along the famed rocky coast, with the crashing surf below, visiting old fishing villages and quaint towns. Inland, the Twelve Bens, a dozen rocky peaks, lord over lovely lakes, providing the perfect setting for leisurely bike rides – we’ll even explore Ireland’s only fjord. And what would Ireland be without its stout? You may never know, because we’ll raise many a pub glass while tapping our feet to traditional Irish folk music. And at the close of each day, the doors swing open wide at luxurious, historic castles and inns.

Locations visited/nearby

Connemara , Ireland

2 testimonials about this trip

  1. Reviewer: located in Vista, CA USA
    The trip in Ireland was delightful. Guides were absolutely the best I have encountered after taking many bike trips with several different well-known bike touring companies. They were not simply guides, I viewed them as hosts because they made me feel like their guest in their country, and that is very precious.
    5
  2. Reviewer: located in Toronto, ON Canada
    The guides were excellent, at the top of their game! They really make one feel supported, comfortable and secure. Thanks to everyone for making this trip exceptional.
    5

3 testimonials about the provider, DuVine Adventures:

  • Reviewer: located in New York, NY USA
    I have gone on 5 DuVine trips and I have had a fantastic time on each. I have referred several friends and colleagues, all have come back with rave reviews.
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Wenonah, NJ USA
    One of the best vacation experiences we've had. We won't hesitate to recommend this to everyone. The guides have a fascinating blend of competence, fun loving and a real free spirit.
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Boston, MA USA
    We had a great time, we were able to get into places that were closed and the guides seemed to know everyone, everywhere we went. Very knowledgeable about the area, wine, and architecture. Great biking, small roads - no traffic.
    5

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Itinerary

Day One:  The Gateway to Connemara
Oscar Wilde described this land as a ‘savage beauty’ with its brooding lakes, rugged mountains, and windswept bogs.  Today your guides will greet you in Galway for the transfer west to the Ballynahinch Castle, your luxurious accommodations for the next two nights. This 16th century castle overlooks the Ballynahinch River, home to one of the O’Flaherty Chieftains but most recently owned by the Maharajah Ranjitsinji.  Get settled in your room and then come down to enjoy your first Guinness during the safety talk and bike fitting.  As a group we’ll ride down the castle’s secluded driveway to the small bay road.  Seaweed farming was the traditional lifeblood of this area, used as fertilizer for agriculture on Connemara’s otherwise low nutrient soil.  If the tide is low, we’re in for a treat as the exposed seaweed turns bright yellow in color when exposed to the air.  Smell the sea and feel alive as we pedal on to the Cashel House to toast the week with our pinkies in the air over high tea.  This classy, discrete manor house was a favorite vacation spot for French President Charles de Gaulle, but you’ll know it as the place where you tasted the best scone and home-made whipped cream of your life.  This is a very popular Gaeltacht-speaking region, so make sure you practice ‘Dia dhuit’ on the locals you pass by.  Dinner tonight will be in the picturesque dining room at the Castle’s acclaimed Owenmore Restaurant.

Meals: Dinner
Destinations visited: Ballynahinch Castle, The Cashel House
Distance cycled: 17.7 km/11 miles

Day Two: Clifden and the Boglands
After a traditional Irish breakfast overlooking the Ballynahinch River, follow the bog road to the quaint town of Clifden.  Keep riding for some well-earned and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean from the High Sky Road or enjoy the colorful 19th century market town’s wealth of little galleries, cafes, bookstores, antique and souvenir shops.  Lunch will be on your own in one of the local pubs or gastronomic restaurants.  Fresh fish and chips with a pint of Guinness are among your choices on the menu today.  If you would like to try flyfishing on some of the most elite beats in Ireland, your guides can help you arrange for a lesson with the anglers at Ballynahinch.  Tonight we’ll dine together over Guinness in the Castle’s authentic pub before an Irish whiskey tasting by the fire in the library with Seamus.  Bring any questions that you might have about the white lightning, Seamus has all the answers.
 
Meals: Breakfast/Dinner/Whiskey Tasting
Destinations cycled: The Bog Road, Clifden, The High Sky Road
Distance cycled: 35.4 km/22 miles.  48.2 km/30 miles with the High Sky loop ride

Day Three: The Twelve Bens, Kylemore Abbey & Lough Inagh Valley
Take the opportunity to sleep in or stroll the grounds of the castle one last time this morning before we embark on our spin through what some consider the most scenic area of Ireland.  With a bit of borrowed Irish luck, predominant east bound winds will blow us right through the small mountain range of a dozen sharp peaks called the Twelve Bens and the Lough Inagh Valley.  Enjoy amazing clam chowder and other local fare for lunch today at the popular local spot, the Lough Inagh Lodge.  After the meal we’ll be on our way to soak up some culture at the Kylemore Abbey, a 19th century gothic mansion built by a wealthy Englishman for his much beloved wife.  During WWI a group of Benedictine nuns arrived from Belgium to set up a convent and boarding school here.  Visit parts of the Abbey and its beautiful Victorian walled gardens.  Just a few more kilometers of pedaling will bring you to your next home away from home, The Rosleague Manor.  This beautifully restored, eclectic manorhouse has been carefully kept by the Foyle family for generations.  They have preserved the feel of an elegant Irish home with many original antiques, yet maintain a high level of comfort and quality.  The French chef will amaze you with his delicate dishes, using only local ingredients from down the road, like fresh seafood or Connemara lamb.

Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
 Destinations cycled: The 12 Bens, Lough Inagh Valley, Kylemore Abbey
 Distance cycled: 33.7 km / 21 miles.

Day Four: The Atlantic Coast and Joyce Country
After a good night’s rest, jump back on your bike and leave the wild-west behind.  Marvel at the crashing surf on the rugged coastline and then keep your eyes peeled for dolphins along the intervals of white sandy beaches.  Work up your appetite cycling past the Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord, then reward yourself with the freshest open-faced salmon sandwich you’ve ever had and a home-made butterscotch sundae at the Blackberry Café.  The last leg of today’s longer ride passes through the Joyce River Valley.  Stay alert while weaving between freely roaming sheep then let yourself unwind with a Guinness at the local pub in Maam.   The Ashford Castle will be a welcome sight at the end of your epic ride.  This 13th century castle was transformed into a regal fishing and hunting lodge by the Guinness family, famous for their stout.  It’s your choice for dinner tonight, enjoy some local color and live music in the town of Cong or dine at Cullen’s, the castle’s bistro-style restaurant.  

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
Destinations cycled: Killary Harbour, Leenane, the Joyce River Valley, Maam, Cong
Distance cycled: 77 km / 48 miles
 
Day Five: Sheepdog Herding 101 and the Scenic Lough Mask Loop
Cycle the some of the most breathtakingly beautiful country routes around South Mayo’s Lough Mask.  Learn the ins and outs of sheepdog herding near Finny with the Joyce family, who provided sheep and dogs for the movie Marley and Me.  We will say goodbye after a scone or two and spin along the base of the Partry Mountains to lunch at Harrington’s Pub in the charming Irish village of Partry.  The ride will pass through Ballinrobe on our way back home.  This afternoon is a good opportunity to try your hand at Falconry, get a massage or any of the other activities, which your guides would happy to help you arrange with the Ashford Castle.  Otherwise you can unwind in your room or stroll the grounds before our last group cocktail and a decadent 4 course meal in the grand George V dining room.

Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Destinations visited: Clonbar, Finny, Partry, Ballinrobe, Cong
Distance cycled: 60km / 37 miles

Day Six
After a leisurely breakfast, say farewell to Ireland however you see fit.  This morning we will transfer back to Galway for a train to Dublin or any other destination of your choice.  

Meals: Breakfast

TRIP TOTAL: 224 km / 139 MILES averaging 30 miles per day. Optional longer rides available each day.

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