Starting at the Cliffs of Moher, you will descend to the coastal village of Doolin. From there, you will ride around the ancient Burren before ferrying out to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, to see such highlights as the cliff top fort of Dun Aengus. Another short ferry will take you to County Galway, where you will meander along the convoluted coast and many of the wee villages which make Connemara such a stimulating, rewarding place to ride. You will spend two nights in a lodge near the shore of Lough Inagh, surrounded by inviting mountains and breathtaking stillness. Finally, an exceptionally scenic ride will take you along the Sky Road.
Day 1: Early afternoon pickup in Galway for one hour transfer to the Cliffs of Moher. After gazing down to the sea from your lofty perch atop the cliffs, coast down to your seaside inn in Doolin – a breeding ground for traditional Irish music. Includes: (D). (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only) Aran View House, Doolin.
Day 2: 70 km/45 miles. Explore the castles, stones, barrows, megalithic tombs, expansive views, and fabulous coastline of the Burren, Co.Clare. Stop for an independent lunch at Monk’s Pub in Ballyvaughan, or in the village of Lisdoonvarna, where the annual Matchmaking Festival puts the town on the map for entertainers. The festival is at the end of September, but you’ll benefit at any time by the proliferation of places to stop for a bite. At day’s end, you can enjoy live music at your choice of pubs in Doolin. Includes: (B), (L). Aran View House, Doolin.
Day 3: 10 km/6 miles or 32 km/20 miles. Board an early morning ferry to Inishmore. Cycle the length of the island on one of the extremely quiet and beautiful roads, and stop for a visit to Ireland’s smallest church, the stone fortress of Eoghanachta, and extraordinary clifftop Dun Aengus, the greatest barbaric fort in Western Europe. Includes: (B), (D). Ard Einne Guesthouse; or Kilmurvey House, Inis Mor.
Day 4: 68 km/44 miles. Start the day with a short ferry hop to Rossaveal, to ride the coastal roads through Gaeltacht (Gaelic speaking) villages and along the beaches of Connemara. This is one of the most beautiful regions in Ireland, affected most by the potato famine in the 1840s. You’ll ride through peat bogs, lonely moorlands, and pretty fishing villages, through Screeb and Kilkieran to Cashel. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess.
Day 5: 52 km/38 miles or 112 km/76 miles. Ride the Connemara coast through villages of whitewashed cottages, and around deep bays filled with islands to Clifden. Stop there for lunch, and perhaps tweed shopping, before riding out along the Sky Road to little Kingstown. Return to Roundstone, where you can explore a few options for an independent dinner. Includes: (B). Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess.
Day 6: 52 km/33 miles. Perhaps one of the nicest rides in all of Ireland, your route today will take you to Westport, first through the stunning valley of Lough Inagh, then through Leenane, across the Mweelrea Mountains, and along Doo Lough. The final coastal stretch past Croagh Patrick, climbed annually on the solstice by over 25,000 pilgrims, is a spectacular ride into Westport. A short transfer takes you to your lodge nestled in the Maumturk Mountains. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Lough Inagh Lodge, Recess.
Day 7: 30, 37, 60, or 67 km cycling, or 3-6 hours independent hiking. Today’s ride takes you through Maum and around the spectacular Joyce Country Loop, with a side trip to visit Cong for lunch. On some days, you can choose to have lunch at Collins at the Cottage on the grounds of one of the world’s most luxurious hotels - Ashford Castle. If you prefer a day of independent hiking, we will provide a picnic lunch and a map for your exploration of the Twelve Pins or the Maumturk Mountains. Includes: (B), (D). Lough Inagh Lodge, Recess.
Day 8: Farewells. Morning transfer to Galway, or to Broughshane if you are continuing to the Antrim and Donegal adventure. Includes: (B).
Self-Guided Dates: You choose! We confirm within 48 hours.
- Start: Galway, 13:00, day one. We will collect your from your hotel or the Park House Hotel.
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