Ireland Cycle Tour- IRC18
Number of Days: 6
Connemara is our most popular tour for a very good reason. It boasts a unique glacial landscape which is stunningly beautiful and we use charming inns and hotels that serve outstanding meals using ingredients often fresh from the rivers, lakes and seas you are overlooking while having dinner.
It is an area of breathtaking beauty; the Twelve Bens mountain range are visible at all times, the Maumturks in the distance, Sky Road, Roundstone (in our opinion Ireland's prettiest village), Kylemore Abbey, Lough Inagh Valley, the majestic Killary Fjord (Ireland's only fjord), Lough Corrib, 13th century Ashford Castle...it's just breathtaking. The back roads we use are quiet and are mostly flat although there are a few rolling hills. Sky Road (optional) is probably the biggest challenge.
Average daily biking is 25 miles. Pedal on!
Day 1, Sunday
On Sunday we meet in Galway city centre (your choice of hotel, train station or bus station) and transfer to Maam Cross, just beyond Oughterard, the gateway to Connemara. We'll bike towards the sea, along bog rivers and enormous granite boulders, wild flowers and gorse. You won't be alone of these quiet roads however - you'll be sharing them with sheep! We bike along Cashel Bay and onward to Roundstone; the prettiest village in Ireland where we'll check into our hotel - a cozy family-owned Roundstone House Hotel. Tonight we'll all dine in a fantastic local restaurant in Roundstone village.Classic Hotel: Roundstone House Hotel
Day 2, Monday
Together we'll leave Roundstone and cycle towards the capital of Connemara, Clifden, where we will have lunch in this buzzing market town. Clifden is one of Ireland's newest towns founded by John Darcy in the mid-19th century. Home to the Connemara Pony Show and a thriving arts scene, this unique, brightly coloured town has something for everyone. In the afternoon we'll take the bog road home to our hotel. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.Hotel: Roundstone House Hotel
Day 3, Tuesday
After breakfast depart at 9.30am. We will rendezvous at Ballynahinch Castle and take a brief tour of the gardens together. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a coffee in the Castle Pub before we take off together towards Dan O'Hara's Heritage cottage. We'll enjoy a visit of a Famine-era cottage and learn about the skill involved in preparing turf; the local fuel made from dried peat. Then we'll cycle on a bike path into Clifden. You're free for lunch today and we recommend Mitchell's restaurant, the best in Clifden. This afternoon, we'll ride up Sky Road and enjoy breathtaking views before continuing our ride to a lovely Manor House in Letterfrack, Rosleague Manor, where we stay for two nights and enjoy an exquisite meal. Hotel: Rosleague Manor
Day 4, Wednesday
The next morning, we'll ride around the Renvyle Peninsula, passing the ruined castle of Grace O'Malley the Pirate Queen, before having lunch in Kylemore Abbey. You'll have time to explore the magnificently restored Victorian Walled Garden, the Abbey itself and visit the ornate mini cathedral. Afterwards, we'll take wonderful hike up Diamond Hill - the views are spectacular! Those with a hankering for a real challenge in the saddle can go on an extra 8-mile loop; Creggs is not for the faint-hearted and extreme caution is advised! Returning to Rosleague Manor, you can relax in the Conservatory or take a seat on on the lawn overlooking the calm water of Ballinakill Bay... the view is even sweeter with a delicious pint of Guinness in your hand. Dinner tonight will be on your own. We'll transfer the group to Clifden where you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants to suits all tastes. Afterwards we'll all meet up and go to a 'trad session" - in an authentic (locals only) pub where traditional Irish musicians gather to play tunes. Be sure to bring your camera as some of the performances are not be missed. Hotel: The Leenane Hotel
Day 5, Thursday
After another wonderful breakfast on Thursday morning, you'll be sad saying goodbye to Mark and Loretta at Rosleague but another great adventure awaits. We'll ride our bikes through Tully Cross and along the Atlantic coast one last time, passing Lettergesh Beach, famous for the horse racing scenes from the movie The Quiet Man, and alongside the tranquil shores of Lough Fee and Lough Muc. We'll sample the finest mussels for lunch in Leenane - you'll know they are fresh as the are harvested daily in the waters of Ireland's only fjord, Killary Harbour, right across the street. We'll then work off our lunch with a fantastic bike ride towards Maam and Lough Na Fooey before reaching our final destination, Cong. Tonight we stay at the super stylish The Lodge at Ashford on the Ashford Castle estate. We dine at charming Cullens at the Cottage, a gorgeous thatched cottage overlooking Lough Corrib. Classic Hotel: The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Day 6, Friday
After breakfast on Friday we'll meet for an early morning bike ride around the estate and through the forest completing a short ten mile ride. Alternatively, Luxury guests are free to enjoy a complimentary round of golf. You may book an extra activity such as falconry, archery or horseback riding at 9am. You could also just amble around the estate and appreciate the majestic beauty of the parkland setting overlooking Lough Corrib, or take a stroll through the picturesque village and historic Abbey. We will meet at 11am for a transfer to Galway city where we will, reluctantly, say our goodbyes. You can check out this fantastic city or take a train to Dublin or a bus to Limerick or Shannon.
Includes:- Use of 2015 Trek FX7.2 Hybrid bike, Bell or Giro Helmet, Zixtro Capsule rear mounted carrier bag, route notes & maps
- Fresh Eire Adventures Water bottle
- Transfers from Galway on start/end day
- 4 exquisite dinners & wine
- 3 gourmet lunches & wines
- Admissions to all included attractions & tastings
- Baggage transfers,
- Tips for hotels/restaurants
- Healthy snacks, water, full guiding services, support vehicle.
- 5 nights B&B in 3 & 4 star (Classic), 4 & 5 star hotels (luxury) with Full Irish or Continental breakfast daily
Optional extras:Upgrade to a Cube Peloton Race (or similar) alu/carbon road bike (available at extra cost).
Upgrade to an electric hybrid bike (available at extra cost)
Self-Guided Extension packages available in Galway, Dublin.
Gratuities for Guides
Golf Club hire
- Dates: Flexible. Price from $5995. Single supplement +$995