Challenging Connemara Cycling Tour
Independent and more advanced cyclists will love our 'Challenging Connemara' tour, covering more challenging distances each day. This tour takes you through breathaking countryside and historically important towns during your stay. The average daily distance covered is 70 kilometres.
There are a range of distances you can decide upon, and shorter options should you feel like a more restful day at any stage of your tour. You can choose between three levels of accommodation to suit all budgets. Choose our luxury option and stay in 3 Star Hotels; our B&B option will see you in friendly guest houses and B&B’s, while our budget option includes pocket-friendly but comfortable hostels. Your luggage will be transferred each day for you to lighten the load. Bikes and any necessary biking equipment are provided along with a full itinerary, route notes and maps.
Destinations visited include landscapes of immense beauty like the Delphi Valley, the Renvyle Peninsula and the banks of Lough Corrib. You will also visit charming towns including Westport and Cong.
Visit our 'Getting Here' page for more information on transport options.
DAY 1 - Arrival
Arrive in the village of Leenane to a warm welcome, and take some time to settle into your accommodation. (We can help with arranging transfers on request). Your route notes and maps will be waiting for you at your accommodation to study overnight. Depending on your time of arrival we will allocate bikes and equipment, otherwise this will be done the following morning. Dinner is available in one of the restaurants or pubs in Leenane village.
DAY 2 - Leenane to Westport - 60 kms
Today your first cycle is to the colourful town of Westport, via Leenane, Aasleagh Falls, the Delphi and Doolough Valleys, Louisburgh and along the Clew Bay coastline (56km with longer and shorter options). You will spend the next two nights at your accommodation in Westport, where you can choose dinner from one of the many restaurants in the town.
DAY 3 - Around Westport - Croagh Patrick
A day to explore Westport! Today you have a few options ranging from climbing Croagh Patrick (a well-worn pilgrimage route) to visiting Westport House, a fine Georgian mansion and home of the Marquess of Sligo. For your cycling itinerary you can escape the bustle of urban life on the 42km Great Western Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. The world class Great Western Greenway is a traffic free cycling and walking trail which follows the route of the renowned Westport to Achill railway which closed in 1937. Alternatively you can cycle along Clew Bay to Louisburgh, and visit the 14th century Murrisk Abbey along the way.
DAY 4 - From Westport to Cong - 60 kms
You leave Westport today and head for the village of Cong. Departing after breakfast you cycle via Aghagower, Toormakeady, Lough Mask, Finny, and Clonbur and into Cong village (70km). This is a good long cycle through a variety of scenery; hills, fine trout lakes, small country roads and you will stop at a suitable pub along the way to buy your own lunch. You stay the night in a B&B in Cong. There are a number of restaurants in the village of Cong where you can get your evening meal.
DAY 5 - From Cong to Leenane - Between 65 and 90 kms
Today you continue your cycle southwards from Cong along the shores of Lough Corrib to Maam and across a small mountain pass to Maam Cross, before heading for the Inagh Valley to cycle back to Leenane. It's a 90km cycle but you will have options to make it shorter if you wish. You will stay in the lovely village of Leenane for the next two nights.
DAY 6 - Around Leenane - From 50 to 80 kms
There's a lot to see today as you cycle west to Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park, Renvyle Castle and finally back to Leenane (50km). The longer option includes a cycle further south to Cleggan and Streamstown Bay (80km).You will visit the world famous Kylemore Abbey, a gothic fairytale lakeside castle lodged in a wooded hillside. It is the site of one of Ireland's finest gardens, the six-acre Victorian walled garden at Kylemore was created by Mitchell Henry in tandem with the building of Kylemore Castle in 1867. It won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award for Gardens in 2000. Connemara National park entrance is in Letterfrack where you can climb all or part of Diamond Hill or simply visit the excellent visitor centre and tea rooms. Return to Leenane to enjoy a well deserved rest and a final night in the village.
DAY 7 - Departure
Breakfast and departure!
Accommodation & Price
"Thank you so much for a truly wonderful journey during my time in Ireland! My week of cycling around Connemara far exceeded my expectations and I usually have pretty high expectations! :) Loved the balance of the set accommodations and do-it-yourself feel. I liked the basic, but not totally detailed maps/directions--all made me feel like it was really my journey. " Byron, September 2012
''Thank you for organising our cycling holiday in Ireland and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We were sorry we missed catching up with a Killary tours representative in Westport but it did not affect the quality of the tour. Ireland’s west coast is the best kept secret – our few days around Cong and Linnane were superb – its God’s own country out there! Also our accommodation was very good and the luggage transfers went smoothly.
Please pass on our thanks to Geraldine (McCarthy’s in Westport) and Mary in Cong who were both fantastic to us, Mary even did a load of washing for us when we arrived wet and muddy and also drove us into town. Such welcoming and helpful ‘hostesses’ made our stay all the more enjoyable. It’s a pity we didn’t have more time.
Liz & Tony