Lazy Days (7 days)
Accommodation & Price
This tour is specifically designed for independent travelers, who wish to cycle less of a distance and spend relaxing lazy days along the way for in-depth explorations of the various cultural and natural attractions of the wonderful Connemara region. Connemara - the western wonderland of Europe, where rugged mountains soar above wild Atlantic beaches. Your route will take you both inland and along the coastal region, giving a glimpse of some dramatic scenery of Connemara.
Day 1 - Arrival
Arrive in Clifden (there is a direct daily bus service from Galway to Clifden). Warm welcome and a chance to settle in. You will be given your route notes and general information to study overnight. Your bikes and equipment will be delivered to your accomodation. Clifden is a colourful small town, also often labeled the capital of Connemara. There are many restaurants where you can choose a lovely evening meal and a nice selection of pubs where often you will find Irish music.
Day 2 - Cycle from Clifden to Renvyle - 32 kms
After a hearty breakfast, you will set off along the Sky Road, it offers fabulous views over the Atlantic and its islands. Travelling quiet back roads, you will pass through the quaint fishing village of Cleggan & onto Letterfrack, home of the Connemara National Park. Then your journey will take you to the Renvyle Peninsula which is steeped in history and archaeological sites & is renowned for its pristine sandy beaches and spectacular vistas of the Twelve Ben mountain range.
Day 3 - Cycle from Renvyle to Leenane - 26 kms
Leave Renvyle after a hearty breakfast. You will set off, passing through Tullycross with it’s many thatched cottages and meander along the coast with its prefect beaches to the small village of Leenane, situated at the base of Ireland’s only fjord. You could take the boat up the Killary Harbour for a sightseeing expedition at either 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm or 4.30pm. This is a 1.5 hour boat ride on the Connemara Lady, up the Killary Fjord, the only Fjord in Ireland. The trip is often honoured by the company of leaping dolphins and always includes commentary on all major points of interest along the way. Tonight you will stay the night in Leenane.
Day 4 - Cycle from Leenane to Lough Inagh - 23 kms
After Breakfast you will continue your journey today leaving Leenane. You cycle away from the coast back towards the mountains on a road through lake-strewn moorlands to the stunning Inagh Valley. You will have the option to visit one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions, Kylemore Abbey & Gardens. This gothic fairytale lakeside castle lodged in a wooded hillside 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 has won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award for Gardens. Tonight you will be staying in welcoming accommodation overlooking the spectacular Lough Inagh.
Day 5 - Cycle from Lough Inagh to Roundstone - 28 kms
Cycle back towards the coast today, leaving the mountains behind as you head towards Roundstone. You will be travelling along a route dotted with pretty fishing villages. You’ll ride through peat bogs and lovely moorlands still divided by the Neolithic field systems. You will journey into the Gaeltacht (Gaelic speaking) region, which is considered the last bastion of Celtic Ireland. You will rest and relax tonight in the small picturesque fishing village of Roundstone.
Day 6 - ~Cycle from Roundstone to Clifden - 24 kms
Well fed and well rested, you will begin your day with a gentle cycle along Mannin Bay, with its coralline beach & glorious turquoise bay is a heaven for the beachcomber - and past Ballyconneely, or shorter if you wish to take the Bogroad. Roundstone bog is unique in that it is an unspoiled area of bogscape with rare acid loving plants. Before arriving back at your starting destination of Clifden where you will spend your last night getting a second chance to enjoy the 'craic' in this vibrant town, that is undoubtedly one of the true last treasures in Western Europe.
Day 7 - Departure
Breakfast, followed by fond farewell and departure!
Accommodation & Price
''This is just to let you know that the tour was wonderful.
for one of our walks and gave us excellent directions.
We will recomend you most highly.''
" I wanted to follow up to let you know we had a marvelous 5 days on our family bike trip from Leenane to Cliffden, then the Aran Islands. Thank you for all your arrangements; the bikes and panniers were great, and the B &B’s all comfortable and in great locations. The scenery was spectacular – we couldn’t believe that around every corner we had another breathtaking view. Every pub we went into had somebody playing a fiddle or guitar so our teenagers were thrilled at all times! We started off in the pouring rain which gave us a taste for ‘cycling in the rain in Ireland’, but it wasn’t cold and we had a fantastic day cycling from Leenane to Cleggan. When we got to Tullycross, my husband noticed that he was missing a pannier (can you believe it!), and realized he left it just by your administration building outside of Leenane when he stopped to adjust his raincoat. Luckily, he is the big cyclist in the family so an extra 50 km was nothing for him. We spent an extra hour at the wonderful bake shop in Letterfrack while he backtracked to retrieve his pannier. The rest of the trip we had beautiful weather and fantastic days. I am glad we did the side trip to the Aran Islands and thank you for suggesting that it would be okay to do that.
Thank you again Claire for our worry free, pre-arranged holiday. We would love to come back and tour another part of Ireland one day!"
Nancy Bennett, Bill, Sarah & Liam Marshall, 28th July 2011