|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||47 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Apr 1-Oct 31, 2015|
|Start city:||Leenane, Ireland|
|End city:||Leenane, Ireland|
This is a more challenging tour for the cyclist who wants to enjoy longer cycle routes but with the reward of luxury accommodation in the most unique properties that Connemara has to offer at the end of each day.
The properties chosen for your accommodation include two magnificent castle hotels and a number of other luxurious hotels which boast character and superb locations.
The route will bring you through magnificent valleys, past lakes, forestry and rugged coastal areas as you tour the most unspoilt areas of Connemara. The average distance cycled each day is 70km. Route descriptions, local information and maps are provided.
There are a number of choices built into this tour including a day in historic Westport with suggested activities and the option to choose from two distances on another day of the tour. The terrain varies throughout the route but for the most you will meander along quiet back roads and across rolling hills providing stunning vistas.
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival
You will be transferred by us from either Galway, Westport or Knock Airport to your first night's accommodation at the Delphi Mountain Resort - a truly unique four star hotel built in natural stone and wood and where the welcoming smell of a turf fire will greet you on arrival. You can spend the evening enjoying this tranquil setting, relaxing in rooms of quiet luxury or you may decide to visit their award-winning spa. We will meet you either on the evening of arrival or the following morning (depending on your arrival time) to go through your itinerary and answer any questions you may have about your tour. All bikes and equipment will be delivered to your hotel and we will make sure that everything fits you perfectly!
Overnight in Leenane
Day 2: Leenane - Westport (25 miles/40 km)
Your second day will begin with a delicious wholesome breakfast to fortify you for the day ahead. Leaving the Delphi Valley you will make your way through the even more dramatic Doolough Valley following the winding road by the lake and past rugged, unpopulated landscapes to bring you to the coastal town of Louisburgh. There you might choose to stop to absorb the rhythms of a typical west of Ireland town as it goes about life at a gentle pace.
The road then continues along the shores of Clew Bay past historical sites such as the 14th century Murrisk Abbey and the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick. You may decide to join the ancient pilgrimage trail and climb the mountain from the starting point at Murrisk before continuing on to Westport. Your stay in Westport will be at the Westport Plaza hotel. With every aspect of comfort, opulence and service taken care of at the Plaza you will be able to leave the world outside and simply enjoy. The Gold Experience at the Plaza includes an hour in their inspirational thermal suite allowing you to cleanse the road from your body and mind.
Overnight in Westport.
Day 3: Westport Rest Day
Today you have a number of options depending on your energy levels! If you did not climb Croagh Patrick yesterday you could do so today. The views from the summit over the 365 islands dotted in Clew Bay are nothing short of mesmerising.
If you would like to continue cycling you could take a trip on the Great Western Greenway, a superb cycling and walking track through rolling countryside, over hump-back bridges and alongside rivers and lakes from Westport to Achill island, following the route of the old railway which closed in 1937.
Alternatively today could be your day for more leisurely pursuits - a sumptuous, unhurried breakfast; time spent luxuriating in the hotel thermal suite; a wander through the streets of Westport to admire the wonderful planning and architecture of the town; a chance to browse through traditional shops. Westport is a hub of activity and manages to combine all that is friendly, warm and relaxed about life in the west of Ireland with a cultural energy which befits any modern 21st century town.
Overnight in Westport.
Day 4: Westport - Ashford (38 miles/60 km)
Your fourth day will take you on a longer cycle with your destination to be the renowned five star hotel at Ashford Castle in the village of Cong, Co Mayo. On your journey you will pass through the tiny village of Aughagower, dominated by a 10th century round tower and medieval church where you may want to pause and contemplate times gone by.
You will continue along the shores of Lough Mask, a fine trout fishing lake, and through sleepy villages with musical names like Tourmakeady, Finny and Clonbur. Your endpoint, the village of Cong, was made famous as the setting for the Hollywood movie The Quiet Man and is a pretty, unspoilt village.
Ashford Castle, your accommodation for tonight, has long stood for old-world opulence and charm. Entering the 11th century castle you enter another world where a long history of hospitality will be at your service. You will soon realise why the charm and wonder of this property simply cannot be emulated. Pure indulgent bliss awaits you!
Overnight in Ashford.
Day 5: Ashford Castle - Ballynahinch Castle (45 miles/72 km)
Cycling from castle to castle – this really is the way to see Connemara! A longer cycle but a wonderful reward at the end of it. Travelling along the shores of Lough Corrib with splendid vistas across the lake and surrounding countryside you will cycle to Maam, set deep in the valleys of the Maamturk mountains.
Turning for Maam Cross you would not be mistaken in thinking that you had left the world as you know it behind. Meandering past steep mountainsides, lakes and rivers there is little to occupy the mind but natural, uninhabited beauty. You will then take the road towards Clifden, making your way eventually to Ballynahinch.
Set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks this elegant, unpretentious four star castle hotel stands proud, as the castle has done for centuries past. Nestled in the deepest heart of Connemara it is a haven of fine dining, undiluted peace and utter luxury. You will spend the night here and we guarantee you will remember this stunning place for many years to come.
Overnight in Ballynahinch.
Day 6: Ballynahinch to Leenane (28 or 56 miles/45 or 90 km)
This is a really spectacular day with 2 distances to choose from. For the longer cycle you will continue along the road to Clifden, a town bustling with traditional music, cosy pubs and winding streets. From Clifden you will pass through Letterfrack and the Connemara National Park before reaching Killary Fjord and the village of Leenane at its head. Killary is Ireland's most spectacular fjord with mountains rearing up on its southern and northern sides sheltering the deep Atlantic waters that flow into it.
The shorter cycle will also bring you to Leenane but this time through the Inagh Valley. You can stop at the Lough Inagh Lodge a family-run country house hotel, where you can enjoy tea and scones overlooking Lough Inagh, surely one of Connemara's most stunning lake settings. From the village of Leenane you will follow the shoreline of Killary Fjord winding along the water's edge as herons swoop to fish and the sun breaks through clouds to glitter and sparkle on the deep, clean water. You will finish your tour where you began at Delphi Mountain Resort where you might be very glad to avail of a therapeutic massage or a glass of Guinness in front of a welcoming fire.
Overnight in Leenane.
Day 7: Departure
Departure after breakfast. Transfer to Galway, Westport, or Knock airport included.
When you choose one of our luxury tours you will be choosing to stay in some of the most unique and sumptuous properties in the west of Ireland. Each one has character, charm, a magnificent setting and excellent standards of service. They are all also renowned for their exquisite food, favouring local produce. All conveniences are provided in these 4- and 5-star properties as expected, but they also offer the bonus of a real Irish welcome which is at the heart of each of these specially selected establishments. Restored castles, historic manor houses, contemporary luxury hotels and magnificent mountain lodges are all part of the experience.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Days 1 and 6: Delphi Mountain Resort, Leenane
Days 2 and 3: Westport Plaza Hotel, Westport
Day 4: Ashford Castle, Ashford
Day 5: Ballynahinch Castle, Clifden
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
Bikes available for this tour and included in the tour cost (reserved at time of booking):
Equipment included with the rentals:
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
If you plan to bring your own seat, please ensure that it has a universal seat post.
Helmet rental is available on this tour. However, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.
Moderate cycling days with distances from 40 to 90km per day with longer and shorter options available on most days. The terrain does include some hills.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Galway, Westport, or Knock Airport, Ireland
Nearest train station: Galway, Ireland
Transfers to/from the airports is included in the tour package as detailed below.
A taxi will come and pick you up in Galway, Westport or at Knock Airport to drive you to your first night's accommodation where a tour company representative will meet you on either the afternoon of your arrival or the following morning.
You depart from your last night’s accommodation where your taxi will drive you back to Galway, Westport or Knock Airport.
Tips on getting to and from your tour
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Ireland has a long and storied history, and the rich culture embraces both the triumphs and struggles of this ancient land. From the earliest Celtic inhabitants to invasions, religious struggles, and seven centuries of Anglo-Irish conflict, the Irish spirit remains alive today in this land of spectacular landscapes and friendly people.
Ireland's lush landscapes provide the backdrop for charming villages, sprawling acres of grazing animals, and ancient and medieval ruins. The endless green hills unfold across the island to dramatic coastal cliffs. The glens and rivers offer a mystical feel to the storied countryside, while Ireland’s thriving cities offer the best of modern amenities and old European character. Visitors are often welcomed in pubs and taverns to enjoy hearty fare, a good pint, and, with any luck, a bit of traditional Irish music.
Connemara Adventure Tours is leading Irish Tour Operator with more than 25 years experience in organizing guided, self-guided and customized travel packages for cyclists, walkers and horse-riders.We offer you accommodation options on our self guided cycling and walking tours in Connemara. You can choose the accommodation that suits your budget: hotel or Bed & Breakfast.
We look forward to seeing you on our tours!
A deposit has secured your booking. This is a non-refundable payment. The balance of payments is due 60 days before the tour starts.
Cancellations must be made in writing and the deposit is non refundable. The balance is due 30 days before the start of the course and when taken is also non refundable. We strongly recommend that you purchase air fare and tour package cancellation insurance at the time you make the deposit.
For guided tours only:
In case of less than stated minimum numbers for any one tour, Connemara Adventure Tours reserves the right to cancel up to four weeks before commencement date. In this case we will refund total received amounts. Wherever possible we will suggest alternative comparable tour, or if we have to cancel due to small numbers and the participants are still interested we will offer the tour at a newly calculated price. In the case all participants agree the tour will go ahead.
Travel + Airport Transfers
We include airport transfers in our prices for guided tours only, please note that these are subject to the Connemara Adventure Tours time-table; normally we meet guests between 12.00 - 16.00 on day one and transfer back on the last day to be at the airport at approx. 12.00. Please contact us in advance so we can help plan your arrival and departure arrangements. We can and do arrange taxis from all airports to any of our tour destinations. Furthermore timetables and rates for National Rail and Bus services can be supplied. We do not organize travel to Ireland from overs eas destinations.
Health and Fitness
Most tours are active holidays, and require at least moderate fitness levels according to description. Tours may involve 4 - 6 hours walking, or 3 - 5 hours cycling a day. Checking the suitability of each tour can help you to avoid disappointment. Those unaccustomed to activity are advised to take gentle exercise before the tour to fully enjoy the experience. Please advise us of any special medical, physical, or health requirements you may have, or conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, disabilities, severe allergies, etc. and any medication you may be on.
Climate and Clothing
Ireland's climate is mild, frequently damp, highly changeable, with temperatures ranging from 53° to 82° F. we advise that both light and warm clothing is carried, rainwear is essential.
Most special diets can be catered for, provided we are notified in advance
Children A lower age limit applies to some tours, please check with us in advance of booking.
We provide full public liability for guests on our tours, however, we require you to purchase full health insurance, including coverage for repatriation. Please provide us with an indication that you have purchased this insurance at the time full payment is made. You can purchase this insurance from your travel agent.
Connemara Adventure Tours act as agents for the traveler and can accept no responsibility for the service of any hotel, restaurant or carrier used in connection with these tours, nor any liability for claims, damages, expenses or other financial loss to persons or property. In the event that it becomes necessary or advisable Connemara Adventure Tours reserves the right to alter a tour should weather, clients preference, or other circumstances intervene. The right is reserved to cancel a tour and to decline to accept any pers on as a member of a tour at any time.
The tours in our program have been designed to provide participants with an exposure of the true nature of the environment visited and therefore involve an element of personal risk and exposure to potential hazards above those associated with normal 'package holidays'. Bookings are accepted on the unders tanding that such risks are appreciated by the client.