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The Twelve Bens mountain range were created by the footsteps of the giant, Beola, as he walked across Connemara.
Wild Connemara Self Led Itinerary
Explore Ireland's rugged landscapes on our Wild Connemara self guided bike tour
Explore Ireland’s rugged landscapes on our Wild Connemara self guided bike tour, at your own pace, luggage free. Available from April 2022
Connemara ~ Killary Fjord ~Clew Bay ~Westport
6 Days / 5 Nights Self Guided Bike Tour From Euro 995.00 per person sharing
Connemara: ‘Oscar Wilde described it as “a savage beauty”… with rugged and rebellious landscape. It has captured the hearts and minds of travellers for centuries. Let it capture yours on this self led bike tour. Experience the remote back roads and untamed landscapes of Connemara in the West of Ireland.
DAY 1: Untamed Landscapes
Transfer from Galway City to the heart of Connemara, where your tour begins. Enroute you may choose to visit the carefully restored Aughanure Castle where you can enjoy a guided tour (subject to private transfer from Galway to Clifden). Steeped in local history, the castle is located close to the banks of Lough Corrib and conjures strong medieval images of the feuding O’Flaherty clan and their adventures in trading and piracy. Arrive in Clifden, depending and have an introductory briefing and bike fit out. Refreshments and relaxation follow.
Dinner recommendations provide an offering of local specialities: seafood, Connemara Lamb, Killary mussels, wild salmon if in season, for example. There will be the opportunity for traditional music and a pint o’plain (Guinness) this evening or tomorrow – depending on your choice of accommodation.
DAY 2: Seascapes and Stunning Coastline
Early morning start to Roundstone village, the most picturesque fishing harbour in Connemara where traditional Galway Hookers, (traditional fishing boats of the West of Ireland) lovingly cared for over the years, can be seen on Bertraghboy Bay. You visit Malachy Kearns Musical Instrument workshop, the home of the traditional Bodhran.
Departing Roundstone to Ballyconneely village via stunning beaches at Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, following the rugged coastline to Ballyconneely, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse (open for viewing on a Wednesday) perched on the water’s edge. Here the Roberts family run Connemara’s longest established smokehouse, are one of the few specialists in wild smoked salmon.
You bike to the Alcock and Brown monument, dedicated to the first transatlantic flight in 1919 from New Foundland – that crash landed in the bog nearby (no casualties). You take the scenic ‘bog road’ home – where sheep are our only distraction! Overnight in Clifden. Daily Miles: from 23 miles, with longer routes from 24 – 37 miles available.
DAY 3: Carpe Diem
This morning you have the opportunity to explore the little galleries, bookstores, craft and designer stores of Clifden town before heading out. You bike the Sky Road. ‘C’est Magnifique’, I heard someone say, one day, as we absorbed the island vista before us. You make our way to Connemara National Park and Letterfrack village, arriving at the splendid neo-gothic, Kylemore Abbey, nestled between the cliffs of Doughruagh and Poulacappal Lough.
You continue through the Lough Inagh Valley – described as one of the most beautiful valleys in Ireland – or to the Renvyle Penninsula – a vista of pink and purple, wild fuchsia, ocean. Islands and a warm turf fire to welcome you upon your arrival. Overnight on the Renvyle Peninsula. Daily Miles: from 19 miles, with the average miles to day covering 32- 45 miles. Extensions available.
DAY 4: Sand, Sea and Sky.
On this morning’s bike ride you’ll see a stunning vista of peatlands, lakes, and forests. Passing through Tully Cross village and onward by Lettergesh beach you spin through some amazing landscapes. You have the opportunity to stop by an area of bog where peat is cut and harvested by local farmers and engage in a discussion about the use of peat.
Today you take a spin around the Killary Fjord, Ireland’s only fjord. You then continue biking surrounded by Maamturk and Mweelrea mountains. Overnight in Leenane, the setting for the Oscar winning film “The Field” with Richard Harris.
Ease into the evening as you watch the sunset and enjoy the local gourmet delights and shared tales of the day’s adventure. You have the opportunity to celebrate the day with a Seaweed Bath, this afternoon in Leenane. Daily miles: Day’s average 22 miles with extensions up to 42 miles.
Day 5: Clew Bay Biking
Immerse yourself in your surrounds this morning. You spin onward through the mountain pass between Mweelrea, Connemara’s highest mountain and the Sheefry Hills. Pedal by Doolough, spectacular in its dark beauty. This route is often referred to as the Famine Trail, dating back to tragic local events during the famine years of the 1840’s.
You reach Louisburgh, which translates to the delightful name of ‘Meadow of the Buttercups’ a quiet, traditional village and continue westward along Clew Bay. You arrive at Croagh Patrick, the west of Ireland’s pilgrim mountain. Explore Murrisk Abbey, hike part of the holy mountain – or climb to the summit (2300 ft).
Onward to the lively heritage town of Westport, a charming planned town with a unique blend of the old and new. Walk along the tree lined river at ‘The Mall’ and enjoy a late afternoon drink to unwind from your day. You can enjoy an evening of traditional, local fare, followed by traditional Irish Music where the less faint hearted can join in and sing or dance should you so desire! Overnight at Westport.
Daily Miles: days average miles 27, with optional challenging extension ride over the Sheefry Hills.
DAY 6: Departure
Today, sadly, is the end of your tour. This morning you depart from Westport to your next point. We can assist you with any planning, be it rail, flight or car hire. Please also see our ‘trip arrival and departure’ instructions’ for transport options.
Accommodation on tour days
Breakfasts on tour days
First Day meeting and briefing on tour routes,
Quality 21 speed Trek bikes,
Detailed maps and tour directions
Details for restaurants & points of interest
Toolkit & repair kit
Emergency phone contact numbers
What’s not included?
Trip Cost Does Not Include:
Transfers to and from tour start point
Private transfers between hotels
Any items of a personal nature
Admission to tour points of interest
Lunches or Evening Meals
Dates and Pricing
Charming Inns Option: (Guesthouses and small hotels)
Euro 995.00 per person sharing
6 Days & 5 Nights
Luxe Option: Castle Hotels and Country Houses
Euro 1395.00 per person sharing
6 Days & 5 Nights
Booking Deposit: Euro 250.00 per person
Single Supplement: 350.00
See also our Tour Arrivals and Departure Dossier for more travel details and extended stay options in Ireland.
• Deposit: €250 Booking Deposit is required per person in order to book your tour.
• A Single Supplement Euro 250.00 (charming inns) & 350.00 Luxe applies for any person requiring a single / private room. Please contact us for more information
• Final payment due 60 days prior to your tour (Money Order, Euro Bank Draft, Credit Card – Visa, MasterCard)
• Cancellation Policy
If you cancel:
61 days or more, prior to your tour we will return your tour payment, less your tour deposit. 60 days or less from the date of the tour you must pay the full tour price.
We strongly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance as soon as possible. See www.insuremytrip.com for trip insurance or visit your local travel agent. Please see our Terms and Conditions attached.
• Average Daily Mileage: 25 Miles (40 km)
• Average Daily Mileage with Optional Alternatives: 37 Miles (59 km)
Please limit your luggage to 15kg per bag and please Mark your luggage clearly with your name, address and phone number.
Start Point: Clifden, County Galway
Departure Point: Westport, County Mayo
Arrival to Ireland – Dublin Airport is the most convenient International airport to our tour starting points. From Dublin we recommend a coach transfer directly from Dublin airport to Galway City. Coach and rail services are readily available and frequent to Galway City. At the tour end point in Westport, there are direct rail links to Dublin.