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Treasures of the Highlands


Self Drive Tour
7 days, 6 nights from £1,215 per person sharing

This activity filled family adventure promises to be a big hit for all of the family. Immerse the family is a land of myths and legends, castle ruins, spectacular scenery and wildlife. Enjoy sea kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and all with knowledgeable guides. All activities are suitable for beginners.




Your adventure begins at Fort William, a great location to use as a base for exploring the West Highlands. As this is a self-drive itinerary, you make your way to Fort William in the West Highlands. If you are coming from Edinburgh or Glasgow, you can drive via the stunning Glencoe valley. Or, if you are starting from Inverness, you will drive along the banks of Loch Ness. Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands and is nestled  in the shadow of Ben Nevis. . Settle into your B&B accommodation and overnight.


A relaxing day to recover from your journey. After breakfast, don your wizard cloaks and grab your wands and jump aboard the Jacobite Steam Train – also known as the Hogwarts Express – the Harry Potter steam train –  to enjoy one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Sit back and enjoy the immense and spectacular landscape as you cross the famous Glenfinnan viaduct on your way west. A lunch stop in the fishing port of Mallaig provides the perfect break  before you return to Fort William.



Your first adventure activity is today’s sea kayaking on the beautiful coastline, in the Sound of Arisaig.  Here we will find lots of tiny desert islands, quite possibly with hidden treasure buried somewhere! This beautiful stretch of water offers excellent sea kayaking in fairly sheltered waters. It is also an excellent place for seeing marine wildlife such as seals, otters or even dolphins. You will have lots of breaks during the day to ensure that no-one gets too tired. Late afternoon, return to Fort William. (B)


A fun day, starting and finishing near Fort William. Your first stop will be Neptune’s Staircase – the impressive series of 8 canal lock-gates where the Caledonian Canal meets the shore of Loch Eil. Here you collect your canoe equipment and start with a canal-side briefing on how to paddle canoes. Then jump in and paddle north up the canal, enjoying the easy paddling on the calm canal waters and the beautiful views of the  hills, including the north face of Ben Nevis – the highest peak in Scotland. On reaching Gairlochy you’ll be collected and transferred back to the start point. Fort William.



Driving east this morning to the Cairngorms National Park, 1 hour & 30 minutes away,  you have time to stop for a short walk or visit a whisky distillery. Grab lunch and then you meet your guide and pick up your bikes. We’ll take our mountain bikes on an off-road journey thorugh ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of Rothiemurchus Estate. through the ancient forests, seeking out the wildlife as we ride. The trails  are well-known for wildlife, including reindeer, golden eagles, red deer, squirrels and ospreys. All in all la great biking day through magnificent scenery.


During the week you will have been collecting clues as part of your great treasure hunt! Today is teh day to find the treasure! So today is the day you try our geocaching – learning basic navigation skills and then using them, combined with the clues we have already gathered, to find the treasure. So today, we take you on a guided hike, geocaching and treasure hunting along the way. Tonight, enjoy your last night in the Cairngorms.


Sadly today we bid you all farewell. You begin your journey home. Or if you prefer to remain in the area and do some additional exploring, we are happy to be of assistance in planning your extended stay.

Places remaining on our Family West Coast Adventure tours!

There are still a small number of places remaining on our Charming Inns option of our Family West Coast Adventure tours, departing on July 14th 2017

Discover the west coast of Ireland on bike this summer with one of our most popular tours, the Family West Coast Adventure. This 6 day/5 night guided tour gives you the chance to explore the best of what this magical region has to offer with island hopping, medieval castles, archaeology and charming villages providing the backdrop to cycles through beautiful seaside routes and mountainous landscapes.

This tour has been designed with families in mind and features specially tailored routes for younger cyclists and activities well suited for little explorers, including a trip to the Ailwee Caves and a chance to see eagles flying at the Birds of Prey center. Explore must see attractions like the Aran Islands, the Burren and Connemara before retiring to welcoming guesthouses, dining out on Irish produce and locally sourced fresh seafood and experiencing the ‘craic’ with the locals.

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The cost of this tour is Euro 1195.00 pps. There is a 10% discount for any guests under the age of 16.

Departure date:

July 14th 2017



Our Charming Inns accommodation range is made up of guesthouses, B&Bs and small boutique hotels. They are typically family owned and run, and have been chosen for their warm welcomes and excellent breakfasts. To read more on CycleWest’s lodges, please click here.

To book one of our remaining places or for more information, please feel free to contact us at

Family Connemara Adventure

Our Connemara Family Bike tour in Ireland’s wild and glorious  Connemara. See Ireland through your child’s eyes and explore  unspoiled countryside at your own pace.

Connemara~Killary Fjord~Clew Bay~Westport
6 Days / 5 Nights Guided Family Bike Tour

Connemara is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets. It is an area of heartbreaking barrenness and unique beauty, with dark bogs and tall jagged mountains punctuated by curving glassy lakes dotted with green islands. Unique to this area is the signature scent of strong, smoky burning turf (peat).

Located in the peaceful and pristine West Coast, Connemara is a haven for activities and the great outdoors. Biking here becomes a terrific adventure, especially as you realise you share the roads with local sheep instead of cars! With our intimate knowledge of small backroads, we prepare daily rides with you in mind. Steeped in history, we regale tales of pirates, princes and wild horses as you bike this wonderful coastline.

Optional activities include golfing, horse-back riding (Connemara Ponies), surfing, hill walking, fly fishing, sea weed baths or a fjord cruise.


DAY 1: Untamed Landscapes
Arrival and tour start point in Galway City at midday. We transfer to the heart of Connemara, where your tour begins. Enroute we visit the carefully restored Aughanure Castle where we have a guided tour. 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. You will also learn of Grainuaile, Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland’s west, whose castle ruins dominate the coastline from Ballyconneeley to Achill Island. We arrive at your hotel where we have an introductory briefing and bike fit out. Dinner follows with an offering of local specialities: seafood, Connemara Lamb, Killary mussels, wild salmon if in season, for example. Warm up loop ride in the afternoon if desired.


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. Departing Roundstone to Ballyconneely village via Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay beaches, we follow the rugged coastline to Ballyconneely, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse (open for viewing on a Wednesday) perched on the water’s edge.  We 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). We take the scenic ‘bog road’ home – where sheep are our only distraction.
Daily Miles: from 23 miles, with extensions available. Custom miles for children.

DAY 3: Carpe Diem
This morning you have the opportunity to explore the little galleries, bookstores, craft and designer stores of Clifden town. There are optional activities today including the opportunity to Golf and the Connemara Championship Links Course or Horse Ride at one of the local Connmemara Pony locations.  We bike the Sky Road. ‘C’est Magnifique’, I heard someone say, one day, as we absorbed the island vista before us. We make our way to Connemara National Park and Letterfrack village, arriving at the splendid neo-gothic, Kylemore Abbey. We continue through the Lough Inagh Valley – described as one of the most beautiful valleys in Ireland. Daily Miles: from 19 miles, with the average miles to day covering 32- 45 miles. Extensions available. Custom miles for children.


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 we spin through some amazing landscapes. We have the opportunity to stop by a practicing sheep farm to see a sheep dog demonstration and engage in a discussion about the use of peat. Today we also take a spin around the Killary Fjord, Ireland’s only fjord, 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. Daily miles: Day’s average 22 miles with extensions up to 42 miles. Custom miles for children.

Day 5: Clew Bay Biking
Immerse yourself in your surrounds this morning. We 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. We reach Louisburgh, which translates to the delightful name of ‘Meadow of the Buttercups’ and continue westward along Clew Bay. We arrive at Croagh Patrick, the west of Ireland’s pilgrim mountain.  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. Overnight in Westport. Daily miles: Daily Miles: days average miles 22, with optional challenging extension ride over the Sheefry Hills if desired. Custom miles for children.


DAY 6: Castle Extension or Departure
Today, sadly, today we bid you farewell. 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.  Please also ask about our extended stay options in Ireland for further trip suggestions.

Come join us on this Connemara Biking adventure and let your imagination do the rest…..

Contact us at with any questions you may have

Family West Coast Adventure

Our Guided West Coast Family Adventure is a classic bike tour enjoyed by many families over the years. Come join us and see what everyone is talking about!

The Burren~Aran Islands~Connemara

Charming Inns & Small Hotels, Euro 1495.00 per person
Luxe Country Manor & Castle Hotels, Euro 2195.00 per person

10% discount for children under 16
6 Days / 5 Nights Guided Bike Tour


Our West Coast Family Luxury Adventure is a terrific family biking tour through the spectacular vistas of Galway Bay, the historical Burren, the Aran Islands and scenic Connemara. Immerse in the history, the culture and the pure magic of the West of Ireland.

This extraordinary Family Bike Tour has been designed with escape, adventure and an overall terrific family experience in mind! We offer you the opportunity to enjoy your family vacation, safely together, as quality time away from all the hustle of everyday life. Custom miles for tiny legs with extension options for older kids and adults!

In the Burren, you will enjoy the stone forts, monuments, alpine and arctic flowers and plants that grow side by side, the seeds having been deposited by glacier millions of years ago. This is the mystical land of disappearing rivers and lakes, closed valleys, caves and limestone pavements. You may even find a real fairy fort!


The Aran Islands, three timeless islands in an endless sea, showcase weathered monuments on awesome cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone, meandering walls, patchwork fields, quiet beaches and a welcoming island people.

Crossing by ferry from the Aran Islands, you will know immediately that you have arrived in Connemara by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape!



For this rewarding bike trip, we have chosen a wonderful variety of quality, select accommodations that offer a blend of luxury, location and personal hospitality. You will enjoy the delights of stunning settings and vibrant culture.
“I have decided that Ireland is my favorite place on Earth! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the bike tour. It was so beautiful and amazing! I really want to go again”.  Kelly Christensen, Colorado


This is one of CycleWest Ireland’s most popular family tours in Ireland. We have been offering this family biking trip for the past 20 years and our guests, young and old alike, are inspired!

Day 1: Welcome to the Emerald Isle!
Here we begin our celebrated tour of the West Coast of Ireland: the Burren region, the Aran Islands and Connemara. We meet in Galway City and transfer by coach to our tour start point. Evening dinner and welcome to the West Coast of Ireland! We will spend the next two nights here in Ballyvaughan.

DAY 2: Castles and Caves
Today we explore medieval Newtown Castle before setting off on our day’s adventure. This day is designed a leisurely day to bring you into the heart of the Burren, explore Ailwee Caves and the Wild Bird sanctuary where we watch the falcons fly. A day of history and scenery, of ancient ring forts and dolmans. Onward to the environmental initiative of The Burren – the Burren Interpretative Centre in Kilfenora. Discover a world of wildlife, folklore, ancient archaeology and wonderful plant life. Explore Kilfenora Cathedral and Celtic High Crosses. Overnight in the village of Ballyvaughan. Daily Miles: Minimum mileage of 15 miles with extensions. Custom miles for children. Extensions possible, miles: 42.

DAY 3: Moonscapes and Music
Today starts with a tour of the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and then a descent to the village of Doolin where an afternoon ferry ride (the ferry ride is an adventure in itself!) from the will take us to the historical Aran Islands, where Gaelic is the spoken language. On the islands, we Visit the historical Dun Aengus Hill top fort towering 700 ft above the ocean. Enjoy the vistas of white washed cottages and the intricate network of stone walls. This is a visit you will treasure long after your visit to Ireland. Transfer by ferry and overnight on the Aran Islands.
Daily Miles: Custom miles for children. Minimum mileage of 19 miles with island extension of 8 miles.


DAY 4: Ferries and Foxes
Mid Day departure from the Aran Islands to the Rosaveal ferry port. We traverse a route bordered by heather and bracken, through scenery that is wild and barren. We bike the quiet backroads of Connemara with the majestic Twelve Bens mountains always in our sight. Overnight in the lovely market town of Clifden. Daily miles: 35 miles

DAY 5: Seascapes and Sandcastles
Early morning start to Roundstone village, the most picturesque fishing harbour in Connemara where traditional Galway Hooker, lovingly cared for over the years, can be seen on Bertraghboy Bay. Departing Roundstone to Ballyconneely village via stunning beaches at Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, we follow the rugged coastline to Ballyconneely, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse, perched on the water’s edge. We bike to the Alcock and Brown monument, dedicated to the first transatlantic flight in 1919 from New Foundland. Enjoy an afternoon browsing through the coffee shops, bakeries and bookshops of Clifden, where you spend another night.
Daily Miles: Custom miles for children. Minimum of a 19 mile loop, with longer routes from 22 – 30 miles.

DAY 6: Departure
Today, sadly, today we bid you farewell. This morning you depart from Clifden 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.


Family Adventures

Our Family Adventures explore the best of Ireland

Find a real fairy fort! Explore the Burren caves. Walk with a hawk. Take ferry boat ride to the Aran Islands. Visit the towering Cliffs of Moher. Ride a Connemara pony. Catch a trout! Come to the West of Ireland and see what fun you can have!

CycleWest Ireland Family Adventures are everything a curious young traveller could dream of. From toddler to teen, there is something wonderful for everyone!  Pedalling along coastline trails, horse back riding, island safaris, catching your first fish: just imagine the stories your family will tell for years to come!

Our family tours are designed to accommodate children aged 3+ with child bike seats and tagalong trailer bikes.  Routes are expecially designed for tiny legs!  Mom and Dad can take extended rides if desired.

Let us plan your family adventure in Ireland this summer! Please contact us at for more details.

Read on for a selection of our favourite family ideas: