Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Ashford Castle Hotel, Cong
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Highlights

  • Cycle across Mayo and Galway staying in stylish hotels, country lodges and castles
  • Discover the loughs and Wild Atlantic Way coastline of Connemara
  • Sample freshly steamed Killary Harbour mussels
  • Ferry hop to the rugged island of Inishbofin
  • Enjoy a pint of Guinness and the craic in Galway’s lively pubs

Cycle across the rugged landscapes and Wild Atlantic Way coastline of Galway, Connemara and Mayo, spending each night in stylish country house hotels, including the acclaimed Ashford Castle Hotel.

After arriving into the lively city of Galway, a private transfer will take you to the Connemara coastal town of Clifden. Here ferry hop to the rugged island of Inishbofin and ride between deserted bays and emerald green pastures. Onwards from Clifden, cycle north to Ireland’s only fjord, Killary Habour, where you can dine on fresh seafood dishes in the comfort of your country lodge.

Crossing into County Mayo, cycle north towards the pilgrim’s mountain of Croagh Patrick and the Georgian town of Westport. Ride south to the village of Cong and stay in the exclusive 13th century Ashford Castle. Returning to Galway by way of private transfer, spend the evening exploring the pubs and traditional music bars, accompanied with a pint of Guinness!

Day 1 Arrive Galway, transfer to Clifden

Capital of the Gaelic west, Galway is a little over an hour’s drive from Knock or Shannon airport, whilst Dublin trains reach Galway in 2hrs 30mins.


On your arrival into Galway (or at a time to suit), you will be met and transferred to charming town of harbour town of Clifden. On arrival, you will be served afternoon tea on the terrace of your historic hotel. Later explore the Victoria-era town centre or stroll down to the dramatic bay, surrounded by the rolling emerald hills of Connemara.


Overnight: Clifden


Day 2 Cycle to Cleggen, ferry to Inishbofin

This morning enjoy a gentle ride to Cleggen harbour where you can catch the ferry to Inishbofin Island (30 mins sailing). Explore this rugged island by bike, riding between pristine beaches, crystal clear waters and green pastures where herds of docile cows graze. A sanctuary for birdlife, Inishbofin has become a fertile breeding for the Cornrake, Arctic Tern, Shags and Guillemots to name a few. Before hopping on the ferry back, enjoy a visit to one of the cosy local pubs.


Cycle: 60km


Overnight: Clifden


Day 3 Delphi Lodge (near Leenane)

Begin this morning by retracing the first few km’s of yesterday’s ride, before following the rugged Atlantic coastline to Ireland’s only true fjord, Killary Harbour. Surrounded by the mountains of Connemara, ride to the head of the fjord where the border of Galway and Mayo meets. Here you can lunch in the town of Leenane and sample locally harvested mussels before cycling onto Delphi and your country house hotel for the evening.


Cycle: 45km


Overnight: Delphi (near Leenane)


Day 4 Cycle to Westport

Departing Delphi, begin pedalling between the towering hills of Ben Bury and Ben Creggan on the approach to Doo Lough. Here you will turn east along the Westport to Leenane cycle route and ride through a landscape of true wilderness. From afar you will be able to view the distinct peak of Croag Patrick mountain, where St. Patrick is said to have completed a 40 day Lenten fasting and penance.  Arriving into Westport via Clew Bay, follow the water’s edge and relax with a local pint at one of the many harbour bars. Later that evening, you can dine in the hotel’s, gastronomic restaurant where the views across Westport and to Croag Patrick are as equally impressive as the food.


Cycle: 45km


Overnight: Westport


Day 5 Cycle to Cong, Ashford Castle

An easy going ride south passes through farmland towards Lough Carra and the 14th century town of Ballinrobe (said to be the oldest settlement in County Mayo). Pedal onwards to the village of Cong and your overnight stay in the historic and luxurious Ashford Castle. A 13th century castle, built on the shores of Lough Corrib, the distinctive grandeur of Ashford Castle and it’s devotion to guest comfort makes for the most memorable of stays in Ireland.


Cycle: 55km


Overnight: Cong, Ashford Castle


Day 6 Transfer to Galway

At your leisure, enjoy breakfast and soak up the character of this remarkable hotel. Stroll in the grounds, take a boat trip on Lough Corrib or relax in the spa before taking your onward transfer to the colourful city of Galway. Best explored on foot, many of the traditional pubs still retain many of their original Gothic features and are certainly the best place to get a feel for the city. Staying in central Galway this evening gives you easy access to all the sights.


Day 7 Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel plans, you may like to further explore Galway, or add extra nights in this lively city. Should you need assistance with onward transfers, we can easily arrange these for you.

Accommodation


During this trip you will stay in luxury 5* and 4* country lodges, historic castles and hotels. Depending on the time of year you are travelling, you may be accommodated in a hotel or inn of equal standard, within the surrounding area. Examples of  some of the typical hotels and lodges used on this tour are listed below. All overnight stays are based on a standard room.


Additional nights

On this tour you may like to add stay an extar night at the historic Ashford Castle in Cong or in the colourful city of Galway. If you would like to add extra nights at any of the overnight stays on this tour, please let us know.



 

 

 



Abbeyglen Castle Hotel - Clifden

Over looking the rolling hills of Connemara, spend 2 nights in this 19th century castle. Complete with spa, gastronomic restaurant and extensive gardens, Abbeyglen Castle is located just outside Clifden town. On arrival guests are offered complimentary afternon tea on the terrace, with far reaching views across to the 12 Bens.



 

 

 



Delphi Lodge (nr Leenane)

A charming country house, dating back to the 1830’s. Delphi Lodge only 5km beyond the village of Leenane. A charming country house, dating back to the 1830’s, Delphi Lodge is only 5km beyond the village of Leenane. Nestled in a peaceful valley, spend the afternoon relaxing in total tranquillity in the lodges’ 1000 acre grounds. With a cosy bar, you can also enjoy fresh seafood dishes created by the award winning chef, Pascal Marinot.



 

 

 



Knockranny House Hotel - Westport

Set in secluded grounds, this 4* family run hotel overlooks the town of Westport with breathtaking views of Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick Peak. On arrival, enjoy a warming Irish whisky in the bar and later you may like to dine in the widely commended hotel restaurant



 

 

 



Ashford Castle - Cong

A global award winning 5* hotel, Ashford Castle, is an unforgettable highlight of this tour. Overlooking Lough Corrib, spend the evening in a 13th century castle set in 350 acres of woodlands. Refurbished to a Refurbished to a period of Victorian grandeur, dine in the opulent restaurant, enjoy a Guinness in the oak vaulted bar or take a boat trip out on the water. Enjoy an early morning stroll around the forested trails or relax in the spa and soak up your stay in this exceptional hotel



 

 

 



Park House Hotel - Galway

A 4* boutique hotel in the heart of Galway offers award winning traditional Irish food and classically furnished rooms. Being the last night of the tour, the hotel bar, complete with oak panelled ceilings and stained glass windows, is the perfect for your round of your trip with a final pint of Guinness

Availability


You can start your cycling adventure on any day from mid-April through to the end of September. This region of Ireland is particularly busy over the summer months, so if you are planning on travelling between June and August, it's probably wise to confirm your dates as soon as possible.


2018 departures are available from Saturday 11th August onwards. 2019 departures begin Mid-April.


Grade, Navigation & Route

Graded moderate, each cycling route follows country and coastal roads and lanes. There are also some stretches on busier routes when passing through towns and villages, so please do be mindful of other road users at all times.


The detailed routes notes and maps are easy to follow during your self-guided adventure and we also supply GPX tracks via our easy to use Macs Adventure Navigation App, which make for an easy paper free ride. Please always pay attention to the advice on your navigation app and route notes provided.


Should you require assistance, local 24/7 telephone support will also be available throughout your trip.


Bike Rental


Trek FX hybrid bikes are available to rent. Each bike comes with a rear pannier bag for your personal possessions, basic repair kit and a lock. Helmets are included, although your own is likely to be a better fit. Ebikes are also available to hire, as are Trek Road 1 series road bikes.



Rental Bike


If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this tour.


If you do intend to bring your own bike, please do let us know at the time of booking as extra transfer arrangements may be required for any large bike cases/boxes.


General Information

All bike tours are unescorted. The distances listed are approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, cycle clothing and personal medications etc.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour
with Macs Bike that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you
for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Getting to / from Galway 

For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com  


 By Air  


Galway does not have an airport but is within easy reach of Knock and Shannon international airports. Both airports are approximately a 1-hour drive from Galway. We can easily add private airport transfers to Galway to your booking if you wish. 


There is a direct bus service from Knock Airport to Galway. The no. 64 departs from the airport bus terminal and costs €15 one way (around 1hr 40min journey time). 


From Shannon Airport, there is also a direct bus service to Galway (no.51 from Shannon Airport bus terminal). Journey time is around 2hrs and costs approximately €20. 


Dublin Airport connects through to Galway with hourly train services (approx. 2hrs 30mins journey time. Please check Irish Rail for timetables, prices and tickets.  


If you are planning to drive to Galway, please let us know at the time of booking so we can best advise on parking options. 

 

Included

  • 5 nights in 4* hotels and 1 night 5* hotel
  • All breakfasts
  • Baggage Transfer
  • Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • Transfers to / from Galway
  • Information Pack
  • 24/7 telephone support

Excluded

  • Lunches and dinners
  • Travel to/from Galway
  • Bike rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Entrance fees/extra activities/ferry journeys

Extras

  • Single supplement
  • Additional nights
  • Airport transfers

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

How fit do I need to be?

Being a regular cyclist, you’ll be happy to be in the saddle covering distances of up to 60km. Each ride usually encompasses, flat coastal stretches, rolling Irish countryside and sections of cycling through busier environments. It’s always a good idea to get out on your bike in the lead up to this tour so you are used to cycling back to back days. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Galway and Connemara is extremely popular over the summer months June through to August.

What personal equipment do I need?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. If you have any questions about what to take then we’d be happy to share our own top tips and advice.

When is the best time of year?

Ireland has a temperate climate with warm summers. April into May, lambs bounce through the fields and the flora is in bloom. Into summer (June-August) you can appreciate long hours of daylight where you are more than likely to encounter a musical festival or two. Summer days can very often spill into September but have the advantage of the crowds beginning to thin.

No matter what month you choose to travel, being close to the Atlantic Coast means the weather can get wet and windy at anytime of year, so always bring a rain jacket!

What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?

We use local taxis to transfer your baggage so it is possible they might be able to also help you move to your next overnight stop if you do not want to cycle. Local buses can also sometimes take bikes. 

Without hesitation!

5

Everything was smooth and all the hotels and rides exceeded our expectations. Fabulous!

Pat and Ella

Saint Simons Island, GA

true

Cycle Galway & the Connemara Coast In Style

5.0 1

100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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