Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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The Claddagh, Galway
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Highlights

  • Cycle the loughs and Wild Atlantic Way coastline of Galway, Connemara & Mayo
  • Take a day trip to the rugged island of Inishbofin
  • Enjoy traditional Irish music and a pint of Guinness in the pubs of Galway
  • Sample freshly steamed Killary Harbour mussels
  • Ride to the shores of Lough Corrib and the timeless village of Cong

Discover the rugged landscapes, Wild Atlantic Way coastline and traditional Irish pubs on this cycling tour of Galway, Connemara and Mayo.

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. Ride north, to the town of Leenane and dine on freshly steamed mussels from Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord.

Cross into County Mayo and pedal across wild moorland towards the pilgrim’s mountain of Croagh Patrick, overlooking the Georgian town of Westport. A final roll south leads to the shores of Lough Corrib and the timeless village of Cong. Returning to Galway by way of private transfer, there is plenty of time to discover the lively bars and watch traditional Irish music being played out over a pint of the black stuff!

Day 1 Arrive Galway, transfer to Clifden

Capital of the Gaelic west, Galway is a little over an hours 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 Clifden. On arrival 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). Ride between pristine beaches, crystal clear waters and green pastures where herds of docile cows graze. A sanctuary for wildlife, Inishbofin has also become a breeding ground for birdlife which include 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 Leenane

Begin this morning by retracing the first few km’s of yesterday’s cycle before following the rugged Atlantic coastline to Ireland’s only true fjord, Killary Harbour. Surrounded by the mountains of Connemara, the head of the fjord marks the border between Galway and Mayo. Here you will spend the evening in Leenane, where you can sample fresh Killary Mussels in one of the characterful bars.


Cycle: 45km


Overnight: Leenane


Day 4 Cycle to Westport

Departing Leenane, continue riding around the head of the fjord towards the small settlement of Delphi, shadowed by the Mweelrea Mountains. Soon you’ll arrive at the shores of 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, explore the streets of this easy going town.


Cycle: 45km


Overnight: Westport


Day 5 Cycle to Cong

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 timeless village of Cong on the shores of Lough Corrib. If you have time, take a boat trip on the lough or visit the 7th century Cong Abbey where Rory O’Connor, the last High King of Ireland, is reputed to have died.


Cycle: 55km


Overnight: Cong


Day 6 Transfer to Galway

At your leisure enjoy breakfast and further explore the village and woodlands of Cong before taking your onward transfer to the colourful and Bohemian city of Galway. Best explored on foot, many of the traditional pubs still retain many of their original Gothic features 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.


Overnight: Galway


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 B&B's and a 3* hotel. 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 accommodations 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 extra night in the colourful city of Galway or the timeless village of Cong. If you would like to add extra nights at any of the overnight stays on this tour, please let us know.



 

 

 



Seamist House

An historical Georgian town house located in the heart of Clifden, only a couple of minutes walk from the town centre. A warm welcome from Shelia, is also reflected in the warmth and elegance of her rooms.



 

 

 



Leenane Hotel

A family run hotel said to be the oldest coaching inn in Ireland, dating back to 1796. On the shores of Killary Harbour, dine in the hotel’s restaurant on fresh seafood dishes and relax in the bar with panoramic views of the fjord.



 

 

 



St Anthony's B&B

St. Anthony’s Bed and Breakfast makes for wonderful stay in Westport. The house dates back to 1820, when it was built for the Minister of The Presbyterian Church. Although the Church is now gone, the house remains, and its charm has been retained with its exposed oak beams, thick walls and recessed doorways There is a lovely guest lounge available for relaxing.



 

 

 



Ryan's River Lodge

A family run B&B overlooking the Cong River. This B&B specialises in welcoming cycling enthusiasts. The River Lodge is only a few minutes from the bars, restaurants and charms of Cong village. In the evening wind down in a local pub with a Guinness and some local craic!



 

 

 



Adare Guesthouse

Run by the Conor family for over 50 years, the Adara Guesthouse is less than a 10 minute walk from Galway’s medieval centre. Enjoy breakfast overlooking the patio and gardens before heading out to explore the arts, music and history that has made Galway so famous.

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 B&B's and 1 night in a 3* hotel
  • All breakfasts
  • Baggage Transfer
  • Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • Transfers to / from Galway as described
  • 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. 

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