This tour takes in the best of the Connemara route but to add to this the fantastic Great Western Greenways Cycle trail. At 42km, this is by far, the longest dedicated cycling route in the country. The route connects the picture perfect town of Westport to the stunning Achill Island utilizing the old railway line. The cycle provides great views of Clew bay and the surrounding mountains in a traffic free environment. Since it was opened this route has proved very popular with cyclists and walkers alike and won several awards. We will start and finish in Galway, one of Irelands most lively cities. The route will take in the Partry Mountains en route to a nights stop in the village of Leenane as well as the unmissable cycle through the Delphi Valley. The rest day is in the beautiful town of Westport. At the end of the week you visit the wonderful Achill Island with its magnificent beaches and labyrinth of quiet roads. The tour finishes up in the “Museum of Country Life” in Castlebar.
Day 1: Individual arrival to Galway
When you arrive in Galway make your way to your accommodation any time after 2.00pm. You can then explore this bustling medieval city. We will send you on full accommodation details and the necessary contact details for your tour closer to your departure date. A folder containing your route details will be waiting for you at the guesthouse and the bikes will be waiting for you in the local bike shop.
Day 2: Galway - Leenane, ~35 km/21 miles
In the morning a local taxi operator will also meet you at the guesthouse at 10.00 am and then transfer you to Cong (near Clonbur) where the tour proper starts and you get on your bikes! You head north along quiet back roads through rolling green fields full of grazing sheep. You cycle along beautiful back roads via Lough Nafooey. That night you stay in the small village of Leenane looking out over Killary Harbour.
Day 3: Leenane - Westport, ~52 km/32 miles
In the morning you head north through one of the highlights of the tour, the stunning Delphi Valley with its beautiful lakes overlooked by Ben Bury the highest mountain in Connemara. Your lunch stop is the charming village of Louisburgh before you continue on your journey between Croagh Patrick and the beautiful Clew Bay with its many small islands to the town of Westport where you are staying two nights
Day 4: Rest day in Westport
In 2012 Westport was voted by readers of the “Irish Times” newspaper as the best place to live in Ireland and it is easy to understand why. The town is beautifully located at the top of Clew Bay, it is one of the few towns in Ireland that was formally planned and it has a great beauty and charm about it. You can spend the day relaxing in the town, visiting Westport House www.westporthouse.ie, or there is golf and horse-riding available nearby. For something a bit different you could visit Clare Island. You would need to take a taxi for 14 miles to Roonagh Quay. In the summer, there are numerous ferry sailings from Roonagh to Clare Island during the day. The boat crossing takes about 20 minutes.
Day 5: Westport - Achill Island, ~54 km/33 miles
Another highlight to the trip is today’s cycle. The day is spent on the 'Greenway Cycle', a route that offers gentle gradients and some of the most idyllic scenery in the west of Ireland. The cycle forms part of the National Cycle Network and it is the longest dedicated cycling path in the Country! The route brings you all the way to Achill Sound, the gateway to Achill Island (via a bridge) where you are spending the night.
Day 6: Around Achill Island, 3 possible routes ~14, 47 or 72 km/9, 29 or 45 miles
You spend your day exploring Achill Island where there are so many options for cycling. There are several dramatic cycling routes around Achill, the most impressive being the Atlantic Drive, with its wonderful coastal views and beautiful landscape. You can also head to Keem bay for a swim on its white sandy beach. For those feeling energetic you could climb to the top of the nearby cliffs some of the highest in Europe, where you are rewarded with the most breathtaking views of the week.
Day 7: Achill Island - Galway, ~47 km/29 miles
The first 17km of our day you head back on the Greenway cycle (there is only one way realistically in and out, which is lucky it is so fantastic!), before you make a detour to Lough Beltra in the heart of Mayo. The final part of our tour will take you to the 'Museum of Country Life' near Castlebar where there is nice coffee shop and where you can visit the museum. A taxi will meet you here midafternoon and bring you back to Galway city for a final night on the trip.
Day 8: Departure or extra nights
7 nights in BnB's and small hotels
1x evening meal
24 speed rental bike
transfer from Galway to Cong on day 2
transfer from Castlebar to Galway on day 7
tour description and maps
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every day
season I (895 €/person in double)
season II (+50 €/person)
route (2): ~202-260 km/126-162miles
flat and sometimes hilly
how to get there
by plane: airport Dublin or London and further on to Galway
by car: ferries to Ireland from northern France, Scotland and Wales
some of our bike tour suggestions