Bicycling Ireland's West Coast
From glacier-carved valleys to its signature green countryside, Ireland will capture your heart from the day of arrival. We'll explore the Emerald Isle by bike, visiting the Aran Islands and Connemara as well. The fun won't stop when the day's ride is through; Ireland's rich culture and colorful villages steeped in history paired with gracious hospitality and humor will round out the evenings. Look forward to traditional music and unforgettable memories on this tour!
**If you anticipate 7 days just won't be enough to soak in the charms and beauties of Ireland, join us on our 11-day Cycling Ireland's West Coast Plus! County Mayo tour.**View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Ennis, Ireland
Highlights: Colorful Ennis, County Clare, welcome dinner
We meet today in Ennis, capital of County Clare. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon, then you are free to go for warm up ride or to take a stroll through colorful Ennis before we gather for wine and introductions. We'll enjoy a welcome dinner together this evening.
Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D
Lodging: Old Ground Hotel
Day 2: Bicycle to Doolin
Highlights: Castle ruins, medieval monasteries, Cliffs of Moher
Low stone walls enclosing miles of pasture lead us today past castle ruins, medieval monasteries, and churches destroyed in the wake of the Reformation - all standing as landmarks across the Irish landscape. Then it's on to the coast and the extraordinary Cliffs of Moher. Our destination is Doolin, the epicenter of traditional Irish folk music.
Distance: 52 km (33 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Cullinans or Sheedys
Day 3: Rest day in Doolin
Highlights: Irish music in Doolin, optional bike ride to the Burren
There is no need to pack this morning, as we'll be in Doolin again tonight to enjoy the music in its pubs. Take the day off to enjoy a walk along the shore or take an optional bicycle ride into the Burren. This unique limestone region hosts a variety of wild flowers and plants unusual in this part of Europe.
Distance: 59 km (36 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Cullinans or Sheedys
Day 4: Aran Islands
Highlights: Aran Islands, Inishmore, guided walk in Dun Aenghus
We are taking a short bike ride today to visit Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Once there, you can explore the main village of Kilronan before we head off to explore the rest of the island. Plan on a walk this afternoon to Dun Aenghus, one of Europe's most important prehistoric settlements.
Distance: approximately 8 to 10km (5 to 6 miles) on the bike, optional walking. Meals: B, D
Lodging: Kilmurvey House
Day 5: Bicycle to Clifden
Highlights: County Galway and Connemara, bustling town of Clifden
We're back to Kilronan this morning, where we'll catch a ferry north to County Galway and the village of Rossaveal. Just beyond lays the heart of Connemara, Ireland's "wild west." This area was devastated by the potato famine in the 1840s but has rebounded in recent decades through the tourist trade. Along with the Aran Islands, Connemara is one of the few remaining Gaeltacht regions, where Irish Gaelic is still widely spoken. Tonight we settle into one of the most vibrant towns of County Galway, where tradition and modernity nicely mix to create a lively atmosphere.
Distance: 70 km (43 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Round Stone House Hotel
Day 6: Clifden
Highlights: Sky Road, scenic coastline
We have another night in Clifden so there is no need to pack. Those wanting to ride can take a leisurely 15 km loop ride along spectacular Sky Road, passing by the abandoned D'Arcy Castle. If you want more mileage you can keep pedaling farther north on any number of the small country lanes of County Galway. Return to Clifden for a lazy afternoon walk along Beach Road, a cuppa in one of the cozy galleries in town or a tipple in one of the local pubs!
Distance: 15-50 km (9-31 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Round Stone House Hotel
Day 7: End in Clifden
Highlights: Tour ends in Clifden
We say goodbye after breakfast this morning. Whatever your plans, have a great trip.
***If you can't bear the thought of giving up your bike so soon, check out our Bicycling Ireland's West Coast Plus! County Mayo tour, which extends this itinerary by 4 days.***
HighlightsDoolin, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Ireland's longest fjord, Connemara, Traditional Irish music in DoolinKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; Use of a quality aluminum road bike with compact gearing or hybrid; 7 days, 6 nights accommodation; 4 dinners with wine or beer, 6 breakfasts; island ferries; guided walk in Dun Aenghus plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartShannon International Airport (SNN) or Dublin (DUB)
Total Distance250 km (155 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage daily milesage 50km (31 miles) with one optional rest day.
Rating201 Rolling country rides with a few steep but short hills.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Jun 14-20, 2015 $3550 $550 2 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it Jul 19-25, 2015 $3550 $550 Book it Aug 9-15, 2015 $3550 $550 Guaranteed to Go Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
Exploring Ireland by Bike
Jo Baldwin and her family tells us why Ireland is the trip for them.
From the Road - Bicycling in Ireland
A Bike Tour Review by Jan Rastall of ExperiencePlus!
Ireland Trip Planner
Read up on country customs, transportation information, culinary specialites, and more!
- Thoughts on Ireland
Thoughts on Ireland
JoAnne "Jo" and Jenica Baldwin sat down with ExperiencePlus! to talk about their recent family trip to Ireland's West Coast.
We Are ExperiencePlus! Meet your Tour Leaders
We'd like to introduce you to your tour leaders. We believe we have the best bicycle tour leaders out there, click through to see a slideshow about them.
Rick Steves' European Ultimates
Rick Steves determines that Dun Aenghus in Ireland is one of his favorite spots in Europe.
Video Clip of Ireland Tour
Traveler Jenica Baldwin caught some footage from her tour in Ireland on tape.
- Exploring Ireland by Bike
That all the stars aligned to make it the perfect trip. Even the rain was followed by rainbows. It will be a hard act to follow.Terry G., Annapolis, MD
The trip was fabulous! My 19 year old son is hooked on biking now!Janice B., Hayden Lake, ID
[Our favorite experiences were] Tea houses, especially Britie's and the people we met at the pubs. The "backroads", scenery and lack of traffic.Ray & Lu C.
Having the local guides was a definite plus. They shared Irish customs, history, singing and dancing. Their hospitality was greatly appreciated. All and all we can not say enough good things about the trip. We have such great memories and would highly recommend it to people of all ages!!!Cindy J.
I've been on several ExperiencePlus trips. Overall it was excellent and I had a fantastic time. Great value for my dollars.Susan R.
Santa Cruz, CA
My favorite part of the tour: Dancing and singing provided by the Irish guides' families. Dance + Music show on the Aran Islands.Rebecca S.
I particularly loved the day we rode from Innishmore to Roundstone - good weather, gorgeous scenery (and just a bit different from what we'd seen before) just enough hills, horses in the middle of the road, picnic lunch with the group, and swimming in the cold waters after we reached the hotel.Beth S.
Love the arrows, I'm hooked!Warren A.