Cycling along Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way
This is an example of a self-guided tour. All experiences can be adapted to meet your needs.
Explore the spectacular west of Ireland by bike. Discover the golden beaches, cliff lined rugged coastline and majestic mountains. Escape into the most remote region of Ireland, County Mayo, and learn about its history. Meet the locals and take time to immerse yourself in the Irish culture, visiting the world’s oldest Neolithic site, the Ceide Fields and spending the evening in an Irish home where your host will be delighted to talk to you about the local way of life. Prepare to be awestruck as you cycle along the most scenic Irish roads, through Ballycroy National Park and onto the beautiful Achill Island.
- Explore the most scenic part of Ireland, steeped in history and local culture
- Cycle through Ballycroy National Park and visit the highest cliffs in Europe
- Live like the locals + learn their traditions! Stay in a different family home every night
- Visit historic monasteries, fishing villages + Irish speaking communities
- Experience a Whiskey Appreciation Session + learn about the uniqueness of Irish Whiskey
Day 1: Ballina
Your local guide Rachel will be waiting for you at the bus station in Ballina. She will transport you to Brigown Bed & Breakfast, your home for the night, which has stunning views overlooking the River Moy and Belleek woods. Marjorie, Rachel’s mother, will welcome you into the kitchen for tea and whatever homemade treats are in the tin. That evening you can take part in a Whiskey Appreciation Session with Rachel, to learn about the craft of Irish whiskey and taste the unique styles or you can pop down to the local for a pint. There are two award winning restaurants minutes away, so you can fuel up for the week.
Day 2: Ballina – Ballycastle
Wake up your taste buds with Marjorie’s delicious wholesome breakfast while overlooking the River Moy and Belleek Woods. Starting off at Brigown Bed & Breakfast, follow the path along the famous River Moy and watch the salmon jump. First stop is at the Connacht Whiskey Distillery, you have the option of experiencing a distillery tour where you learn more about the craft of Irish whiskey making and of course get a taste at the end. Warm up the legs with a cycle along the Greenway through Belleek woods and exploring the monasteries of the Moy, Rosserk Friary and Moyne Abbey, you will arrive in the historic fishing town of Kilalla. After stopping off for an Irish coffee and scone at On the Way cafe, travel along the Wild Atlantic Way, passing the golden sandy beaches of Lacken strand and Dun Briste, the iconic sea stack and cliffs of Down Patrick head. Enjoy an evening of calmness and a warm Irish welcome in a family run guest house in an idyllic coastal setting. Savour a typical Irish meal in their home or take a stroll into the country town of Ballycastle to experience the Irish country pub life.
Day 3: Ballycastle – Kilcommon
Distance: 50 km
Following along the open coastline and cliff tops lies the Ceide Fields, a 5000 year old settlement, making it the world’s oldest Neolithic. Look back over the cliffs where the green grass drops off into the Atlantic Ocean. Be at one with nature, where the only traffic is the painted sheep wandering on the roads. Finish off in a country lodge out in the wilds of north Mayo. Put your feet up by an open turf fire and savour a drop of whiskey or enjoy the fresh air and stretch the legs with on one Ireland’s most breath-taking coastal trails.
Day 4: Kilcommon – Blacksod
Distance: 52 km
Get ready to be awestruck with the hidden gems you are about to discover. Cycle along the meandering coastal sheep tracks, explore an area dotted with pristine blue flag beaches, where the land meets the ocean. Stock up on reserves in the bustling country village of Bellmullet before heading back into the wilderness. Take a wander into one of the many pubs, learn the craft of pulling a pint of Guinness and hearing the tales from the local farmers. The evening finishes at the tip of Mayo, next stop would be New York. It’s wild out there but the fire will be on and ‘Cead Mile Failte’ is waiting. ‘1000 welcomes’- Did I not tell you this area is Gaeltacht so the first spoken language is Irish.
It’s important to note that the Blacksod peninsula has drinking options for the perfect pint of Guinness or glass of whiskey but as there are no food options, it’s best to eat in Belmullet when passing on route.
Day 5: Blacksod – Bangor Erris
Distance: 40 km
After a big Irish breakfast, you are set up for the day! This day will direct you inland where you explore the countryside and head inland to explore the region of Erris- voted as Ireland’s Best Place to Go Wild. You will cycle again through Belmullet town where you can stock up on ‘fuel’ and it’s then back on the saddle for a short but spectacularly wild spin into the country village of Bangor where you will receive a warm Irish welcome from your hosts and in the local bars.
Day 6: Bangor Erris – Achill Island
Distance: 45 km
Fill up on a typical Irish breakfast and continue into the wilds of Mayo, passing through the spectacular Ballycroy National Park. Here you can stop off for a free heritage tour and enjoy a coffee and homemade treat in the Ginger and Wild café. It’s then back on the road to re-join the rugged coastline of Mayo where you will arrive in the small idyllic coastal village of Mulranny. Following the marked greenway from Mulranny to Achill, it’s an old railway line that is now reopened just for cyclists who want to explore. Get ready to be amazed as you experience what it is like to live on an island off an island! Touring around Achill island, discover the hidden golden beaches, stop off at the old deserted villages and discover the Irish culture. Call into one of the local bars for a traditional Irish stew and pint of Guinness and call back again later to chat with the locals while listening to traditional music and watching the locals dancing. At the end of a breath-taking day, relax back at your friendly guest house, and over a hot whiskey, share your stories of your Wild Atlantic Way cycle with new friends.
Day 7: Achill Island
If you have enough energy, get up to watch the sunrise over Clare island- you will be awestruck. After breakfast, you can choose one of the many coastal cycle routes to explore more of the spectacular views where the cliffs edge falls into wild Atlantic Ocean, a cycle down to Keem beach is not to be missed. However, be careful of the friendliest sheep in Ireland, they like to jump out to say hello. There are lots of cultural options, you can go and learn how Achill sea salt is produced, visit the heritage centre and take the time to have a pint and chat with the locals in the pub.
Day 8: Achill- Westport
Today, you will leave Achill island and follow the Great Western Greenway passing by the beautiful country villages of Mulranny and Newport and then onto the colourful dynamic town of Westport. This is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland and hugs along Clew bay with views of some of Ireland’s most dramatic mountains.
This path was a railway line which closed in 1937 and is now a safe paradise for cyclists and walkers. Westport has been voted for the last 5 years the best place to live in Ireland and for good reason. Be sure to take the time to explore the town and stop off in Matt Molloy’s pub for a pint of Guinness and listen to the traditional music.
Day 9: Westport- Ballina
Enjoy a long relaxing breakfast before getting back on the saddle for the last day. Today, you will pass by the town of Castlebar and follow the lakes road that meanders through the valleys, Mayo’s three famous fishing lakes with the backdrop of the dramatic Nephin mountain range. On arriving back into Ballina, you will follow the road along the River Moy back to Brigown Bed & Breakfast, where your Mayo adventure started. Take off your shoes, put your feet up and your host will be there to welcome you with an Irish coffee and homemade scones.
Day 10: Departure
After Marjorie’s delicious breakfast, you will be transferred to Ballina bus or train station to start your trip home.
PRICES for 2019
Included in price:
- Nine nights’ accommodation in specially selected luxury Bed & Breakfasts & hotels. All breakfasts are included
- GPS tracking & route card for each day
- Descriptive itinerary with suggested cultural and food stop offs
- Complimentary private transfer to and from Knock airport
- Local guide for first half day cycling and cultural adventure
- Traditional Irish meal in Marjorie’s kitchen at Brigown Bed & Breakfast
- Complimentary Rachel’s Irish Adventures t-shirt
- 24 hour emergency phone number
Bike rental (8 days)
- Giant Hybrid city disc escape €195
- Giant E-bike €275
- Set of 25 litre fully waterproof Ortlieb panniers €55
All bikes are new 2019 models with hydraulic disc brakes and come equipped with front phone GPS mount. We provide a helmet, lock, pump, spare tube and basic repair kit.
Extra activity options (per person)
- Bag transfer each day, weekly price €220
- Rachel’s Whiskey Appreciation Session €30
- Baking lesson in Marjorie’s kitchen €50
- Guided hike up Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick €110
- Day trip to Clare Island €180
All cycling experiences can be adapted to meet your needs. Contact Rachel for more information.Contact Rachel to book this adventure!