Explore the West of Ireland by bike with your local guide
Fully Guided Tour | June 8th-15th 2019 | BOOK NOW
Your local guide is waiting for you on this fully supported cycling adventure of a lifetime! Experience a week of scenic cycling in the west of Ireland. Connemara, Mayo and Sligo explore some of Ireland’s most spectacular golden beaches, cliff lined coastline, pristine lakes and majestic mountains. You will discover the Irish culture and the local way of life as you pass by coastal fishing ports, stop off at sheep farms and of course enjoy traditional Irish music in the lively country pubs. Get ready to tantalise your taste buds with the local cuisine, enjoy fresh Wild Atlantic salmon, traditional Irish stew and wash it down with an Irish coffee
- A fun, local and experienced guide to get you off the beaten track + into the wild
- An unspoilt, spectacular and undiscovered part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
- Stunning landscape and a coastline enriched with heritage and culture
- The perfect Irish welcome, immerse with the locals and enjoy the ‘craic’
- Cycle on Ireland’s largest island and discover Europe’s highest cliffs
Day 1: Westport
Your Mayo cycling adventure will start in the vibrant and colourful town of Westport and your guide will collect you from the bus or train station to take you to your accommodation. We’ll discuss the week of ahead and get the bikes fitted and ready for a week of exploring Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way and hidden valleys. That evening, we’ll enjoy a delicious meal together and finish the evening with live music and a pint of Guinness in a traditional Irish pub. Westport has been voted on several occasions as the best place to live in Ireland and is known for its cosy lively pubs and friendly people.
Day 2: Westport + surrounding
After a delicious Irish breakfast, you will be on the bike for a scenic coastal ride, passing Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick where we will stop off and learn about the tales of St. Patrick and the Great Irish Famine. Continuing along, hugging the spectacular Clew Bay and it’s 365 islands, you will see the famous salmon farms and stunning cliff lined beaches. We will pass through an idyllic county village called Louisbourg before heading inland towards a more farmland area. We’ll stop off at Glenkeen farm where you will see the sheep dogs in action and if you want you can even pick up the lambs. There will be time to enjoy a coffee and one of their delicious homemade scones. It’s then back on the bike passing through the idyllic Doolough Valley and follow the road around Killary harbour until we reach the Aasleagh Falls- Mayo’s Iconic waterfall. Here we’ll enjoy our picnic, tasting the flavours of local produce and homemade treats. A short cycle back to Westport and you can relax in the jacuzzi, go for a swim or go for a browse around Westport town and experience the Irish welcome in one the cosy traditional pubs. This will be a free evening where you can explore the pubs and dine in one of the many restaurants.
Day 3: Westport – Achill island
Today, we leave Westport and follow the Great Western Greenway to Achill island. This is Ireland’s longest off-road walking and cycling trail and is traffic free, it’s an old railway line that closed down in 1937 and is now a safe haven to cyclists. We’ll pass the picturesque villages of Newport and Mulranny where we will stop off to learn about the local culture and traditions. Passing through the valleys, you will witness some of Ireland’s most dramatic mountain ranges that drop into the Atlantic Ocean. On route, we will stop off for a picnic lunch, tasting the many local specialties while enjoying the panoramic views. Achill island is Ireland’s largest island and is joined by a bridge. It is rich in culture and heritage and is a paradise for the outdoors enthusiast. Your accommodation is at the bottom of the Slievemor mountain and looking onto the ocean and Clare Island, each room is specially decorated to a theme and the atmosphere is relaxed and interactive. Dinner will be served in an informal, fun and interactive atmosphere, you should try their Irish pizza!
Day 4: Achill Island
Choice of distances
Waking up on an island off an island is something special. After a hearty breakfast overlooking the ocean, it’s back on the bike to explore the island. There will be plenty of stop offs to learn about the local culture and many craft products. We will take a tour in the Achill sea salt factory, visit the Deserted Village and stop off to enjoy a picnic lunch at the picturesque Keem beach. This day can be as easy or as challenging as you wish as there are many marked routes to choose from. You could also explore one of the many hiking trails, surf the wild waves or simply just chill out on one of the golden beaches. The evening is free for you to explore one of the local bars and enjoy the local food and friendly atmosphere.
Day 5: Achill Island – Ballina
Distance: 45km or 120km
After breakfast, it’s a scenic cycle off the island and through the stunning Ballycroy National Park. We’ll stop off on route at the National Park centre to learn about the flora, fauna, wildlife and steepened history that still lives on today. We can also indulge on a delicious homemade treat and coffee at the Ginger café. A short ride onto Bangor Erris and here there is the option to get on the bus for a guided tour along Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way or for the more energetic, to continue on by bike. We’ll stop off at the Ceide Field’s- the oldest neolithical site in the world and talk a stroll to see the spectacular sea stack of Dun Briste at Down Patrick head. It’s then back to Ballina where you will stay for 3 nights in a beautiful hotel with full leisure and spa facilities. That evening, we’ll enjoy dinner in your hotel and for those with more energy, it’s a beautiful 10 minute walk into town where you can explore one of the 42 local bars.
Day 6: The lakes tour
Distance: 45 km
Wake up your taste buds with a delicious wholesome breakfast.
Today, we will go in the direction of Lough Conn, here there are three pristine lakes famous for trout and salmon and with the beautiful Nephin mountain range at 806 metres shadowing in the background. We’ll stop off for an early picnic lunch in an idyllic setting overlooking the beautiful Lough Cullin. It’s then a short bike ride to The Foxford Woollen Mills, where you can take a tour to discover the production and story behind the woollen industry, enjoy a coffee and treat in their award winning café or pick up a few local presents to take back home. It’s then back on the bike to follow the country road along the Ox mountain range and finish up in Ballina.
In the afternoon, you will have time to visit the Jackie Clarke Irish history museum, take a tour of Belleek castle, go for a spa treatment or just relax back and enjoy the tranquillity. Before dinner, you are in for a treat! You can sit back and enjoy the experience of Rachel’s Whiskey Appreciation Session where you will learn about the Irish whiskey industry and explore four specially selected whiskey. You will leave knowing what style of whiskey you like and why and will certainly have worked up an appetite for dinner. This evening, you are free to dine in one of the many restaurants in Ballina.
Day 7: Countryside to the beach
Distance: 35 or 75km
Wake up to another delicious Irish breakfast, why not try the scrambled egg and smoked salmon or the Irish fry up? Today we are off to cycle in county Sligo. Following along the quiet country roads until we pass the farming village of Bonniconlin where there will be the option to take a short cut into Enniscrone to wait for the rest of the group. For those choosing the longer route, we will cycle alongside the beautiful Lough Talt and Lough Easkey and meander through the windy gap of the Ox mountain range. Beware of our friendly sheep as they don’t like to stay in the fields! We will continue along the country roads until we hit the surf village of Easkey and beach town Enniscrone. Here you will have views along the 3km unspoilt golden sandy beach and if you have very good eyesight, it’s next stop New York! We’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the beach while we watch the surfers catch the waves. It’s then a 7km scenic cycle along the coastline before we land back at your accommodation. In the afternoon, there will be the option of experiencing an interactive and entertaining baking lesson in Marjorie’s kitchen (Rachel’s Mam) to learn how to bake some of the treats you have enjoyed during the week. This evening we will all dine together in Crockets on the Quay and talk about the fun moments and stories while enjoying a local beer and/or whiskey.
Day 8: Departure
After a big Irish breakfast, you will be transferred to the bus or train station.
PRICES for 2019
Included in price:
- Fully guided cycling adventure with back up van on support
- A variety of spectacular cycling routes aimed at the culturally curious
- 7 nights accommodation in specially selected Bed & Breakfasts & hotel
- All breakfasts, 6 gourmet picnic lunches and 4 evening meals
- Rachel’s Whiskey Appreciation Session
- Sheep dog show at Glenkeen farm
- Organisation of extra activities
- Complimentary Rachel’s Irish Adventures t-shirt
- 3 evening meals
- Purchases and activities outside the listed itinerary
Airport transfer can be organised at an extra cost
Bike rental (per week)
- Giant Hybrid city disc escape €175
- Giant E-bike €245
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.
Book Now and Pay Deposit
Contact Rachel to create your Irish adventure of a lifetime!