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Tour

Award winning cycling tours of Ireland and Europe

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Email: info@cyclingsafaris.com

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Ireland - Connemara, Best of the West

Price from €885 per person

Degree of difficulty -

Start: GALWAY CITY

Finish: GALWAY CITY

Daily Ave: 40-52km

Weekly Ave: 202-260km

Self

Guided

Group

Tours

Terrain: This tour does not involve any major climbs and it is a good option for those looking to take it a bit easier.

Due to the incredible popularity of Connemara as a cycling destination,  we have two tours running in this beautiful part of the country.   The other tour in this area is Connemara,  Galway & Mayo

On the Connemara - Best of the West trip we take in some of the best that Connemara has to offer including Killary Harbour and the stunning Delphi Valley and the beautiful town of Westport.  However we head north into Mayo and cycle along the lovely Greenways Cycle towards the island of Achill. We have a chance to explore Achill with its stunning beaches before finishing up our tour cycling on quiet backroads to the Museum of Country Life near Castlebar. A transfer at the of the week brings us back to the start point, the city of Galway.

This is an easier cycle, there is one day of climbing on our Connemara, Galway & Mayo tour which is not on this tour. Also mileage on this tour is a little lower which makes it a more suitable cycle for younger legs.   There are also options to take a break from cycling on a number of days,  for example we arrive early in Leenane and you have the choice of relaxing in the hotel spa or you can keep cycling on some fantastic routes.


Tour Itinerary

7 Night Tour

Day
1

Galway City / Clonbur image 1

Galway City / Clonbur

When you arrive in Galway make your way to your accommodation anytime after 2.00pm.You can then explore this bustling medieval city.

On our self guided tours you spend the night in Galway city.
On the set departure dates you will get a transfer at 6.30pm out to Clonbur where you will stay for the night.

Galway City / Clonbur image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
2

Galway / Cong to Leenane ( 35kms ) image 1

Galway / Cong to Leenane ( 35kms )

In the morning a local taxi operator will meet you at the guesthouse and transfer you to Cong (near Clonbur) where the cycle starts on your bikes! You head north along quiet back roads through rolling green fields full of grazing sheep. You cycle along beautiful backroads via Lough Nafooey, en route to our overnight accommodation, the small village of Leenane looking out over Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. There is an option in the afternoon of cycling to the beautiful Kylemore Abbey or else relaxing in the spa in our hotel!

Galway / Cong to Leenane ( 35kms ) image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
3

Leenane to Westport ( 52 kms ) image 1

Leenane to Westport ( 52 kms )

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 we continue on our 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.

Leenane to Westport ( 52 kms ) image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
4

Rest day in Westport image 1

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, or there are 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.

Rest day in Westport image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
5

Westport to Achill Island - Greenway Cycle ( 54kms ) image 1

Westport to Achill Island - Greenway Cycle ( 54kms )

Another highlight of the trip is todays 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 we are spending the night.

Westport to Achill Island - Greenway Cycle ( 54kms ) image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
6

Achill Island Roundtrip 14km, 47km, 72kms ( different options! ) image 1

Achill Island Roundtrip 14km, 47km, 72kms ( different options! )

You spend your day exploring Achill Island where there are so many options for cycling. There 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.

Achill Island Roundtrip 14km, 47km, 72kms ( different options! ) image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
7

Achill Island via “Museum of Country Life” in Castlebar - Galway 47kms image 1

Achill Island via “Museum of Country Life” in Castlebar - Galway 47kms

The first 17km of our day we head back on the Greenway cycle ( there is only one way realistically in and out, which is lucky it is so lovely! ) 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 of Castlebar where there is a nice coffee shop and where you can visit the museum. A taxi will meet you here mid-afternoon and bring you back to Galway city for a final night on the trip.

Achill Island via “Museum of Country Life” in Castlebar - Galway 47kms image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
8

Awaiting Acommoation Image

Galway departure

Tour finishes after breakfast the next morning.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

Prices / Dates

2020 TOUR PRICE (GUIDED & SELF GUIDED)
€885.00 per person sharing in off peak
€920.00 per person sharing in July & August
€255.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€395.00 solo traveller supplement (if travelling alone)

Tour Includes

- 7 nights accommodation with breakfast ( mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal
- Bike rental with pannier bag, lock, repair kit, bottle holder
- Guide in a support van (on group tours)
- Helmet rental (on group tours)
- Luggage transfer
- All route details and maps 
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:
Helmet rental on self guided tours (on request only): €10 
E-bike supplement: €100 (on request only, subject to availability)

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)

30-May,
11-July,
8-August,

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tours are available from 18th April to 3rd October and can start any day of the week.

Accommodation

(Subject to availability)

CLONBUR image 1

CLONBUR

Fairhill House Hotel Clonbur 

Fairhill Hotel is nestled in between Lough Corrib and Lough mask two of Ireland best fishing Loughs 

The hotel has a great bar with lots of traditional music nights and a lager section of whiskeys along with some of the freshest salmon in Ireland straight from the loughs- makes this a memorable place to spend the night.

CLONBUR image 2
LEENANE image 1

LEENANE

Leenane Hotel 

Against a backdrop of mountains and on the shore of Killary Harbour, this traditional seasonal hotel occupies a 18th-century coaching inn.Low-key, individually decorated rooms come with mountain or harbour views.

A stylish restaurant with hardwood floors serves gastropub fare. There's also a bar and a cosy lounge with a fireplace.

LEENANE image 2
WESTPORT image 1

WESTPORT

Westport B&Bs

The B&Bs we use in Westport are away from the busy town and down on the quays by the ocean. They are often family run and offer an insight to the Irish home with some fantastic breakfast too.

WESTPORT image 2
ACHILL ISLAND image 1

ACHILL ISLAND

Achill Island Hotel is a new building built on the ground of the on old hotel that was a old coach house in the 1800s. The hotel has a warm and friendly atmosphere. The rooms are spacious with all the modern necessity's.  

ACHILL ISLAND image 2
GALWAY  image 1

GALWAY

In Galway we stay in a variation of small guesthouses which are located close to the beach and within walking distance to town centre.
Family run and a warm welcoming atmosphere make these guesthouses a highlight of any tour.

 

GALWAY  image 2

Travel

How to get to Galway:

It is possible to fly to either Dublin airport or Shannon airport. (Please note: Flying into Dublin airport will have more route options)

From Shannon aiport:
There is a bus service to Galway city available, approx €16 per person (Check BusEireann for info). Duration 1 hour 50 minutes.

From Dublin airport:
There are a number of Bus services that will take you directly from the airport to Galway( BusEireann or City Link )

Alternatively you can take the Airlink shuttle bus into Dublin city and transfer to a train to Galway city (€7 single ticket) - duration approx 40 minutes)

The Train to Galway takes approx 2hrs 20mins.  ( IrishRail )   

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Tour Reviews

We got back to Germany yesterday and here is our feedback: everything was just perfect, we feel there is nothing you could improve.
We had a lovely holiday and will certainly book another tour with you.

Thanks again for your kind support and thanks to all of the Cycling Safaris team for the great tours you offer. We will tell others about it.

Vera Muller (Connemara - Best of the West 2018)

We had an absolutely fabulous trip! Everything went as scheduled and planned - no glitches!
We have no complaints about the accommodations or the food! Our hosts were all warm and welcoming (My personal favourite was Maureen in Galway). Our luggage transfers all went very smoothly; pick-up and delivery were all on time and according to schedule. As well, we really enjoyed our taxi drivers that did the transfer to and from our start/end point - entertaining and knowledgeable about Ireland. We love our bikes! And we didn't even have any mechanical problems. We really enjoyed the few days we have spent in Dun Laoghaire and our stay at the Haddington.
You live in a beautiful country and it lived up to and exceeded all of our expectations!

Ken & Deb Chute (Connemara, Best of the West self guided 2017)

Once again we enjoyed travelling with Cycling Safaris very much. Every day was a pleasure to be out and cycling in the Connemara area. We were surprised by the Killary Fjord, the spectacular views and of course all the sheep we encountered at the side of the road and on the road! There are no words really to describe Achill Island, amazingly beautiful, and we enjoyed the hospitality at the Achill Island Hotel and especially the hotel/restaurant/pub.
Our special thanks to Stella of the Consilio B&B for her most delicious breakfast, warmth and kindness!

Marcel and Marga Schuit (Connemara, Best of the West self guided 2017)

On each day of our trip, the six of us commented about how impressed we were with the cycle tour. We all loved the bikes. Every single accommodation was good - including the breakfasts. Our luggage was always waiting for us at each destination. The map book was easy to follow and we appreciated the recommendations for places to stop and/or to eat. We especially liked the Blue Bicycle Tea Room.

Joan & Cam Zaremba (Connemara, Best of the West self guided 2017)

We had a lovely tour. The bikes were good quality and in nice working order. The route was well described and we had no problems following it. The accommodations were as we expected. The food was simply fantastic. Thanks for a great tour!

Abra & Holly (Connemara Best of the West 2016)

Everything went very smoothly. Accommodations were excellent, our luggage was always there when we arrived. The bikes were great. The ride was absolutely beautiful. All in all, everything was well organized and we had a fantastic time. 

Deborah & Cyril Marchildon (Connemara, Best of the West self led 2015)

Everything was fine on our recent trip. The bikes, organisation, the B&Bs, the route, maps, luggage transfers etc, all worked like clockwork and it was most enjoyable.
High points would be the warm welcome at the accommodation especially the B&Bs and also the beautiful scenery. The bikes and equipment were excellent.

Jon White (Connemara, Best of West self guided 2015)

Tour FAQ

What support do I get on this self guided tour?

On a self guided tour we will organize your bike hire, the accommodation and the luggage transfer. Your route details will be waiting for you in your first night’s accommodation. In the route details you will also find recommendations for lunch stops and places to have dinner. You will set off by yourself and the luggage will be transferred to the next stop by our local taxi transfers. And should there be a day you won’t be able to cycle, it is possible to arrange a lift with the luggage transfer.

You can also contact us in the office (info@cyclingsafaris.com) or on our emergency number if you need assistance.

You can start the cycling tour on any day that suits you.

If you prefer to cycle with a support van and/or guide we are happy to send you a customized quote for this.

On a self guided tour it is possible to add extra days or shorten the trip if you wish to or we can customize the route for you.

What support do I get on group tours / set departure tour dates?

Guide in a support van / no cycling guide

We offer set departure dates for group tour bookings. If we reach a minimum of 8 people on the set departure tour date the tour will be run with a guide in a support van.

The guide will meet you each morning to give you a short briefing for the day ahead. Then you can set off in small groups or individually. Each person has their own route details. Your guide will then collect the luggage and deliver the bags to the next night's accommodation before catching up with the group again. 

Although the guide will not be cycling with you, he or she will be driving the support van and will make a sweep to ensure that all is well, and offer lifts to those who want a break. 
This provides a sense of freedom in that you can travel at your own pace in the security that the guide is there for you in the event that you might need them. The guide will recommend places to eat and try to find out where the best entertainment is each night.

Most importantly, the guide sets the right tone to make you feel welcome to the country and to help you in whatever way possible so that each day you are free to leave your worries behind.

If we don’t reach the minimum of 8 bookings, this tour will go ahead as self guided version with luggage transfers via our local taxi companies. There might be others cycling the same route, but there won’t be a guide in a support van. However, you can always contact us in the office to get assistance and if you need a lift we can organize this for you.

What bikes are provided?

In 2020 we will be using Merida Crossway Urban 20-D bicycles for our tours. These are a 24 speed alloy frame & fork with twin hydraulic disc brakes. Each bike is fitted with muds, alloy pannier rack, kick stand & handle bar bag.
The pannier bags are waterproof 40 liter bags.

To see the specification for this you can visit the website:
https://www.merida-bikes.com/en-au/bike/157/crossway-urban-20-d

Bikes come in different sizes and in gents and ladies style frames.
It is very important you give us your height on booking so that we can allocate the correct bike to you.

For a supplement of €100 its possible to book an e-bike

We use Lapierre Overvolt Urban 300-Wh Electric bikes:
https://www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk/gamme/2019/e-bikes/lifestyle-e-bike/overvolt-urban-300-bosch-300wh
This Lapierre 300 Wh model bike has a range 70-100km kilometers on a fully charged battery, depending on the person's weight, hills, wind, road surface and setting they on the bike.

There are 3 setting: Eco - Normal - Turbo ( Eco will last long ) 120km

Our normal daily cycling route A to B is around 50km.

How fit do I need to be for the Connemara, Best of the West Tour?

Looking at a scale from 1 - 10 (1 = easiest, 10 = hardest) we are giving this tour 4 points.

Other than young children, whom we discourage from attending, people of all ages and abilities come on the tours, so do not worry if you are not super-fit. You have all day to cover the recommended route, and while Irish roads rarely follow a straight line, there are few really high climbs.
A great tour if you are looking to take it a bit easier! Still includes many of the highlights of Connemara and the "Greenway" cycle route, but there are more opportunities to take a break from cycling to indulge in some other pursuits. Unlike our other Irish Tours, on this trip you will stay two nights in Westport and also two nights on Achill Island. You have the option to cycle on the rest day or chose from other activies on offer.

The average daily cycling distance is around 34- 57 km. On this tour there are two rest days with options to cycle or to do something different instead. The cycle around Achill Islands is the most challenging on this trip.

Is GPS available?

We offer Garmin files on request, but you need to bring your own device.

What do bring on a tour?

We would seriously recommend that you bring padded cycling shorts and / or a gel saddle cover that will definitely make your day’s cycling more comfortable. Cycling gloves are also a good investment. You can also bring your own saddle which we should be able to attach to our bikes.
We provide 40l pannier bags (waterproof) in which you can keep your day-to-day items. Otherwise you may prefer to use a daypack and there are back carriers on each bike for this purpose.
We do not provide rain gear so be sure to bring your own light weight waterproofs.
Don’t forget sun cream, sunglasses, sun hat as well as a bathing suit for that refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
Our rental bikes don’t have lights – no problem on the long summer evenings, but if you are travelling in May or September, please bring your own light or high-visibility vest.
Finally if you wish to use toe clips please bring your own pedals with toe clips which we can attach to our bikes (the pedals on our bikes do not accommodate toe clips)

Can I upgrade accommodation?

You will be staying in Galway, Clonbur (group tour), Westport and Achill Island during this tour.
Please click here to see our sample accommodation list.
Its possible to upgrade the accommodation in Galway and/or Westport.

Prices / Dates

2020 TOUR PRICE (GUIDED & SELF GUIDED)
€885.00 per person sharing in off peak
€920.00 per person sharing in July & August
€255.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€395.00 solo traveller supplement (if travelling alone)

Tour Includes

- 7 nights accommodation with breakfast ( mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal
- Bike rental with pannier bag, lock, repair kit, bottle holder
- Guide in a support van (on group tours)
- Helmet rental (on group tours)
- Luggage transfer
- All route details and maps 
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:
Helmet rental on self guided tours (on request only): €10 
E-bike supplement: €100 (on request only, subject to availability)

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)

30-May,
11-July,
8-August,

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tours are available from 18th April to 3rd October and can start any day of the week.

 

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