Having cycled all over Ireland, we have found the western coast region including the Burren, Aran Islands and Connemara to have the most spectacular scenery, with a tremendous abundance of historical monuments, a rich and unique culture, warm and inviting people, and surprisingly few tourists. The hotels and food are a highlight with genuine hospitality. This is one of our favourite tours!

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
  • A view you will never forget: the one from the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most stunning in Ireland.
  • Learn about the archaelogical wonders of Dun Aengus, the prehistoric stone forts, from a local expert.
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks.
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.

Location

Doolin

Doolin, Ireland

Day 1+2

Aran Islands

Aran Islands, Galway, Ireland

Day 3+4

Cashel

Cashel

Day 5+6

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

May 5-11
June 5-11
June 16-22
July 3-9
August 17-23
August 31-September 6

2020

May 3-9
June 7-13
June 14-20
July 1-7
August 15-21
August 29-4

Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days/ 6 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Ennis/Galway

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Easygoing/ Moderate
20-40+ miles daily

TERRAIN

Mostly level with some rolling hills.

COST

Land Cost (current year):
US $2550
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $630

Bike Rental:
US $180

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

Getting there :
Ennis – We recommend flying into Shannon airport; we’ll suggest hotels for the night before the tour start in the historical center.


1

Day 1-2

Doolin

We start our trip cycling along quiet roads, past enchanting lakes that will give a good introduction to the region. We’ll explore the magical Burren, where megalithic tombs and stone forts are in abundance. In Doolin, we’ll listen to traditional fiddle music at sessions that are authentic and lively. Our hotel here boasts views of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. On our second day, we’ll ride the coast road to Ballyvaughan, and after lunch visit prehistoric caves and taste Burren cheese along the way to Lisdoonvarna and back to Doolin. Dinner will be at acclaimed restaurants that will challenge any pre-conceptions you might have had about Irish cuisine.

2

Day 3-4

Aran Islands

We’ll start our day cycling to the Cliffs of Moher where we’ll marvel at a view that is nothing short of spectacular. Mid-morning, we’ll ferry to Aran Islands. No visit to this part of Ireland would be complete without a visist to Inishmore, where horse-drawn carriages greet visitors, and everyone (including the locals) ride bikes. We’ll stay at a charming B&B/lodge that has hosted guests for over 60 years. On our second day here, we’ll explore more of the island by bike and have an opportunity to climb up to Dun Aengus to learn about this prehistoric stone fort, with a local expert. Dinner one night will be the Man of Aran Cottage Inn, where chef/owner Maura Wolfe, trained in London in the culinary arts demonstrates with organic produce from their garden once again that the Irish can cook!

3

Day 5-6

Cashel

After a short ferry ride to Rosaveel, we’ll continue past monastic remains in lush countryside on rural roads to Cashel and the luxurious Zetland House Hotel. Next day, our ride continues to Clifden, under the dramatic Twelve Bens mountains. Along the way, we’ll visit Roundstone, where the bodhraninstruments are still made by hand and a loop ride along Skye Road, arguably one of the the most scenic routes in Ireland. Back at the Zetland Hotel, we’ll enjoy the comforts of the hotels large lounge in front of a cozy fire before final night festivities.

4

Day 7

Transfer to Galway for flights or extended stay.

Atlantic View House, Doolin

A family run hotel with spectacular views of the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, the Atlantic View House has been recently refurbished to a very high standard. The O’Brien’s have been welcoming guests here since 1974 and with just 12 tastefully decorated rooms they offer comfortable intimate lodging and a friendly welcome.


Kilmurvey House, Aran Islands

This venerable B&B is steeped in history and has been hosting guests for over 3 generations. This eighteenth century home has been recently renovated to the highest standards while maintaining its old style charm. Recent guests have included Hollywood celebrities who come, as we do, for the wonderful hospitality.


Zetland House , Cashel

Built in 1850 as a fishing lodge for Ballynahinch Castle, this hotel has been recently refurbished and under new management. There are large grounds with tennis courts, large billiard lounge, and a pub next door. The restaurant boasts views over Cashel Bay and fruit and vegetables come from the property.



			

Trip Reviews

September 23, 2008

“The cycling, weather, acommodations, and food were all better than expected.”

June 17, 2012

“Our guide was very good and he did his best to insure our safety and confort.”

August 22, 2013

“The scenery and the people of Ireland were better than we could ask for. It is why we want to go back again. The trip was planned perfectly and made it all the more enjoyable. Brian was a great guide and he helped make the trip more memorable.”

December 5, 2018

“Can’t believe how beautiful Ireland is. Beautiful routes and we lucked out on the weather.”

December 5, 2018

“It was a wonderful trip! I really liked our guide. I heard from others that these rides are better when we have 2 guides, but I didn’t now that and felt fine.”

December 5, 2018

“I had only been on one group active vacation in the past. I came with open mind without set expectations except to have a great time. Mission accomplished! Far exceeded expectations in terms of beautiful scenery for biking. Particularly Connemara. We had a great group camaraderie (easy because we knew each other). The riding scenery was fantastic.”

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