Gourmet Connemara Tour

[wptabs style=”wpui-green” mode=”horizontal”]  [wptabtitle] <big>Gourmet Connemara Tour </big> [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Connemara’s hundreds of lakes, rivers and mountain lands combine to provide the choicest food – fresh lobsters, lamb, mussels, clams, scallops, venison, salmon and trout, quail and guinea fowl. Savour the best natural flavours along the Connemara coast, experience it’s rich history, picturesque scenery and outstanding gastronomy while staying in some of Ireland’s best hotels.

The magic of Ireland is found not only in the breathtaking scenery, but also in the unique warmth of the Irish people. On this tour you will have the chance to experience both. At the end of each day, you will dine in award winning restaurants, hand picked for their passionate chefs who create innovative menus with the finest locally sourced produce. We provide you with accommodation in sumptuous castles and manor house hotels, as well as bikes and any equipment that is needed. Your luggage is transferred each day in order to lighten the load. A full itinerary, maps, and suggested options are also part of this attractive package.

Tour Price 2015:

Accommodation: From €1795.00 per person sharing. 
Single Rate €2095 – only available as part of a group of two or more.

Duration: 7 Days /6 Nights
Availability 2015: This tour starts any day between April and October.
Level: Gentle, some occasional hill, average of 45km daily with shorter and longer options available on most days..
Bicycle: Hybrid upgrade bike included (front suspension)
Equipment: Side panniers (if required), water bottles, bicycle repair-kits and lock. Helmets not provided
Extras: Route notes and OSI maps (1:50,000), ticket for Kylemore Abbey.
Meeting Point : Collection from Galway, Westport or Knock Airport on day of arrival, taxi from your last night’s accommodation back to Galway, Westport or Knock Airport
Departure Point: You depart from your last night’s accommodation where your taxi will come to pick you up and drive you back to Galway, Westport or Knock Airport.
Transfers: All luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation.
Meals:6 gourmet dinners, all Irish breakfasts

Accommodation: 4* Hotels and Castles/Manors

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle] <big>Tour Itinerary</big>  [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: You will be picked up from Galway, Westport or Knock Airport and brought to your accommodation at Lough Inagh, a wonderful secluded valley in the Connemara Mountains. Your meal tonight will be in Lough Inagh Lodge, a rebuilt fishing lodge. On the shores of a freshwater lough, seafood and game is a speciality in the restaurant with delicious home-baked bread at all meals. We will be in touch with you on the day of arrival to answer any questions you may have about your tour. Your bicycles, equipment, route notes and maps will be waiting for you at your accommodation on arrival.

Day 2: From Lough Inagh to Renvyle – 30 Kms Today you can take a cycle through stunning scenery around the coast, passing the pristine white sands of Glassilaun & Lettergesh beaches. Your journey will take you to the Renvyle Peninsula, which is steeped in history and has many interesting archaeological sites. It is also renowned for its beaches and spectacular views of the Twelve Bens mountain range. You will be spending two nights in Renvyle and will dine each night in the multi-award winning restaurant in the historic Renvyle House Hotel.

Day 3: Around Renvyle Peninsula-10 to 35kms depending on option After a hearty breakfast you will begin your cycle, passing through Tullycross with its many thatched cottages and meander along the coast passing through Letterfrack. Letterfrack is home to Connemara National Park, which has lots of information on the flora and fauna of Connemara with exhibitions, audiovisual shows and tearooms. You will visit the world famous Kylemore Abbey, a gothic fairytale lakeside castle lodged in a wooded hillside. It is the site of one of Ireland’s finest gardens – the six-acre Victorian walled garden at Kylemore, created by Mitchell Henry in tandem with the building of Kylemore Castle in 1867. It won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award for Gardens in 2000.You will return to Renvyle along leafy back roads to enjoy another evening of fine dining in the Renvyle House Hotel.

Day 4: From Renvyle to Clifden 45kms Today you cycle to Clifden, often called the ‘Capital of Connemara’. There are various route options available, the shortest being 25km, with the longest (passing through Cleggan and Aughrisbeg) over 50km. Do not miss the cycle around the Sky Road, offering you wonderful views over the Atlantic and the islands lying just offshore. We recommend that you stop for an independent lunch in the Bridgestone awarded Steam café, with delicious organic homegrown salads and homemade soups and desserts served with a fine selection of coffees and teas. You will have a chance to explore the town & settle into your accommodation before enjoying your dinner at Mitchell’s restaurant in Clifden this evening.

Day 5: From Clifden to Ballynahinch -33kms Well-rested & well-fed, you will begin your day cycling along the lake-strewn bog road to Ballyconneely. Here you can visit the acclaimed Connemara Smokehouse, where the owner, Graham Roberts, specializes in wild and organic salmon, smoked and marinated. Traditional production methods and very high quality seafood are the priority. Roberts is one of Rick Stein’s food heroes and his smoked tuna appears in Stein’s restaurant. Afterwards you will continue on your journey to Roundstone, a scenic fishing village in South Connemara, famous through the work of many well known painters. They have been attracted here by its picturesque harbour and wonderful outlook across a deep inlet of the Atlantic to the ever-changing peaks of the Twelve Bens. This evening you will be staying in Ballynahinch Castle, dining at the renowned Owenmore restaurant in Ballynahinch Castle Hotel.

Day 6: From Ballynahinch to Cong-52kms: Your target today is the village of Cong. You cycle over the Maam Valley pass and along the shores of Lough Corrib, where the ruins of a castle are still visible on one of the islands in the lake, famed for its fishing. Cycle through the villages of Cornamona and Clonbur before arriving in Cong, where the film “The Quiet Man” was shot  in 1952. Cong has a number of historical sites including an inscribed stone cross (14th century) and the ruins of Ashford Abbey, founded in 1128. Tonight you stay and dine in Ashford Castle, one of Ireland’s finest hotels, and former residence of the Guinness family.

Day 7: Breakfast and departure with your taxi back to Galway, Westport or Knock Airport.

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