Wild Atlantic Coast

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The Wild Atlantic Coast Tour involves cycling through some of the most remote and rugged scenery that Connemara on the west coast of Ireland has to offer. This tour will also bring you along part of the stunning Wild Atlantic Way. The distances are short enough to allow reflection, exploration and the chance to really absorb the tranquil atmosphere of this wild paradise.

You will cycle along rocky coastal ways through fishing villages, deep valleys and around rugged peninsulas. A trip to Inisbofin island, where life has been maintained under the influence of the wild Atlantic and their own tradtional ways, is also part of this tour. Accommodation is provided in country manors and luxury hotels in stunning locations. Route descriptions, local information and maps are provided.

Tour Price 2015:

From €1245.00 per person sharing. €1745 – Single traveller rate.

Duration:7 days (6 nights)
Tour Dates 2015:Any day between April and October
Level:Easy cycling days with an average of 25-40km a day with longer and shorter options available on most days.
Bicycle:Hybrid upgrade bike included (front suspension)
Equipment:Helmets, front handlebar bag, side panniers (if required), water bottles, bicycle repair-kits, and locks.
Accommodation:4* hotels and manors/castle
Meals:Irish breakfasts, dinner in Renvyle House on day four
Transfers:Taxi from Galway, Westport or Knock Airport to Ballynahinch Castle Hotel on arrival day.All luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
Miscellaneous:Route notes and OSI maps (1:50,000), ferry return ticket for Inishbofin Island, Gold Experience package at the Plaza Hotel in Wesport
Arrival Point:Your taxi will come and pick you up in Galway, Westport or at Knock Airport to drive you to your first night’s accommodation where a Connemara Adventure Tours representative will meet you on either the afternoon of your arrival or the following morning.
Departure Point:You depart from your last night’s accommodation in Westport.


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Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Ballynahinch. You will be transferred by us from either Galway, Westport or Knock Airport to your accommodation for the first 2 nights of this tour at Ballynahinch Castle. Set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks this elegant, unpretentious four star castle hotel stands proud, as the castle has done for centuries past. Nestled in the heart of wildest Connemara it is a haven of fine dining, undiluted peace and utter luxury. We will meet you either on the evening of arrival or the following morning (depending on your arrival time) to go through your itinerary and answer any questions you have about your tour. All bikes and equipment will be delivered to your hotel and we will make sure that everything fits you perfectly!

Day 2: Ballynahinch. Today you can choose to enjoy the pleasures of the magnificent estate at Ballynahinch at the foot of the Twelve Bens mountain range. Fishing, walking and hiking are all within easy reach. Alternatively for an added cycle route you can further explore this area of Connemara via a looped cycle through the villages of Roundstone and Ballyconneely. At Ballyconneely  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. 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. From Roundstone you will complete today’s cycle loop returning to Ballynahinch.

Day 3: Ballynahinch to Cleggan and Inishbofin. Your third day will bring you from Ballynahinch to the coastal fishing village of Cleggan. This is the departure point for the ferry to Inishbofin island, your destination for tonight. Your cycle route will take you to Clifden and then along the Sky Road which offers panoramic sea views across the Atlantic with dropping rugged coastlines beneath you. Pausing at the vantage points you will be able to see all of Clifden Bay and its many islands stretching out before you. You will then follow the Bog Road across areas of native peatland to reach the village of Cleggan, The journey to Inishbofin is approximately 30mins. The island is peppered with ancient sites, including the ruins of Cromwell’s promontary fort and gaol, set high above the crashing waves at the entrance to the Island’s harbour. Today the island has a population of about 200 poeple. Its meandering laneways, soft, sandy beaches and old stone walls contribute to the feeling of stepping back in time. The Inishbofin House Hotel & Marine Spa is a small oasis of comfort and modern hospitality but with that very special island welcome for its guests.

Day 4: Cleggan to Renvyle. Back on the mainland there is still plenty to explore on this relatively short cycle to the Renvyle peninsula and your accommodation for tonight at the Renvyle House Hotel. Renvyle House is an historic country house hotel, situated on the Wild Atlantic Way in the untouched splendour of Connemara along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel is located on 150 acres, which include a private lake, a 9-hole golf course, a beach, woodlands, gardens and numerous activities on site. It is an award-winning hotel for hospitality and delights in encouraging its guests to do as little or as much as they wish. Some of the leisure facilities you will find on the grounds of Renvyle House Hotel include free golf, free tennis, free swimming pool, free fly-fishing, snooker and croquet, with clay pigeon shooting also available at a charge per guest.  Along the way  you will be passing by the Connemara National Park in the village of Letterfrack. If you have time you could have a walk in the park or take a look at the ever-informative visitor centre. Dinner is included for you in Renvyle House on this night so relax, enjoy and sleep well!

Day 5: Renvyle to Delphi. Making your way from the Renvyle peninsula you will pass through the pretty village of Tullycross with its traditional thatched cottages. After leaving Letterfrack you will soon come to Kylemore Abbey. One of Ireland’s top visitor attractions, this gothic fairytale lakeside castle is the site of one of Ireland’s finest gardens. The six-acre Victorian walled garden at Kylemore was created by Mitchell Henry in tandem with the building of Kylemore Castle in 1867.  Today’s cycle route will bring you along the coast again as far as Killary Fjord, which is said to be the only fjord in Ireland and is certainly the most arresting. Steep-sided and deep-basined, you will be able to take full advantage of every angle of this majestic natural wonder as you follow along the side of it bringing you from Co Galway to Co Mayo. Your resting place for tonight, Delphi Mountain Resort, opens up before you as you round the final corner into the Delphi Valley. Try to get there early so you will have a chance to fully enjoy this truly unique four star hotel. The stone-clad facade and sensitive architectural design of the hotel blend seamlessly with the rugged surrounds of the Delphi Valley. Inside quiet colours, natural stone and wood, open turf fires and a sublime feeling of shutting the world outside, await you.

Day 6: Delphi to Westport. Day six will begin with a delicious wholesome breakfast to fortify you for the day ahead. Leaving the Delphi Valley you will make your way through the even more dramatic Doolough Valley following the winding road by the lake and past rugged, unpopulated landscapes to bring you to the coastal town of Louisburgh. There you might choose to stop to absorb the rhythms of a typical west of Ireland town as it goes about life at a gentle pace. The road then continues along the shores of Clew Bay past historical sites such as the 14thcentury Murrisk Abbey and the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick, continuing on to the charming town of Westport. Your stay in Westport will be at the Westport Plaza hotel. With every aspect of comfort, opulence and four star service taken care of at the Plaza you will be able to enjoy both its quality of hospitality and also its convenient location to all the town has to offer. The Gold Experience at the Plaza includes an hour in their inspirational thermal suite allowing you to cleanse the road from your body and mind.

Day 7: Breakfast, followed by farewell and departure!

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