Clare and the Burren
Through a maze of small country roads, discover this land of exotic flowers, limestone plateaux and welcoming villages. Also as Easy Tour available!
Clare is the music centre of Ireland and on this tour you are sure to have your feet tapping to traditional tunes nearly every night of the week. The Burren region is also an amazing limestone moonscape, famous around the world for its wonderful variety of botany. The area is rich in ancient and early Christian historical sites and offers some beautiful coastal cycling overlooking Galway Bay. Finally Clare is home to the Cliffs of Moher the highest marine based cliffs in Europe and one of the best known images of Ireland.
Note: This tour is also available as an Self-led tour, starting any day except Saturday.
DAY 1 (Saturday) Arrival in Ennis
You meet up with the guide at 6.30pm in the West County Hotel, located on the N18 Limerick to Galway road. The Hotel is located on the left side as you enter Ennis from Limerick/Shannon. You can check in anytime after 2pm. If you arrive earlier you can leave your bags in the luggage room at the reception and then go for a stroll around the town. After an introductory talk, an evening meal is organised in the hotel.
DAY 2 (Sunday) Ennis to Spanish Point (48 km / 30 miles)
Having being fitted out with your bicycle, we head out towards West Clare, cycling along quiet country roads through rolling green fields, where we stay the night at Spanish Point named after those Spanish Ships from the Armada which sank here in 1588. We spend the night in a Hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean where the breakers roll in.
DAY 3 (Monday) Spanish Point to Doolin (46 km / 29 miles)
Cycling along quiet roads we eventually come to the popular holiday town of Lahinch where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher rising 660ft (200 m) up from the Atlantic waves below, making them the highest marine based cliffs in Europe. You can stroll along the cliff face and watch the birds gliding in the updraft. After visiting the cliffs we head to the village of Doolin. That night we have a pub meal and enjoy the wealth of traditional music for which the village is famous.
DAY 4 (Tuesday) Doolin to Ballyvaughan (50 km / 31 miles)
In the morning we begin to see the first hints of the limestone landscape of the Burren and visit the monastic site at Kilfenora and its stone high crosses. Kilfenora is also home to the Burren Heritage Centre which gives you an excellent insight into the formation and history of the Burren. Later we stop off for lunch at the matchmaking town of Lisdoonvarna. The afternoon's cycle is a beautiful run where the road hugs the coastline with Galway Bay and the Aran Islands on your left and the limestone cliffs of the Burren on your right. We stop for two nights in our comfortable Hotel in the seaside village of Ballyvaughan.
DAY 5 (Wednesday) Rest Day in Ballyvaughan
The day can be spent doing a wide variety of activities. The guide can organise a wonderful four-hour walking tour of the Burren with a local man who is a very entertaining character and an encyclopaedia of knowledge on the area. There is also an optional short cycle to the impressive ruins of a Cistercian Abbey or you can visit the nearby Ailwee Caves. Alternatively the day could be spent relaxing in this attractive village.
DAY 6 (Thursday) Ballyvaughan to Kinvara (38 km / 24 miles)
The cycle heads straight into the heart of the Burren where we visit the Burren's most famous historical sight, the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a small ancient burial site dating back to 2500BC. Veering off the beaten track we stop at the village of Carran for lunch in an old police barracks. In the afternoon we cycle through quiet backroads to visit the Burren Perfumery which makes a wide variety of perfumes using the local flora and has a wonderful slide show illustrating the beautiful and unique botany of this region. You then descend through a limestone lunar landscape to the pretty seaside village of Kinvara where we spend the night.
DAY 7 (Friday) Kinvara to Ennis
For the last day we head back into the Burren through another limestone moonscape, passing Lough Buny and the impressive Mullaghmore before stopping for lunch in Corafin. In the afternoon we visit a 16th Century Tower House and an even older monastic sight. This is also the site of the famous battle of Dysert O'Dea where the Irish Chieftains defeated the Normans and kept them out of Clare for another 200 years. We then cycle back into Ennis for a final farewell night on the town together, before heading our separate ways the following morning.
- June 11
- July 16
- August 6
- September 3
Easy Tour of Clare
This tour is specifically designed for those who wish to spend a little more time off the bike, with the cycling being more in the region of 18 - 25 miles (29 -40 km). There are also 2 rest days included.
The Easy Tour of Clare still takes in the more spectacular parts of the regular Clare tour. On the rest days there are opportunities to visit the beautiful Aran Islands, visit Ailwee Caves, explore the Burren on a wonderful walking tour or just relax on one of Clare's beaches.
This tour is also suitable for families.
This tour is also available as an Self-led tour, starting any day from April to October except Saturday.
What Your Guided Cycle Includes:
- 7 nights twin sharing accommodation with full Irish breakfast
- One evening meal (in Ballyvaughan)
- 21 speed touring bike with front handlebar bag
- Route maps and details
- Luggage transfer each day
- Support van and tour guide