The Clare/Galway tour that Paul McQuaid put together seven years ago is now famous. It was Celtic Trails’ first ever tour and has remained largely unchanged since, quite simply spectacular.
Look forward to the Cliffs of Moher, Golleen Bay, Loop Head, (one of the nicest stretches of road in the country), and of course Renvyle House, The Bog Road between Cashel and Clifden, and a host of other amazing sights. Of the three tours this one is the least difficult. The ‘undulations’ are quite gentle and the roads would be the easiest to ride.
Arrive into Shannon and be met by Celtic Trails. We spend our first night in Kinvarra.
We have a short bus ride this morning up to the far side of Galway. Reason is simple Galway is a big city and not very nice to cycle through. So we have a rendezvous point just the far side and from the moment we start cycling you will be on tiny, scenic, and very safe roads. Our first spin is out to a town called Clifden. A lively wee spot. Along the way we ride on some of the most remote roads imaginable. We are along the coast for much of the ride and to say it is spectacular would be an understatement.
Renvyle today. And we stay at none other than Renvyle House. Set right on the beach this place never fails to please our guests. It is also haunted so take that into consideration…. We leave Clifden at around 10ish and head down to Recess, left through Lough Inagh Valley and left again towards Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore was built in the 1800s and is now one of the most exclusive girls schools in Europe. We will have lunch in the Abbey. Look forward to it. After lunch we head out the peninsular to Renvyle and the road is just amazing. Twisty, gentle undulations and you’ll see more sheep and donkeys than cars.
Lots of people have told us today’s ride is the nicest. We ride along the coast to Leenane and it will just blow you away. Killary Harbour, on the way into Leenane was once the mooring point for the whole British Atlantic fleet as it is the only fjord on the west coast of Ireland or England. Now it is full of lobster pots, which we much prefer to battle ships! Our destination today is the village of Cong where the movie ‘The Quiet Man’ starring John Wayne was filmed. We stay right in the center so a wee walk down to the heritage center is recommended.
We have another short transfer this morning for the same reason as on day 2. Our starting point is in the very picturesque village of Kinvara, right on the edge of Galway Bay. Our spin today is 90% coastal, right around Galway Bay and then down the coast of County Clare to Lisdoonvarna. We stay in the Carrigan hotel tonight. Look forward to dinner.
We head up to the Cliffs of Moher today. The cliffs are the highlight of the tour for most people and there is not much more we can say about them other than they will take your breath away.
Our last spin takes us from Lisdoonvarna to Bunratty. We ride on quite different roads today, the countryside is much more lush and green than the days before. Quiet roads. Lovely wee rolling hills. And the last few miles are on tiny roads. Tonight we have the option of going to the medieval banquet in Bunratty castle or dining in Durty Nelly’s. Up to yourself. We offer the option of going to the banquet because it is not everybody’s cup of tea so rather than make it a definite part of the tour we decided to offer it as an option.