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Ireland: Galway and Connemara Coast

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Explore the diverse landscapes, mystical wonder, and lively contemporary culture of the Emerald Isle on this comprehensive Ireland bike tour.

Guided Biking

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 5 - 33|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 3.5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
4.9 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$3,995

Bike Vacation Only

$2,995

(per person, double occupancy)

Ireland: Galway and Connemara Coast

The Emerald Isle is a many-faceted gem, as you’ll discover on this sparkling Ireland bike tour. You’ll roll by the lunar-like landscape of The Burren, the glimmering lakes and peat bogs of Connemara, and the unspoiled rocky coastline of Renvyle Peninsula. Probe the mystical heart of this magical country as you discover ancient tombs with a local historian and delve into the Druid culture of the Aran Islands. Generous included meals fuel your discoveries, and some of the country’s coziest small hotels offer a space to unwind and reflect on each exhilarating day.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain with moderate, rolling hills. Our VBT van support is always available for those who need assistance with the hills. Ideal for enthusiastic beginners to experienced cyclists.

Hybrid bicycles are recommended on this tour due to the weathered road conditions. Please note guests with E-bikes will not have an option to ride an E-bike on Aran Island because we use a separate fleet of bikes on that day.  

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 5 - 33|
  • Biking: 0.5 - 3.5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Discover The Burren on a guided tour led by a local historian.
  • Enter the mystical spirit of Noughaval as you wander among its ancient monuments, churches, and tombs.
  • Plunge into the bracing waters of the Atlantic Ocean on a refreshing swim.
  • Spin through Connemara, Ireland’s “Wild West” and home to the country’s famous peat bogs.
  • Roll past Kylemore Abbey, the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland.
  • Delight in the unspoiled coastline and sparkling waters of Renvyle Peninsula and the Aran Islands.
  • Fuel up on generous included meals—including hearty Irish breakfasts!

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Apr53º/41º

May58º/46º

Jun61º/51º

Jul65º/55º

Aug64º/54º

Sep61º/51º

Average
Precipitation:

Apr2.3 in

May2.1 in

Jun2.7 in

Jul2.1 in

Aug3.1 in

Sep2.8 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Ennis and one night in Dublin in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels and a guesthouse Check Check
12 meals: 6 Irish breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Mon, May 11 to Wed, May 20 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Depart from home for Ireland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Shannon airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area; VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please note: Make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.

As you enter the arrival hall, look for your VBT representative or driver, who will be holding a VBT sign. Please wait here while your representative helps make arrangements for your transfer to your hotel in Ennis (approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic).

In Ennis, take the rest of the day to explore the town and have dinner on your own.

Hotel: Old Ground Hotel

You are free to relax or explore Ennis after breakfast this morning. If you like, visit its 19th-century cathedral or medieval friary. Plan to eat lunch or a snack on your own before meeting your VBT Trip Leaders, as the next scheduled meal is dinner. Meet your VBT trip leaders in the hotel lobby at 12:30 p.m. Your leaders will be wearing VBT staff garments and carrying a VBT sign.

Once the group has gathered, you’ll transfer by private motorcoach from Ennis to Lisdoonvarna via the famous Cliffs of Moher. Rising up to 600 feet (183 meters) above the Atlantic Ocean’s crashing waves, the Cliffs of Moher are western Ireland’s most dramatic vantage point. Then, continue on to Sheedy’s Country House & Restaurant in Lisdoonvarna (total travel time is approximately 1½ hours). This historic hotel is truly an Irish institution and one of Ireland’s best-loved small hotels and restaurants. Chef/owner John Sheedy, a seventh-generation owner, is considered one of Ireland’s finest chefs! After settling in, attend a group safety and bike-fitting session and take a warm-up ride. Later, get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner.

Hotel: Sheedy’s Country House and Restaurant
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Warm-Up Loop: 8 km (5 miles)

What to Expect: This short loop ride from Lisdoonvarna gives you the opportunity to fit your bike, shift the gears and practice riding on the left-hand side of the road. You ride along some quiet country lanes as well as local roads.
The calm peaceful countryside will allow you to get a sense of the of the local community’s slow pace of living. View the magnificent wild Atlantic Ocean and even catch a glimpse of the Aran Islands in the middle of today’s ride.

Today, begin cycling west along the rocky coastline toward the ocean, enjoying views of Galway Bay. This region, known as The Burren (“rocky coast” in Gaelic), is one of the few places on Earth where arctic, Mediterranean, and alpine plants thrive side by side. As you ride, view limestone paving, caves, underground streams, dolmens, stone forts, wedge and gallery graves, Christian crosses, old churches, and wooded valleys, as well as the endless wildflowers growing in sheltered crevices in the limestone pavement. You might also spot prehistoric monuments scattered throughout this otherworldly landscape, whose limestone plateau has been compared to the surface of the moon. You’ll ride around Black Head, a famous angling point that commands a magnificent view of the whole of Galway Bay, with a backdrop of the Connemara hills and mountains in the distance.

After lunch on your own in the quaint harbor village of Ballyvaughan, continue to admire the rugged beauty of this region. During the day, meet up with a local expert, Shane Connelly, for a walk and talk on The Burren’s archaeology, agriculture and local history—delivered in a delightful brogue. This afternoon, you will also have time to visit the Poulnabrone Megalithic Tomb, a Neolithic structure that predates the Pyramids.

After dinner at the hotel, maybe stroll into town and enjoy live music in Lisdoornvarna, a center of traditional Irish folk music.

Hotel: Sheedy’s Country House and Restaurant
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 229 – 53 km (18 – 33 miles)

Morning
Lisdoonvarna-Ballyvaughan: 29 km (18 miles)

Afternoon
Ballyvaughan-Lisdoonvarna: 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s loop ride takes you to the rocky coastline, where you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the wild Atlantic Ocean to the left and The Burren to the right. You will ride past old castles, towers, an ancient Celtic Holy Well, and Black Head during your morning ride.

The afternoon’s ride, although slightly more undulating, brings you inland and offers further impressive views of this achingly haunting landscape.

Please bring walking shoes with you or stow them in the support vehicle. You may also want to bring swim gear, as there is an option to swim at Fanore Beach.

Cycle or shuttle by van to the City of Seven Crosses, Kilfenora, the site of a sixth-century monastery. Stop to view the Burren Centre, St Fachtnan’s Cathedral, and the 12th-century Celtic Crosses at this site, which was once a spiritual center of immense importance in western Ireland.

Then, pass over rolling hills, through green countryside, and past old stone walls on your way to Noughaval, where you may stop to visit medieval churches, Neolithic tombs, and sacred sites. Continue on to Carran. Its isolated Corcomroe Abbey was once home to Cistercian monks. The cross-shaped abbey, now in ruins, functioned for about 400 years.

From Carran, you’ll take a private motorcoach to Galway, an ancient harbor town that is now a thriving city. Your trip leaders can provide tips on favorite eateries, pubs, and shops. Eat lunch and dinner on your own in Galway. In between, walk to Eyre Square in the center of town to shop for woolens, classic books, and other treasures. Or choose to explore historic sites such as Lynch’s Castle, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and other churches.

Please note: ATMs will not be available after Galway until you arrive in Dublin, so please ensure you have enough cash for the next few days of your tour.

Hotel: Park House Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 36 km (22 miles)

Morning
Lisdoonvarna to Corcomroe Abbey: 36 km (22 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is along quiet country lanes and some undulating pastoral landscapes.

Eat a full, traditional Irish breakfast before catching the shuttle and ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands. (Ferry crossing is around 40 minutes.) Bikes are supplied today by a local bike-rental shop. Although not VBT bikes, they will be perfect for your island stay. After an initial five-mile island ride, some guests enjoy this as a mainly non-cycling day, choosing instead to walk or hike around the island. Inhabited for centuries, the remote Aran Islands contain some of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe. If you choose to explore the eastern end of the island near Kilronan Harbor, you may opt to visit its Ionad Aran, the island’s Heritage and Interpretive Center.

Lunch is on your own today. Afterward, you have a short walk up to the impressive Dun Aenghus, among the most remarkable Druid sites. Spectacularly perched on the edge of a high cliff, this sacred site is at least 2,000 years old. The fort is impressively large among prehistoric ruins. Although clearly defensible, the particular location of Dun Aengus suggests that its primary purpose was religious and ceremonial rather than military. It may have been used for druidic seasonal rites involving rituals and bonfires that could be seen from the mainland. While you’re here, wander among some of the other mystic Celtic stones, monuments, and holy wells.

There’s also an optional ride that your trip leaders will inform you about on the day.

Lodging tonight is in one of the guesthouses on the island, and dinner is included.

Please note: Plan to use your daypack for all of your overnight needs. Your larger luggage will not accompany you to the islands, but instead will be sent ahead and will be waiting in your room in Connemara.

Hotel: Kilmurvey Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 8 km (5 miles)

Morning
Kilronan Harbor to Kilmurvey House: 8 km (5 miles)

What to Expect: Cycling from the east of the island to the west, you’ll trace the low coastal route, passing endless rows of stone walls and fields with the renowned clints and grykes of the bare limestone escarpments from The Burren, of which these stunning islands were originally part.

Please bring your bathing suit, as there is an optional swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Kilmurvey Beach.

This morning, ride from Kilmurvey House back to the pier at Kilronan, leaving your bike at the rental shop. The 12:00 noon ferry takes you to Rossaveel, where you can bike or shuttle into Connemara, Ireland’s “Wild West.” In this rugged and magical countryside, framed by the Twelve Bens mountain range and Roundstone Bog, you’ll encounter glittering beaches, shimmering lakes and rivers, and Ireland’s famous peat bogs. This romantic landscape has inspired many famous paintings and literary figures over the years, and many ancient Irish traditions and customs are preserved here, revealing a rich linguistic, musical, and folklore heritage.

Later, arrive at your inviting hotel, set on the shores of Lough Inagh. Enjoy time to relax and freshen up before your small group gathers for dinner, prepared by the hotel chef.

Hotel: Lough Inagh Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 8 – 58 km (5 – 36 miles)

Morning
Kilmurvey House to Kilronan Harbor: 8 km (5 miles)

Afternoon
Rossaveel Ferry to Lough Inagh Lodge: 50 km (31 miles)

What to Expect: Disembark the ferry in Rossaveel, and spin across a landscape that becomes a mixture of rivers, lakes, woodlands and rich meadows with breathtaking views of the dramatic Twelve Bens mountain range on the left and Maumturk mountains on the right. Watch out for the stacks of peat turf along the final section before arriving at the hotel.

You may wish to cycle to lunch and take a support vehicle ride to the hotel. Alternatively, you may cycle to lunch, take a break, and jump back on your bike for the final breathtaking five miles (8 km) through the Inagh Valley.

Cycle along Lough Inagh toward Kylemore Abbey—the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland. Built 350 years ago, today it is home to a community of nuns. Enjoy views of this iconic structure, and then roll past stunning coastal views of crashing surf, silver bays and rocky coastlines as you trace the unspoiled, tranquil Renvyle Peninsula. This serenely magical place was the inspiration for renowned works of art by Yeats, Gogarty, and Oscar Wilde and remains unchanged today. Perhaps you’ll stop and wiggle your toes in the sand before an included lunch in a small hotel along the beach.

Pedal back to the hotel at your own pace, then relax a while before a festive farewell dinner.

Hotel: Lough Inagh Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22.5 – 53 km (14 – 33 miles)

Morning
Lough Inagh Lodge to Kylemore Abbey and Renvyle House Hotel: 22.5 km (14 miles)

Afternoon
Renvyle House Hotel to Lough Inagh Lodge: 30.5 km (19 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is through the dramatic and pristine Connemara landscape to Kylemore Abbey, then continues on to the Renvyle Peninsula.

Your return ride takes you past Glassilaun Beach, a long expanse of white sand with beautiful views. Continue along Lough Fee, with its spectacularly impressive glaciated valley, and onto the bog road to Lough Inagh Lodge.

If you wish to go swimming at Glassilaun Beach, please bring a swimsuit.

Depart by coach at 8:00 a.m. for Dublin and the Schoolhouse Hotel (approximately 5 hours). There is no VBT representative on the coach ride. Important: Upon arrival at the hotel, please reconfirm with the hotel receptionist the time of your transfer to the Dublin airport for your return flight home. You have the remainder of the day free to take in a bit of the atmosphere of Dublin and to seek out one of the city’s many restaurants, pubs, or outdoor cafés for lunch and dinner on your own.

VBT provides you with City Information, which includes helpful tips and recommendations on what to see and do in Dublin.

Hotel: The Schoolhouse Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to the Dublin airport for your return flight**.

* Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

** Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Wed, May 13 to Tue, May 19 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

After an early lunch on your own, meet your VBT trip leaders at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis at 12:30 p.m. (address: Ennis, County Clare, Republic of Ireland; Tel: +353 65 682 8127). To reach the hotel, you can take a taxi from Shannon airport to Ennis or travel on Bus Eirean (service number 51) from Shannon airport to Ennis Town (departing every hour beginning at 7:55 a.m.; for more details, go to www.buseireann.ie). Your VBT trip leaders will be wearing VBT staff garments and carrying a VBT sign. Please note: Plan to eat lunch or a snack on your own before meeting your VBT trip leaders, as the next scheduled meal is dinner. If your arrival at Ennis is scheduled later than 12:30 p.m. or if you are delayed, you must transfer at your own expense (travel time approximately 45 minutes) to the first hotel, in Lisdoonvarna. Please contact your first hotel to advise of any travel delays or changes so the staff can pass the message on to your VBT trip leaders.

Once the group has gathered, you’ll transfer by private motorcoach from Ennis to Lisdoonvarna via the famous Cliffs of Moher. Rising up to 600 feet (183 meters) above the Atlantic Ocean’s crashing waves, the Cliffs of Moher are western Ireland’s most dramatic vantage point. Then, continue on to Sheedy’s Country House & Restaurant in Lisdoonvarna (total travel time is approximately 1½ hours). This historic hotel is truly an Irish institution and one of Ireland’s best-loved small hotels and restaurants. Chef/owner John Sheedy, a seventh-generation owner, is considered one of Ireland’s finest chefs! After settling in, attend a group safety and bike-fitting session and take a warm-up ride. Later, get to know your fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner.

Hotel: Sheedy’s Country House and Restaurant
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Warm-Up Loop: 8 km (5 miles)

What to Expect: This short loop ride from Lisdoonvarna gives you the opportunity to fit your bike, shift the gears and practice riding on the left-hand side of the road. You ride along some quiet country lanes as well as local roads.
The calm peaceful countryside will allow you to get a sense of the of the local community’s slow pace of living. View the magnificent wild Atlantic Ocean and even catch a glimpse of the Aran Islands in the middle of today’s ride.

Today, begin cycling west along the rocky coastline toward the ocean, enjoying views of Galway Bay. This region, known as The Burren (“rocky coast” in Gaelic), is one of the few places on Earth where arctic, Mediterranean, and alpine plants thrive side by side. As you ride, view limestone paving, caves, underground streams, dolmens, stone forts, wedge and gallery graves, Christian crosses, old churches, and wooded valleys, as well as the endless wildflowers growing in sheltered crevices in the limestone pavement. You might also spot prehistoric monuments scattered throughout this otherworldly landscape, whose limestone plateau has been compared to the surface of the moon. You’ll ride around Black Head, a famous angling point that commands a magnificent view of the whole of Galway Bay, with a backdrop of the Connemara hills and mountains in the distance.

After lunch on your own in the quaint harbor village of Ballyvaughan, continue to admire the rugged beauty of this region. During the day, meet up with a local expert, Shane Connelly, for a walk and talk on The Burren’s archaeology, agriculture and local history—delivered in a delightful brogue. This afternoon, you will also have time to visit the Poulnabrone Megalithic Tomb, a Neolithic structure that predates the Pyramids.

After dinner at the hotel, maybe stroll into town and enjoy live music in Lisdoornvarna, a center of traditional Irish folk music.

Hotel: Sheedy’s Country House and Restaurant
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 229 – 53 km (18 – 33 miles)

Morning
Lisdoonvarna-Ballyvaughan: 29 km (18 miles)

Afternoon
Ballyvaughan-Lisdoonvarna: 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s loop ride takes you to the rocky coastline, where you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the wild Atlantic Ocean to the left and The Burren to the right. You will ride past old castles, towers, an ancient Celtic Holy Well, and Black Head during your morning ride.

The afternoon’s ride, although slightly more undulating, brings you inland and offers further impressive views of this achingly haunting landscape.

Please bring walking shoes with you or stow them in the support vehicle. You may also want to bring swim gear, as there is an option to swim at Fanore Beach.

Cycle or shuttle by van to the City of Seven Crosses, Kilfenora, the site of a sixth-century monastery. Stop to view the Burren Centre, St Fachtnan’s Cathedral, and the 12th-century Celtic Crosses at this site, which was once a spiritual center of immense importance in western Ireland.

Then, pass over rolling hills, through green countryside, and past old stone walls on your way to Noughaval, where you may stop to visit medieval churches, Neolithic tombs, and sacred sites. Continue on to Carran. Its isolated Corcomroe Abbey was once home to Cistercian monks. The cross-shaped abbey, now in ruins, functioned for about 400 years.

From Carran, you’ll take a private motorcoach to Galway, an ancient harbor town that is now a thriving city. Your trip leaders can provide tips on favorite eateries, pubs, and shops. Eat lunch and dinner on your own in Galway. In between, walk to Eyre Square in the center of town to shop for woolens, classic books, and other treasures. Or choose to explore historic sites such as Lynch’s Castle, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and other churches.

Please note: ATMs will not be available after Galway until you arrive in Dublin, so please ensure you have enough cash for the next few days of your tour.

Hotel: Park House Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 36 km (22 miles)

Morning
Lisdoonvarna to Corcomroe Abbey: 36 km (22 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is along quiet country lanes and some undulating pastoral landscapes.

Eat a full, traditional Irish breakfast before catching the shuttle and ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands. (Ferry crossing is around 40 minutes.) Bikes are supplied today by a local bike-rental shop. Although not VBT bikes, they will be perfect for your island stay. After an initial five-mile island ride, some guests enjoy this as a mainly non-cycling day, choosing instead to walk or hike around the island. Inhabited for centuries, the remote Aran Islands contain some of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe. If you choose to explore the eastern end of the island near Kilronan Harbor, you may opt to visit its Ionad Aran, the island’s Heritage and Interpretive Center.

Lunch is on your own today. Afterward, you have a short walk up to the impressive Dun Aenghus, among the most remarkable Druid sites. Spectacularly perched on the edge of a high cliff, this sacred site is at least 2,000 years old. The fort is impressively large among prehistoric ruins. Although clearly defensible, the particular location of Dun Aengus suggests that its primary purpose was religious and ceremonial rather than military. It may have been used for druidic seasonal rites involving rituals and bonfires that could be seen from the mainland. While you’re here, wander among some of the other mystic Celtic stones, monuments, and holy wells.

There’s also an optional ride that your trip leaders will inform you about on the day.

Lodging tonight is in one of the guesthouses on the island, and dinner is included.

Please note: Plan to use your daypack for all of your overnight needs. Your larger luggage will not accompany you to the islands, but instead will be sent ahead and will be waiting in your room in Connemara.

Hotel: Kilmurvey Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 8 km (5 miles)

Morning
Kilronan Harbor to Kilmurvey House: 8 km (5 miles)

What to Expect: Cycling from the east of the island to the west, you’ll trace the low coastal route, passing endless rows of stone walls and fields with the renowned clints and grykes of the bare limestone escarpments from The Burren, of which these stunning islands were originally part.

Please bring your bathing suit, as there is an optional swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Kilmurvey Beach.

This morning, ride from Kilmurvey House back to the pier at Kilronan, leaving your bike at the rental shop. The 12:00 noon ferry takes you to Rossaveel, where you can bike or shuttle into Connemara, Ireland’s “Wild West.” In this rugged and magical countryside, framed by the Twelve Bens mountain range and Roundstone Bog, you’ll encounter glittering beaches, shimmering lakes and rivers, and Ireland’s famous peat bogs. This romantic landscape has inspired many famous paintings and literary figures over the years, and many ancient Irish traditions and customs are preserved here, revealing a rich linguistic, musical, and folklore heritage.

Later, arrive at your inviting hotel, set on the shores of Lough Inagh. Enjoy time to relax and freshen up before your small group gathers for dinner, prepared by the hotel chef.

Hotel: Lough Inagh Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 8 – 58 km (5 – 36 miles)

Morning
Kilmurvey House to Kilronan Harbor: 8 km (5 miles)

Afternoon
Rossaveel Ferry to Lough Inagh Lodge: 50 km (31 miles)

What to Expect: Disembark the ferry in Rossaveel, and spin across a landscape that becomes a mixture of rivers, lakes, woodlands and rich meadows with breathtaking views of the dramatic Twelve Bens mountain range on the left and Maumturk mountains on the right. Watch out for the stacks of peat turf along the final section before arriving at the hotel.

You may wish to cycle to lunch and take a support vehicle ride to the hotel. Alternatively, you may cycle to lunch, take a break, and jump back on your bike for the final breathtaking five miles (8 km) through the Inagh Valley.

Cycle along Lough Inagh toward Kylemore Abbey—the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland. Built 350 years ago, today it is home to a community of nuns. Enjoy views of this iconic structure, and then roll past stunning coastal views of crashing surf, silver bays and rocky coastlines as you trace the unspoiled, tranquil Renvyle Peninsula. This serenely magical place was the inspiration for renowned works of art by Yeats, Gogarty, and Oscar Wilde and remains unchanged today. Perhaps you’ll stop and wiggle your toes in the sand before an included lunch in a small hotel along the beach.

Pedal back to the hotel at your own pace, then relax a while before a festive farewell dinner.

Hotel: Lough Inagh Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22.5 – 53 km (14 – 33 miles)

Morning
Lough Inagh Lodge to Kylemore Abbey and Renvyle House Hotel: 22.5 km (14 miles)

Afternoon
Renvyle House Hotel to Lough Inagh Lodge: 30.5 km (19 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is through the dramatic and pristine Connemara landscape to Kylemore Abbey, then continues on to the Renvyle Peninsula.

Your return ride takes you past Glassilaun Beach, a long expanse of white sand with beautiful views. Continue along Lough Fee, with its spectacularly impressive glaciated valley, and onto the bog road to Lough Inagh Lodge.

If you wish to go swimming at Glassilaun Beach, please bring a swimsuit.

Transfer to the Dublin airport, arriving at approximately 1:00 p.m. The tour ends here, or you can continue to the Schoolhouse Hotel with the rest of the group. Important: Departures from Dublin airport prior to 4:00 p.m. are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you must make transfer arrangements at your own expense from the last hotel to the Dublin airport (approximately 4 hours; cost is approximately 550 euros for a taxi; we recommend Noel King for transfers, email: [email protected], Tel: ++353 87 958 2398). If you have a flight from Shannon airport, you must make your own arrangements (approximately 315 euros for a taxi, travel time approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes).

VBT provides you with City Information, which includes helpful tips and recommendations on what to see and do in Dublin.

Hotel: The Schoolhouse Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Cork

2 Nights From $395 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 2 nights at the Imperial Hotel
  • Daily Irish breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

Depart from home for Ireland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Cork airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area; VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please note: Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.

After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative or driver, who will be holding a VBT sign and who will make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or van to your Cork hotel (approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic). Your VBT representative will also confirm your transfer time to Ennis at the conclusion of your Cork extension.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Cork during your stay. Please note that the hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m., but the staff will do their best to get you to your rooms as soon as possible. You have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city.

Hotel: The Imperial Hotel

Enjoy your first day of independent exploration in the Republic of Ireland’s second-largest city. The bustle of the Victorian English Market is probably the best place to experience the essence of the city. This indoor covered market on the Grand Parade is a very short walk from the hotel. After exploring the rest of the downtown area, you may wish to take a short walk (just over a mile) from the city center up to the restored and atmospheric City Gaol, complete with furnished cells. Both the exhibition and multimedia display trace the lives of individual inmates imprisoned here during the 19th and 20th centuries. You will also find the Cork Heritage Centre here, depicting life in Cork during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

You may wish to head farther afield and visit one of several nearby attractions. Blarney Castle, about 5 miles (8 km) from Cork city center, was built nearly 600 years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, including a host of American Presidents, making it an internationally renowned landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. Here you will find the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of the Tower. Kiss it and you’ll never again be at a loss for words.

About 14 miles (22.5 km) away is Cobh, the last port of call for the Titanic on her maiden voyage. Here, you can visit the Queenstown Story Heritage Centre, which tells the story of emigration from Cobh. You can learn about the 1845 famine, the great transatlantic ocean liners that docked here in the 1950s, and the historic role played by the port of Cobh.

The day is yours to enjoy!

Hotel: The Imperial Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Check out of your hotel, meet your driver in the hotel reception area, and transfer by coach to Ennis at 10:30 a.m. (about 2 ½ hours).

After checking into your Ennis hotel, the remainder of the day is free. You may wish to wander around the narrow streets of this small market town or even arrange a round of golf at the Ennis Golf Club, an immaculately manicured 18-hole, par 70, parkland course. Golf clubs, cart, and buggy can be rented here; we recommend you contact the club in advance online at ennisgolfclub.ie.

VBT Air Package guests will arrive throughout the day.

Hotel: Old Ground Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Dublin

2 Nights From $395 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $295

  • 2 nights at the Schoolhouse Hotel
  • Daily Irish breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

One of the oldest cities in Europe, Dublin overflows with cultural riches, from the ancient to the avant-garde. Medieval, Georgian, and modern architecture provide a backdrop to a friendly, bustling port that claims literary giants such as Wilde, Shaw, Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, and O’Casey as native sons. Whatever your interests—history, architecture, literature, art, archaeology, or the performing arts—you’ll find something here to delight you. Throughout the city, monuments commemorate the writers, poets, statesmen, soldiers, and colorful people who make Dublin a place like no other.

Hotel: The Schoolhouse Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Continue your independent exploration of Dublin today. You may want to explore Trinity College, the Dublin Writers’ Museum, or Christ Church Cathedral. Take in a show at the Abbey Theatre or at one of the city’s many other venues. Hoist a pint with Dubliners at a traditional Irish pub, or stop at a trendy wine bar in the Temple Bar area. You might also stroll along the River Liffey or through one of the many shopping squares.

Hotel: The Schoolhouse Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast*, transfer to the Dublin airport for your flight home**.

* Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

** Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 136 out of 138 (99%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.9 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $495

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Bike Vacation Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $295

Mon, May 11 - Wed, May 20, 2020

From
$3,995

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Wed, May 13 - Tue, May 19, 2020

From
$2,995

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Mon, May 25 - Wed, Jun 3, 2020

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$4,395

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$3,595

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Mon, Jun 22 - Wed, Jul 1, 2020

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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