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Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast

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Cherished landscapes, ancient ruins, the remote Aran Islands, and the country’s lively, contemporary culture are revealed in this magical Ireland bike tour.

Guided Biking

  • Daily Mileage: 5 - 33|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
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

10-day Air Package

$4,245

7-day Bike Tour Only

$3,195

Per person, double occupancy

Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast

Spin along the most cherished landscapes of the Emerald Isle and delve into its ancient and modern cultures on this magical Ireland bike tour. From the lunar-like landscape of The Burren, where three distinct ecosystems converge, to the wild beauty of Connemara and the more tranquil Renvyle Peninsula, you’ll be dazzled by a cornucopia of scenic wonders and the remains of ancient sacred sites. You’ll also spend a day in the remote Aran Islands, where you’ll find a history that is the stuff of Druids and pagans. A guided walk with a local historian, opportunities for a refreshing swim, generous special meals—including hearty Irish breakfasts—and a stay at one of the country’s most prized accommodations add value this comprehensive exploration.

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.

  • Daily Mileage: 5 - 33|
  • Biking: 1 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Delight in the lilt of an Irish brogue as a local expert leads you on a guided tour of The Burren.
  • Explore the medieval churches, Neolithic tombs, and sacred sites of Noughaval.
  • Marvel at the rugged and magical countryside of Connemara, whose mountains, lakes, and peat bogs have inspired poets for centuries.
  • View Kylemore Abbey, the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland.
  • Listen to crashing surf as you trace the coastline of the unspoiled, tranquil Renvyle Peninsula.

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

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Airport car service for arrival and departure Check
One night in Ennis and one night in Dublin in conveniently located hotels with daily breakfast Check
6 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels and a guesthouse Check Check
12 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners Check Check

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 2 to Wed, May 11 - 2022

Show Itinerary:

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Shannon airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Ennis. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Accommodation: Old Ground Hotel, Ennis

You are free to relax or explore Ennis after an included 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 travel 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 1.5 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.

Today’s Ride Choice

Afternoon: 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 8 km (5 miles)
Accommodation: Sheedy’s Country House & Restaurant, Lisdoonvarna
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Lisdoonvarna to Ballyvaughan — 29 km (18 miles)
Afternoon: Ballyvaughan to 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 29 — 53 km (18 — 33 miles)
Accommodation: Sheedy’s Country House & Restaurant, Lisdoonvarna
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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.

Today’s Ride Choice

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 36 km (22 miles)
Accommodation: Park House Hotel, Galway
Included Meals: Breakfast

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 a short 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.

Today’s Ride Choice

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 8 km (5 miles)
Accommodation: Kilmurvey Guesthouse, Inishmore
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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.

Important note: For those tours that feature the Aran Islands Hotel, you will have an optional morning ride around the island before meeting at the pier in Kilronan to catch the noon ferry to the mainland. Alternatively, you may relax at the hotel or explore the village before meeting your trip leaders and fellow travelers at the pier.

Today’s Ride Choices

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 8 — 58 km (5 — 36 miles)
Accommodation: Lough Inagh Lodge, Connemara
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cycle along Lough Inagh toward Kylemore Abbey—the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland. Built 350 years ago, it now 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.

Today’s Ride Choices

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 22.5 — 53 km (14 — 33 miles)
Accommodation: Lough Inagh Lodge, Connemara
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart by coach at 8:00 a.m. for Dublin and the Schoolhouse Hotel (approximately five 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 transportation 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.

Accommodation: Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin
Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast* this morning, complimentary transportation to the Dublin airport will be provided (an approximately 20 to 30 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Wed, May 4 to Tue, May 10 - 2022

Show Itinerary:

After breakfast 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 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 arrange transportation 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 travel 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 1.5 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.

Today’s Ride Choice

Afternoon: 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 8 km (5 miles)
Accommodation: Sheedy’s Country House & Restaurant, Lisdoonvarna
Included Meals: Dinner

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.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Lisdoonvarna to Ballyvaughan — 29 km (18 miles)
Afternoon: Ballyvaughan to 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 29 — 53 km (18 — 33 miles)
Accommodation: Sheedy’s Country House & Restaurant, Lisdoonvarna
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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.

Today’s Ride Choice

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 36 km (22 miles)
Accommodation: Park House Hotel, Galway
Included Meals: Breakfast

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 a short 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.

Today’s Ride Choice

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 8 km (5 miles)
Accommodation: Kilmurvey Guesthouse, Inishmore
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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.

Important note: For those tours that feature the Aran Islands Hotel, you will have an optional morning ride around the island before meeting at the pier in Kilronan to catch the noon ferry to the mainland. Alternatively, you may relax at the hotel or explore the village before meeting your trip leaders and fellow travelers at the pier.

Today’s Ride Choices

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 8 — 58 km (5 — 36 miles)
Accommodation: Lough Inagh Lodge, Connemara
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cycle along Lough Inagh toward Kylemore Abbey—the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland. Built 350 years ago, it now 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.

Today’s Ride Choices

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 22.5 — 53 km (14 — 33 miles)
Accommodation: Lough Inagh Lodge, Connemara
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transportation is provided 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 transportation 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 transportations, 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).

Included Meals: Breakfast

Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021 2022

2021 Pre-Trip Extension - Cork

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

  • 2 nights at The Imperial Hotel or Hayfield Manor
  • Daily Irish breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

Depart 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 room as soon as possible. You have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city.

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel or Hayfield Manor, Cork

*Please note that the Cork airport will be closed for maintenance from 9/12/21 through 11/22/21. Guests booked in this timeframe will fly into Dublin.

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 its essence. 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 to 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!

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel or Hayfield Manor, Cork
Included Meals: Breakfast

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

Accommodation: Old Ground Hotel, Ennis
Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021 2022

2022 Pre-Trip Extension - Cork

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

  • 2 nights at The Imperial Hotel
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Start off your first day in Cork right by having a VBT representative greet you at the airport. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel Cork, Cork

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: The Imperial Hotel Cork
Included Meals: Breakfast

Check out of your hotel, meet your driver in the hotel reception area at 10:30 a.m., and travel by coach to Ennis (about 2.5 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.

Accommodation: Old Ground Hotel, Ennis
Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021 2022

2021 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.

Accommodation: Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin
Included 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.

Accommodation: Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021 2022

2022 Post-Trip Extension - Dublin

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

  • 2 nights at the Schoolhouse Hotel
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin
Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Accommodation: Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin
Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast* this morning, complimentary transportation to the Dublin airport will be provided (an approximately 20 to 30 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 137 out of 139 (99%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.9 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

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)

Tour Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $295

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Air Package

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

Single Supplement: From $545

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

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7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $295

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