We will meet you bright and early in Doolin village where we will get you familiarized with our route for the day and also get you fitted for your bike and helmet. Once you have your bike and are ready to go, we will set off towards the ancient Burren along the County Clare coastline.
From our starting point, we will be able to see the Cliffs of Moher behind us, over to the Aran Islands and north to the Connemara and the Mayo coastline.
Our cycle takes us through some lush green farming pastures before the landscape gives way to the rocky, barren land that makes up the Burren. Often described as a lunar landscape devoid of life, this region is actually known as the Fertile Rock, with the limestone providing some of the best, nutrient rich grass for livestock to graze on. This region is also renowned for unique arctic orchids can be found along the way scattered throughout the crags and crevasses, offering splashes of colour against the monotone grey of the land.
As we wind our way north, following the coastline, the vistas of the Aran Islands become clearer and on some days, the three Islands look as if you could just step over to them, never mind the 6km sea crossing to Inisheer!
Along this route, we pass through the village of Fanore, which is well known from being the home of famous Irish author John O’Donoghue.
‘(John was the)… oldest of four children, he learned to work alongside his parents and uncle, developing a close kinship with the wild landscape, framed by an ethereal view of a limestone valley and the beckoning waters of Galway Bay. This valley was the shell of John’s soul, forging a deep and powerful connection with the elements shaping him. John later described the profound influence of his childhood home as, “A huge wild invitation to extend your imagination…an ancient conversation between the land and sea.”‘ (excerpt from https://www.johnodonohue.com/about).
Many visitors to this area develop a special feeling or memory that remains with them long after leaving. It is one of the most staggeringly beautiful and unique landscapes in Ireland.
In Fanore we will do a bit of exploring, as the village is home to a Famine Village whose ruins line the rocky fields just at the edge of the sea. Along this shoreline is excellent places for rock pooling and shore-combing as well, with many treasures washed up from far and wide.
Once we leave behind Fanore, we continue further North and rounding the corner of Black Head and its Lighthouse. From here we can start to see views of Galway City from across the Bay. The road winds a narrow path a the base of the Burren hills with the Atlantic just below us on the left. In the winter months, sections of this road see no daylight for weeks on end. From here, trees and more green begin to appear from the grey rocks as we make our way to the seaside village of Ballyvaughan. Just outside Ballyvaughan is the ancient site of Gleninagh Castle, a well-preserved 16th century tower house. Here we will explore the ruins, and its grounds including the Holy Well.
Ballyvaughan is home to some great pubs and restaurants, not to mention the views from the harbour! Here is where we end the tour for the day.
As one of our past clients put it: “If you want to see things from a different view, do this trip!”
So come on, what’s stopping you?
NOTE: For bookings or any queries please contact us directly – firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +353 (0) 85 119 5489.
Beginner to Intermediate
€99/person or €89 groups of 4+