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Contact us : +353 (0) 85 1195489 aranislandsbiketours@gmail.com

 

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Introduction

Our 6 Day/5 Night Galway Bay Explorer mountain biking itinerary is unique in that it is the very first mountain biking tour of the Burren, Connemara and the Aran Islands.  It features 6 days of superb riding, taking in some of Ireland’s most magnificent and ancient sites. Our pioneering route covers 150km, offering a variety of explosive and awe-inspiring singletrack and cross-country trails,  perfectly suited for both the intermediate rider and beginner looking for a challenge.

Knock one off your bucket list and take the ride of your life!

Trip Highlights

  • Ride some stunning singletrack and cross-country trails through the unique and ancient landscape of the Burren Global Geopark
  • 150 km of magnificent tracks and trails in the spectacular West of Ireland
  • Ride in the heart of the Connemara on one of Ireland’s newest bike parks
  • Relax after a days ride in the hometown of traditional Irish music
  • Enjoy some local, artisan food in your daily provided lunches, including winners of the Eden Award (European-wide food initiative award, awarded to the Burren region in 2015)
  • Explore the beauty of the Aran Islands, including the prehistoric fort of Dun Aonghasa (also home to the Red Bull Cliff Diving)
  • Discover the world famous Cliffs of Moher for yourself
  • Uncover local haunts, off the beaten track

Trip Overview

START POINTDoolin, Co Clare END POINTGalway City or Doolin (choice is yours)

Day One – Arrive on the Wild Atlantic Way, Meet & Greet

Today is your arrival day!  We will get you settled into your accommodation in Doolin, home to traditional Irish music and our home for the next three nights. You will have a chance to explore the quaint village until the evening, when we will have our Meet & Greet at 830pm at our prearranged location.  Our Meet & Greet is a great way to get everyone acquainted and to also go over our routes for the next 5 days.

 

Day Two – Cliffs, Caves, & Traditional Irish Music

We start our first day of cycling at Liscannor Harbour on the shores of the wild Atlantic Ocean.  Today we head North, first to Hags Head, the southern-most tip of the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, and then on to the Cliffs of Moher themselves, to take in the sights and the Visitor Centre. Back on the bikes, it’s all downhill back into the seaside village of Doolin, and your chance to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea with an hour long boat cruise.

Distance: 30 km + hiking  

 

Day Three – Over the Hills & Far Away in the Burren  

Today you will get to experience some of the best single and cross country tracks Ireland has to offer, with some challenging climbs and technical downhills, this is the Burren like you never expected.  It’s rocky and barren yet lush with incredibly rich soil – alpine flowers, ancient stone walls, cattle, horses, wild goats – there are surprises around every bend.  It’s a full day in the saddle and in the wilds. We finish the cycle in the quaint village of Ballyvaughan, before enjoying the coastal drive back to Doolin for the evening.

Distance: 45 km

 

Day Four – Connemara & the Aran Islands  

Our third morning we head further North and up to Connemara, where the dramatic shift of landscape will mesmerize you as we continue on past Galway city and straight into the heart of Connemara. Here we go for a spin on the Derroura Mountain Bike Trail Network, which is over 16 km in length.  After, we head straight to the ferry port at Rossaveal where we will catch our late afternoon ferry to Inishmor, the largest of the Aran Islands, and our accommodation for the night. The evening is the perfect opportunity to pick your spot in a local watering hole and relax with some Irish tunes, a bit of banter, and an opportunity to learn a bit of Irish with the Irish-speaking locals.

Distance: 25 km

 

Day Five – Inishmor – West Island, Dun Aonghasa and Ancient Site

We start our very first morning on Inishmor by exploring the West side of the Island,  home to some of the oldest, and most important sites in Ireland. Today’s cross-country ride will bring you past many megalithic tombs, church ruins, ring forts and sandy beaches.  We get to really explore each track and trail crisscrossing the Island, and discover the history of the area – a truly unforgettable experience. We finish the day back in Kilronan for a celebratory last meal together, with some great tunes and maybe a pint or two!

Distance: 25 km + hiking  

 

Day Six – Inishmor – East Island, Galway City

Today is our last day on tour, so it’s up and about after breakfast to get in our final ride, taking in the East side of the Island,  before getting the ferry back to the mainland.  The tranquility of the quiet countryside coupled with restless sea, make for a memorable- if not spiritual – ride. Hand-built limestone walls frame the lush green fields, with ancient crosses and ruins springing up from the ground at nearly every turn, Inishmor is a place you will not forget. Finally we have to say our goodbyes to the Island and it’s friendly people and head back to the mainland. At our dropping off points, we wave farewell and  hope you can now put a big fat check mark beside that box on your bucket list! And most of all, we hope  you had the ride of your life!

Distance: 25 km

 

Trip Pricing

The trip price is €1995 per person sharing, based upon a group size of up to 8 clients. This includes the following:

  • 5 nights accommodation in locally-owned guest houses and small hotels (B&B)
  • Bike rental of a hard-tail Lapierre Mountain Bike with helmet
  • All transport throughout the trip, starting in Doolin, Co Clare and finishing in Galway City or Doolin, Co Clare
  • Return ferry tickets to Inishmor, the largest of the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher Ferry Cruise
  • Gourmet, artisan lunch featuring local and Irish producers, as well as snacks daily, may include energy bars, nuts/seeds etc.
  • A support vehicle & trailer throughout
  • The services of qualified and experienced mountain bike guide
  • All group safety and bike maintenance equipment.

Optional Extras:

  • Shuttle service from Galway City or Limerick City
  • A variety of Sea Kayaking Tours with our sister company North Clare Sea Kayaking.

These will be at an additional cost.

 

Download the full itinerary – Galway Bay Explorer Itinerary – or Email us for trip itinerary or for other date options.

 

 

Book Now!

NEW! 2018 Dates Now Available

April

Sun April 1st to Fri April 6

Sun April 22 to Fri April 27

May

Sun May 6 to Fri May 11

September

Sun Sept 9 to Fri Sept 14  FULL

Sun Sept 23 to Fri Sept 28

October

Sun Oct 4 to Fri Oct 12

Sun Oct 21 to Fri Oct 26

November

Sun Nov 4 to Fri Nov 9

Sun Nov 18 to Fri Nov 23

 

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Distance:

Approx 160 km/100 miles

816714215089408 7 Churches

Difficulty:

All Levels

Over the Hills TourInismor National Geographic Burren Way Mountain Bike Tours

Time:

5 to 6 hr/Day

733031876790976Derroura MTB Park Burren Way MTB Tours

All Weather:

All Weather

Inisheer, or Inis Oírr, is the smallest of the Aran Islands and the closest to the Clare coastline, with the Cliffs of Moher clearly visible from it’s shores. This tiny island, measuring just 3km by 3km, has a small fishing village feel to it. For it’s small population of just over 300 inhabitants, Inisheer has a lot to offer it’s visitors, from traditional farming methods and Irish music, to ancient sites dating back earlier than the 11th century and it’s famous shipwreck; Inisheer does not disappoint.

Upon approach to the Island, the famous rusty-red MV Plassy shipwreck looms tilted from the eastern beach in all it’s glory. This was formerly a cargo ship which ran onto some rocks near the island in 1960 but luckily no lives were lost in the shipwreck, mainly due to the bravery of the local islanders who risked their own lives in rough seas to come to the aid of the sailors on board the ship. (This shipwreck was also made famous in the opening credits of the Irish TV series Father Ted).

Along with the shipwreck, there are also ancient structures to be found, including the O’Brien’s Castle and Tower (Dún Formna) which overlooks the island and was built by the rulers of the area in the 1500s. This castle matches it’s sister at the Cliffs of Moher which also served as a stronghold for the O’Brien’s. Along the shoreline, you will find the previously sand-covered Tempall Chaomháin or St Kevin’s Church. This half-sunked church dates back to the 9th or 10th century and since that time, a stone wall surrounds the ruins, in the hopes to exclude the encroaching sand. Further west on the island, the remains of the church site Cill Gnobnait can be found. This church was dedicated to St Gobnait though all that remains inside is the initial altar and outside there is one of the celebrated ‘beehive’ dry stone huts used as a hermit cell by early Christian monks. These corbel-roofed stone ‘beehive huts’ are referred to as clocháns.

Cnoc Raithní is hugely important Bronze Age burial mound, which was almost hidden under sand forever, until a major storm in 1885, uncovered the site. The site itself consists of a sandy mound 21m in diameter, while inside lies a cist, formed by a circle of upright slabs standing 4ft high. On the top, the remains of slab lined graves can be seen, as well as 2 small limestone pillars. Artefacts found at Cnoc Raithní date back to 800BC, and the mound is thought to have been in use between 1500BC to 500BC.

With these sites (and so much more to see on the island), cycling is the best way to get around and we offer you a chance to sit back, relax while we organize everything needed for our day out; including your ferry tickets and lunch, not to mention bikes and guides! So what are you waiting for?

 

Book Now!


Any questions? – aranislandsbiketours@gmail.com or call us on +353 (0) 85 119 5489.

 

Check out our further details below!

  • Price per person is €99
  • Included in the price is: a guide, bike, helmet, ferry ticket to and from the island, and a packed lunch
  • This tour operates from April 1st to October 31st
  • Tour starts from Doolin pier, first ferry leaving Doolin at 9am  (this may vary depending on time of year) and returning to Doolin on the last ferry from the Island at 5pm (this may vary)
  • Group sizes up to 8 people
  • Decent level of fitness and cycling experience required
  • We can put together packages for team building, stags, hens, family groups with our sister company North Clare Sea Kayaking, and accommodation providers and restaurants

 

What to Bring – visit What to Bring for a more comprehensive listing

  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Appropriate clothing (rain jacket, warm sweater, good shoes, cycling gloves etc)
  • Change of clothing (socks, shorts & t-shirt)
  • Camera
  • Small rucksack

 

Book Now!


 

Inishmaan, the middle of the chain of Aran Islands, is like no other place. It has been long sheltered from tourism and has only recently been welcoming visitors to it’s Irish speaking shores. As with the other two islands, Inishmaan is a limestone paradise, teeming with wildlife and flowers. It is also home to a large amount of important archaeological sites as there is evidence of inhabitants on the island dating from 2500 BC.

Dún Chonchúir (Conor’s Fort) is the largest of two stone forts on Inishamaan. It’s an ancient oval stone fort, dating to pre-Christian times while Dún Fearbhaí is the smaller of the two and dates from the 4th century AD and is unusual in being almost rectangular. It is thought that these forts, along with others on the Aran Islands were constructed by chieftains from wealthy communities. They served as not only to defend settlements and offer refuge in times of danger but also as a status symbol, a demonstration of rank. These forts also serve in a more romanticised myth surround the Fir Bolg people, who were fleeing west after being overthrown by a rapacious conqueror. Either way, these ancient sites offer amazing insight into a long, storied history.

Inishmaan also served as a home to famous play write, John Millington Synge, who stayed on the island every summer from 1898 to 1902. It was his publication, The Aran Islands in 1907 which offered the outside world a glimpse into the traditions and beauty of Inishmaan. Synge’s Chair or Cathaoir Synge which was the writer’s favourite place on the island, overlooks Inishmor and the Atlantic, offering spectacular views and inspiration for those who have come after Synge.

Our guided cycling tour takes in these spectacular sites and much more. This tour offers an escape from the fast-paced modern world and brings you back to a more easier way of life.

We organize everything needed for our day out, including your ferry tickets and lunch, not to mention bikes and guides! So what are you waiting for?

 

Book Now!


Any questions? – aranislandsbiketours@gmail.com or call us on +353 (0) 85 119 5489.

 

Check out our further details below!

  • Price per person is €99
  • Included in the price is: a guide, bike, helmet, ferry ticket to and from the island, and a packed lunch
  • This tour operates from April 1st to October 31st
  • Tour starts from Doolin pier, first ferry leaving Doolin at 9am  (this may vary depending on time of year) and returning to Doolin on the last ferry from the Island at 5pm (this may vary)
  • Group sizes up to 8 people
  • Decent level of fitness and cycling experience required
  • We can put together packages for team building, stags, hens, family groups with our sister company North Clare Sea Kayaking, and accommodation providers and restaurants

 

What to Bring – visit What to Bring for a more comprehensive listing

  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Appropriate clothing (rain jacket, warm sweater, good shoes, cycling gloves etc)
  • Change of clothing (socks, shorts & t-shirt)
  • Camera
  • Small rucksack

Book Now!


Inishmor, the largest of the chain of Aran Islands, is unique in the sense that there is no other place in Ireland where you find such a wealth of archeological and cultural sites of significance in the history of Ireland as a whole. The reasons to explore Inishmor go much further beyond the ancient sites, it’s also the people, their culture and traditions of song, dance, folklore and craftsmanship. And it’s the escape to somewhere completely different, filled with natural beauty and a timeless spirit.

On Inishmor, we will have the chance to really take in some spectacular sites, including the well known ring fort, Dún Aonghasa, which stands on the cliff edge some 300 feet above the sea.  Thought to be built in 1100 BC, this fort is the oldest of the stone forts that dot the three Aran Islands.  The Island is also home to Poll Na Bpéist or the Serpent’s Lair, a rectangular shaped pool below the cliffs which is connected to the sea by an underwater channel. This pool was most recently used in the Red Bull Cliff Diving championships, with competitors diving 27 metres into the Atlantic, surrounded by the limestone pavement and impressive rock formations.

Throughout the whole of Inishmor, a mere 31 km², there are a vast array of ancient ecclesiastical sites which signifies Inishmor’s importance as a centre of religious ritual and learning in the early Christian times. These sites range from the 11th century with Na Seacht d’Tempaill (The Seven Churches) to the 10th century Teampall Bheanáin (The Church of Saint Beanán) as well as Teaghlach Éinne (The Church of Saint Enda) constructed in the 5th century.  It is thought that early Christianity was established on Inishmor by Enda which lead to the island becoming a place of great importance to pilgrims for over a thousand years.

Along with these religious sites, the island is also home to even older monuments, including Leaba Dhiarmuda Agus Ghráinne, a megalithic wedge tomb dating back to 2000BC and served as a burial place for the early farmers.

Inishmor is not only steeped in history, but it is also home to some stunning scenery.  It has four sandy beaches and is surrounded by crystal clear waters, not to mention the flowers that bloom throughout the labyrinth of limestone pavements. The island is on the very edge of Europe, and feels like the edge of the world. It’s a place where you can find serenity and activity all at once, and it’s will leave you with lasting memories.

Our guided cycling day tour offers the chance to explore, discover and uncover everything Inishmor has to offer. We take care of all necessary arrangements, including ferry tickets, lunch, bikes and a guide, all so that you don’t have to! Why not explore with us?

 

Book Now!


Any questions? – aranislandsbiketours@gmail.com or call us on +353 (0) 85 119 5489.

 

Check out our further details below!

  • Price per person is €99
  • Included in the price is: a guide, bike, helmet, ferry ticket to and from the island, and a packed lunch
  • This tour operates from April 1st to October 31st
  • Tour starts from Doolin pier, first ferry leaving Doolin at 9am  (this may vary depending on time of year) and returning to Doolin on the last ferry from the Island at 5pm (this may vary)
  • Group sizes up to 8 people
  • Decent level of fitness and cycling experience required
  • We can put together packages for team building, stags, hens, family groups with our sister company North Clare Sea Kayaking, and accommodation providers and restaurants

 

What to Bring – visit What to Bring for a more comprehensive listing

  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Appropriate clothing (rain jacket, warm sweater, good shoes, cycling gloves etc)
  • Change of clothing (socks, shorts & t-shirt)
  • Camera
  • Small rucksack

Book Now!



Discover the Burren on our Burren Way Coastal Tour!

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….BUT if you want to continue exploring the area, you can always join our sister company North Clare Sea Kayaking for an evening paddle in the Bay, a great chance to discover more hidden treasures and great the best of both worlds, from the land and sea!

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?

Book Now!


NOTE: For any queries please contact us directly – aranislandsbiketours@gmail.com or call us on +353 (0) 85 119 5489.

Check out our further details below!

  • Free return to Doolin
  • Price includes a guide, bikes, helmets, & support vehicle
  • We can accommodate families and children (some restrictions on younger children or those with no experience)
  • We can put together packages for team building, stags, hens, family groups with our sister company North Clare Sea Kayaking, and accommodation providers and restaurants

 

What to Bring – visit What to Bring for a more comprehensive listing

  • Snack/ drink / picnic lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Appropriate clothing (rain jacket, warm sweater, good shoes, cycling gloves etc)
  • Change of clothing (socks, shorts & t-shirt)
  • Camera
  • Small rucksack

 

Distance:

Approx 30km

Difficulty:

Beginner to Intermediate

Time:

6  Hours

Price:

€99/person or €89 groups of 4+

Start Elevation:

20 Meters

Max Elevation:

84 Meters

Gain:

64meters

Climbs on Route:

2 (light)