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Clare & the Burren Self-Guided

Clare & the Burren Self-Guided

Ireland Flag Ireland

  • Region Region West of Ireland
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 7 days
  • Bike Type Bike Type Hybrid

Core Route

309 Kilometres
1 (Leisurely) Difficulty Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average Distance per Day: 52 km
0 80 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 331 km
0 500 km

Extended Route

390 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 65 km
0 80 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 416 km
0 500 km
April - October from
€725
Next Steps

The tour is an exploration of the beautiful West of Ireland region and includes the Loop Head peninsula, the Clare coastline and the famous Burren.

Your start point and the location for your first night’s accommodation is the medieval town of Ennis. The first biking leg leads west to meet the Atlantic Coast at Kilkee, where you stay for two nights. The loop ride from the town is around the aptly named Loop Head Peninsula. Leaving Kilkee you ride north along the Atlantic Coast to the spa town of Lisdoonvarna for another two-night stopover. The loop ride from here takes you around the Burren coastline. From Lisdoonvarna you explore the remote eastern Burren en route to Kinvarra on the shores of Galway Bay. The final leg gives you the option of either returning to Ennis, or continuing north to finish in Galway.

Highlights

  • Exploring the narrow lanes and shops in medieval Ennis

  • Riding around the Loop Head Peninsula

  • The dramatic Cliffs of Moher

  • Lunching in Ballyvaughan after the spectacular ride around by Black Head

  • Enjoying a traditional music session in one of Doolin’s pubs

  • Browsing in the Burren Visitor Centre

  • A visit to the Burren Purfumery

  • A wander around Dysert O’Dea archaeological site

  • Looking over Galway Bay from the ramparts of Dunaguaire Castle

  • Photographing the Galway hookers (traditional sailing boats) in Kinvarra harbour

Day 1

Arrive in Ennis (there are regular buses from Shannon Airport or trains from Dublin). Stay the night in

guesthouse/B&B. We will meet you in the afternoon / evening to adjust the bicycle for you and talk you through the week ahead.

2

Ennis – Kilkee (ca 58km or 68km – climb 386m)

You are leaving Ennis to cycle along quiet backroads to Kilkee located directly on the Atlantic Coast.

During Victorian times Kilkee was a favoured holiday location thanks to its 2km long sandy beach offering safe swimming.

Elevation profile 5

3

Loop Head (ca 36km or 64km – 256m / 354m)

Loop Head the most westerly peninsula will offer you some sublime coastal scenery with its cliffs, arches, and freestanding pinacles. At the tip of Loop Head you will find a fully working lighthouse (not open to the public) offering a wide sweeping vista. The cycling is on very quiet backroads.

Kilkee Loop

4

Kilkee – Lisdoonvarna / Doolin (ca 68km - 441m)

Today's cycle will remain along the coast to the north passing Lahinch famous for its surfing and golfing, to Lisdoonvarna or Doolin (both villages famous for their traditional Irish music). Stay here for the next two nights. One of the alternatives lets you cycle past the Cliffs of Moher rising majestically more than 200m out of the sea.

Kilkee Lisdoonvarna E Lv

5

Loop Day (various options- 51km, 58km and more - 416m)

There are 3 different options for today all doing a circuit of the Burren, a unique lunar-like landscape providing botanical interest as well as rich in historical remains. Visit the village of Balllyvaughan, the Aillwee Caves, and ride past the Poulnabrone Dolmen as well as other famous burial chambers.

Lisdoonvarna Loop elv

6

Doolin / Lisdoonvarna – Kinvarra (ca 44km, 64km 299m/531m - can be extended)

Another day in the mythical Burren landscape. Visit the village of Kilfenora with its high crosses and Abbey, then continue heading into the Burren Nature Reserve. Near Carron you may pay a visit to the Burren Perfumery, using the local herbs and heathers in their range of scents. Today's target is the colourful small fishing village of Kinvarra, where you discover tradional Galway Hookers (woodensailing boats) moored in its picturesque harbour. Also visit Dungaire Castle (you may even like to takepart in its banquet).

Lisdoonvarna Kinvarra

7

Kinvarra back to Ennis (ca 46km 129m – can be extended) or to Galway (ca 45km)

A last day in the Burren landscape passing the monastic settlement of Kilmacduagh on the way back to Ennis. Or perhaps you wish to spend the last day in the bustling, historic University town of Galway.

Kinvarra ennis E Lv

8

Breakfast, followed by farewell and departure for your onward journey.

Route Map

Accommodation

The standard accommodations for this region's self-guided itineraries are guesthouses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs). Generally, these have between 4 and 10 guest rooms and the owners/providers live on the premises. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room), and the room facilities usually include a television and tea/coffee making facilities. There is a communal reading / television lounge. Small family run hotels are also used in a few locations. The providers are excellent sources of local information.

Breakfast is always included. Most guesthouses do not offer an evening meal.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our guesthouses in this region include;


Getting here

The most convenient international airports are Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport.

There is a small regional airport in Ireland West Airport.

Galway, Westport and Ennis have direct rail links with Dublin (Heuston Station) operated by Irish Rail.

Bus Eireann operates intercity and regional bus services throughout Ireland.

Citylink and GoBus run buses between Galway and Dublin Airport. Citylink also operates a service on the Galway to Clifden route


Climate

Ireland's climate is surprisingly mild given its northern location. This is mainly due to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream which brings warm waters up to Western Europe from the more tropical Atlantic zones.

Temperamental is a fitting description of Ireland's weather. It can be very unpredictable! The old adage that it is possible to experience four seasons in one day is close to the truth. During the summertime, the warmest months tend to be July and August, when average temperatures during the day can range from 15ºC to 20ºC. A hot day in summertime could produce temperatures of 22ºC to 24ºC and on rare occasions can exceed 30ºC.

The best time to travel to Ireland for an outdoor trip such as a bicycle tour is from the beginning of May to the end of September. April and October are also possible, but the chances of encountering inclement weather increase. Towards the end of October the days are significantly shorter.

Traditionally May can provide some of the best weather days of the season. The last two weeks in June have the longest days of the year.

July and August are peak travel season for Ireland. The first weekend in August (a public holiday weekend) is the busiest of the season. School holidays are from the end of June until the end of August.

The latter half of September sees the change to autumn colours.


Core Tour Cost €725
Luggage transfers €325 (per couple)
Hybrid Bike Rental €140
Road Bike Rental €190
E-Bike Rental €230
Single Supplement €195


€725 per person sharing, to include;

  • 7 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Pre-Trip Information Booklet and Planner
  • On call telephone support
  • All mapping, routes and cue sheets with gpx tracks
  • Meet, greet and bike fitting


Luggage Transfers

  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 220 (110 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 220 + 20= 240 (80 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 220 + 20 + 20 = 260 (65 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider.

Please note that we will endeavor to provide you with the bike listed below. On occasion, due to availability and size requirements, you may receive a different bike. All our bikes will be of a similar style, quality and specification to those listed.

Stevens 6x Lite Hybrid Bike

5 frame sizes
Aluminium 6061 DB Frame
Stevens Alloy fork
27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Stevens San Remo Road Bike

8 frame sizes
Aluminium 6061 DB
Carbon fork

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted with: Platform pedals, bottle cage,

Equipment provided: map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool, frame bag

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Stevens E-Lavena E-Bike

E-Bike

  • 4 frame sizes
  • Aluminium 6061 Frame
  • SR Suntour NCX D LO Air

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

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