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Connemara and the Aran Isles

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour




8 days

Prices from

$1,385 P.P.
This tour takes in the highlights of Connemara, Joyce Country and South Mayo. The arrival point for this trip is the famous and beautiful city of Galway. This bustling historic city played host to the 2020 European Capital of Culture, which is a testament to the city’s many festivals and captivating heritage.
The first leg of your journey takes you to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. A true Irish experience awaits you, locals speaking the beautiful Irish language as well as English in a setting of Celtic churches of historical significance and the World Heritage Site, Dun Aonghasa which is set on a dramatic 300 ft cliff edge (be sure to mind your step)! Between the south-facing cliffs and the white sand beaches of the northern shores, the landscape is dominated by limestone paving which has shaped life on the island and provides fascinating scenery for an afternoon on the bike.
Back on the mainland you will find yourself cycling through Connemara's countryside to the town of Clifden, here you can look forward to more stunning vistas and some authentic Irish music as you indulge in the delicious local produce.
Leaving Clifden you will ride through the Lough Inagh Valley to Leenane on the shores of Killary Harbour, with the chance to visit Kylemore Abbey on the way. Having explored Ireland's only fjord, you will then head north into the well-known town of Westport, famous for its exceptional hospitality, scenery and music.


  • Visiting Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands
  • Admiring the wonderful views of the Twelve Bens from the Bog Road
  • Sampling the menus of Clifden’s excellent restaurants
  • Visiting Kylemore Abbey
  • Listening to traditional music in Clifden’s and Westport’s famous pubs
  • Cycling the marvelous coastal ride from Tully Cross to Leenane

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Day 1
Arrival in to Galway - Transfer to Oughterard

Our introduction to the region begins in Galway, where we recommend taking some time to explore this charming town, visit the waterfront and enjoy a drink or some lunch on Quay Street. For those arriving by public transport, our local team will meet you at Galway train station and transfer you to the pretty town of Oughterard, close to the shores of Lough Corrib, where you will check into your accommodation. For those driving, you can carry on your journey to Oughterard and park at your accommodation where you will be able to leave your car for the duration of the tour.

Day 2
Oughterard to Rossaveal - Ferry to Inishmore
17 Miles / 28 Kms Approx. Plus optional cycling on the island.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 351 Metres Approx.

This morning you head out of Oughterard on a quiet back road taking in the stunning views of Lough Corrib. You will cycle along to Rossaveal where you will take the ferry across to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. (Ferry tickets included)

Inishmore is rich in both historic and pre-historic sites, highlights include the clifftop fort of Dun Aonghus, a semi-circular fort over 3000 years old and holding a special place in Irish mythology. Less known is the Black Fort (Dun Duchathair) where you can experience some of the most beautiful cliffs on the island. Furthermore, there are early Christian (starting with the 6th century) churches, monasteries and cemeteries. At less than 9 miles (14 Kms) in length, you can spend the afternoon exploring the island by bike, enjoying the sites and getting the best views of the incredible limestone pavement and white sand beaches. After the last afternoon ferry departs you can enjoy the quiet of island life and with minimal light pollution, black night enthusiasts may be lucky to experience a beautiful starry sky!

Day 3
Ferry to Rossaveal - Rossaveal to Clifden
36 or 53 Miles / 58 or 86 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 386 or 586 Metres Approx.

This morning you can finish exploring the island before taking the noon ferry back to Rossaveal. Once you disembark you will cycle north into Connemara proper. You will not be able to miss the amazing Twelve Ben’s (the 12 mountains at the centre of Connemara National Park).

Turning west you will ride across the peat bogs, where you can see the locals peat digging, to Cashel and again across the bog road to Clifden. This colourful quaint town is often labelled as the metropole of Connemara. You will have two nights here to immerse yourself in the culture with the many traditional Irish pubs playing Irish music you can sing along to.

Day 4
Clifden Loop Ride
25, 40 or 55 Miles / 40, 64 or 88 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 292, 506 or 789 Metres Approx.

Today you have three options to choose from. The first is a figure of eight loop based around Clifden visiting the village of Ballyconneely where Alcock and Brown crash landed their biplane after completing the frist transatlantic flight in 1919. There are some very beautiful beaches here which you can spend some time to take in your surroundings.

The second option takes you to Roundstone where you can see traditional musical instruments being made by hand.

Alternatively there is a wonderful ride out along the Sky Road to enjoy some sublime coastal scenery, and for the enthusiastic rider you can continue along the route to Claddaghduff and Aughrusbeg.

Day 5
Clifden to Leenane
38, 45 or 53 Miles / 61, 73 or 86 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 409, 517 or 660 Metres Approx.

Leaving Clifden behind you cycle onwards today through the beautiful Lough Inagh Valley to Kylemore, where it’s worth a stop at Kylemore Abbey. From here there is the option to cycle along the coast to Lettergesh or to go a more direct route to Leenane. This small village is located on Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord.

Day 6
Leenane to Westport
20 or 33 Miles / 32 or 53 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 257 or 475 Metres Approx.

Today is a beautiful day on quiet country roads amongst the hills of Connemara and Mayo. On today’s route you have the option to choose your route to Westport with distances varying from 20 – 38 miles / 32Kms – 62Kms. You can choose Option 1 (38 miles/62Kms) or Option 2 (36 miles/59Kms) which take you inland to Joyce’s Country and past the beautiful lakes of Lough Nafooey and Lough Mask. Option 3 (32miles/51Kms) takes you on quiet backroads through the Delphi Valley, or there is option 4 (20miles/32Kms) which takes you along the road through Delphi Valley and to Clew Bay. Westport, where you stay for the last two nights is a colourful market town in County Mayo. Here it is not difficult to find pubs with traditional Irish music.

Day 7
Westport Loop Ride
21 or 34 Miles / 33 Kms or 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 393 or 560 Metres Approx.

This is a beautiful loop ride around Croagh Patrick (Ireland’s Holy Mountain) visiting the village of Louisburghand before heading back to Westport along Clew Bay. Along the way visit the National Famine Memorial, Murrisk Friary and the Croagh Patrick visitor center.

Day 8
Departure from Westport
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast say goodbye to this beautiful region of Ireland. There are good transport links from Westport for your onward journey or contact our office for more details on transfers back to Galway or Oughterard.

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The Cycling


The routes you’ll be taking have been put together to take in points of interest, views and quiet roads.

The riding is generally undulating, but you can also expect some longer gradual climbs and shorter steep inclines along the way.

While most roads are quiet, there will be some busier sections, particularly as you head into and out of towns.

The majority of the route is on a tarmac surface, with a couple of short sections on hard-packed gravel.

A hybrid bike is recommended, but a road bike would also be suitable for many people.


Leisure Cycling Grade

Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 trip to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available from 16 Apr to 10 Oct.

2023 $1385 per person

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
8 days

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in Premium B&Bs

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) Detailed route notes and maps

E) Luggage transfers

F) Transfer from Galway to Oughterard on scheduled arrival day

G) Ferry tickets on Day 2

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single room (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers

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The Essentials

Travel Options

If travelling by train we ask that you arrive into Galway Town and depart from Westport. We’d ask that you aim to arrive before 17:00 so there is plenty of time for your transfer to Oughterard. We’d highly recommend though, if you have the time, arriving a few days early to explore the lovely city of Galway.

If travelling by car the arrival point is your accommodation in Oughterard where you will be able to leave your car for the duration of the trip. Transfers back to Oughterard are available for 2 people plus bikes for approx. $315 if booked in advance.

The local airport is Knock (NOC) which is a relatively short distance from Westport and there are direct bus connections to Galway. You may also want to consider flying to Dublin (DUB) and again, there are good transport links between the airport and Galway and Westport.

Flying from the US may be an overnight flight, and / or multiple travel days.

Please check with Skedaddle before booking any flights so that we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule


In Ireland we use small, good quality premium B&Bs, Pubs and Guesthouses. Our accommodation for this trip provides good food and a friendly welcome after a day of cycling!

As with all of our trips we aim to use accommodation which showcases the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting. We always have comfort and convenience in mind when selecting such places.

Bike Hire

Rental bikes are typically a Stevens 6X Lite Tour model or a Trek FX2 Disc, or similar. These are high quality, flat-bar hybrid bikes, with a wide range of gears.

We also have electric bikes available on request, if required. (Please note, if you‘re planning on bringing your own e-bike along, please chat to us first to ensure it’s suitable for the tour).

Bikes will come equipped with pannier racks and 1 pannier bag, handle bar bag, a water bottle holder, puncture repair kit and spare inner tubes.

(The handle bar bag and water bottle holder are not available on the e-bikes. Please also note, some e-bikes are tubeless, and so in this case spare inner tubes won’t be provided.)

It is possible to bring along your own pedals and/or saddle, but please let us know in advance.

If you would like to hire a helmet, we can provide these if requested in advance.

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