This 5-night, 6-day Adventure is available as both a Deluxe and Classic package and showcases the very best of the Burren, Aran Islands and Connemara. The Burren, Islands & Connemara tour is one of our original, and best offerings. The Burren is located on the west coast of Ireland, above the River Shannon (Ireland’s longest river), below Galway Bay and home to the world famous Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Islands and the breathtaking Dolmen Poulnabrone (a five thousand year old burial tomb; older the Pyramids of Egypt, and older than Stonehenge). This is also home to some of the best bike routes and links golf courses in Europe and also possesses one of Ireland’s most innovative restaurants at Gregan’s Castle Hotel. Connemara, which we visist at the end of the week on this trip is located on the other side of Galway Bay and is made up of granite deposits, post glacial landscapes and offers the rider unparalled coastal scenery coupled with breaktaking valley passes, stunning lakes and glorious hotels. Fresh Eire Adventures specialises in worldwide bike tours, family vacations, walking, golf and gourmet tours. We offer Deluxe & Classic hotel level categories to suit all budgets in Ireland and worldwide.
Day 1 & 2
We meet in Shannon Airport or Ennis and transfer to our first hotel in the Burren where we spend two nights.
During our first and second days riding, we'll visit the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, perched high above the Atlantic Ocean. We ride along the coast to the village of Ballyvaughan and meet with local expert Shane Connolly for a short hike onto the rocks of the Burren to learn all about this unique landscape; it's flowers for example are among the most diverse in the world. You'll get up close and personal with Poulnabrone - a 5,000-year-old dolmen (burial chamber) and cycle right past one of the oldest law schools in the world (Brehon law was one of the most advanced forms of law 1,200 years ago). We'll sample the finest food from the region - smoked salmon from the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna and St Tola's goats cheese for example. Our first night together we'll all dine together in Sheedy's Hotel & Restaurant while on your second night you'll dine at your hotel.
On our third day, after breakfast we'll take a ferry from Doolin and cross to Inis Mor, made famous by the 1920s documentary The Man of Aran. This is really the land that time forgot and you'll be sharing the roads with horse drawn carriages and passing by fields separated by stone walls. We will enjoy a delicious homecooked lunch in Padraigin's thatched cottage with lots of brown bread - a real Irish staple! We'll bike to Dun Aengus, a magnificent multiperiod fortress and get to examine rudimentary, yet highly effective, defensive mechanisms such as cheveaux de frise. We'll learn all about how the inhabitants of the fortress lived and get to peer over the cliffs to the rocks below. Tonight we'll stay on the island and enjoy a home cooked meal together. Our hotel tonight is one of the oldest on the island.
After breakfast, we'll take a ferry back to the mainland, to Co Galway. We'll cycle in the shadows of the Twelve Bens mountain range, past bogs, rivers and sheep en route to our first destination in Connemara; Roundstone. This is perhaps the prettiest village in Ireland and we'll spend our fourth and fifth nights together. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Our final day biking together will see us complete a loop ride from Roundstone. We shall follow the coast past Dogs Bay beach (a glorious white sand, blue water coral beach which looks like it belongs in the Carribbean!), through Ballyconnolly, past the Alcock & Brown landing site, past the Marconi station and into Clifden - the capital of Connemara. After lunch you can opt for one of the best rides of the week - The Sky Road. Afterwards we take the tranquil bog road back to our hotel - often times guests comment on this ride; they say it's the most enjoyable of the week; it's just you, the mountains, heathers, gorse, bog cotton, turf, lakes and sheep. We'll have a hot whiskey at the end of our ride together to mark a week well spent on our bikes!
Tonight's dinner is a real treat - prepared by one of the best chefs in Ireland. Siobhan Vaughan has been taking care of her guests in the family-run restuarant for more years than she cares to remember. Prepare to be wowed by local seafood, amazing Connemara lamb, sumptuous grass-fed beef or a delicious, innovative vegetarian dish. After dinner we'll be sure to check out what's happening in the Shamrock Bar and hopefully get to hear some music.
After breakfast on our sixth day, we'll transfer back to Galway where the tour will end.
Average daily biking is 25 miles (additional riding is available to those so inclined, less riding is also an option – this is your vacation, not bootcamp!).
Classic accommodations include 3-star hotels and guest houses. Deluxe accommodations include 4 star hotels (for four out of the 5 nights; on the island we all stay in the same hotel – a glorious guest house at the bottom of an ancient ring fort, Dun Aengus. However Deluxe package includes room upgrades at this hotel).
Great value extension packages available in exciting cities like Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork. You can avail of these either as a pre-trip or post-trip option.
Dates Burren and Aran
- April 1-6 2018
Any other start dates available upon request (subject to availability)
Prices Burren and Aran
- Classic - $3500 pps. Single supplement $500
- Deluxe - $4500 pps. Single supplement $800
Included Burren and Aran
- Use of Giant Hybrid bike, Bell or Giro Helmet, handlebar bag, route notes & maps
- Fresh Eire Adventures Water bottle
- Transfers from Shannon airport or Ennis on Start Day
- Transfers to Galway City centre or Shannon Airport on End Day
- 4 exquisite dinners & wine
- 3 gourmet lunches & wines
- Admissions to all included attractions & tastings
- Ferry crossings to/from Inis Mor, Aran Islands
- Baggage transfers
- Tips for hotels/restaurants
- Healthy snacks, water, full guiding services, support vehicle.
- 5 nights B&B in 3 star (Classic) and 4 star (Deluxe) hotels (Full Irish & Continental breakfast)
Extras Burren and Aran
- Upgrade to a Giant Defy or Bianchi Nirone 7 (or similar) alu-road bike (available at extra cost).
- Upgrade to an electric hybrid bike (available at extra cost)
- Self-Guided Extension packages available in Galway, Dublin.
- Gratuities for Guides
- Golf Club hire (you are welcome to bring your own of course!)
Additional Guided services or Fresh Eire Adventures packages.
Co. Wicklow Escape (ex Dublin)
Includes gourmet lunch at Powerscourt, visit to Monastic site of Glendalough, Dinner and Irish dancing show at the world famous Johnny Fox's 'Hooley Nights'.
- Pick up Shelbourne 9am, Return 10.30pm.
- Includes full guiding services, gourmet lunch in Powerscourt, dinner & Irish dancing show at Johnny Fox's and all entrance fees.
- $399 per person.
- $749 per couple.
- $999 for group of 3 persons.
- $1149 for group of up to 4 persons
- $279 per person thereafter
Advance booking is required.
Spa or Golf in the K Club* (ex Dublin)
Includes green fees on Arnold Palmer designed Ryder Cup (2006) course, clubhouse lunch, Buggy rental, all transfers. Clubs may be hired for an additional charge. If you’d prefer to spend the day in the spa, then the package includes 2 treatments and an all day pass including lunch. Additional treatments may be booked for an additional charge.
- $699 single
- $1199 per couple
- $1799 for group of 3 persons
- $2199 or a group of 4 persons.
*Advance Booking is required, Subject to availability. Four players maximum per tee time. Additional players must book an additional tee-time.
Day trip to Waterford and Kilkenny (ex Dublin)
- Includes visit to Waterford Crystal Museum, Reginald’s Tower, gourmet lunch in Mount Juliet Estate, walking tour of Kilkenny Castle, Museum of Design Icons at Newbridge Silver.
- $799 single
- $1299 per couple
- $1899 for a group of 3 persons
- $2299 for a group of 4 persons
- Additional Guests charged at $549 per person.
Advance Booking is required.