SELF GUIDED TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to see our hidden gems & discover the many routes less travelled.
7 nights stay, 5/6 days cycles
Participants need to have a good level of fitness and previous cycling experience is recommended.
We are VERY pleased! Great Fun!!
– Joyce, USA, 2016
The Clare Bike Tour take you through a region in Ireland that captures some of the finest coastal scenery, inland charms, historic monuments & dramatic landscape contrasts as those found in the county of Clare. Bordered by the Shannon River to the east and south, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Galway Bay to the north – Clare gives all the beauty and splendour found in all of Ireland – in one small area. Taking time to cycle & walk this region will give you the greatest insight into just what it is that makes Ireland so unique.
Added to this is the attraction of visiting the Burren. ‘Burren’ is derived from the Irish word boireann meaning ‘place of stone’, and the name could not be more apt. There is no part of Ireland where rock so obviously dominates the landscape as it does in the Northwest corner of County Clare.
The Burren covers an area of some 260 square kilometres and is famous for its bare limestone pavements dissected by deep crevices and traversed by countless stone walls. Almost devoid of trees and surface water, it has been described as ‘lunar’ in its appearance, an ancient limestone plateau beneath which is a labyrinth of pot-holes, caves, streams and lakes. Surprisingly, this bi-zarre and apparently hostile environment is a botanist’s paradise as around ¾ of Ireland’s plant species are found in the Burren (more than any other region).
Click the days below to reveal more information.
Arrive in Ennis and check into your B&B. Collect your bicycle, Information Pack with Route Description and map from the proprietor. If you have time take the short circular cycle to Quin and Knappogue Castle returning to Ennis for your overnight. Ennis town offers a blend of old and new in one charming rich place.
Leaving Ennis for Kilrush you cycle along the north shore of the mighty Shannon River Estuary which hosts beautiful views over North Kerry and Scattery Island. The town of Kilrush has a wonderful marina and offers the opportunity to enjoy a boat trip over to the prized Scattery Island boasting a wonderful monastic settlement dating back to St. Senan.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 58kms/ 36mi.
Today’s cycle takes you from Kilrush to Carrigaholt & the beautiful Loop Head cycle. Overlooking the Shannon Estuary, south to County Kerry & north up towards the Cliffs of Moher. Completing your circuit, you end your day in the seaside town of Kilkee. Overnight in Kilkee
Today’s Cycle Distance: 44km /27.5mi.
From Kilkee, your cycle takes you along the south-western shores of County Clare as you follow north through the seaside village called Spanish point which takes its name from the stories of Spanish Armada ships washing up on the coastline and many Spanish sailors who made it ashore lost their lives to the local chieftain. This region of Clare is a very traditional region & many Irish people holiday here making it a great place to “meet the locals” while enjoying some super coastal scenery. Overnight inLahinch
Today’s Cycle Distance: 63km /39mi.
Continuing north from Milltown Malbay, you pass the famous Lahinch Golf Course before reaching the coast town of Liscannor – famous for its stone work. Continuing on to the Cliffs of Moher, we encourage you to stop here, lock your bicycles and enjoy a walk out to these impressive cliffs with wonderful views across to the Aran Islands. Continuing to your accommodation in Doolin – you will have a chance to enjoy some great traditional Irish music as you overnight here.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 37km / 23mi.
This is your opportunity to take a rest day & we recommend you take this opportunity to visit one of the famous & beautiful Aran Islands. If you are unable to make a 9-Day holiday, then we suggest you enjoy this loop in place of the Aran Islands.
Doolin Loop – As you cycle to the northern corner of County Clare this is one of the most spectacular regions in Ireland – known as “The Burren”. You will be amazed by this landscape & the variety of rock formations. It is wonderful just to park up your bike for a short time & walk across sections of these “paving slabs” to explore the amazing flora hidden in the cracks & crevices. Reaching the village of Ballyvaughan offers you a beautiful place to refresh & enjoy some local cooking or snacks before you return to Doolin.
Your final cycle will take you through the heart of County Clare, through farming communities giving you a great immersion into rural Ireland. You will meander through villages such as Corofin and other mystical sounding places on a network of backroads as you return to Ennis for your last overnight.
Today’s Cycle Distance: 49km /30.5mi.
After a final breakfast and farewell you leave your cycle behind you and follow your own arrangements for your onward journey.