Background

The customers who choose to come with us want a fun tour, and appreciate the emphases we place on explaining our heritage and culture. We are also keenly aware of the need to allow you to ride at your own pace. You decide how much you wish to ride each day. Its important to know that you won't delay or inconvenience anybody by riding at your own pace. Check out the daily itinerary pages for more information.

As you cycle through the west of Ireland you will encounter many varied landscapes. We have based our cycle tour in four distinctly different regions, the Shannon Basin, the Burren, Connemara and the Aran Islands. The natural beauty of these regions is obvious, but there is more to the west of Ireland than meets the eye.

The Burren region was highly favored by prehistoric people as a settlement area. This was one of the first settled areas in Ireland. Indeed the Burren boasts one of the best preserved archaeological landscapes in Europe. Over seventy examples of megalithic tombs exist to this day, some of which have been excavated (Poulnabron portal tomb). Through radiocarbon dating it has been established that this site was used as a burial ground between 3200 BC and 3800 BC. The late Neolithic and early Bronze age saw wedge tombs dominate the landscape of the Burren. The abundance of these monuments indicates extensive settlement of this region around 2300 BC.

Jenny Mendoza  Indeed it was a combination of this settlement and the underground rivers that abound in this region that eventually led to the dramatic soil erosion that gives the Burren it’s lunar like landscape (known as karst scenery). Some of these underground rivers still run to this day and we will show you where one such underground stream re-emerges in Kinvarra harbor Co. Galway. This underground stream provided Dunguaire Castle with its all important supply of fresh water. The fresh water could only be recovered when the tide in Kinvarra harbor was out.

Connemara boasts some of the most scenic, natural, beauty spots in Europe. From the towering twelve pins to the village of Cong, you will encounter an area of untamable beauty, populated by people who have made a living for from this stubborn land and often dangerous coastline. Connemara national park protects over 10,000 acres of rare environment and provides one of the few strongholds of the otter left in Europe. To the North West is Derriigimlagh Bog where count Guglielmo Marconi set up the first transatlantic wireless telegraphy station. The Shannon basin offers you rolling countryside with a mixture of forestry and small farms along the banks of the river Shannon (which is the longest river in Ireland). The first two days of your tour will be spent in this region. You will enjoy a network of small country roads with grass growing in the middle that weave their way through this gentle landscape.

Your exploration of the Aran Islands comes on the fifth day of the tour. This is an opportunity for a rest day for anyone who wishes to take it easy. If you wish you can leave the bikes behind as you take the ferry to the Islands. A strong pair of walking boots is a must for your comfort and safety in the island. Enjoy a traditional show on the island before returning to the mainland. No tour of the West of Ireland could be complete without a visit to the Islands which have given their name to the Aran sweater. The ferry trip will take around 35 minutes each way. The ferry will take you out to the largest of the three islands (Inis Mor). You will return to the small harbor at Rossaveal that evening giving you ample time to explore the unique environment of Inis Mor.

 

 

 


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