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The Mayo tour is like stepping back 20 years to an Ireland before the Celtic Tiger! It is the quietest of our routes in terms of traffic and offers up a wild windswept landscape full of changing light. You will get to visit the largest stone age site in Europe, an ancient cattle field system and also spend your rest day on Achill Island with its wonderful mountains and white sandy beaches as well as its breathtaking cliff walks. This is also the country of Grainnuaile, a famous female pirate in the 16th Century whose ships attacked fleets all along the coastline and we visit one of her fortress houses. Finally we stop at a wonderful early Christian monastic site situated in a most peaceful setting, before heading back to Westport and the less mystical real world.
You meet up with the guide and the rest of the group at 6.30 pm in the Helm Bar in the harbour area of Westport (098 26398), which is about two miles from the train station. It would probably be best to get a taxi. This is just the meeting point and may not necessarily be where you are actually staying that night. There is an introductory talk from the guide followed by an evening meal. If you are unexpectedly delayed please call the Helm Bar and leave a message for the guide as to when you expect to arrive. After dinner you can check into your B&B before perhaps returning to a nearby pub for a drink and a music session.
Leaving the town on the Castlebar Road, after a mile we turn onto the Western Way walking route. The route takes us along quiet backroads passing by lakes and bog land to our lunch stop. After lunch there is some nice lakeside cycling around Lough Conn and then onto Lough Cullin, which brings us to our Hotel in Foxford.
We start the day by visiting the historic Woollen Mills in Foxford after which we head out on back roads to follow along the eastern shore of Lough Conn before stopping for lunch in a pub. In the afternoon we again follow quiet roads to Ballycastle.
Heading west on the coast road with wonderful views looking out over the Atlantic, we come to the Ceide Fields, site of an ancient 5000-year-old field system. It is the largest Stone Age site in Europe and there is an excellent interpretive centre here that outlines the history of the site. Continuing on from the centre there is a dramatic cycle across open bogland with more wonderful coastal views all the way to the town of Belmullet.
Today we is cycle around the Atlantic Coast through a wild barren landscape, past freshly cut fields of peat, to the village of Mulranney and from there cycle onto Achill Island and our night stop. There may be an option to cycle out on the isolated peninsula beyond Belmullet and take a fishing boat from Blacksod Point across the Bay to Doogort on Achill Island. From here it is a short cycle to the village of Keel where we spend the next two nights.
There are several dramatic cycling routes around Achill the most impressive being the Atlantic Drive, with its wonderful coastal views and beautiful landscape. You can also head to Keem bay for a swim on its white sandy beach. For those feeling energetic you could climb to the top of the nearby cliffs some of the highest in Europe, where you are rewarded with the most breathtaking views of the week.
Leaving the Island via the bridge at Achill sound, we continue along the Clew Bay coast road and visit a 16th Century Tower House, one of the chain of forts built by Granuaile, a female pirate who controlled this whole region. We then visit a small but beautifully situated early Christian monastic site, before heading to Newport for lunch. In the afternoon we return to Westport for a final night on the town together.
After breakfast you are free to head your separate ways.
Westport is situated in the shadow of Croagh Patrick. One of the few planned towns in the Country It has become one of Ireland's established tourism centres and a great base for ...
Travel across the Curraun Peninsula to reach Achill Island, joined to the mainland by bridge. This area is steeped in history and despite its remote location, attracted a rich ar...
|Per person sharing||€890|
The average cycling distance is an easy 30m (45km) with longer routes being available most days. The tours are suitable for adults of all ages, but a certain level of fitness is required and taking in a few practice rides is strongly recommended. The tours are not suited for children under 13 years of age. The Ring of Kerry, the Highlands of Donegal and the Antrim tours have more hills than the other routes and are more suited to the keener cyclist.
Your guide will recommend a lunch stop each day where a snack lunch will cost between €8 and €12. A group evening meal is organised by the guide each night which costs between €18 and €25. One evening meal during the tour is included in the tour price.
We supply 18-21 speed hybrid touring models for your tour. Each booking must give your name and approximate height. Repair equipment, helmets and pannier bags are available on request.
Each of the tours start with a meeting group at 6:30pm on the Saturday evening in a central hotel close to the local train station and bus station. This is only a meeting point, typically the group will be staying in nearby guesthouses. The guide is able to return to the meeting place at 9:30pm again that evening and the following morning for those arriving late. After an introductory talk the guide will organise an evening meal and direct you to your first nights accommodation.
There is an additional charge of €35 for insurance cover. We insist that riders avail of our insurance policy or else have alternative cover in place
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