Sample the atmosphere that has made Galway a mecca for musicians, artists, actors and tourists alike. Its cobbled pedestrianized streets are lined with bohemian cafes, traditional pubs and craft shops. Take a stroll along the bank of the River Corrib and its canals that feed through the city. Galway City’s real appeal is the vibrant music scene, with buskers on street corners during the day, and bars filled with traditional Irish music at night.
After being transported out of the hustle and bustle of the city, cycle through the Burren starting from the delightful village of Kinvara. Cycle along the Moy Road where you will pass by acres of unusual limestone pavements. If you visit the Burren Perfumery & Floral Centre, you will find striking array of wild flowers and unique fragrances. As you continue along your journey, you will pass through Carran, Leamaneh and Kilfenora before finishing in Lisdoonvarna
Lisdoonvarna is a Spa Town. The town hosts an internationally recognized Match-making Festival. The festival is held annually in September and attracts upwards of 40’000 individual hopefuls. This is quite impressive considering that the town has a population well below 1000!
Lisdoonvarna is strategically located to experience a lot of what The Burren has to offer. You can visit the majestic Cliffs of Moher, rising from 120 metres to 214 metres. The Cliffs take their name from Moher, a stone fort that lays in ruins at Hag’s Head, the most southerly point of the cliffs.
Leaving the Cliffs of Moher, you will cycle Southwards through the village of Liscannor that sits on the edge of Liscannor Bay. Legend says that the ancient city of Kilstipheen sank into the depths of Liscannor Bay. It had something to do with the then Chieftain losing a golden key in Battle. May you be the lucky one to cycle by when a fisherman may find that key and restore the city from the depths of the Bay!
After cycling through Liscannor, you will arrive in Lahinch. Lahinch is a small town on Liscannor Bay. It is home to a 36-hole Golf Club. Most notably, Lahinch has become one of the foremost surfing locations in Ireland. One can also partake in other watersports such as kite-surfing and wind-surfing.
One will then return to Lisdoonvarna via Kilfenora. Kilfenora is famous for its three 12th Century High Crosses. The High Crosses are protected in the ruins of Kilfenora Cathedral which lays in a partially ruined state.
Cycle to Doolin Pier to catch a ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. The islands are an extension of the limestone landscape that you are sure to become well accustomed to while cycling in the Burren. Inis Mór’s quiet roads are ideal for cycling as you meander around the maze of oddly shaped stone walls.
One of the most impressive aspects of Inis Mór is Dún Aengus. It is a spectacular pre-historic stone fort that hangs on the edge of a 300 foot cliff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
After touring Inis Mór, you’ll enjoy a refreshing ferry journey back to Doolin. Then you can continue your cycle from Doolin Pier back to Lisdoonvarna.
Cycling Northwards, you’ll take the scenic coast road to Ballyvaughan. Mountains will be to your right and the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay will be to your left. You’ll cycle passed Black’s Head and down through the wonderfully sandy beach of Fanore. On a clear day, the journey offers awesome views across the Bay to the Connemara mountains.
The quaint town of Ballyvaughan is situated on the northern edge of the Burren. It is close to the Burren National Park, Slieve Carran Hill, Cahercommaun, Gleninsheen and Poulnabrone Dolmen. For the adventurous, there is also Ailwee Cave waiting to be explored.