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 Maam Valley starting from Maam Cross. Cycle along the edge of Lough Corrib, going through Maam village and Cornamona until you get to Cong. Cong is home to Cong Abbey and the beautiful Ashford Castle and Gardens. Cong is also famous for Director, John Ford’s 1951 film, The Quiet Man.
Wander through Joyce Country and enjoy its spectacular, yet tranquil and natural beauty. Take a route right through the Maamturk and Partry mountains. It will take you through Clonbur, Finny and around Lough Nafooey. And you’ll finish in the charming village of Leenane, situated at the mouth of Ireland’s only Fjord. And by now you’ll begin to realize why it’s called the Wild Atlantic Way.
Course through the Sheffrey hills, over to Louisburgh and down by Delphi. The scenery is absolutely breath-taking. If you’re the adventurous type, you might want to climb Croagh Patrick.
Cycle Westward from Killary Harbor towards Tully Cross. Find those hidden gems that include Lettergesh and Gurteen. You may like to explore Connemara National Park in Letterfrack. And such a route should not end in Clifden without taking a spin out to see the views of the Atlantic Ocean from the Sky Road.
Where River Owenglin meets the Atlantic, you’ll find Clifden, often called “the Capital of Connemara”. South of Clifden is Derrygimlagh Bog. In summertime, when heather and other wild flowers are in bloom, the usually dark boggy landscape comes to life in a wonder of colour.
Also, South of Clifden is Ballyconneely and the picturesque, Dog’s Bay with its turquoise blue waters and sparkling white sandy beaches. From here you can cycle a remote road through Cashel down into Carna. Carna is right in the heart of the Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) region of Connemara. It is believed that some Spanish Armada sailors whose ship ran aground settled in Carna.
Rest easy! From Carna, you’ll be driven with a guide to Rossaveal harbour to catch a ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. The islands are an extension of the limestone landscape found in The Burren. Its 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 Rosaveal. From there, you’ll be transported back to Galway City.