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CLARE, ARAN ISLANDS - SELF GUIDED CYCLE TOUR
€849.00

 

PRICE :  €849

 

DEPARTURE DATES : Any

 

DEPARTURE TIME : 6.50AM

 

DEPARTURE LOCATION : Molly Malone Statue, Suffolk Street

 

ROOMS : Priced per person sharing  -  Single Supplement €280

 

( €200 refundable deposit required before departure for loss or damage )

 

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HIGHLIGHTS :

  • Dramore Nature Reserve 
  • Cliffs Of Moher 
  • Doolin Cave  
  • The Burren Loop 
  • Aillwee Caves  
  • Dunguaire Castle

 

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 8 full days of pure adventure
  • All your luggage transfers while on tour
  • 7 hearty Irish breakfasts
  • Touring bike
  • Route maps and details
  • 24 hour emergency helpline

 

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WHATS NOT INCLUDED

  • Lunches, evening meals, drinks
  • Travel insurance

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OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS

  • Ennis Friary – 4€
  • Cliffs of Moher– Coastal walk projects – 6€
  • Dun Aengus– 4€
  • Doolin cave – 12€
  • Father Ted Parochial House Cooking Workshop – 10€
  • Caherconnell Stone Fort – 7€
  • Caherconnell Sheepdog Demostration– 5€
  • Aillwee Cave and Burren Birds - Optional Ex - €9
  • Dunguaire Castle – 6€

 

 

( €200 refundable depsoit will be taken before departure for loss or damage )

 

Day 1: Ennis

This tour will start and finish in Dublin. Today you will be picked up and taken on our cliffs of Moher tour bus to Ennis where your cycle adventure begins. You have all day to get settled into your accommodation and explore the town of Ennis, a bustling town set on both sides of the River Fergus. You can check out some of the local attractions before you start your cycle adventure such as the medieval Friary ruins or the Clare Museum where you can learn about Irish history and culture.  Ennis is the capital of Co. Clare and has many wonderful pubs and restaurants to keep you entertained in the evening.    

 

Overnight:  Ennis

Restaurant Suggestion: Town Hall Cafe

 

 

Day 2: Spanish Point

You will enjoy this first day of cycling which will take you across flat green pastures to the west coast of Ireland.  We have chosen quiet country back roads which rarely see much traffic so you can settle into your cycle and enjoy the scenery. You arrive at Spanish Point which is known by surfers for its big waves. Spanish Point was named after the Spanish who died here in 1588, when many ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked during stormy weather.

 

Overnight:  Spanish Point

Restaurant Suggestion: Johnny Burkes

 

 

Day 3: Lahinch

Leaving behind wonderfully historic Spanish Point, you will head towards Lahinch, a town that has been continually whipped by Atlantic storms. You’ll cross through a golf club to see the Dough Castle ruins, which was built in 1306 by the O’Connors. You’ll also visit the village of Liscannor, where the inventor of the submarine, JP Holland, was born. Then we'll reach the highlight you are all waiting for, the Cliffs of Moher! These enormous cliffs over 200 meters high are one of the icons of Ireland. This is a ruggedly beautiful location, showcasing the best of nature. Not only for the impressive scenery but for being home to a variety of wildlife. To end the day you arrive in Doolin, the beating heart  of Co. Clare and for many people the Irish traditional music capital.

 

Highlight of the day: The Cliffs of Moher

Overnight: Doolin

Restaurant Suggestion: Roadford House Restaurant, Doolin Cafe

 

 

Day 4: Aran Islands

Early in the morning you will go to the harbour to catch the ferry to the Aran Islands. We are going to the largest of the islands, Inishmore. This island is famous for its strong Irish culture. The ferry arrives in Kilronan, where you’ll start your cycling tour. Following the road along the north coast of the island you get to Kilmurvey Beach and to Dun Aoghasa, the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands. It is on Inishmore, at the edge of a 100 metre high cliff. Once you have seen this amazing megalithic monument you can enjoy a cycle loop of the entire island and its abundance of wildlife before you come back to Kilronan and return to Doolin by ferry, where you’ll stay again overnight.

 

Highlight of the day: Dun Aoghasa

Overnight: Doolin

Restaurant Suggestion : McGann’s

 

 

Day 5: Doolin

Today is a real treat. This cycle is a loop route which will lead you back to our favourite village of Doolin and saves you packing and unpacking for a third day.  Out of Doolin you will cycle up along the amazing limestone covered coastline with the wild Atlantic Way at your side. There are plenty of sites and points of interest along this initial leg like the Doolin Cave or the Birds of Prey exhibition. You can also stop for a dip at Fenore Beach if you are so inclined. You head towards the Black Head through Ballyvaughan which is a good lunch stop. You will then make your way to Poulnabrone Dolmen (4200BC). This dolmen is the burial site of a local Chieftain and is a magical site to see. You'll reach the world famous village of Lisdoonvarna, where a matchmaking festival takes place each summer before you find yourself back in Doolin. You should take the boat ride along the Cliffs of Moher for an amazing experience. Get close to the cliffs and admire their majestic beauty as you look up at them from the boat. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not kayak along them!

 

Highlight of the day:  Poulnabrone Dolmen

Overnight: Doolin

Restaurant Suggestion: O’Lockainn’sPub

 

 

Day 6: Doolin rest day

Sometimes it’s a good idea to stop to take in the local atmosphere and Doolin is just the place to do that. There are so many things to do here from horse riding, caving, hiking, kayaking or you can even see a different side to the Cliffs of Moher with a boat trip along their base which is a must do! You can also decide to just take it easy and lay back for the day.  Whatever you decide, today will be yours to own. Remember, you’re in Ireland so wasting time is not time wasted!

 

Highlight of the day: Optional - Boat Trip along the Cliffs of Moher

Overnight:  Doolin

Restaurant Suggestion:  Fitzpatricks

 

 

Day 7: Burren National Park

We leave Doolin for the last time and move on to other adventures for the day ahead. You will cycle inland into the heart of the Burren National Park with amazing limestone mountains at every turn.  Your route will take you through valleys full of flora and fauna that can only be found in this part of the country.  Many call this part of Ireland, ‘the fertile rock'.  What seems a wild and rocky place, is actually a place where beautiful wild flowers thrive. Bursts of colour from the plants and flowers growing out of cracks and crevices in the rock make this a unique location.The locals here are very friendly so don’t be afraid to say hello and get involved, you’ll be welcomed with open arms!

 

Highlight of the day: The Burren National Park

Overnight:  Kinvara

Restaurant Suggestion:  Hyland’s Burren Restaurant

 

 

Day 8: Return to Dublin

The morning is yours to enjoy - explore Kinvara and nearby Dunguaire Castle or simply have a rest! Our day tour coach from Dublin stops in Kinvara and will pick you up for the last journey back to Dublin after this wonderful wild Atlantic two wheeled adventure.

 

End of Services:  Thank You!

You will need some extra money for lunches, meals, drinks, souvenirs etc.  Here are some tips and information that will be helpful for you to budget your tour before you arrive.

 

Lunches

Depending on the day, you will be able to have a packed lunch or you will have lunch in a pub or restaurant.  For each day we'll advise of what is the best option and you can choose. Here are some guideline prices for your lunch options.

 

Sandwich -     €5

Water -   €2

Sweet -  €2

 

Pub Lunch -  €10 - €15

Coffee -  €4

Tea -  €3

 

Evening Meals

Each night we will give restaurant suggestions which we choose based on their local produce and quality.  This area can vary greatly but this will give you some guideline on what to expect.

 

Budget Main Meal -        €6 - €10 

Average 3 course -         €25 - €30

High end 3 course -       €35 - €55

 

Glass of Wine -              €5

Pint of Beer -                 €5

Whiskey / Short -           €5

 

Foreign Exchange

ATM Availability:  Widely available in main towns

Cash Back :  Most pubs, large shops and restaurants will offer a cash back service

Credit Card Acceptance:  Widely accepted

Travellers Cheques: Can be changed in most banks and post offices

Local Currency: Euro

Where to Exchange:  Your tour leader will advise where you can exchange. 

5 of 5 bubbles

I'll start with noting that I've never written a Tripadvisor review before, but we had such an awesome time on our trip to Ireland that it was worthy of a review. To provide some context on our trip my wife and I are not avid cycler's, nor had we ever traveled to Europe, nor had we travelled internationally with our daughter. So naturally we thought that doing a 7 day self guided cycling trip through a foreign country with our 14 month old daughter was a good idea for a vacation. And while there were so many things that could've gone wrong, and a few that did, we couldn't have dreamed of a better adventure.

Mike was great to work with in booking our trip. Of course with bringing a 14 month old we had a lot of questions about the trip to make sure this was something that would actually work for us and he was always timely and friendly in his responses. Apparently we were the only people to that point crazy enough to think about bringing an infant/toddler on a bike trip so Mike/Extreme Ireland even purchased a bike carrier for us to rent during our trip. 

The scenery in Ireland was amazing. Between the rolling hills, castle ruins, farmland, small towns, and beautiful coast line, there was always something to take in during our route. And the people of Ireland made this trip truly memorable. Everyone we came in contact with was so much fun to talk to and accommodating. We weren't sure how bringing a toddler on the trip would go, but people were so friendly and never once did we feel uncomfortable bringing her somewhere. Plus showing up at a pub in bike gear towing a toddler in a bike carrier serves as a great icebreaker for getting to meet new people, since people generally have comments like "how far have you guys gone?" and "you guys are crazy".

The self guided component to the trip was great as we didn't want to have to worry about slowing down others since we knew we may have to stop at random times for diaper changes, temper tantrums, and feedings. And it also added a sense of adventure we were looking for since as long as you get to your destination where your luggage is at by the end of the day you can go at your own pace and change up your route whenever you'd like. We came across a chocolate factory in the middle of nowhere, stopped for lunch at a 5,000 year old tomb, sought out countless castles, and got to fly down the road from the cliffs of moher to doolin twice since the trip is truly up to you and what you want to do and see. 

As for the biking itself Ireland was much hillier and windier than we expected. Though this was more of an issue with my own lack of research since Ireland is well known for both, especially on the west coast. With that said we still managed to cover the full distance of the trip and thoroughly enjoy ourselves. As I mentioned neither my wife or I are avid cyclists, but we were in good shape. You will get sweaty, even during the cloudy 60 degree (Fahrenheit) days, and expect to put in some hard work, but ultimately it makes getting to your destination each day that much more rewarding. On average we covered about 30 miles a day and did it in around 5-6 hours, but that was with several breaks for sightseeing, eating, and stretching to avoid cramps. The only pieces of equipment we brought were bike helmets, bike shorts, and camelbacks. Extreme Ireland provided the bikes, bike carrier, saddle bags, and a gps. We were also supposed to get a pump and flat repair kit, which we realized were missing once we went on our way. But thankfully we had good luck with no flats and the guesthouse owners were extremely kind with loaning us tools and pumps whenever needed. 

Overall this trip was amazing and we loved every second of it. It was exactly what we were looking for in terms of providing a sense of adventure, challenged us both physically and mentally, provided us numerous opportunities to meet some really fantastic people, and allowed us to spend quality time together as a family while traversing through one of the most beautiful places we've ever been to. Shout out to Mike and Wayne for making this trip a ton of fun! It was a pleasure to meet you guys.

Cheers!


 
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