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Burren Way and Cliffs of Moher

Burren Way and the Cliffs of Moher on Wheels

Overview

Enjoy this eight-day cycling adventure in the Irish county of Clare. Cycle through the rocky, windswept Burren region – a unique striated lunar-like landscape of barren grey limestone shaped beneath ancient seas, then forced high and dry by a great geological cataclysm. Visit the UNESCO-listed Cliffs of Moher, where you are rewarded with dramatic and breathtaking views that are nothing short of amazing. Villages throughout the region include the music hub of Doolin on the west coast, Kilfenora inland and the charming Kilkee, which become popular in Victorian times when rich Limerick families built seaside retreats here.

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Ennis

Arrive in Ennis and check into your accommodation for the night. If you have time, take the short circular cycle to Quin and Knappogue Castle.

  • Cycling for the day (optional): 18.4 km, ↑­­­­106 m ↓107 m
  • Accommodation: Grey Gables B&B (Ennis) or similar

Day 2: Ennis to Kilrush | 61 km

Leave Ennis after breakfast and cycle along the north shore of the mighty Shannon River Estuary, which hosts beautiful views over North Kerry and Scattery Island. This area of remarkable beauty is where Ireland’s longest river flows into the azure water of the Atlantic Ocean. Reach the town of Kilrush with its wonderful marina. Opportunity to enjoy a boat trip (not included) over to the prized Scattery Island boasting a wonderful monastic settlement dating back to St. Senan. Overnight in Kilrush.

  • Cycling for the day: 61 km, ↑­­­­544 m ↓535 m
  • Accommodation: Amici B&B, Buggles B&B (Kilrush) or similar

Day 3: Kilrush to Kilkee | 40.3 km

Today’s cycling takes you from Kilrush to Carrigaholt and the beautiful Loop Head cycle. Overlooking the Shannon Estuary, south to County Kerry and north up towards the Cliffs of Moher. Completing your circuit, you end your day in the Loop Head Peninsula’s main town, Kilkee (Cill Chaoi). The town sits on a sweeping semicircular bay with high cliffs on the northern end and weathered rocks to the south. Overnight in Kilkee.

Day 4: Kilkee to Lahinch | 54.5 km

From Kilkee, your cycle takes you along the south-western shores of County Clare as you follow north through the seaside village called Spanish point. It’s named after the Spaniards buried here after the wreck of their Armada ships along the coast in 1588.  Many Irish people holiday in the area, making it a great place to “meet the locals” while enjoying the coastal scenery. The area is also perfect for sampling exquisite, fresh seafood. Overnight in Lahinch.

  • Cycling for the day: 54.5 km, ↑­­­­530 m ↓528 m
  • Accommodation: Lahinch Coast Hotel (Lahinch) or similar

Day 5: Lahinch to Doolin via Cliffs of Moher | 27.4 km

Start the day north from Milltown Malbay, pass the famous Lahinch Golf Course before reaching the coast town of Liscannor. Liscannor has given its name to a local slate-like rippled stone used for floors, walls and even roofs. Continue to the impressive Cliffs of Moher (Aillte an Mothair), lock your bicycle and enjoy the walking trails out to the cliffs with wonderful views across to the Aran Islands and the hills of Connemara. In good visibility, the Cliffs of Moher are staggeringly beautiful. The entirely vertical cliffs rise to a height of 214 m, their edge abruptly falling away into a ceaselessly churning Atlantic. A progression of vast heads, the dark limestone marches in a rigid formation.

Back on the road, cycle to your last stop for the day – Doolin, internationally renowned as a centre of live Irish music, played in its many hugely popular pubs.

  • Cycling for the day: 27.4 km, ↑­­­­396 m ↓386 m
  • Accommodation: Doolin Lodge (Doolin) or similar

Day 6: Doolin Loop or Visit to the Aran Islands | 42.4 km

Enjoy a free day in Doolin village with its traditional fishing atmosphere. Or consider a boat trip (not included) to one of the Aran Islands to explore cliffs and limestone formations and the unique culture of island dwellers. Ancient forts here are some of the oldest archaeological remains in Ireland.

Alternatively, you can cycle the Doolin Loop to one of Ireland’s most spectacular regions – the Burren. The village of Ballyvaughan offers you a beautiful place to refresh. Taste some local cooking or snacks before you head back to Doolin.

  • Cycling for the day: 42.4 km, ↑­­­­579 m ↓576 m
  • Accommodation: Doolin Lodge (Doolin) or similar

Day 7: Doolin to Ennis | 48.4 km

Leave Doolin after breakfast and cycle back towards Ennis. Learn more about this fascinating region by visiting Kilfenora, where Pope Francis I is technically the Bishop, under a Papal Dictate that goes back as far as 1883. Return to Ennis for your last overnight.

  • Cycling for the day: 48.4 km, ↑­­­­452 m ↓476 m
  • Accommodation: Grey Gables B&B (Ennis) or similar

Day 8: Departure

Depart Ennis after breakfast. Additional nights at the end of the walk can be arranged.

What to Expect

Accommodation

We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation!

Meals

Full Irish breakfast each day. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Evening meals can be enjoyed in the charming restaurants along the way.

Difficulty & terrain

The cycling is not hard, still, in order to enjoy the trip to the maximum, it is recommendable to have cycling experience and be in a very good physical shape (read more about difficulty grades). You will be cycling on most parts on country roads and close to the coastline. There are some demanding areas with steep climbs. The daily distances range from 27 to 61km. We will email you the essential pre-departure info. Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps, route description and access to our exclusive GPS Navigation App. The route is well sign-posted with a logo and a bicycle symbol.

When to go

This trip is available from April until October. All departures for 2022 are already fully booked, however, we do accept bookings for 2023 already.

Weather is best in June – August.

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Dublin (DUB), Kerry (KIR), Cork (ORK) or Shannon (SNN).

By train or bus
  • Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK with several low-cost airlines covering the route as well as scheduled international carriers. Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin. From Dublin Airport there is a good bus service to Dublin city centre. Take the bus or taxi to LUAS Red Cow station and then the direct bus to Ennis (hourly). Bus services via Limerick from the airport are also available.
  • Kerry airport: Outside the main terminal is a Bus Terminus with bus services available directly from Kerry Airport to Limerick, then take the train (40 min) or bus (1h 30 min) to Ennis. Ryanair offers flights to Kerry from London and Manchester.
  • Cork Airport: Flights are available to Cork Airport from Bristol, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. Take the local bus to Cork city bus station (Parnell Place) and then the direct bus to Ennis. Ryanair offers flights to Cork from London and Liverpool.
  • Shannon Airport: Ryanair offers flights to Shannon from London, Manchester and Birmingham. Daily direct flights by Aer Lingus, Delta and American Airlines from most major US airports. Direct bus services to Ennis (30 min).
  • See Dublin Coach, Bus Éireann and Irish Rail for details or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms (guesthouses and B&Bs)
  • Full Irish Breakfast each morning
  • Welcome briefing
  • Luggage transfer between the accommodations on cycling days
  • Detailed travel documents with cycling descriptions and maps of each cycling day (Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site)
  • Access to our exclusive GPS Navigation App
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

Bike rental

  • Specialised Sirrus Sport Hybrid: The Sirrus Sport Disc with fitness geometry provides flat bar handling so you can ride faster on longer rides with stability and comfort. The hydraulic disc brakes mean you’ll have confidence to ride regardless of the weather or what you are carrying on your racks, perfect for Ireland where you get 4 seasons in one day. The Body Geometry Targa Sport saddle makes for a sporty and comfortable cycle.
  • BMC City Streamer: With its more upright riding position this is a very comfortable bike to ride and with 30 gears to choose from and hydraulic disc brakes so you can go down to a granny gear and save your knees, and you won’t have any problem on any climb or descent. The Fizik Rondine saddle has extra padding for a very comfy ride.
  • E-bike: You can tackle anything with the Giant Twist, no more groaning as hills are flattened, assisted pedal power is the future of uncomplicated mobility. The all-new Twist Lite features a new slimmer front hub motor, an ALUXX aluminium frame and internal power cable routing, control, speed and safety are quite literally no sweat.

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