Let's Cycle Ireland with Páidí Ó Lionáird

Páidí Ó Lionáird

Chief Sub-Editor Nuacht RTÉ & TG4

Inverin Loops

Base ➤ Inverin | 1 Day
Routes Suitable For ➤ Suitable for Individuals
Guide Budget ➤ €45 – 55 in Spiddal or Inverin area based on twin room sharing

Inverin Loops

Páidí Ó Lionáird

Chief Sub-Editor Nuacht RTÉ & TG4

Check out Ireland.com’s listings of accommodation in Spiddal and Inverin

Why this trip?

I have the good fortune to have experienced many wonderful cycling routes on the island of Ireland –North, South, East but especially the West. My favourite among these has to be Route 336, following the R336 from my home in Inverin. This is a route I associate with Sunday morning spins with my friends, collaborators and fellow Gaeltacht CC club members. From there, head westbound to Casla and Screebe and then to Maam Cross and onto Maum. Here’s a great spot for a welcome tea or coffee in Keane’s where Sunday morning mass-goers take no notice of the lycra-clad middle-aged gentlemen.

From here, we have options depending on the mood and the legs!

Choices, choices: this route has two options, so take your pick and soak up the beauty of Connemara

We can continue west to Leenaun which sits at the head of Ireland’s only fjord, An Caoláire Rua, or take a right onto the L2601 half way down the road to Leenaun – a magical, quiet, uphill mountain road that will eventually bring you to Baile na Carraige and Loch na Fooey, a beautiful, slender and elegant lake draped by mountains on all sides which captures light in that very special Connemara way. This road eventually joins the E300 heading southbound past Finney and Cloghbrack to skirt along the Mayo border and bring you to Clunbur. From here, take a right on the R345 and ride downhill with a wonderous lakeside vista along the Corrib and through Cornamona before looping round the sidewinder Máiméan a’ Ghabhair and west again to Maum. 

From there, take a left for home and an excellent 120km loop full of beautiful sights will have any rider ready for a hearty Sunday lunch.

Scroll back however and instead of diverting off the R336 for Loch na Fooey, continue to Leenaun and take a left onto the N59 towards Letterfrack. 4km before the village take the R344 and, wind depending, ride the wonderful Inagh Valley.

This really is a feast for the senses. With just the Connemara sheep and some in-the-know tourists for company, breathe it all in and enjoy it. Just as Loch Inagh begins to reveal herself, you’ll come to Loch Inagh Lodge. Don’t be tempted to ride on by, head inside and you’ll be treated to the very best fare: excellent seafood chowder, sumptuous fresh-cut salmon sandwiches and crab-claws. A pint of your favourite or a glass of chilled rosé might just save you from the bonk later! Continue from here to Recess and take the N59 back to Maam Cross, right for home. Again, a wonderful way and place to while away 4 or 5 hours of a Sunday morning.

Páidí Ó Lionáird
Príomh Fho-Eagarthóir, Nuacht RTÉ & TG4

Need to Know More?

Inverin Loop via Lough na Fooey

Route Rating ➤ Moderate

Distance ➤ 116 km

Climbing ➤ 928 meters

Inverin – Casla – Screebe – Maam Cross – Maum - Baile na Carraige – Finney – Cloghbrack – Clunbur – Cornamona - Maum

Inverin via Lough Inagh Lodge

Route Rating ➤ Moderate

Distance ➤ 117 km

Climbing ➤ 827 meters

Inverin - Casla - Screebe - Maam Cross - Maum - Leenaun - Letterfrack - Loch Inagh - Recess - Maam Cross

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