Back West in Connemara
This is the wild west – stunning scenery, beautiful towns and villages and great lunch and coffee stops
Go to Ireland.com’s listings of the best accommodation in Clifden.
There’s nowhere quite like Connemara so take your time and enjoy the moment and experience the magic of the landscape.
This route has two options, A and B. A is longer and more challenging than B so have a look and pick the one that suits you. If you’re cycling with a group, you can split into Group A and Group B depending on experience and fitness.
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Let's Cycle Ireland: Back West, Connemara (Group A)
Route Rating ➤ Moderate / Challenging
Distance ➤ 458 km
Climbing ➤ 4,333 meters
The Tour de Connemara is a popular sportive in the Irish cycling calendar – the trick here is to do it in reverse. It’s a completely different experience and, arguably, a bit tougher. It also keeps the Atlantic directly to your left for better views and avoids having to cross a lane of traffic for pictures or regrouping.
There are a few firm favourites on this route, the best of which is the seafood chowder in Coyne’s Bar in Kilkieran – the whole spin is worth it for their chowder! Best to call ahead if you’re travelling in a group: 095 33409.
Beyond Kilkieran, the road sweeps round Cashel Bay and through Roundstone before heading back to Clifden and home.
We have a few favourite stops on various stages but the Seafood Chowder in Coyne’s Bar in Kilkieran is worth the trip alone! If you’re with a group give them a call in advance to book 095-33409.
The stage after lunch is magical, passing Cashel Bay, Roundstone and along the coast road into Clifden is special, enjoy.
This is definitely in the Top 10 Irish spins. Taking in the Sky Road and Cleggan, passing Omey Island and then the Connemara Loop, up the Inagh Valley and over the Bog Road, this is a very special route.
It’s also one of our wildest and most rural spins, there are very few cafes or lunch stops after Tullycross so it would be wise to bring a few extra snacks to keep you going.
If you’re looking for a real all-rounder, this is it. Topping the poll in terms of distance and scenery, this route is the highlight reel of Connemara. From stunning views across Killary Fjord and Doo Lough Valley to the coast road between Louisburgh and Westport and the shoreline of Lough Mask, you’ll work hard and reap the rewards!
Let's Cycle Ireland: Back West, Connemara (Group B)
Route Rating ➤ Moderate
Distance ➤ 320 km
Climbing ➤ 2,872 meters
Like Group A, this is the reverse of the Tour de Connemara but this time the shorter loop. Again, it keeps the ocean directly on the left both for safety and enjoyment.
A really lovely loop through the wild heart of Connemara with stunning scenery of lakes, bogs and the Twelve Bens to keep you company.
Any day when you cycle the Sky Road is a good day and this is one of those. Heading up out of Clifden on the Sky Road, this route takes you along the coast into Letterfrack and onto the Connemara Loop to Tullycross, after which the ocean opens up to show Inisboffin and Croagh Patrick in the distance.
The final 40km winds up through the Inagh Valley, passing the lake and leading onto the Bog Road before turning back to Clifden.
This is a long one but worth every turn of the pedals.
The spin starts off gently towards Leenane via Kylemore Abbey and Killary Fjord before heading up to Delphi Lodge and Doo Lough Valley – a signature section of the whole tour. Then it’s on to Louisburgh and lunch in Westport before turning for home again through Lennane (a good spot to regroup) once more.