Located in the ‘heart’ of Ireland, the Midland Region encompasses the counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath. The scenery of the Midland Region is unique, dominated by the River Shannon and its callows along the western boundary, intermixed with the lakes, wetlands, bogs, rural territories and ridges through the central region, the upland area of Slieve Bloom Mountains to the south and the rolling landscape of the Barrow and Nore valley to the southern east.
That’s Galway– different, exclusive and never, ever predictable.
Commonly named Ireland’s most Irish city, this coastal metropolis is a place exactly where Celtic heritage and literature have long thrived, often in the traditional Gaelic language. But these days you’re just as likely to hear Spanish, Japanese or polish along Galway’s historic avenues in this increasingly global university town (the National University of Ireland, Galway, is here).
A guided biking tour bringing you in 5 exciting biking days all the way from Dublin in the East to Galway in the West of Ireland.
Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath, “Town of the Hurdled Ford”) is the capital city of Ireland. Its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions are renowned and it is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland. It’s disproportionately large for the size of Ireland with nearly two million in the Greater Dublin Region– well over a third of the Republic’s population! The centre is, however, relatively small and can be navigated by foot, with most of the population living in suburbs.
We will meet at the beautiful Finnstown Castle Hotel in Dublin. Bike fitting in the afternoon and we introduce each other and talk about the cycling days before we sit down for a most wonderful dinner.
We start the cycle leaving Dublin behind heading for Lucan and then on relatively minor roads to Cellbridge and from there to Kinnegad for the night. We pass by Taghadoe Abbey and Round Tower along the cycle route. (63km/40mls climb: 387m)
Cycling through the middle of Ireland, featuring expansive boglands. on quiet backroads we are heading for the main town of Offaly – Tullamore. This is a relatively short cycle giving us the time to shedule a visit to Tullarmore Dew Whiskey Distillery. The guided tour blends audiovisual and traditional storytelling to explain the story of the unique Irish Whiskey. (48km/30mls climb: 265m)
We continue to head due west to arrive at the river Shannon, the biggest and most important of all Irish rivers. Here we will sidetour to visit Clonmacnoise monastic site, founded in the 6th century. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches, two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. From there we head to Banagher located on the banks of the river for the night. (71km/44mls climb: 257m)
And the bicycles will take us further west to today’s target the town of Loughrea, located on . The Cathedral is where one can see Irish Craftsmanship and Art at its highest level – it is a treasure house of arts and crafts of a Celtic revival. Along the way we are going to have lunch in Portumna, one of East Galway’s prettiest towns. Portumna Castle & Gardens and the Dominican Friary are worth a visit within the town.
(25km/16mls 174m or 65km/41mls 445m)
Today’s target is Galway, the historic and bustling university city on the West coast of Ireland. The cycling will bring you through Clarinbridge famous for its oysters, celebrated here each September with a festival. (48km/30mls climb: 255m)
Depart after breakfast.