“Will We Go Back To The Coast?”

I love that. I love when someone suggests that. I love getting that text message. I love when a friend from the city or from abroad comes to visit. Makes for a great excuse. I love packing up the wetsuit, racking up the bikes or occasionally bringing the surf boards. I love taking the Cliffs of Moher walk. Again! I love looking back at the underwater shots and videos from the GoPro. I love that Gus O’Connors Pub in this tiny corner of Ireland is filled with people from all over the planet. I love when someone says they want to go back to Joe’s Cafe for breakfast or Ballyvaughan Tea Rooms for lunch. I get to do this most days in the summer and pretty often during the winter…and I love that.

The majestic Cliffs of Moher on a calm summer evening

All through 2014 my friends and I spent a lot more time than usual back around the Atlantic and throughout the Burren, in part due to the fine weather but mainly for ‘research purposes’. Cycling different routes, finding out more about the history and geology of the area and sampling all the locally sourced and beautifully prepared food took up a lot of my time. Learning about the flora of the region from the Burren Perfumery in Carron, cycling the back-road from Lahinch to Doolin and tasting the unbelievable Fish’n’Chips from the Ivy Cottage in Doolin were just some of the things that kept me busy. And while the new-found knowledge was interesting, the new routes exciting and the food absolutely amazing…nothing beats the spectacular views!

Sunset over the Atlantic from Doolin Village

An inspiring sunset over the Atlantic from Doolin

Depending on the time of day, the position of the sun or the stillness of the Atlantic, a different, jaw-dropping view awaits! And it is to these spectacular views, along lesser-known roadways, that we will take you. And, don’t worry, the food is only just around the corner!

We have routes for all abilities of cyclist. We’re not looking for the next Tour de France winner here! Each route can be adapted to suit you and your group’s needs. So you can take on the mighty Corker Hill, or gently roll along the Flaggy Shore at Finnavarra…no problem at all. See the sights and enjoy the biking and hiking at whatever pace suits you!

Cycle the Wild Atlantic Way in Clare with West Coast Cycle Tours

A beautiful day on the west coast…where else would you be?

For the really relaxed cyclists, I would recommend a loop around Finnavarra – flat, quiet roads, gentle waves of Galway Bay lapping on the shore and stunning views from Finnavarra Point! All that, and Linnane’s Bar (Michelin Eating Out in ‘Pubs Guide of 2014’) or Linnalla’s Cafe (famous for its outstanding ice-cream and winner of multiple Bridgestone Guides Awards) which make for ideal pit-stops!

However the more experienced cyclist might like to take on a more challenging route before rewarding themselves! In that case, a morning depart from Spanish Point travelling north along the Wild Atlantic Way to Lahinch would provide fantastic scenery and a few rolling hills. A pit stop for lunch in Lahinch gives you the choice of Joe’s Cafe (a very cool hang-out), O’Looney’s (great food, friendly service and an ocean view!) or Danny Mac’s (for the traditional Irish taste!). By taking an exit onto the back-road to Doolin, one finds themselves facing one of those long, slow, torturous uphills along a quiet country road. Climbing higher and higher the view behind you reveals itself, while before you remains a mystery…until, one of the finest, most breath-taking views of the Wild Atlantic Way emerges over the crest of a hill. Catch your breath here before rolling downhill, past Doonagore Castle and over the little bridge that leads you to Fisher Street, Doolin. Where you eat here depends entirely on your own tastes, but the Chicken Pesto Burger in Ivy Cottage is hard to rival!!

Eating Out At The Ivy Cottage Doolin

The Ivy Cottage in Doolin. Bike-friendly with gorgeous food and gardens.

Our routes will also take in adventure and activities…West Coast Cycle Tours can arrange any of the coastal activities for you, taking all the hassle of organisation out of your hands! So catch a wave with the crew from Ben’s Surf Clinic, jump into the Atlantic for a swim or try rock climbing, archery or any of the other adventures along the stunning Clare coastline!

So…will we go back to the coast?

– Enda (January 2015)

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