Tobercurry to Ballina via Lough Talt and Lough Easkey
Our trip starts in the small town of Tobercurry and we travel west to the Ox Mountains. The Ox Mountains are the least visited mountains in Ireland and this really adds to the charm. Wild and rugged, the mountain range is home to arctic lakes that have been beautifully carved out by glaciers over time. Wild goat and fallow deer roam these lands which brings home that you really are in one of Ireland’s wildest places. As the cycle continues on to the small village of Bonniconlon we have a chance to visit some of the many Ring Forts and Crannogs en route. We cycle through the village and on to the famous fishing town of Ballina on the banks of the River Moy to arrive at your accommodation for the night.
If you're still full of energy there are plenty of things to do in Ballina with seaweed baths close by golf, fishing and castles to be visited and much more. Your guide can arrange this for you.
Distance: 59km Elevation: 207m Gain: 466m
- Lough Talt Crannogs
- The Frenchman's Grave
- Mass Rock
- Bealanassa Waterfall
- Enniscrone Beach
Ceide Fields and the Beautiful North Mayo Coast
This day sees a complete change of scenery as we get on to the Wild Atlantic Way with the wide open bogs of North Mayo looking out over the rugged North Atlantic Ocean. This will be your backdrop for the day.
We cycle north from Ballina and make our way to our first stop in the village of Killala situated at the mouth of Killala bay.
Killala has a rich history going back 400 AD with links to St Patrick, it also has a 12th century round tower and was the site for battles between the French and the English. After our tour of the round tower we jump back on the bikes and continue on our journey. This part of the journey bring us along the coast line and through the village of Ballycastle and on to the Ceide Fields, one of the most extensive stone age monuments in the world consisting of field systems, dwelling areas and megalithic tombs. The walled fields are thousands of acres and are almost 6,000 years old, the oldest known in the world. After our guided tour of the Ceide Fields, we continue to Down Patrick Head. Steeped in legend, it is said that St Patrick fought the devil here, its also one of the sites that Airline markers were put for American Air Forces to let them know they had arrived in western Europe. We then transfer to Ballina.
Duration: 42km Max Elevation: 102m Gain: 353m
- Stunning views of the north Mayo coast
- Killala village and Round Tower
- Ceide Fields
- Downpatrick Head
Ballina to Aughris Head via Enniscrone
We say goodbye to Ballina and head for County Sligo, famous for its big waves, artists and poets - its most famous being WB Yeats whose grave is under the mountain of Benbulben. Recently, the county has been dubbed Ireland's 'Adventure Capital' and after spending time here, it's hard not to be influenced by that sense of adventure. Our first stop is the seaside town of Enniscrone; this a popular place for Irish families to visited and it is easy to see why as we pass through the town, overlooking the sea. We continue east along the Wild Atlantic Way, hugging the coastline with the most spectacular views of the Ox mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
The next stop is the Split Rock; this rock stands out from the surrounding landscape and it is said that Fionn Mac Cumhal threw this rock, furious that it not reach the sea he jumped from the mountains and spit the rock with his sword. Legend has it if you walk through the rock three times it will close on you. Are you brave enough?
Assuming the rock did not close on you, we continue cycling to Aughris Head where will finish for the night. It's the perfect place to sip on a well earned pint of Guinness at the Beach Bar, a a 300 year old pub that has been in the Mc Dermott family for 300 years and is a regular haunt for Irish musicians.
This will be our stop for the night.
- Stunning views of the Ox Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean
- Easkey Tower
- Split Rock
- 300 year old Thatch Pub
63km Max Elevation: 72m Gain:
Harbour Crossing and Dartry Mountains :: Aughris to Glencar via Boat Trip
After a hardy breakfast, we load our bikes on to a boat and sail across Sligo bay to Raghly Harbour.
We take our bikes of and begin our day’s cycling on the quiet back roads of Maugherow. As we follow the Atlantic coast line for the morning we head towards the Dartry Mountain Range. These mountains were formed as a result of glaciers retreating into the ocean and carving out the beautiful table top mountains and valleys that create some of Sligo's most iconic views.
Cycling through this limestone kingdom will leave you mesmerised with the turn of every corner bringing a view better than the last.
We stop for morning tea in the heart of Glencar Valley in the Tea Shed cafe overlooking the lake - there could not be a better place to sip on tea.
You can choose to stop here and transfer back to accommodation or continue cycling.
Distance: 33km Max Elevation: 45m Gain: 196m
- Boat trip across Sligo bay
- Cycle through Darty Mountains
- Glencar Waterfall and Valley
Lough Gill Loop
From the rugged wild Atlantic coastline, we cycle inland to soft beautiful countryside, lakes and rolling green hills.
We begin our cycle in to Sligo town and head toward Lough Gill - this is an ideal cycle situated east of Sligo town; Lough Gill is surrounded by native woodland, small villages, 15 century abbeys and castles.
Our first stop Parkes Castle situated right on the shores of Lough Gill - here we will take a guided tour .
After our tour we continue our trip and make our way to Dromahair; this road brings you through indigenous woodland down to the lake shore and alongside the River Bonnet. We stop for lunch in the village.
Dromahair is a town is rich in history; it was once the capital of Breifne, a Gaelic kingdom that covered an area from Kells in County Meath, Cavan North County Leitrim and County Sligo. It was the seat of the O’Rourkes who were the ancient Kings of Breifne. The ruins of a Castle which was built by the O’Rourkes (905AD) are still present in the Village.
There is also a 15th century Friary just outside town which was in use till the 17th century and is well preserved. The Franciscan Friars who founded the Abbey were forced to leave by the Cromwellian army. This a great stop on our journey and as soon as you walk in, you can feel the peace and tranquillity the Friars would have felt before being forced out .
We keep moving thru quiet back roads and on our back to Sligo town via The Holy Well
The history of this place pre-dates Christianity in Ireland in the 5th century; it a natural spring in a primeval forest. The Celts used the well as a meeting place to celebrate the festival of Luganasa, the harvest festival.
Along with St Patrick bringing Christianity to this area, the festival became Christianised and became known as ‘Garland Sunday’ which is continues to be celebrated today. It was later used during the English occupation of Ireland for mass as it was forbidden to practise Catholicism.
Distance: 37km Max Elevation: 89m Gain: 445m
- Picturesque lake shore roads
- Parkes Castle
- Bonet River
- Creevylea Abbey
- Dooney Rock
- The Holy Well
Sligo to Knocknarae and Strandhill Village
Our last day in the saddle takes us to Strandhill and it will be the shortest cycle of the week .
We make our way out of town and head west with the mountain of Knocknarea as our guide.
First stop of the day is Carrowmore Tombs. The largest cemetery of tombs in Ireland and some of the oldest in the country, some pre-date the Pyramids, we will take a guided tour here. Then it is on to the village to the Strandhill People's Market where we will have lunch and mingle with the locals. This sees the end of the cycling trip and it a great way to finish; Strandhill is great place to chill out and explore with great pubs, excellent walking trails and a seaweed bath is a good way to unwind after a week’s cycling.
Later that evening, we will conclude the trip with dinner.
- Carrowmore Tombs
- Knocknarea and Queen Maeve’s Grave
- Strandhill Beach
: 18km Max Elevation: