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IRELAND

Cycling the Coast and Villages of Ireland’s Connemara

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Ireland

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Bicycling

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Road Scholar
Program #20946RJ
10 Days | 9 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Participants are required to bring and wear a bicycle helmet while biking each day.

Itinerary for Sep 6 — Sep 15, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, September 06 - Departure
Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: Elegant bedrooms reflect the Georgian period, but provide modern comforts. Mature gardens with magnificent trees and rolling lawns surround the house.

Contact info:
N59 Clifden Rd., Rosscahill
Oughterard, Ireland
phone: +353 (0) 91 550 109
web: www.rosslakehotel.com

Room amenities: All rooms are ensuite with direct dial phone, TV and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, library bar, tennis court

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Contact the hotel directly.
Should you wish to extend your stay prior to the start of the program, please contact the hotel directly for rates and to secure reservations.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, September 07 - Arrival Shannon Airport/Coach to Oughterard/Bike ...
Arrival Shannon Airport/Coach to Oughterard/Bike Fitting & Testing/Welcome Dinner

Morning: Arrival at Shannon Airport. Board a coach transfer to Oughterard. Check-in at Ross Lake House Hotel.

Lunch: Independent lunch.

Afternoon: Once bicycles have been assigned, time to demonstrate your biking skills to assure that you are ready for your adventure. The balance of the afternoon is free for relaxation.

Dinner: Meet your fellow participants at the welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.

Lodging: Ross Lake House Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Panoramic views of Galway Bay

Contact info:
Spiddal Road
Furbo, Co. Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 91 592065
web: www.connemaracoast.ie

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Hairdryers, TV, Coffee/Tea Makers, Complimentary WiFi, Irons & Ironing Board

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Indoor Pool, Fitness Room, Tennis Courts, Spa Offering Massage & Beauty Treatments

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Monday, September 08 - Safety & Corner System Lecture/Visit Aughnanure C...
Safety & Corner System Lecture/Visit Aughnanure Castle/Bicycle through Moycullen to Furbo

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After fueling up with a hearty Irish breakfast, listen carefully to lectures on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. Then, mount those bicycles for the first cycle of the program and head toward Aughnanure Castle to be thrust back in time for a peek into olde Irish nobility. Gain insight on one of Galway's most notable lord families of Gaelic stock during a lecture and guided walk through one of over 200 crumbling tower houses, built by the "ferocious" O’Flahertys. Discover why the people of Galway regarded the O'Flahertys as "mountainous and wild people."

Lunch: Savor local fare in the Garden Cafe at Brigit's Celtic-Inspired Gardens.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling through the lush countryside of Moycullen onto our seaside retreat in Furbo.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Lodging: Connemara Coast Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Panoramic views of Galway Bay

Contact info:
Spiddal Road
Furbo, Co. Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 91 592065
web: www.connemaracoast.ie

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Hairdryers, TV, Coffee/Tea Makers, Complimentary WiFi, Irons & Ironing Board

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Indoor Pool, Fitness Room, Tennis Courts, Spa Offering Massage & Beauty Treatments

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Tuesday, September 09 - Irish Cultural Immersion - Music, Song and Dancin...
Irish Cultural Immersion - Music, Song and Dancing/Spiddal/Cycle to Furbo/Celtic Tales Storytelling Session

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Start the day with a visit to a restored 17th-century hill village for an immersion into authentic Irish culture, nature and heritage. Celebrate traditional music, song, and dancing. Marvel at the secrets of Connemara's ancient Bogland. Catching the distinct scent of salty ocean spray, it's time to cycle to the small and pristine seaside village of Spiddal, where all signposts are in Irish, as is the language used by those who frequent the pubs or peddle their warm, handwoven sweaters.

Lunch: Sample the local fare in Spiddal.

Afternoon: After time for independent exploration of Spiddal, return to Furbo by cycle in the soft afternoon sunlight that dances over the ocean, furnishing magnificent views of the Aran Islands. Before dinner, find a comfortable seat and listen attentively as a local storyteller rivets your imagination with an animated presentation of Celtic Tales.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Lodging: Connemara Coast Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Traditional Irish Music Sessions are held occasionally in the bar during the summer months.

Contact info:
Carna Bay
Carna, Connemara, Ireland
phone: +353 95 32255
web: www.carnabay.com

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Tea/Coffee facilities, TV, Hairdryers

Facility amenities: Bar, Restaurant

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Wednesday, September 10 - Gaelic Language Lecture/Bicycle to Carna Bay
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After a full Irish breakfast, attend a lecture on the origins of the Gaelic language and possibly learn a few phrases you might want to try out in the days to come. Bid the accommodating staff at the hotel goodbye before boarding a coach for a short transfer to mount your two-wheeler to continue your exploration of Connemara.

Lunch: Sample local fare on your own en route.

Afternoon: Wind along secondary roads until reaching our dwelling for the evening. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore the quiet village of Carna and drink up the view of Carna Bay and Mweenish Island.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Lodging: Ostan Cuan Carna

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
Main Street
Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 95 21801
web: www.foyleshotel.com

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Satellite TV, Coffee making facilities, Hairdryers, Telephone

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Breakfast & Dining Room, Bar/Lounge, Patio Garden

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Thursday, September 11 - Cycle to Roundstone/Filleting Demonstration & Sal...
Cycle to Roundstone/Filleting Demonstration & Salmon Tasting at Connemara Smokehouse/Bicycle to Clifden

Breakfast: Hotel dining room

Morning: Our cycling route leads us through Glinsk and around Cashel Bay to Roundstone. Take the opportunity to independently explore this delightful enclave. Whet your appetite and marvel at the charms of this artsy bay village, notable for its "Galway Hookers" (uniquely Irish fishing boats), which return daily with nets and crates brimming with lobster, crab, shrimp, mackerel and cod.

Lunch: Sample local fare in Roundstone.

Afternoon: Mount your iron horse and cycle to Ballyconneely to delight your taste buds with a sample of fresh Atlantic smoked salmon during a lecture and fish filleting demonstration at Connemara Smokehouse. From here, it's a short ride to Clifden, our home for the night.

Dinner: Hotel dining room

Lodging: Foyles Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
Main Street
Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 95 21801
web: www.foyleshotel.com

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Satellite TV, Coffee making facilities, Hairdryers, Telephone

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Breakfast & Dining Room, Bar/Lounge, Patio Garden

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Friday, September 12 - Scenic Ride along Sky Road/ Excursion to Streamst...
Scenic Ride along Sky Road/ Excursion to Streamstown Bay/Independent Exploration of Clifden

Breakfast: Hotel dining room

Morning: Embark on a scenic bicycle ride along the infamous and stunning Sky Road, which overlooks offshore islands, Inishturk and Turbot. A quick stop in Streamstown Bay affords a glimpse of untouched, rugged Ireland before we circle back toward Clifden.

Lunch: Sample local fare on your own in Clifden.

Afternoon: Independent exploration of the old market town of Clifden, bustling with activity since its establishment by merchants two centuries ago, supplies the occasion to poke around craft shops or relish a pint of Guinness in any one of the old town pubs that line the village.

Dinner: Hotel dining room

Lodging: Foyles Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Owned and managed by the Rima family, the facility provides guests with a warm, friendly environment in which to relax after a day of exploring the surrounding countryside.

Contact info:
Kylemore
Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 95 41141
web: www.kylemore-pass-hotel-connemara.com

Room amenities: En suite with television, tea and coffee-making facilities, stunning views

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Sailor's Bar, Tranquility Room,

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Saturday, September 13 - Cycle to Kylemore Abbey for Lecture & Field Trip
Breakfast: Hotel dining room

Morning: Take notice of the peat bogs that line the landscape along the route to Kylemore Abbey, which sits at the base of the "12 Bens," the more mountainous region of Connemara. Admire the grandeur of this historic estate during a guided talk and walk, which carries us through the Mausoleum, Gothic Church and Victorian Walled Garden that populate the manicured property.

Lunch: Sample local fare at Kylemore Abbey.

Afternoon: Having explored the grounds of the Abbey, we pedal to our hotel just down the road at Kylemore Pass. Upon arrival, bid your bicycle "slán" before spending the late afternoon relaxing with an independent stroll or perhaps a rejuvenating snooze at the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel dining room

Lodging: Kylemore Pass Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Situated just steps from Eyre Square

Contact info:
Forster Street
Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 91 564111
web: www.forstercourthotel.com

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Coffee/Tea making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Telephone, Dry Cleaning Service, Iron & Ironing Board on request

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Free WiFi, Business Center

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Sunday, September 14 - Coach to Galway/Guided City Walk/Independent Expl...
Coach to Galway/Guided City Walk/Independent Exploration/Farewell Dinner

Breakfast: Hotel dining room

Morning: Hop an early coach transfer to the cultural core of Ireland, and its 3rd largest city, Galway. Upon arrival at the hotel, partake in an enriching overview of this cultural hub of Ireland via a lecture and field trip of the city. The guided walk pulls us through the medieval roots and complex history of Galway into its present day allure: highlights include The Spanish Arch, Eyre Square/JFK Memorial Park, Galway’s street of sin and other notable public buildings.

Lunch: Sample local fare on your own in Galway.

Afternoon: Independent exploration supplies a wealth of possibilities: whether it’s being roused by dance and music at An Pucan Pub, engrossment in artistic expression at Galway Arts Centre or the Galway City Museum, or unwinding with a canal walk before the last evening of festivities.

Dinner: Wish your fellow travelers farewell at dinner in the hotel dining room.

Lodging: Forster Court Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Ten: Monday, September 15 - Departure
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Board an early coach transfer to Shannon Airport based on Road Scholar flight departures. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Sep 6 — Sep 15, 2014 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 8 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 8 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.3
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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