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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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$2000 - $3500

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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 Jul 13 — Jul 22, 2013

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, July 13 - 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, July 14 - 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 the center of Oughterard. Check-in at Ross Lake and deposit luggage.

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, July 15 - 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: Sample local fare on your own en route.

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: Lodge

Description: Situated in the heart of the village of Carraroe, this delightful lodge is family-operated.

Contact info:
Bothar Bui
An Cheathru Rua
Carraroe, Co. Galway, Ireland
phone: +353 91 595 466
web: www.carraroelodge.com

Room amenities: Shower, WC, Hairdryers on Request

Facility amenities: Breakfast Facilities, Complimentary WiFi

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


Day Four: Tuesday, July 16 - Retirement in Ireland Lecture/Bicycle through Spi...
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before venturing out for the day, learn about the quality of life of Irish retirees during a lecture covering topics such as healthcare, benefits, available activities as well as hardships endured by retired Irish citizens. Catching the distinct scent of salty ocean spray, it's time to cycle alongside the Atlantic until happening upon 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 on your own en route.

Afternoon: Continuing our journey, cycle in the soft afternoon sunlight that dances over the ocean, furnishing magnificent views of the Aran Islands.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Lodging: Carraroe Lodge

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, July 17 - Excursion in Killieran/Bicycle to Carna Bay
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Today is devoted to cycling! So, after a full Irish breakfast, bid the accommodating staff at Hotel Carraroe goodbye and depart on your two-wheeler toward "Cill Chiaráin" (Killieran in English), named after Saint Ciarán who resided in this small town.

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, July 18 - Talk & Performance on Bodhrán Making/Explore Roun...
Talk & Performance on Bodhrán Making/Explore Roundstone/Filleting Demonstration & Salmon Tasting at Connemara Smokehouse/Bicycle to Clifden

Breakfast: Hotel dining room

Morning: A short cycle through Glinsk and we arrive at Roundstone Craft & Music for immersion into the beating bodhrán by the folksy Malachy Kearns, who conducts a presentation on the drum native of the Celts and so intrinsic to traditional Irish music. Upon our exit from Roundstone, whet your appetite and marvel at the charms of this artsy bay town, 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 en route.

Afternoon: Spirits now churning rhythmically, advance to Clifden 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, a quick ride and we roll into 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, July 19 - 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 en route.

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: 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 Eight: Saturday, July 20 - Kylemore Abbey Lecture & Field Trip/Bicycle to Ca...
Breakfast: Hotel dining room

Morning: Pedal a short distance and arrive at 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: Loop back toward the familiar territory of Carna Bay, taking notice of the peat bogs that line the landscape along our final bicycling voyage. Upon arrival, bid your bicycle "slán" before spending the late afternoon relaxing with an independent stroll by the beach or perhaps a rejuvenating snooze at the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel dining room

Lodging: Ostan Cuan Carna

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, July 21 - Coach to Galway/Guided City Walk/Independent Expl...
Coach to Galway/Guided City Walk/Independent Exploration/Celtic Tales Storytelling Session/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 en route.

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.

Evening: Find a comfortable seat and allow a local storyteller to rivet your imagination during an animated presentation of Celtic Tales.

Lodging: Forster Court Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Ten: Monday, July 22 - Departure
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Board an early coach transfer to Shannon Airport based on Road Scholar flight departures.

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.

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
4 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips
2 Performances

Ratings

4.3
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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