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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 Jul 12 — Jul 21, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, July 12 - Departure
In Transit: Board an overnight flight.

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 13 - Arrival Shannon Airport / Transfer to Oughterard ...
Arrival Shannon Airport / Transfer to Oughterard / Bike Fitting & Testing / Welcome Dinner

Arrive To: Shannon Airport.

Morning: Board a coach for the 90-minute transfer to Oughterard. Check-in at Ross Lake House Hotel.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.

Following the orientation, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to settle in and relax or explore independently.

Dinner: The group meets for the welcome dinner in the hotel dining room. Daily dinners consist of three-course meals featuring tasty local cuisine: appetizer, entrée, dessert and tap water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or take a stroll on the hotel grounds. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

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 14 - Safety & Corner System Lecture / Aughnanure Castl...
Note: Biking Distance: Approximately 25 miles

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a cold buffet with meats, cheeses, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices and beverages. Hot breakfast foods such as oatmeal, or a full Irish breakfast can be ordered each morning and is included in your program cost.

Morning: After fueling up with a hearty Irish breakfast, listen carefully to lectures on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. Mount your bicycle for the first cycle of the program and head toward Aughnanure Castle to be thrust back in time for a peek into old Irish nobility. Gain insight into 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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice 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. You might want to take a dip in the hotel swimming pool or venture outside onto the beach prior to dinner.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or explore on your own.

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, July 15 - Irish Cultural Immersion - Music, Song, Dance & t...
Irish Cultural Immersion - Music, Song, Dance & the Gaelic Language / Spiddal Independent Exploration / Furbo / Celtic Tales Storytelling Session

Note: Biking Distance: Approximately 6 miles

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 dance. Marvel at the secrets of Connemara's ancient Bogland. Learn the origins of the Gaelic language and possibly test out a few phrases for use in the days to come.

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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Spiddal.

Afternoon: Return to Furbo by bicycle in the soft afternoon sunlight that dances over the water, 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.

Evening: At leisure.

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, July 16 - Celtic Mythology Presentation / Carna Bay
Note: Biking Distance: 28 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After a full Irish breakfast, attend a presentation on Celtic Mythology. 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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice.

Afternoon: Bicycle along secondary roads where the sea is never too far away until reaching our dwelling for the evening. On arrival, explore the quiet village of Carna and drink up the view of Carna Bay and Mweenish Island.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: Take a walk after dinner with your group leader or enjoy chatting with the locals in the hotel pub.

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 17 - Glinsk / Cashel Bay / Roundstone Independent Expl...
Glinsk / Cashel Bay / Roundstone Independent Exploration / Ballyconneely / Filleting Demonstration & Salmon Tasting at Connemara Smokehouse / Clifden

Note: Biking Distance: Approximately 35 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our cycling route leads us through Glinsk and around Cashel Bay to Roundstone. 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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Roundstone. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

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.

Evening: At leisure.

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 18 - Sky Road / Streamstown Bay / Clifden Independent ...
Note: Biking Distance: Approximately 8 miles

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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Clifden. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Clifden to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. 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.

Evening: At leisure.

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, July 19 - Kylemore Abbey / Kylemore Pass
Note: Biking Distance: Approximately 13 miles

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 of the mansion. Independently explore the Mausoleum, Gothic Church and Victorian Walled Garden that populate the manicured property.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice 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.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

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, July 20 - Transfer to Galway / Galway City Walk / Galway In...
Transfer to Galway / Galway City Walk / Galway Independent Exploration / Farewell Dinner

Note: With the bicycling concluded, we transfer by coach to Galway.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Hop an early coach transfer to the cultural core of Ireland, and its third 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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Galway. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Galway to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. 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: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner in the hotel dining room. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Forster Court Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Ten: Monday, July 21 - Departure
Breakfast: Hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfers to Shannon Airport for onward travel.

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:
Jul 12 — Jul 21, 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
5 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.4
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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