The Wild Atlantic Way and Western Ireland

6 cycle tours along Ireland's west coast

19 Jun 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm

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Guidebook describing 6 cycling tours in western Ireland, based on the Wild Atlantic Way, the longest signed coastal route in the world. Each takes around 7 to 10 days, or, for the full Wild Atlantic Way experience, the routes can be combined to create a 44-stage, 2450km trip from Derry/Londonderry to Cork.

Seasons Seasons
These routes are best ridden between May and September.
Centres Centres
Derry/Londonderry, Donegal, Sligo, Achill Island, Galway, Westport, the Aran Islands, Limerick, Tralee, Bantry, Kinsale, Cork
Difficulty Difficulty
The six routes are broken into stages averaging 60km. A full Wild Atlantic Way tour will take you 6-7 weeks at that pace, covering a total of almost 2400km.
Must See Must See
Malin Head, Slieve League Cliffs, Achill Island, Connemara, the Aran Islands, the Burren, the Cliffs of Mohr, Loop Head, Dingle, the Ring of Kerry, Mizen Head, Kinsale
19 Jun 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
  • Overview

    Boasting deserted beaches, towering sea-cliffs and tiny harbours – not to mention rich cultural and historical interest – the west of Ireland has much to entice the visitor, and with many miles of quiet roads, it's a cyclist's paradise. The Wild Atlantic Way is a driving route along Ireland's Atlantic seaboard, covering over 2,350km of coastline and showcasing the region's breathtaking landscapes. This guide adapts the route for cyclists – and throws in a couple of other highlights (such as the Aran Islands and Killarney) for good measure.

    Since relatively few people are likely to have seven weeks to spare for a full Wild Atlantic Way tour, the book presents six self-contained cycle tours, each offering 7–10 days of riding. For the full Wild Atlantic Way experience, these distinct routes can be linked together into a 44-stage trip from Derry/Londonderry to Cork. Each route includes detailed advice on accommodation and facilities, plus optional detours and shortcuts and points of interest. The routes themselves are presented as 'route cards': ideal for use with a cycle computer, these pages provide 'at a glance' information for when you're on the road, covering navigation, facilities and local highlights.

    The guide covers all the practicalities – including transport, equipment and general tips on cycling in Ireland – and also offers background information on geology, plants and wildlife, history and culture to enhance your journey. The result is an ideal companion to discovering western Ireland, where magnificent scenery, a vibrant music scene and a warm Irish welcome await the turn of your pedals.

  • Contents

    Wildlife and flowers
    What’s in a name?
    Built heritage and architecture
    Getting there
    Getting around
    When to go
    Health and safety
    Food and drink
    Post, phones and internet
    Cycling in Ireland
    What to take
    Using this guide
    The tours
    Route 1 Tour of Donegal
    Stage 1 Derry/Londonderry to Culdaff
    Stage 2 Culdaff to Clonmany
    Stage 3 Clonmany to Letterkenny
    Stage 4 Letterkenny to Portsalon
    Stage 5 Portsalon to Downies
    Stage 6 Downies to Bunbeg
    Stage 7 Bunbeg to Portnoo
    Stage 8 Portnoo to Carrick
    Stage 9 Carrick to Donegal Town
    Route 1 Route cards
    Route 2 Into the Atlantic
    Stage 1 Donegal Town to Ballyshannon
    Stage 2 Ballyshannon to Sligo
    Stage 3 Sligo to Ballina
    Stage 4 Ballina to Belmullet
    Stage 5 Belmullet to Achill
    Stage 6 Tour of Achill Island
    Stage 7 Achill to Foxford
    Stage 7A WAW link from Newport (Stage 7) to Westport
    Stage 8 Foxford to Sligo
    Route 2 Route cards
    Route 3 Tour of Connacht
    Stage 1 Westport to Roonah Quay
    Stage 2 Tour of Clare Island
    Stage 3 Roonah Quay to Tully
    Stage 4 Tully to Clifden
    Stage 5 Tour of Inishbofin
    Stage 6 Clifden to Kilkieran
    Stage 7 Kilkieran to Galway
    Stage 8 Galway to Cong
    Stage 9 Cong to Westport
    Route 3 Route cards
    Route 4 The Aran Islands and the Burren
    Stage 1 Galway to Inishmore
    Stage 2 Tour of Inishmore
    Stage 3 Tour of Inisheer
    Stage 4 Round the Burren
    Stage 5 Doolin to Kilrush
    Stage 6 Kilrush to Ennis
    Stage 7 Ennis to Limerick
    Stage 7A WAW link from Limerick to Tarbert
    Route 4 Route cards
    Route 5 The Dingle and Kerry Peninsulas
    Stage 1 Tarbert to Tralee
    Stage 2 Tralee to Dingle
    Stage 3 Tour of the Dingle Peninsula
    Stage 4 Dingle to Killorglin
    Stage 5 Killorglin to Portmagee
    Stage 6 Portmagee to Caherdaniel
    Stage 7 Caherdaniel to Kenmare
    Stage 8 Kenmare to Killarney
    Stage 9 Killarney to Tralee
    Route 5 Route cards
    Route 6 The Fuchsia Coast
    Stage 1 Kenmare to Allihies
    Stage 2 Allihies to Glengarriff
    Stage 3 Glengarriff to Schull
    Stage 4 Schull to Clonakilty
    Stage 5 Clonakilty to Kinsale
    Stage 6 Kinsale to Cork
    Route 6 Route cards

    Appendix A Useful contacts
    Appendix B Glossary
    Appendix C Deviations from the Wild Atlantic Way driving route
    Appendix D Further reading
    Appendix E Calibrating your cycle computer

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Tom Cooper

After some years of bashing out stories and editing copy for newspapers in both England and Australia, Tom Cooper decided to turn his hand to writing a book. His inspiration? It was Ireland itself – happy scene of many teenage and adult holidays alike. When Tom decided to explore even further by bike he couldn’t find a guidebook he liked, so decided to write one that he hoped would help, and inspire, cyclists to enjoy touring in Ireland as much as he does.

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