The Wild Atlantic Way and Western Ireland
6 cycle tours along Ireland's west coast
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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.
- These routes are best ridden between May and September.
- Derry/Londonderry, Donegal, Sligo, Achill Island, Galway, Westport, the Aran Islands, Limerick, Tralee, Bantry, Kinsale, Cork
- 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
- 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
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.
Wildlife and flowers
What’s in a name?
Built heritage and architecture
When to go
Health and safety
Food and drink
Post, phones and internet
Cycling in Ireland
What to take
Using this guide
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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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.View Articles and Books by Tom Cooper
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