Two Surly LHTs at Killary Fjord, Connemara, Ireland
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Connemara, Ireland by the Wild Atlantic Way. One Day Cycle Trips in Ireland-Local Loops!



Connemara Loop Map

Cycle touring fully loaded and laden down with gear has it’s time and place… heading off with bike, tent and sandwiches in tow, for a light leisurely jaunt should have it’s place too!

The West Coast of Ireland is a great destination for light cycle touring…if you can get the weather for it! The Wild Atlantic Way offers unrivalled landscape, unpredictable weather, and unpredictable, stubborn sheep!

The length of the Wild Atlantic Way stretches from Cork in the south, to Donegal in the North, a length of over 2500km! We decided to sample 100km of it over the course of three days.  You could probably complete the loop in a day if you don’t stop in every pub and cafe along the way!

Ireland is strikingly green for a reason- the rain! If you’re coming, bring rain-gear!

Cycling the wild Atlantic way.

Some respite from the traffic.  The roads can be quite busy along the more popular routes and obviously during seasonal periods.  We planned our trip during the Clifden Pony Show, which is a celebration of the Connemara pony, so there was more traffic than normal.

cycle tour of connemara on wild atlantic way

Connemara sunset. Cycle touring Ireland.

Killary Fjord, near Leenaun, Co.Mayo is Ireland’s only true Fjord.


Cycling Killary Fjord, Connemara, Ireland.

The fjord is  about 16km long and has the impressive mountains of Mweelree and the Twelve Pins Mountains standing either side of it offering truly spectacular views. Tours can be taken on Killary Fjord with killary Fjord Boat Tours.



Laura putting a brave face on despite the persistence of the biting midges.  They can get quite annoying during the Summer months, especially during humid evenings with cloud cover.  Click here for tips on how to help deter these annoying pests.

camping in Connemara. Cycle touring in Ireland.



Not a bad place to set up tent! It can sometimes be a little tricky to find a wild camping spot as the terrain can be too rocky to get the tent pegs in or too wet and soft to be considered.


Black pudding for breakfast! Who would’ve thought that something that tastes this good would be classed as a superfood along with the likes of blueberries and chia seeds! I never needed an excuse to eat it before!

Cycling the Wild Atlantic Way

The roads were a lot quieter once we veered off the busier N59 road.


Cycling along Lough Fee, I wish I had brought my fishing rod with me!


Connemara has a very diverse, colourful and rugged landscape.  The seasonal colours range from the bright yellow of the furze bush, the purples of the invasive rhododendrons, lilacs of the sweeping bog heather  and of course the many shades of green.  A landscape painter’s dream!



Laura sitting by a fairy tree or rag tree.  The fairy tree is a hawthorn tree where people who have a problem or a particular ailment tie ribbons to it’s branches with the hope the concern will disappear. We came across a lot of these in Mongolia and Russia.  It’s funny how our cultures, folklores and beliefs are sometimes linked.


There are many beautiful and unspoilt beaches dotted along the coast of Ireland. Glassilaun Beach, which is overlooked by Mweelrea mountain was where part of The Quiet Man, 1952, by John Ford,  was filmed. It’s a movie that is still remembered locally and features quite prominently in various towns and villages around the film locations.



The beautifully, clear and clean strand of Glassilaun beach.


Rocking the sash!


Where to next?!




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  4. josypheen

    I love this!! I just came back from Connemara (we live up the road from your last photo…I hope you headed that way next!!)

    When I was a child we called Glassilaun beach “friendly dog beach” as there was a lovely doggy who’d come out when we arrived and walk along the beach with us. You’ve reminded me that i should add a blog post about all the gorgeous beaches near here!!


    • Thanks Josy! Connemara is one of our favourite places in Ireland for cycling! You’re so lucky to be living around there! Glassilaun beach is stunning.. we didn’t meet a friendly dog when we were there, unfortunately! We’d love to read your post about Connemara beaches!

      Liked by 1 person

      • josypheen

        We don’t live there anymore. 😦
        My mum is in the process of selling her house (and all her paintings of Connemara.)

        Anyway, you have good taste in cycle routes!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill wright

    Hi there
    I love reading your posts and I really enjoy your illustrations.
    I luve in Ireland and am looking to buy a touring bike soon. What do you think of your lht and troll and would prefer one over the other and did you purchase them in Ireland?
    I am slowly getting organised with regard to touring and plan to start the wild Atlantic way in September.
    Are you based here in Ireland?
    Thanks in advance

    Liked by 1 person

    • hi Jill! Thanks for reading our blog! Yep, we love our LHTs and yes we’re based in Ireland!
      We bought the bikes in Japan a few years ago. They perform really well under a load as proved by our trip from Japan home to Ireland, and equally well as a solid commuting bike. We had no problems with the bike or any of the components. We upgraded the saddles, seat stem, pedals and tyres and added new mudguards, racks, handlebar tape and other bits and bobs. The Wild Atlantic Way rivals the best cycle routes in the world, it really is amazing! You’ll have a great time!


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