Connemara Adventure Tours is a small family run business, set up over 30 years ago by Mary and Jamie Young, on the westernmost edge of Europe. Their cycling and walking tours of Connemara, on the west coast of Ireland, explore the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, stretching along the Atlantic coast from Donegal in the north of Ireland to West Cork in the south. The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,400 km route of “wild, rugged, unspoiled” coastal scenery that is being billed as the road trip of a lifetime by Tourism Ireland and set to be launched internationally as a packaged route in March 2014.
“The route is being described to visitors to Ireland as ‘the wild, magnificent Ireland of your dreams’,” says Chloe Bolger, manager with Connemara Adventure Tours. “We’re based right at the centre of that route, in the heart of Connemara. With over 30 years in business, our cycling and walking tours of the area give clients a real taste of the best that the West of Ireland has to offer” she says.
To coincide with the launch of the new route that passes right through their backyard, Connemara Adventure Tours have introduced 6 new luxury cycling tours and 2 new luxury walking tours for the 2014 season that take guests on a journey through time, making their way from one historic castle accommodation to the next, indulging in luxurious accommodation and sampling gourmet menus after active and adventurous days exploring the wild Irish Atlantic coastline.
Their most ambitious new walking tour is called the Connemara 3 peaks Challenge involving guided climbs of the highest and most challenging 3 peaks in the western region. It’s very weather dependent, an above average level of fitness is required and the guides are top notch. The beauty of this tour is the combination of physical challenge and achievement coupled with top level luxury accommodation and relaxation at the end of each day in remote and stunning locations.
To date the Lazy Days cycling tour has been the most popular seller for the business and the one that clients repeatedly recommend to friends. It’s still an active cycle holiday but with moderate daily distances, structured so as to allow people time to relax, and spend lazy days exploring the various cultural and natural attractions of the region and spend luxurious and comfortable evenings in the best hotels and castles in the area.
Other luxury cycling tours include Challenging Connemara – a more challenging tour for the cyclist who wants to enjoy longer cycle routes, but with the reward of luxury accommodation in the most unique properties that Connemara has to offer at the end of each day, The Wild Atlantic Coast – a tour that involves cycling through some of the most remote and rugged scenery that Connemara has to offer and includes a trip to a small offshore island, where the way of life has been maintained under the influence of the wild Atlantic and their own traditional ways.
The Gourmet Connemara Tour and the Romantic Escape Tour are equally alluring, bringing you to castles and hidden luxury hideaways, allowing you to unwind, reconnect and savour the choicest foods and flavours of the region.
According to Chloe, their advantage as tour operators lies in the fact that the area covered in their tours is extremely well known to them, and their ability to make sure each year that all the tracks, walks and cycle routes work out nicely for clients. They know exactly what’s available along the way, the terrain and level of difficulty in all weather conditions for all tours and the hidden extras that are impossible for tourists to find alone, whether that be the chance to experience life on a local farm for an afternoon or knowing where to go to sample some traditional music or the best pint of Guinness!