Connemara is a near-perfect cycling destination. That’s thanks to quiet roads that wind through countryside that must be experienced to be believed.
The 40km Ballyconneely and Roundstone Loop is a must. You’ll travel through the natural wilderness of Derrygimlagh and Roundstone bogs. Across the vast rust-coloured expanse, watch white bog cotton and heather bounce delicately on the breeze and breathe in the scent of wildflowers.
With such peace and quiet, it’s hard to believe that so much history is near at hand. You’ll pass the crash-landing site of Alcock and Brown’s first transatlantic flight. They flew from Newfoundland in a modified WWI plane in 1919. Landing conveniently close to Marconi's first transatlantic wireless station, they then transmitted their success to London.
Another place to stop is Coral Strand near Ballyconneely where the water is so crystal clear you could be in the tropics. A dip will dispel this myth but don’t let the temperature put you off as a swim here will make your day.
By the time you reach Roundstone, one of the oldest fishing villages in Ireland, you’ll have worked up quite an appetite – just in time to enjoy the catch of the day. This gorgeous seaside hamlet is perfect for recharging the batteries and taking in the staggering views of the Twelve Bens Mountains and their changing colours and mood as the clouds scurry past.