Ballyvaughan/The Burren Co Galway
Difficulty Rating 7 /10
Total Distance/ 99 KM
•Suitable for Beginners 4 /10
• Good for kids 0 /10
•Good for Families 6 /10
• Challenging for experts 8 /10
Fitness Required Rating 7 of /10
This route provides a nice mix of scenic roads along the coast to kinvara and Ballyvaughan with some good climbing over the burren to Carran.
It's a mix of main national roads & B roads which are very popular with cyclists.
*Parking, coffee shop and bike store @ Velocity Bike Store
*Plenty of opportunities to stop for coffee or food
BIKE FOR THE JOB
Suitable for road bikes, hybrids, touring, gravel or any type of bikes
What’s it like to ride?
There’s no better place to roll out from than Velocity Bike Store in Oranmore. Park up the car, grab a coffee before you roll out or get any mechanicals sorted and hit the road.
Ride out the main Limerick road, passing through Clarinbridge towards Kilcolgan & turn right for Kinvara. This is a very popular route for local cyclists (especially on a good day!) so you’re almost guaranteed to meet fellow riders along the way.
Passing through Kinvara the scenery opens out with the sea to the right and the Burren in full view up ahead, take a left turn up Corker hill. This climb is short and sharp and will test the climbing legs but the views from the top are worth it.
Drop down the other side and you pass a place that is almost impossible not to stop at, The Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory. This is a lovely cafe with great coffee, lunches, cakes and of course chocolate, an ideal stop for a bite before venturing into the burren.
Continuing on, the road rises through ditches and stone walls towards Carran for about 6-7km. The landscape dramatically changes from the coast road to a more barren landscape with the limestone rocks of the famous burren laid out either side of you.
This is a twisty climb so best to settle in and tap out a steady tempo to the top. Turn right and continue climbing towards Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Fort. If you are interested in irish history and ruins this is well worth a stop. If not keep going but make sure you don’t take out a few tourists who are regularly swarming around these sights and crossing the road between both.
The decent towards Ballyvaughan is fairly technical with hairpin and sharp 90o turns so stay sharp. Aillwee caves are another well worth visit. By now you’re getting the picture, you can knock this ride out as a quick training ride in around 3 hours or you can take the day and enjoy the sights and villages along the way.
Once you reach Ballyvaughan its time to turn for home along the coast road. On a clear day the views are epic and you can see all the way across Galway Bay to Galway city & connemara.
If you haven’t stopped yet both Ballyvaughan and Knvara are well worth stopping in for a break, a coffee or to explore for a while.
All in all this gives a bit of everything to the rider which is why I love it. Some days I will ride this as a hard training ride and barely lift my head and other days I will simply take in the scenery and enjoy the views and if you haven’t guessed by now take a few coffee and food stops.