The Clew Bay Bike Trail is a new bike and ferry route looping magical Clew Bay in Co. Mayo, curving around the coastline, incorporating both Clare Island and Achill Island. The trail primarily utilises the existing Great Western Greenway path, along with a section of segregated cycle path and some sections of the local road network. The trail offers a new and different way to see Clew Bay from every angle. New ferry sailings connect Clare Island and Achill Island (Cloughmore) on Wednesdays and at weekends for July and August.
Anna Connor, Tourism Development Officer, Mayo County Council, has collaborated with Fáilte Ireland and with local ferry operators in the development of this new iconic visitor experience. “This is exactly the type of unique product that will attract visitors from all over the country to Mayo”, she said, “I’m confident that it will develop into another really strong selling point for the west Mayo area and the Wild Atlantic Way”.
Eva Costello, Wild Atlantic Way Manager with Fáilte Ireland, said, “Fáilte Ireland are delighted to see the activity providers and the ferry operators come together to provide this wonderful new experience of cycling around all of Clew Bay. Visitors can take their time cycling this 105km route and enjoy the accommodation and hospitability along the way and even get to stay over on 2 islands – Clare Island and Achill Island. Visitors this year are looking for things to do with families in the outdoors and what better way to do this as they see the wonderful sights and scenery of the area”.
Cyclists can start the Clew Bay Bike Trail at any point and cycle it in either direction. It’s a glorious route through some of Mayo’s most attractive seaside towns including Westport, Louisburgh and Mulranny. The cycling distance is 81km with an optional 10km loop on Clare Island. The total trail distance, including ferries, is 105km. Keen cyclists can do it in a day, but the best experience is staying overnight on one of the islands and exploring their beauty. Cyclists can bring their own bikes or hire from one of the local rental companies.
One ferry ticket covers both journeys and should be pre-booked from either of the two ferry companies, O’Malley Ferries or Clare Island Ferries O’Grady’s.
Visitors to Mulranny, Achill and indeed the wider Clew Bay area will find the Clew Bay Bike Trail an ideal way to explore their surrounding area. For example, a day trip with bikes from Achill Island to Clare Island has plenty to keep a family entertained. It adds a new option and a fabulous way to enjoy the great outdoors in a healthy manner.
The Clew Bay Bike Trail is a joint venture between Mayo County Council and Fáilte Ireland. Full information is on the newly launched website www.clewbaybiketrail.ie.