Achill Island, connected by a 'swinging' bridge to West Mayo, is an ideal location for a cycling holiday. The Achill Cycle Network includes numerous routes throughout the island, most of them on quiet local roads. Picnic stops, local pubs and restaurants are dotted along the routes, which offer breathtaking views of the wild Atlantic coastline.
Achill has a wealth of historic sites, a wide variety of food and accommodation options, facilities and activities for visitors. The island has a long history of human settlement, with megalithic tombs and promontory forts dating back more than 5,000 years.
Achill boasts five Blue Flag beaches, the UK and Ireland's highest sea cliffs and large tracts of Atlantic blanket bog between the peaks of Croaghaun and Slievemore and the majestic Minaun Cliffs of Keel. Walking and cycling along the quiet lanes and trails is a wonderful way to discover the island’s majesty.
The trailhead for the Achill Cycle Loops is in Keel, just 3km from Achill Bikes HQ in Dooagh. Traffic on the routes is generally light, but the main R319 can get busy at times during the holiday season. The loops are suitable for people with a medium level of fitness who cycle occasionally.
The minimum gear required is bike, helmet, mobile phone, fluid, snacks and waterproofs. Services are available throughout the island.
For your safety, Achill Bikes provides a high-visibility vest and helmet free of charge to every cyclist.
Loop No. 1
Kildavnet Castle, a 15th century fortified tower house and home of Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, is just one of the historical sites along Cycle Route 1.
Loop No. 2
The 19th century Achill Mission Estate in Dugort is on Route 2, as are three of Achill's five Blue Flag beaches: Keel Strand, Silver Strand and Golden Strand.
Loop No. 3
Take some time to visit the evocative Deserted Village of Slievemore