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16th Apr 2014

An Post Tour de Burren Cycle Comes to Town

After the success of last year, the An Post Cycling Tour de Burren returns on June 21st.


After the success of last year, An Post Tour of  The Burren, County Clare returns on June 21st offering you the first chance to ‘Become a Series Cyclist’ with An Post Cycle Series 2014.

Last year an incredible 2,000 participants took to the roads of The Burren for An Post Tour of Clare, including the family fun day and the main events and this year promises to be even better!

It was fantastic to see so many people of all ages and cycling abilities out on their bikes and enjoying all that North Clare has to offer. The Tour has gained the reputation over the past number of years as being regarded as one of the premier sportif cycling events in Ireland.

As part of the overall event, there are four different routes of varying degrees of difficulty. Thus the tour will accommodate a wide range of cycling interests, including family cycling, the leisure cyclist and of course, seasoned/experienced cyclists.


We have the Family Loop 10km which is a family spin and over half the route will take families along green roads, in the beautiful village of Ballyvaughan. Open to all ages, once accompanied by an adult. Refreshments at the halfway mark.

For the novice cyclist we have the Burren Circuit 52km. you travel out the N67 in the direction of Lisdoonvara. The entire climb, with its numerous switch backs is just 5km. Its not as bad as it sounds! For the next 11.5km or so, you will have a nice steady and relaxing cycle to Lisdoonvarna, where there will be a welcome break, with tea, sandwiches, salmon on brown bread and of course, cheesecake! The final 37km will bring you into Doolin and then along the Wild Atlantic Way, back to Ballyvaughan and the finish of this year’s event.


If you feel you’ve gone beyond the level of a novice we have the Heart of the Burren 96km. This route is longer and tougher than the equivalent route last year! This year you go out the Galway Road into Bellharbour. You continue along the N67, where after approx 12km, you encounter our first climb, ‘The Ballaghdine’. After a further 2km at the Galway Border and turn right up ‘The Corker Hill’. This is a 1km testing climb, which will really get your heart pumping.  The next 7km is a mixture of downhill and relatively flat cycling, until you commence the 6.5km Climb to Carron village, with the first 3km the most testing.

The following 17.5km to Newtown Castle will take you through the heart of the Burren passing Caherconnell Stone (38km) fort where you will have your first water stop at the remarkable Poll na Bron Dolman, before a scenic descent, down Ballyalban Hill, past the Aillwee Cave, when you will rejoin the N67 at Newtown Castle Cross. From here you essentially join the same route as the novices taking in Lisdoonvara, Doolin, along the Wild Atlantic way and finishing in Ballyvaughan.


For the cycling purists we have the mega Burnin Burren 160km. Leaving Ballyvaughan you head out the Galway Road, through Bellharbour and up the first climb – Ballaghdine. It’s short, 500m in length, but with a gradient of 10% it will pinch the legs. On up the new line and to Boston (Co. Clare!) and into the foot of Glann Hill – otherwise known as the mini corkscrew! Several switchbacks and short enough at 3km but worth it for the view at the top – into Carron. Down Ballyalban and into the base of the Corkscrew Hill – the usual favourite. It’s nearly 5km from bottom to top, you should enjoy it! The road surface is good and you should glide up it – you can look forward to a well earned break in Lisdoonvarna afterwards.

There is no Castle Hill this year, so after tea you head on the N67 to the Cliffs of Moher with a mad descent into Liscannoe. Turn left outside the village and up Doonagore, 5km of slow drag. At the top, hard right and a long descent into the outskirts of Lahinch. Sharp left and 1km to a right over the bridge and into Ennistymon. Left and 1km right into Kilfenora and on to Lisdoonvarna for another cuppa – well earned again!! The legs are burned now but the sight of home is nearing fast.

So for home you go back out to Doolin and this time you turn right and head home by the coast road.

If you want to enter, just click here