The Škoda Tour de Conamara: A Complete Guide

By We Love Cycling

The Škoda Tour de Conamara is a yearly highlight for cycling enthusiasts! This annual event, set against the picturesque backdrop of Conamara, attracts participants with its stunning route along Ireland’s rugged Wild Atlantic Way and through its serene valleys and mountains.

As we look back on the recent 2024 edition of the sportive, we spotlight the Tour in more detail, explore some of the brilliant things to do and see locally, and chat to veteran Škoda Celtic Series cyclist Seán Burchill about his experience taking part to date!

Overview and 2024 Routes

The Škoda Tour de Conamara offers two main routes, each carefully designed to showcase Conamara’s natural beauty whilst bringing the Škoda experience the Tour is known for! Here’s a closer look at what participants can expect in future editions:

140km Route

This longer route is designed for the more seasoned cyclists, offering a rewarding experience against a sociable event scene. The route begins in Clifden and heads towards the scenic Sky Road, known for its panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Riders will then cycle north along the coast, experiencing rugged landscapes and the wild, untamed beauty of the western seaboard.

The route continues through the heart of Conamara, passing by several notable landmarks and natural features:

  • Twelve Bens Mountains: Known for their dramatic peaks, the Twelve Bens provide a stunning backdrop as cyclists push through some of the more challenging sections of the route.
  • Killary Harbour: Ireland’s only fjord offers spectacular views and a sense of tranquility amidst the race.
  • Inagh Valley: A serene stretch that is often considered one of the highlights, with lush greenery and majestic mountains on either side.

The return leg to Clifden showcases more of the coastal scenery, ensuring that the finish is as memorable as the start!

80km Route

The shorter route is by no means less scenic, tailored for those who prefer a less strenuous ride while still soaking in the natural beauty. Starting from Clifden, this route initially follows the same path as the 140km course but soon diverges to include some unique elements:

  • Ballyconneely and Roundstone: The route meanders through these charming villages, allowing riders to enjoy a more cultural experience amidst the natural vistas.
  • Bog Road: Cyclists will traverse this famous stretch, characterised by vast peatlands and unique flora, which is particularly picturesque during the spring and summer months.

Both routes finish back in Clifden, where participants can celebrate their accomplishments with some well-earned local hospitality!

Participants can also look forward to well-organised support, including free parking, showers and food and drink pit stops.

Seán Burchill’s Experience of the Škoda Tour de Conamara

To gain a fresh perspective of the Tour de Conamara, we caught up with Škoda Celtic Series participant, Seán Burchill. A Limerick native, Seán has taken part in the sportive for many years, embodying the spirit and passion that makes this event a must for cycling fans!

Seán, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got involved with the Škoda Tour de Conamara?

I started cycling in 2010 after I retired. We had formed a new cycling club the same year called Southside Wheely Wheelers and then we first started doing cycles around the Ring of Kerry. At the time, An Post hosted a series of cycles, and we went to places up and down Ireland such as Cork and Sligo which got us going. Soon after, the Škoda Celtic Series became a thing and I have been participating in the Tour de Conamara and Ring of Clare cycles ever since!

I have been doing the Škoda Tour de Conamara for over 10 years. We love doing this Tour – a lot of our club members come up from Limerick and it’s a real social event which is what I love.

The Tour de Conamara offers stunning routes through this beautiful area of Ireland. Which part of the route is your favourite and what do you love the most about it?

I particularly love coming down the coast towards Kylemore. When you can see the sea on one side and the mountains on the other, it’s just something else. Conamara is such a fabulous place.

I just love the overall atmosphere of the Tour de Conamara too. It’s great when we’re starting off in Clifden, everyone is relaxing and having a bite to eat. Then, at the end of the cycle you can enjoy the band and music with your friends and people you’ve met along the way, it’s just a really sociable event.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering participating in the Škoda Tour de Conamara for the first time?

 Start off easy and gradually build up. There’s no need to make it a race in my view, just enjoy the cycle. The social side is the best part, because you’ll meet people on the bike and you’ll start chatting away. Last year I met up with a crowd from England and it was their first time doing it, so it’s never too late to get going and enjoy it!

A weekend in Conamara

For those travelling to the event next year, Conamara offers a wealth of activities so you can make the most out of your stay in the region.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Conamara National Park is a must-visit, featuring several hiking trails that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The park’s highlight is the climb up Diamond Hill, which offers panoramic views right across the Conamara countryside.

Another popular destination is Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful neo-Gothic castle set amidst historic woodland and a Victorian Walled Garden. The Estate also hosts a jam-packed schedule of walks, talks and events if you fancy something a little different.

Conamara is also a haven for water sports enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for kayaking, sailing, and diving!

For more information on what to do and see in Conamara, visit


If you’re interested in taking part in the Tour next year, keep your eyes peeled for when registration opens for 2025!


 It’s not too late to register for the Tour de Conamara’s sister cycle, the Škoda Ring of Clare, which takes place in July! Find out more and secure your spot at!