Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Clew Bay Bike Trail?


The Clew Bay Bike Trail is a bike and ferry route looping magical Clew Bay in Co. Mayo, visiting both Clare Island and Achill Island. The route includes two short ferry journeys for you and your bike, one from Roonagh Pier, near Louisburgh to Clare Island and the other from Clare Island to Cloughmore near Achill Sound.

The Clew Bay Bike Trail can be cycled in either direction, starting at any point.




How long is it?


The full length of the trail is 105km. This includes 14km on ferries and an optional 10km cycle around Clare Island. The mainland section from Cloughmore on Achill Island to Roonagh is 81km.




What is the cycling surface/terrain?


Most of the trail is on the off road Great Western Greenway and the surface is mainly tarred, some short sections have a compacted limestone dust surface. Please note that some sections of the trail are shared with vehicular traffic.

The overall distance is 105km which includes the ferry journeys and an optional 10km cycle on Clare Island.

Trail / Route Overview

Westport - Murrisk (Greenway): 9km – Separated cycleway alongside the road.

Murrisk – Roonagh Pier: 20km on-road section,

Roonagh Pier – Clare Island: 5km - Ferry Crossing

Loop of Clare Island: 10km - Island roads with very little traffic

Clare Island – Cloughmore (Achill) 9km – Ferry Crossing

Cloughmore – Achill Sound: 8km - On-road section

Achill - Westport (Greenway): 44km – Off road




Which days do the ferries run?


The ferries between Clare Island and the mainland at Roonagh Pier run every day year round. However the ferries between Clare Island and Achill Island only run on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in July and August. One ferry ticket covers both journeys for you and your bike but they are not transferrable - you must travel with the same ferry company on both journeys. Ferries must be booked in advance.




Can it be done in a day?


Yes, if you are a fit cyclist. The ferry times on Wednesdays will allow you do the entire lap of Clew Bay in one day in either direction. Staying overnight on Clare Island makes the cycling much more manageable and is a great way to fully experience the beauty and culture of the area.




Is there accommodation on Clare Island?


Yes, Clare Island has a great selection of accommodation of all types from a hostel to a lighthouse. There’s a good choice of b&bs, guesthouses and self catering. Clare Island also has a campsite.




Can I swim on Clare Island?


Yes, don’t forget your swimsuit and towel. There’s a beautiful sandy beach just beside the pier where the ferry ties up.




Is the Clew Bay Bike Trail suitable for children?


It depends on the age of the child, their fitness level and how much of the trail you plan to cycle. Small sections of the Greenway are suitable for all ages. However doing the entire trail over one or even two days is really only appropriate for teenagers who are regular cyclists.




Is the route hilly?


It is mainly flat but there are some hills where a reasonable level of fitness (or an electric bike) will help.




Can I bring my electric bike on the ferry?


Yes you can. However you must remove the battery before putting the bike on the ferry and an extra charge applies.




Can I hire a bike locally to do the Clew Bay Bike Trail


Yes, you can hire bicycles.




Can I do a guided tour?


Yes, the bike hire companies also offer guided tours of the Clew Bay Trail.




Is it well signposted?


Yes, this is an easy route to follow and it is well signposted. Download the map from this website to see the whole route with distances etc.




How long are the ferry journeys?


It’s 5km from Roonagh to Clare Island and the journey takes about 15 minutes. From Clare Island to Achill is 9km and takes about 30 minutes.




What services are there along the route?


Westport Town
Public Toilets (Mill street, Car Park)
Shops, Bars, restaurants, Cafes and Accommodation are available

Murrisk
Public Toilets (Car Park at Croagh Patrick)
Bars, Restaurants & cafes available
Hostel, B&B & Camping Accommodation available

Bertra Beach
Public Toilets available

Louisburgh
Shops, Bars, restaurants, Cafes and Accommodation are available

Carramore Beach
Public Toilets available

Roonagh Pier
Public Toilets available

Clare Island
Public Toilets (Community Centre)
Bars, Restaurants & cafes available
Hostel, B&B & Camping Accommodation available

Achill Sound
Public Toilets
Shops, Bars, restaurants, Cafes and Accommodation are available
Camping

Mulranny
Public Toilets (The Greenway Services Centre & Mulranny Beach)
Shops, Bars, restaurants, Cafes and Accommodation are available

Tiernaur
Bar / Restaurant & Accommodation

Newport
Bars, Restaurants & Cafes available
Hostel, B&B & Camping available




How long will it take me?


Well, that does depend on how fast you cycle! However, taking a reasonable cycling speed of 20 kilometres per hour, the actual cycling time is just under 4 hours. This doesn't include any cycling on Clare Island. Most people will take breaks, and explore Clare Island and other attractions along the way.
Westport - Murrisk (9km) 27mins
Murrisk - Roonagh (20km) 60 mins Cloughmore - Achill Sound (8km) 24 mins Achill Sound - Mulranny (13km) 39 mins Mulranny - Newport (18km) 54 mins Newport - Westport (11km) 33 mins