Our Food Experience
At the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif, we know that Ireland has some of the best quality ingredients in the world but it’s the warm and welcoming people who make this great natural larder an experience to remember.
As cyclists, we know that a very important part of sustaining a nice steady pace on the bike is making sure that the body has the fuel it needs to keep going. That’s why we’re very careful to make sure that each hotel and lunch stop on our route meets our high standards.
There’s something very rooted yet very now about Ireland’s natural approach to food and easy-going, warm culinary style. On this small island, local rules. You’ll find some of the best raw ingredients in the world, expertly prepared then served simply and fresh as can be… it’s as if you can really taste the place. And good food is just the start. You’ll shake the hand that feeds you too because we believe in small, we believe in local and we believe in personal. And it’s the warm and welcoming people who make Ireland what it is.
Helen’s Bar, Kilmacalogue, County Kerry
Situated right by the pier in the village of Kilmacalogue on the magnificent Beara Peninsula, Helen’s Bar produces some of the freshest seafood lunches on the whole Wild Atlantic Way. Located well off the main road, the small detour for lunch is well worth it and the freshly-made salmon sandwiches and homemade chowder is without doubt one of the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif.
Coyne’s Bar, Kilkieran, County Galway
In their little bar on a wonderfully remote stretch of Connemara coastline in the small village of Kilkieran, Michael and Annmarie take pride in everything that leaves the kitchen. The food at Coyne’s Bar is the definition of simple food cooked to perfection and their specialty chowder (wholesome and filling with plenty of fresh Atlantic fish and served with a homemade brown scone) is a meal in itself and perfect for cyclists!
Connemara National Park
Situated on the outskirts of the village of Letterfrack, much of the Connemara National Park previously formed large parts of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School. The southern part of the Park was once owned by Richard (Humanity Dick) Martin who helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century. The parklands are now wholly owned by the State and managed solely for National Park purposes.
The Park’s Café and Visitor Centre serve really wonderful home-cooked food, though their soups and bread are particularly famous, not least because of the warm Connemara welcome that comes with them! A refuge from the wilderness of the landscape, the Connemara National Park is always a favourite with Sportif cyclists.
Tí Linn Café, Sliabh Liag Cliffs
Tí Linn is a unique café serving artisan cuisine in which traditional and modern Irish tastes are brought together to produce something completely new – and they’re pretty famous for their cakes and coffees too!
Located at the spectacular Sliabh Liag Cliffs which are widely considered to be one of the Wild Atlantic Way’s most beautiful signature points, the café is one of our favourite refueling stops along the route. A warm welcome and a hearty send-off from Paddy and his team are guaranteed to keep our cyclists going as they head further north into the heartlands of Donegal.
SPORTIF SIGNATURE DINNER LOCATIONS
The Sneem Hotel, Sneem, County Kerry
The location of the Sneem Hotel, nestled down in the heart of Goldens Cove on the magical Ring of Kerry, makes this one of our favourite overnight stops.
The stunning hotel restaurant has some of the best views of any hotel property along the Wild Atlantic Way and always provides a warm Kerry welcome for our cyclists. Given the hotel’s location, seafood is a specialty and is delivered straight from local fishing boats into the hands of the hotel’s chefs – you can’t get fresher than that!
Vaughan’s Roundstone House Hotel, Roundstone, County Galway
Vaughan’s hotel is a small family-run boutique hotel tucked away in Connemara, one of Ireland’s most beautiful and remote regions. Located in the very heart of the scenic fishing village of Roundstone, the hotel is surrounded by spectacular views of Roundstone Bay and Inishnee Island and looks out onto the majestic Twelve Bens mountain range.
But despite its remoteness, the kitchen in Vaughan’s serves up beautiful fresh seafood and Connemara lamb and has become a firm favourite with all our cycling groups.
Mill Park Hotel, Donegal Town
Situated on the outskirts of Donegal Town, the Mill Park Hotel is a fabulous location from which to explore the many wonderful cycling routes in the area.
The food in the hotel’s Granary Restaurant is always a real highlight of our stay and, as always, the proximity to wonderful fishing villages on Donegal’s Atlantic coastline guarantees a taste of some of the best seafood dishes to be found anywhere in the world.
The Shandon Hotel and Spa, Dunfanaghy, County Donegal
The Shandon Hotel & Spa overlooks the breathtakingly beautiful Sheephaven Bay and is just a short hop from Dunfanaghy and Horn Head. This new Donegal hotel is one of very few that can claim a sea view from every bedroom.
But it’s not just the view that makes the Shandon Hotel & Spa one of the best hotels on our route – wonderful fresh seafood and a fabulous selection of locally-sourced meat and poultry makes the choice from the dinner menu one of the most difficult decisions of the day! And as if that wasn’t enough, cyclists can enjoy a well-deserved soak in the outdoor Canadian hot tub or take a gentle stroll on the beach just feet from the hotel entrance.