Donegal Bike Tour
Six nights; six days of bicycle touring on the paved roads of Donegal's coast, through Glenveagh National Park, and on the Donegal Cycleway.
“Something surprising around every corner... and there are a lot of corners!” - Pauline S.
Start: Annagry, Donegal airport, 17:00, day one. There are usually two flights daily between Dublin and Donegal, operated by Aer Lingus. Please contact us to make alternate arrangements, if necessary.
Finish: Annagry, Donegal airport,. ~15:00, day seven. Daily flights available from Glasgow, daily flights and buses available from Dublin.
Fly into Donegal airport at Annagry, from where you can do an extra day trip before starting your adventure. You will need a short transfer (~4km) to your hotel to meet your tour mates and/or guides/driver, and for dinner. D
Danny Minnie's, or
Caisleain Oir Hotel, Annagry
Annagry to Ardara 46km or 76km
Follow tiny lanes around the perimeter of several peninsulas, one of which has the largest migratory bird preserve in the British Isles. Finish in Ardara where traditional Irish music can be heard nearly every night in one of the 13 unique pubs here. The town is well situated to explore some of the most unspoilt scenery in Europe. Riders who choose the shorter option will be transferred to Ardara from the town of Lettermacaward. BLD
Woodhill House, Ardara
Ardara to Glencolmcille 38km to 58km
This is a spectacular day! Ride out to the end of the Donegal Peninsula, following Loughross Bay to Assarancagh Waterfall and the unspoiled expansive sandy strand of Maghera, then through the little-travelled Granny Pass to Glencollumcille. Visit the folk village and craft shops in "the Glen", then head to the viewpoint for the dramatic Slieve League, the highest sea-cliffs in Europe. Hike along the ridgetop, and enjoy the phenomenal view, then return via the Glengesh Pass to Ardara, where Nancy's Bar is one of the favourites amongst many. Those who choose to ride shorter distance can catch a transfer back to Ardara from Slieve League. BL
Ardara to Ramelton via Glenveagh 64km
Today the morning's ride takes you to the top of Glenveagh National Park where you'll stop for lunch at the Glebe Gallery, a hidden gem in this natural wonderland where Derek Hill's portraits, a result of study with Monet and Picasso, sit humbly on the walls. Ride through the afternoon into Glenveagh Castle and Gardens, followed by a short transfer (~30km) to your comfy lodge near the waterfront town of Ramelton. BD
Rathmullan House, or
Castle Grove Hotel; Ramelton
Rathmullan to Dunfanaghy 55km
Today you'll ride past what is often referred to as the prettiest beach in the world at Magherwarden, also known as Portsalon, on your way to the spectacular Fanad Head Light Station. Ride from there along tiny coastal roads and across the new bridge to Carrickart for a lunch on main street before continuing along to Doe Castle where you'll be transfered to Dunfanaghy. BD
Arnold's Hotel, Dunfanaghy
Loop ride around Dunfanaghy with optional hike 12km
A short ride takes you to overlook the magnificent heather-topped sea cliffs at Horn Head. You can also hike to Two Pistols, McSwyne's Gun, Tramore Beach, and Marble Arch. Alternatives include golfing on the Harry Vardon designed links across the road from your hotel, as well as horse riding, surf lessons and seakayaking. B
Dunfanaghy to Dunlewey and Annagry 45km
Ride south from Dunfanaghy toward Dunlewey and the Poisoned Glen. Its name was a cartographer's mistake - a confusion between the Gaelic words for heaven and poison. The glen is a beautiful place for a walk, and is the pickup point for the short transfer to Donegal airport in time for flights to Dublin or Glasgow for those with afternoon flights, or otherwise not inclined to finish the ride along the carefully-selected and signposted roads of the Donegal Cycleway. BL
Note about the route:
Paved roads through changing, sometimes hilly terrain. There is a short, optional stretch on a smooth, gravel surface, and the paved roads are often uneven enough that a hybrid is recommended over a racing bike unless you are comfortable with bumpy paved surfaces. Variable distances available most days, with brief van transfers for those preferring the condensed option.
This is debatably Ireland's most beautiful corner. Gorgeous sand beaches interrupt heather-clad sea cliffs, and beautifully-paved tiny roads carry you between places of outstanding beauty. The quiet beauty of County Donegal is sandwiched between the border with Northern Ireland and the surf-ringed headlands of the open Atlantic. You will begin riding south from the Donegal airport along quiet peninsular roads, past beaches and dunelands preserved as a migratory bird sanctuary. You will spend two nights in Ardara, with a foray to the Slieve League - the highest seacliffs in Europe, near the folk village of Glencolmcille. You will climb into Glenveagh, and descend to a formerly-private majestic castle and gardens of the same name. The northern reaches of Donegal boast more fantastic beaches, and impressive headlands. Fanad Lighthouse adorns one of these, as a stark and beautiful beacon to mankind's habitation of the land/sea boundary. The ride from there to the similarly imposing headlands near Dunfanaghy takes you to the wonderful village of the same name, where, again, the interface provides fabulous active exploration. If you prefer, you can replace the heady hikes we have planned with golfing on truly remarkable links, surfing, sea-kayaking, horse-riding, fishing, or shopping and simply basking in the appealing ambience of another remote, beautiful seafront village.
The hardest part of this not-too-challenging ride will be leaving all of the wildly sublime beauty behind.
Maps & Elevations
Annagry, Donegal airport,17:00, day one. There are usually two flights daily between Dublin and Donegal, operated by Aer Lingus. Please contact us to make alternate arrangements, if necessary.
Annagry, Donegal airport, ~15:00, day seven. Daily flights available from Glasgow, daily flights and buses available from Dublin.
US 2875 C 3395(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, ferries, van support, full-time guide, luggage handling, maps and route notes, taxes)
US 2625 C 3095(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, ferries, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, essential shuttles, emergency support, taxes)
US 395 C 475
US 190 C 225
US 250 C 295
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.