Experience the best of Donegal on this short cycling holiday. Even if you cannot afford the time to do a full week of cycling, you can still enjoy the best of what a cycling holiday has to offer. In this short cycling break you follow the dramatic coast from Killybegs, around the Sliabh Liag area to Ardara. Enjoy the dramatic views, the ancient history and, of course, the legendary local hospitality
Dates and Prices
Donegal Short Cycle Break – Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Killybegs.
Your bike tour begins in the bustling fishing port of Killybegs. This is where much of Ireland’s Atlantic catch is landed. Settle into your accommodation in the town centre – overlooking the harbour. Explore the piers, narrow streets and excellent restaurants of this pleasant town.
Day 2: Killybegs to Carrick. 21/24/35 km
West of Killybegs, you follow one of the most memorable stretches of coastline you will ever see. A highly recommended short side-trip will take you to beautiful Muckross Head where you can appreciate the beauty of Ireland’s coastline at its very best. Cycle through Kilcar Village, a centre for traditional tweed production, and past more magnificent coast to your overnight destination of Carrick. A short bike trip from Carrick brings you to the stunning Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) Cliffs – one of Ireland’s greatest treasures, and a sight not to be missed!
Day 3: Carrick – Glencolmcille – Carrick. 25/33 km
Explore the area around Glencolmcille with a loop cycle from Carrick. Cycle past beautiful sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, and over wild boglands. Explore the archaeology of Glencolmcille where stone age court tombs, dolmens from the bronze age and inscribed early Christian standing stones are to be found. If you fancy leaving the bike for a while, a hike up to the Napoleonic era Lookout Tower on Glen Head is a very rewarding experience. Return to Carrick for the night.
Day 4: Carrick to Ardara. 29 km
Cycle north from Carrick over wild boglands as you climb gradually to emerge at the head of dramatic Granny Valley. The bike ride down the beautiful glacial valley will be one to remember. At the bottom of the valley, you will find pristine Maghera Beach with its caves that can be explored at low tide. Nearby is dramatic Assarancagh waterfall. Stop in the heritage town of Ardara, before continuing to your overnight stop in the pleasant village of Glenties.
Day 5: Ardara to Killybegs. 26/35/50km
Leaving Ardara climb into the hills above the town. Don’t forget to look behind you for the great views back over the ocean. Decend once again to the edge of Donegal Bay. If you would like a little extra cycling, follow the narrow road bringing you along St. John’s Point – the finger shaped peninsula pointing towards the middle of Donegal Bay. Follow the coast back to your starting point in Killybegs.
Day 6: Depart
Time to leave. A local bus service or a taxi will bring you to Donegal where you can catch connections to the main airports or other parts of Ireland.
Donegal Short Cycle Break — Accommodation
One of the great things about travelling by bicycle or by foot in Ireland is the chance to meet local people, and one of the best places to do this is at your accommodation. There is no better type of accommodation to suit cyclists and walkers than the type we use – the traditional Irish bed and breakfast (and occasionally small hotels). Here you will be guaranteed a warm welcome. The owners cater much more to the needs of the adventure traveller than the larger hotels.
Your host will serve you a delicious breakfast in the morning that will set you up perfectly for the day ahead. All of the accommodations we work with cater for people with special dietary requirements.
Choose a single, double, twin, or family room. Rooms have their own private bathroom.
We choose locations as close as possible to the village or town centre, so that you will be able to stroll out in the evenings to have a meal and then afterwards check out the local entertainment!
Donegal Short Cycle Break – Getting Here
This cycling tour starts and finishes in Killybegs. It is easily accessible from Dublin and Ireland West (Knock) airports. If you are flying Trans-Atlantic it is worth noting that most flights are overnight, arriving in Ireland in the early morning. Therefore, you may want to consider a “recovery day” before starting to cycle.
Use the links below to check the bus timetables.
If you are arriving in Ireland at a different location and would like advice on how to get here, let us know and we will help you to plan your journey.
Tours available: 17 April 2023 – 25 September 2023 Peak Season: Monday 05 June 2023 – Monday 21 August 2023
6 Day/5 night tour
Price per person sharing: €850 Peak Season: €890 Single occupancy: €180 27 Speed Bicycle (Ladies or Gents available): €70 Unisex E-bike: €150
5 day/4 night tour
Price per person sharing: €710 Peak Season: €740 Single occupancy: €160 27 Speed Bicycle (Ladies or Gents available): €60 Unisex E-bike: €140
Self-Guided bike tour price includes:
• Bed and breakfast accommodation in B&B’s or small hotels
• Welcome meeting and bike set up on first morning
• Hotel to hotel luggage transfers
• Comprehensive guide booklet
• Maps and turn by turn directions
• GPS unit with all routes pre-programmed (one per room)
• GPX tracks available on request (If you would like to use your own GPS device)
• Emergency support
Not included in price:
• Travel to and from start/finish of tour (Donegal Town)
• Meals other than breakfast
• Entry to sites and attractions not included as part of the tour
Donegal Coastal Treasures Bike Tour – Photo Gallery
Donegal Short Cycling Break — Booking the Tour
To book the Donegal Short Cycling Break self-guided bike tour with Ireland by Bike:
1: Make a Booking Request
Please use the booking request form Once we receive your request we will confirm availability. You will be asked to pay a deposit of €100 per person to secure your booking. Please note that this deposit is non returnable, so it is important that you have all your travel details correct before proceeding to book.
After receiving your deposit we will contact you to confirm your booking. We will send you your invoice for the balance along with some other details.
3: Pay Balance
Full payment is required at least 4 weeks before your arrival date.
Once we have received full payment we will email you your bike tour accommodation list, along with your bike tour guide notes and any other essential information. If you would like the GPX tracks we will send them to you at this stage.
4: Enjoy Your Adventure
We will meet you on the morning of your first cycle and get you set up with your bike, notes, GPS etc. Time to let the adventure begin.
This tour is new for 2023, however as it is simply a short version of our Donegal Coastal Treasures Bike Tour those reviews will give a good idea of what to expect.
Donegal Coastal Treasures Bike Tour – FAQ’s
Below you will find the answer to some of the most commonly asked questions about this tour. For other more general FAQ’s please visit our FAQ page.
Who is this tour suitable for?
This tour is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. The distances you cycle each day are relatively short. Typically 30 – 40 km with some extra options. However it is important to note that the routes are very hilly. For this reason we recommend using and electric bike.
Do I need to be a regular cyclist?
It is important that you are a competent cyclist (as distinct from a fit cyclist) with adequate bicycle handling ability and a proper knowledge of the rules of the road. It is not recommended that you book a cycling holiday unless you have cycled at least occasionally before you arrive.
Will I be cycling along with others?
Possibly – but this is not guaranteed. At busy times of the year like June, July and August, is is quite likely (but again not guaranteed) that others will be following the same routes as you. In the quieter months when numbers are smaller it is quite possible that yours will be the only group on the road at that time.
Is this tour on cycle paths or public roads?
For the vast majority of this tour you are on roads that are also open to traffic. However as we focus on small back roads the traffic is almost non-existent in most places. There are some short stretches on roads with moderate traffic. However even here cycling is not difficult.
Are the routes hilly?
The routes on this bike tour are VERY hilly. (This is partly why it is so beautiful) The gradient varies constantly from gentle to very steep. On an average day of cycling 40 km you can expect an elevation gain of approximately 400 metres (1,300 ft). For this reason we recommend using an electric bike for this tour.
How do I get to/from the start/finish?
This short cycling break starts and finishes in Killybegs. There are local bus connections to Donegal where you can connect with regular direct bus services to and from Dublin Airport (where most people arrive into Ireland). There are also connections between Donegal and Ireland West (Knock) Airport. Belfast Airport has bus connections with one change. To see links to websites with more information and timetables click on the “Getting Here” tab above.
6 days/5 nights
April to September 2023
Very hilly. E-bike recommended.
5 days/4 nights
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Amuigh Faoin Aer Teo. T/A Ireland By Bike Teelin Rd, Carrick, Co Donegal, Republic of Ireland
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