Highlights Of The Highlands – Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Donegal.
This self-guided bike tour of Ireland’s North West starts in Historic Donegal Town. You might like to explore the town or even go for a short cycle. Donegal Town is steeped in history, with its imposing 15th century castle and ruined abbey. It also has a great selection of lively pubs and cafés.
Day 2: Donegal to Killybegs. 38 km
We will meet you at your Bed & Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. for your welcome meeting. This morning you will cycle westwards, along Donegal Bay. The smell of the sea will soon be all around as you pass quiet bays and inlets. Cycle along the narrow Peninsula of St. John’s Point, where you will have the Atlantic Ocean on both your left and right. View the remains of Rahan Castle and the Killaghtee Cross. Continue to your overnight destination in the bustling fishing village of Killybegs.
Day 3: Killybegs to Glencolmcille. 47 km
Your bike tour takes you further west from Killybegs. Here the scenery becomes ever more dramatic. Towering cliffs, golden sandy beaches and rocky headlands create a magnificent panorama. Visit the cliffs at Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) – one of Ireland’s greatest attractions. In the evening, make your way to the valley of Glencolmcille. Ancient history, the thriving Gaelic culture, vibrant traditional music and the wonderful natural beauty form a truly unique location for your overnight stop.
Day 4: Glencolmcille to Glenties. 40 km
Today the remoteness of the landscape dominates. You can visit the deserted fishing hamlet of Port before cycling through one of the most sparsely populated areas in Ireland. Descend through dramatic Granny Valley to Maghera where a pristine beach, a series of caves, and dramatic Assarancagh Waterfall await. Cycle on to the heritage town of Ardara. Your overnight stop is in the pretty village of Glenties.
Day 5: Glenties to Portnoo and back to Glenties, or have a rest. 0 – 52 km
You can choose how much or how little cycling to do today — depending on your mood! The stunning area west of Glenties around the villages of Portnoo and Rossbeg is just waiting to be explored. Here you can also visit mystical Doon Lough Fort and the late stone age dolmen at Kilclooney. Alternatively you can simply relax.
Day 6: Glenties to Annagry. 48 km
The early part of today’s cycle allows you to experience the unique splendour of Ireland’s blanket bogs. Heathers, mosses, lichens and rough grasses create an artist’s dream landscape. Further on you have the chance to visit one of the many inhabited islands off the Donegal Coast. Arranmore is a 20 minute ferry trip from Burtonport. The trip itself makes the journey worthwhile! Spend some time exploring the island before making your way back to the mainland. Cycle past beautiful golden beaches to the village of Annagry.
Day 7: Annagry to Churchill/Letterkenny. 48 km
The unique beauty of the Donegal Highlands is all around during today’s cycle. Pass beneath the peak of majestic Mount Errigal. Further along is the hauntingly beautiful Poisoned Glen. Your cycling tour then takes you to Glenveagh National Park. Red deer and golden eagles live here among the pristine lakes and mountains. Follow the paths through the park to the shore of Lough Gartan. Spend the night in the lush farming area around Churchill.
Day 8: Churchill/Letterkenny to Glenties. 45 km
Heading south from Churchill you cycle along the southern edge of Glenveagh National Park. Climb gradually to the viewing point at the end of Glenveagh with its lake nestled in the mountains. From there descend along a beautiful quiet valley, with the Glendowan Mountains on your left and Slieve Snacht on your right. You’ll need no reminding here why bike tours in Ireland are simply the best way to see the country! Follow peaceful roads overlooking the Gweebarra Estuary, then it’s back once again to Glenties.
Day 9: Glenties to Donegal. 34 km
The final cycle of your bike adventure brings you back to your starting point in Donegal Town. From Glenties you pass through more boglands as you climb above the town. Great views of Donegal Bay with its many inlets and islands open before you. Pass through the village of Mountcharles, and back to Donegal Town. You may also decide to include the cycle around Lough Eske today. Spend your final night in this very pleasant town.
Day 10: Departure
After breakfast it is time to leave your Donegal cycling holiday behind. Bring with you your memories of a tour around one of the most beautiful and friendly regions in the world.