One of the best cycling holidays Ireland has to offer. You follow one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline. Cycle past small bays, golden sandy beaches, towering cliffs and headlands. The scenery here is really spectacular. Ever-changing dramatic sea views greet you at every turn. This tour allows you to visit historic sites dating back to the stone age and stroll around welcoming historic towns like Donegal and Ardara.
Day 1: Arrive Donegal Town.
Your cycling holiday begins in historic Donegal Town. Getting here is easy with direct bus services from both Dublin and Ireland West airports. Spend the evening relaxing in this very pleasant town with its many great pubs and restaurants.
Day 2: Around Lough Eske. 26 km
Following breakfast we will meet you to provide you with everything you need for your upcoming bike tour and to answer any questions you may have. You will then be set to begin your new cycling adventure. Your first day of cycling takes you around tranquil Lough Eske, nestled at the foot of the Bluestack Mountains. Back in Donegal you can visit the 15th Century Donegal Castle, or take a trip on the Donegal Bay Waterbus. Alternatively you can spend the evening relaxing (or shopping if you like!).
Day 3: Donegal to Killybegs. 38 – 53 km
Today you cycle along the ever-changing coastline between Donegal and Killybegs. You’ll pass quiet bays, beaches and inlets. Cycle along narrow peninsulas and headlands. Bike along St. John’s Point, where the Atlantic Ocean will lie on both your left and right. The views in all directions here are magnificent. Continue west to your overnight destination in the bustling fishing village of Killybegs, where much of Ireland’s Atlantic catch is landed.
Day 4: Killybegs to Carrick. 21 – 35 km
West of Killybegs you cycle along one of the most memorable stretches of coastline you will ever see. Cycle through Kilcar, a centre for traditional tweed production, before reaching 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. Here you also have the opportunity to view the cliffs from below, with a boat trip from nearby Teelin Pier.
Day 5: Carrick – Glencolmcille – Carrick. 25 – 33 km
Today your cycling holiday brings you through 5,000 years of Irish History. The title of a book about the area, “5,000 Years in Stone” says it all. Stone age court tombs, dolmens from the bronze age, early Christian standing stones and Celtic ring forts which are overlooked by a watchtower from the Napoleonic era are amongst the sights to behold. Set in one of the most beautiful spots you will ever visit, there could hardly be a better place to explore by bike.
Day 6: Carrick to Ardara. 22 km
Cycle over wild boglands as you climb gradually to emerge at the head of dramatic Glengesh Valley. The bike ride down the valley will be one to remember. Choose between stopping to admire the amazing views or enjoying the thrill of the descent. At the bottom of the valley is your overnight destination in the heritage town of Ardara. This lively town has a great selection of pubs, many of which feature regular traditional music sessions.
Day 7: Around Ardara. 0 – 35 km
The possibilities today are endless; take the leisurely 8 km bike ride along beautiful Loughros Point. Alternatively, cycle to the golden sandy beach, caves and waterfall at Maghera. A third option is to cycle around Dawros Head. Here you can step back in time to view the Kilclooney Dolmen, and the mystical Doon Lough Fort. The choice is yours! Return once again to Ardara and spend another night exploring its many nice pubs.
Day 8: Ardara to Donegal. 30 km
Cycle back to your starting point in Donegal Town. Cross more wild boglands as you climb out of the town. Great views open up over Donegal Bay with its many headlands and islands. Enjoy one last descent to the pleasant village of Mountcharles. Return to your starting point in Donegal Town, completing your biking tour around the beautiful and historic coast of Donegal.
Day 9: Depart
Following breakfast it is time to depart — taking with you memories of your cycling adventures in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
Treasures Of Coast and History — 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, triple 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 you can check out the local entertainment!
Treasures Of Coast and History – Getting Here
This cycling tour starts and finishes in Donegal Town. It is easily accessable with regular bus services from Dublin, Ireland West and Belfast airports. 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, please let us know and we will help you to plan your journey.
From Dublin Airport and Dublin City
By Bus: Direct buses run to Donegal Town from Dublin Airport and City every 90 minutes. Timetable
From Ireland West (Knock) Airport
By Bus: Frequent buses run to Donegal Town direct from the Airport. Timetable
Treasures Of Coast and History – 2021 Dates and Prices
Tours available: 05 April – 27 September 2021 Peak Season: 31 May – 30 August 2021
Price per person sharing: €835 Peak Season: €915 Single occupancy: €220 Bicycle: €115 E-bike: €195
Self-Guided bike tour price includes:
• Bed and breakfast accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and B&B’s
• Welcome meeting and bike set up on first morning
• Daily luggage transfers
• Emergency support
• Comprehensive guide booklet
• All maps and guide notes
• GPS unit with all routes pre-programmed (one per group)
Not included in price:
• Travel to and from start/finish of tour (Donegal Town)
• Meals other than breakfast
Shorter Cycling Holidays
If time does not allow you to follow the full 8 day itinerary click on the Short Tours tab above to see shorter versions of this tour.
If you wish to avail of an extra day’s accommodation and bicycle hire at any location during your tour, this can be arranged at a cost of €80 per night/person sharing. Single supplement – €15
Treasures Of Coast and History – Short Tours
The 9 day/8 night bike tour is the ideal amount of time needed to appreciate the area at its best. We understand though, that this is not always possible. With that in mind we offer the following as shorter tour options. Details of each day can be found in the main “Treasures of Coast and History” bike tour itinerary.
8 Day/7 Night Bike Tour
Day 1: Arrive Donegal.
Day 2: Donegal to Killybegs
Day 3: Killybegs to Carrick
Day 4: Carrick – Glencolmcille – Carrick
Day 5: Carrick to Ardara
Day 6: Around Ardara
Day 7: Ardara to Donegal
Day 8: Departure
To book a self-guided cycling tour with Ireland by Bike:
Please fill out the Enquiry Form giving details of group size, dates, etc.
Once we have received your enquiry we will get back to you letting you know if the dates you requested are available. We will then ask you to enter full tour and group details on a Booking Request Form. Once we have received this we will send you confirmation of pricing etc.
2: Pay Deposit
If you are happy with our proposal you can proceed to pay the deposit using the secure link we will send you. The deposit required is €100 per person for all tours.
Once we have received your deposit we will send you confirmation of your booking along with an invoice for the balance.
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 cycling holiday accommodation list, along with the full guide notes for your cycling tour.
If you are just making a general enquiry, and would like to ask some questions, then simply contact us.
“We both really enjoyed the adventure! We especially liked Glengesh Pass on the ride to Ardara…….amazing beauty. Everyone needs to take the sea tour of Slieve League with captain Paddy! This trip was so exciting and we will always remember it. Finally, the Guinness really does taste better in Ireland!”Jaymie and Rick Caster, Texas, U.S.A. – April 2019
“Every one of our group of 4 had a ball, from the breakfasts to the Guinness in the pubs at night. The rides each day were stunning. The ride along the coast after leaving Killybegs being our favourite. Great experience. We’ll be back” J Rathborn, BC Canada – July 2019
“We really like Donegal County. Compared to the other places we went (Galway, Ring of Kerry, Dublin) it was much less crowded with tourists (ironic, coming from a tourist).” Richard Johnson, Seattle, USA. – April 2018
“It was fabulous, and we have recommended to many.”The Tilles family. CA, U.S.A. – August 2017
“I would recommend Ireland by Bike to ANYONE. If you are not an avid cyclist, get the electric bike. It does take some getting used to but it was a lifesaver on the hills for me. This route thru Donegal County was the perfect length and difficulty for us, and we did do every extra route that was provided. I would encourage everyone to do all the extra routes if you are able.”Susan Boyer, U.S.A.- May 2017
“Ci congratuliamo con voi per la vostra brillante organizzazione del giro in bicletta. E’ la sesta volta che trascorriamo le vacanze in bicletta senza guida nel Nord Europa e la vostra agenzia è stata di gran lunga la migliore a cui ci siamo mai appoggiati, dalla gestione dei dettagli prima della partenza sino ai saluti finali. Abbiamo sinceramente apprezzato la vostra assistenza durante il giro, i suggerimenti circa i locali in cui mangiare e tutte le sistemazioni per dormire. Per cortesia, ringraziate tutti i nostri ospiti per la loro calorosa ospitalità. Uno speciale ringraziamento a Mary della cittadina di Carrick per le colazioni spettacolari e a Barbara ad Ardara per la sua stupenda energia e il suo entusiasmo (e per la sua nuova bellissima casa).”
(“I would like to congratulate you on your brilliant organization of the bike tour. It is the sixth time that we spend our holidays on self-guided bike tours in Northern Europe and your company is by far the most efficient we have ever used, from the pre-tour details to the final greetings. We have truly appreciated your assistance during the tour, the suggestions about where to eat and all the accommodations. Please, say thanks to all our hosts for their lovely hospitality. A special mention to Mary in Carrick for the fabulous breakfasts and to Barbara in Ardara for her wonderful energy and spirit (and for her beautiful new house.”) Simona and Marco, Italy. – July 2016
“If you like to ride a bike and want to see a beautiful country, take this tour. It was my favourite vacation that I have ever taken. I highly recommend it!”Ron Pauley, Ohio, U.S.A. – June 2016
“We were a little surprised by the terrain the first couple of days. Enjoyed all the sites and just really took our time each day so that we could take it all in. Thank you for a wonderful experience that we will never forget.” Susanne Wolf and Scott Silker, MN, U.S.A.
“We are back in Evanston and sad to be gone from Ireland. We had the trip of a lifetime and most of it was due to our bike trip. It was such a wonderful way to experience the friendliness of the people of your country, the incredible beauty and ruggedness of the landscape and keep up our appetites for the brown bread and guinness (not to mention the Irish breakfasts) which were staples of the trip. Thank you for all your help and enthusiasm. I hope we meet again somewhere – let me know if you are ever in the states and need a guiding or helping hand. I would love that.”– Katie Brady, Evanston, IL, USA
“I was so impressed with how meticulously Seamus had everything planned and organized. From the moment we got off the bus, he made sure we had the best experience we could have. The accommodations were beautiful, the breakfasts superb and everyone was so friendly. That Seamus went the extra mile to show us authentic music at a session, make special arrangements for our last night – all of these things were incredible. I have travelled to many countries in Europe and planned a number of tours myself and this was the best overall experience I have ever had. It was a perfect mix of activity – from biking and hiking, historical site seeing, shopping, relaxing and enjoying the food, beer and music ( and the craic, of course) from restaurants and pubs. It was all really amazing!” – Katrina and Matthew Dallamann, Osceola, Wisconsin, USA
“Just to let you know that we are now back in London, with thighs of steel, a lot of (very smelly) wet clothes, and having had a great time. We enjoyed our holiday with Ireland by Bike immensely. It was well organised, the distances we had to cover were about right for our level – not so much that we didn’t have time to stop and look at standing stones or beaches, but enough that we felt we had achieved something by the end of the day. The booklet describing the routes was clear, and the only times we got lost were when we didn’t follow your instructions! The scenery is stunning, and even the fact that it rained heavily at least once on each of the days we were on the road didn’t spoil our trip.” – John Elmes, London, England
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