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Tour

Award winning cycling tours of Ireland and Europe

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Email: info@cyclingsafaris.com

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Ireland - Highlands of Donegal

Price from €860 per person

Degree of difficulty -

Start: DONEGAL

Finish: DONEGAL

Daily Ave: 60-72km

Weekly Ave: 314km

Self

Guided

Group

Tours

Terrain: The roads are all tarmaced & mostly on quiet back roads. Some steep climbs and winding roads. Undulating terrain.

We keep to quiet backroads passing some of Ireland's most wonderful coastal scenery. Dramatic mountains fall into the Atlantic Ocean interspersed with some of the most unspoilt beaches you are likely to find. We continue through a rolling landscape of quiet sleepy villages and stop in Leo's pub where Enya and Clannad first sang.

We meet up in the town of Donegal. The following day we start our cycle by heading along the wonderful coastline towards the Slieve League Marine Cliffs on our way to the first nights stop, the Irish speaking village of Glencolmcille.

Our cycle brings us through Glenveigh, Ireland's largest National Park where conservationists work hard to keep the wild rhododendron under control. Our rest day is in the seaside village of Dunfanaghy before we continue on our journey to the town of Ramelton.  Our last days cycle see us exploring the wonderful Fanad peninsula before a final transfer brings us back to Donegal town for a final night on the tour.

Tour Itinerary

7 Night Tour

Day
1

Arrival Donegal image 1

Arrival Donegal

On arrival in Donegal, you should make your way to your B&B and explore the area

Arrival Donegal image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
2

Donegal to Glencolumkille 39 miles/62km image 1

Donegal to Glencolumkille 39 miles/62km

After being fitted out with your bike you then begin the tour with a cycle out of Donegal town towards the wonderful coastline where we continue to our lunch stop in village of Carrick. After lunch, you cycle up to a viewing point of the spectacular Slieve League Cliffs one of the highest marine based cliffs in Europe. In the afternoon you head to your night stop in the village of Glencolumcille passing freshly cut peat drying in the surrounding bogs.

Donegal to Glencolumkille 39 miles/62km image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
3

Glencolmkille to Dungloe 38 miles/60km image 1

Glencolmkille to Dungloe 38 miles/60km

Today you head up into the wild highland country along quiet back roads with a wonderful open landscape. There follows a wonderful descent down the dramatic Glengesh Valley to the beautiful Maghera beach. The beach is well worth stopping at for a walk across its wonderful white sands to explore the caves of Maghera. You can also go for a swim in the lagoon here and pretend you are in the Caribbean (!) before heading to the village of Ardara for a pub lunch. In the afternoon you continue along a quiet bog road before heading to the coastal town of Dungloe where again you stay in local guesthouses.

Glencolmkille to Dungloe 38 miles/60km image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
4

Dungloe to Dunfanaghy 39 miles/63km image 1

Dungloe to Dunfanaghy 39 miles/63km

You continue through a rolling landscape through quiet sleepy villages and can visit Leo's pub where Enya and Clannad first sang. Later you cycle toward the spectacular Mount Errigal and stop for lunch at the base of this mountain. In the afternoon you cycle up to take in a view of the Poison Glen and then descend through an empty mountainscape towards Dunfanaghy. You also have the option of visiting Glenveagh National Park in the afternoon.

Dungloe to Dunfanaghy 39 miles/63km image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
5

Rest day Dunfanaghy  image 1

Rest day Dunfanaghy

The village overlooks Portnablagh Beach and dunes where you can swim, swing a golf club or take a change of saddle, to gallop down the beach.

Rest day Dunfanaghy  image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
6

Dunfanaghy to Ramelton / Rathmullan 39 miles / 62 km image 1

Dunfanaghy to Ramelton / Rathmullan 39 miles / 62 km

The morning’s cycle takes you through isolated highland country roads with a worthwhile detour to Doe Castle. You stop for lunch in Downings on the Rosguill Peninsula. A roller coaster ride around the coast affords spectacular views of white sandy beaches as we wind our way down to our evenings accommodation in the town of Ramelton.

Dunfanaghy to Ramelton / Rathmullan 39 miles / 62 km image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
7

Circular Tour of area – Donegal 45 miles/72 km image 1

Circular Tour of area – Donegal 45 miles/72 km

Today you cycle the beautiful and remote Fanad Pennisula stopping for lunch in Port Salon. You continue along the shores of Lough Swilly through Rathmullan from where the last Earls of Ireland fled to Europe in 1607, thus ending the old Irish Order. The final leg of our cycle brings us to Rathmelton where we will then transfer you back to Donegal town for a farewell night on the town together before heading home the following morning.

Circular Tour of area – Donegal 45 miles/72 km image 2

7 Night Tour

Day
8

Awaiting Acommoation Image

Donegal departure

The tour finishes after breakfast.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

Prices / Dates

2020 TOUR PRICE (GUIDED & SELF GUIDED)
€ 885.00 per person sharing off peak
€ 920.00 per person sharing July & August
€ 255.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others )
€ 395.00 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone on a self guided tour)

Tour Includes

- 7 nights accommodation with breakfast (mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal
- Bike rental including a pannier bag, lock, repair kit & bottle holder
- Guide in a support van if we reach minimum of 8 people 
- Luggage transfer
- Helmet (on set departure date tour only)

- Route details and maps
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:
Helmet rental on self guided tours (on request only) €10

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)

18-July,

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tours are available from 18th April to 3rd October and can start any day of the week.

Accommodation

(Subject to availability)

DONEGAL image 1

DONEGAL

Eske Villa Luxury Bed & Breakfast is only 200 meters from Donegal town center.

Family run and warm and welcoming on the banks of the tranquil river its the ideal place to start any tour.

DONEGAL image 2
GLENCOLMCILLE image 1

GLENCOLMCILLE

Your host Geraldine Byrne will offer you a warm welcome you in Millstone B&B.

Set in the countryside the B&B give a real view of the remote landscape that is Donegal 

GLENCOLMCILLE image 2
DUNGLOE image 1

DUNGLOE

This cozy guesthouse in Dungloe Ardcrone House within a short walk from the village and the ocean.

Warm and relaxing it an ideal place to recharge and get a good nights sleep.

DUNGLOE image 2
DUNFANAGHY image 1

DUNFANAGHY

For two nights we will stay in the well established Arnolds Hotel.

This family run hotel is in the heart of the village overlooking the bay. With hotel be run for 5 generations by the same family you can expect the warmest of welcomes.

DUNFANAGHY image 2
RAMELTON  image 1

RAMELTON

Ardeen House: The historic Victorian house gives you a relaxed feeling the moment you walk through the front door and only a short walk from the town centre. 

Crammond House is another great option for our stay in Ramelton again it has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in the town centre 

RAMELTON  image 2

Travel

Travel to Donegal:

Dublin Airport is the best option for this tour. There is also a small airport in the area called Donegal Airport. But its located over 70 km outside of Donegal Town and the bus connections are very limited.

From Dublin Airport:

There are direct bus connections from Dublin Airport to Donegal Town. Bus Eireann timetableBus Eireann also brings you from Dublin City to Donegal Town.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Tour Reviews

I like to let you know that the trip was fantastic, all went well, the weather treated me more than kindly and Tony McGennis had made sure that all went very smooth. 
Please keep up the trips through Ireland, they are all a treat and Donegal I found particularly special with its very welcoming people and the breathtaking landscape!

Doris Reddin (Donegal self led 2014)

We had a great holiday in Donegal. Everything went very well.

Regula v. A. & Fritz K. 2013

Tour FAQ

What support do I get on self guided tours?

On a self-guided tour we will organize your bike hire, the accommodation, and the luggage transfer. Your route details will be waiting for you in your first night’s accommodation. In the route details, you will also find recommendations for lunch stops and places to have dinner. You will set off by yourself and the luggage will be transferred to the next stop by our local taxi transfers. And should there be a day you won’t be able to cycle, it is possible to arrange a lift with the luggage transfer.

You can also contact us in the office (info@cyclingsafaris.com) or on our emergency number if you need assistance.

You can start the cycling tour on any day that suits you.

If you prefer to cycle with a support van and/or guide we are happy to send you a customized quote for this.

On a self-guided tour it is possible to add extra days or shorten the trip if you wish to or we can customize the route for you.

What support do I get on group tours / set departure tour dates

Guide in a support van / no cycling guide

We offer set departure dates for group tour bookings. If we reach a minimum of 8 people on the set departure tour date the tour will be run with a guide in a support van.

The guide will meet you each morning to give you a short briefing for the day ahead. Then you can set off in small groups or individually. Each person has their own route details. Your guide will then collect the luggage and deliver the bags to the next night's accommodation before catching up with the group again. 

Although the guide will not be cycling with you, he or she will be driving the support van and will make a sweep to ensure that all is well, and offer lifts to those who want a break. 
This provides a sense of freedom in that you can travel at your own pace in the security that the guide is there for you in the event that you might need them. The guide will recommend places to eat and try to find out where the best entertainment is each night.

Most importantly, the guide sets the right tone to make you feel welcome to the country and to help you in whatever way possible so that each day you are free to leave your worries behind.

If we don’t reach the minimum of 8 bookings, this tour will go ahead as the self-guided version with luggage transfers via our local taxi companies. There might be others cycling the same route, but there won’t be a guide in a support van. However, you can always contact us in the office to get assistance and if you need a lift we can organize this for you.

What bikes are provided?

In 2020 we will be using the GIANT CITY bicycles for our tours.
To see the specification for this you can visit the website:
www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/escape-city ( Gents model )
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ie/bikes/model/alight.2.city/28581/99470/ ( Ladies model )

Bikes come in different sizes and in gents and ladies style frames.

It is very important you give us your height on booking so that we can allocate the correct bike to you.


E-Bikes

For a supplement of €100, it is possible to book an e-bike

We are using EASE-E+ 2 ELECTRIC BIKE or similar please click here for more details.

How fit do I need to be for the Highlands of Donegal Tour?

Looking at a scale from 1 - 10 (1 = easiest, 10 = hardest) we are giving this tour 7 points.

The average daily cycling distance is around 60-70 km.

The roads are all tarmacked & mostly on quiet back roads. Some steep climbs and winding roads. Undulating terrain.

Occasionally it will be necessary to ride on busier roads which is unavoidable as there may be no minor roads on certain
stretches of the route. To experience the majestic scenery of this area the route does have some climbs, so it is worth getting
a few weekends training on a bike in varied terrain before coming thus ensuring that you can fully enjoy the week.

Is GPS available?

We offer Garmin files on request, but you need to bring your own device.

What do bring on a tour?

We would seriously recommend that you bring padded cycling shorts and/or a gel saddle cover that will definitely make your day’s cycling more comfortable. Cycling gloves are also a good investment. You can also bring your own saddle which we should be able to attach to our bikes.

We provide pannier bags (not waterproof) in which you can keep your day-to-day items. Otherwise, you may prefer to use a daypack and there are back carriers on each bike for this purpose.

We do not provide rain gear so be sure to bring your own lightweight waterproofs.

Don’t forget sun cream, sunglasses, sun hat as well as a bathing suit for that refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Our rental bikes don’t have lights – no problem on the long summer evenings, but if you are traveling in May or September, please bring your own light or high-visibility vest.

Finally, if you wish to use toe clips please bring your own pedals with toe clips which we can attach to our bikes (the pedals on our bikes do not accommodate toe clips)

Can I upgrade accommodation?

On this tour, you will be staying in Donegal, Glencolmkille, Dungloe, Dunfanaghy & Ramelton.

Please click here for a sample accommodation list.

It is possible to upgrade the accommodation in some of the places.

Prices / Dates

2020 TOUR PRICE (GUIDED & SELF GUIDED)
€ 885.00 per person sharing off peak
€ 920.00 per person sharing July & August
€ 255.00 single room supplement (if travelling with others )
€ 395.00 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone on a self guided tour)

Tour Includes

- 7 nights accommodation with breakfast (mix of small hotels and guesthouses )
- 1 evening meal
- Bike rental including a pannier bag, lock, repair kit & bottle holder
- Guide in a support van if we reach minimum of 8 people 
- Luggage transfer
- Helmet (on set departure date tour only)

- Route details and maps
- 24 hour service hotline
- GPS tracks available (on request)

Not included:
Helmet rental on self guided tours (on request only) €10

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)

18-July,

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tours are available from 18th April to 3rd October and can start any day of the week.

 

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