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Highlights of the Highlands

  • 4.8

    (4)

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  • 9 nights | 28 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Self-guided from: €1182
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Tour Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

Smell the wonderfully refreshing salty breezes as you cycle along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. Feel that wonderful sense of total freedom as your bike tour takes you across a wide open expanse of Irish bogland. Stop at a sandy beach and dip your feet in the crystal clear water. Climb to the top of a heather covered hill, and be awe-struck by the panoramic views, then feel the exhilaration as you cycle down the other side. Listen to vibrant traditional music – as unique and undiscovered as the area that inspired it. Be sure to stop for a chat with the locals – and don’t hurry – you might be there for a while!

County Donegal is truly one of Ireland’s gems – the perfect place to experience one of Ireland’s best bike tours. Quiet roads await you as you explore one of the country’s least known regions. This self-guided cycling holiday allows you to cycle at your leisure. Use our legendary tour notes to really get to know the region. Feel secure in the knowledge that we are only a phone call away.

Escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life with one of the best bike tours you will ever experience.

This tour is available with more or fewer days and nights. Please inquire for further details.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival to Donegal Town
Depending on your time of arrival, you might like to explore the town or go for a short cycle. Donegal Town is steeped in history, with its imposing castle and ruined abbey. It also has a great selection of lively pubs and cafés.
Overnight in Donegal.

Day 2: Donegal – Killybegs (24 miles/39 km)
Cycle west 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.
Overnight in Killybegs.

Day 3: Killybegs – Glencolmcille (29 miles/47 km)
Your bike tour now takes you 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 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.
Overnight in Glencolmcille.

Day 4: Glencolmcille – Glenties (25 miles/40 km)
Today the remoteness of the landscape dominates. You can visit the deserted fishing hamlet of Port before continuing 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.
Overnight in Glenties.

Day 5: Glenties – Portnoo – Rossbeg – Glenties (0-33 miles/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.
Overnight in Glenties.

Day 6: Glenties – Annagry (29 miles/46 km)
The early part of today’s cycle allows you to experience the unique splendor 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 through the unique lake and boglands typical of this area to your overnight destination in the seaside village of Annagry.
Overnight in Annagry.

Day 7: Annagry – Churchill (30 miles/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.
Overnight in Churchill.

Day 8: Churchill – Glenties (28 miles/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.
Overnight in Glenties.

Day 9: Glenties – Donegal (21 miles/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.
Overnight in Donegal.

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.

Route map

Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route. Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

Dates

Daily: Apr 3-Sep 30, 2019
Low season: Apr 03, 2019 - May 31, 2019, Sep 01, 2019 - Sep 30, 2019
High season: Jun 01, 2019 - Aug 31, 2019

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€1182
High season surcharge
€113
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€238
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike
€215
Hybrid touring bike, 24-speed
€125
Extra Nights, Donegal
Per person, double occupancy
€80
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€15
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Ireland by Bike Terms and Conditions

In the event of cancellations we will refund payments as follows:

Self-guided tours -

  • 31 days prior to departure: 90% refund or alternative tour arrangement.
  • 30 days to 21 days prior to departure: 75% refund or alternative tour arrangement.
  • 20 days to 11 days prior to departure: 50% refund or alternative tour arrangement.
  • 10 days to 5 days prior to departure: 25% refund.
  • 4 days to 1 day prior to departure: 0% refund.

Guided tours -

  • 61 days prior to departure: 90% refund or alternative tour arrangement.
  • 60 days to 31 days prior to departure: 75% refund or alternative tour arrangement.
  • 30 days to 21 days prior to departure: 50% refund or alternative tour arrangement.
  • 20 days to 8 days prior to departure: 25% refund.
  • 7 days to 1 day prior to departure: 0% refund.

Cycling Ability
In booking a cycling tour you assume responsibility for your competence as a cyclist and your ability (medically and physically) to complete your chosen tour. You also accept the normal risks associated with cycling on public roads. We recommend that you take out personal accident insurance to cover the period of you cycle tour.

Payments
In order to protect your payments we recommend that you take out cancellation insurance.

Changes to Tour Itinerary
We make every possible effort to avoid any changes to advertised tours. Occasionally due to factors beyond our control e.g. roadworks, adverse weather, etc. some minor changes may be unavoidable.

If changes are necessary at the time of booking e.g. if our first choice accommodation is not available we will inform you and give you the option to cancel or change dates.

If your arrival time is delayed due to flight cancellation, illness etc. you should contact us immediately. We will make ever possible effort to rearrange your cycling tour to suit your new arrival time. However we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate changes.

Problems and Complaints
In the event that you encounter problems during your tour you should contact us. We will attempt to resolve the problem immediately. For your own convenience we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with how to fix punctures, prior to your cycling holiday.

We will respond to all complaints made after tours are completed, within 2 working days.

All photos used by permission. ©Ireland by Bike

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 3
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.8

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.3
  • Value 4.8
  • Included meals 4.5
  • Bikes & equipment 5
  • Hotels or boat 4.5
  • Scenery 5
  • Ease of navigation 4.5
  • Tour documents 4.5
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 5

Reviews

Faye October 2, 2017

A very good trip

The trip was generally great, as we were lucky with the weather. The B&B's were generally very good, particularly the one in Glenties. All of the B&B owners were helpful and friendly and the breakfasts were great. The B&B that we stayed at in Donegal was not as good- the bed was uncomfortable, the curtains didn't block out the light, and the toilet didn't flush very well.

Great to have an electric bike for those hills, and a GPS to navigate!

cdreby July 25, 2016

Our first bike tour

It was harder than expected with many more steep hills than described but the B&B's at the end of each day were a welcome reward. We had wet weather for most of our tour however, the beauty and the variety of the landscape came through the clouds and damp weather. Seamus was very helpful and fixed any problem we had right away.

Julane April 28, 2016

A Most Excellent Adventure in Donegal County

From stunning scenery to quiet roads and a variety of climbing challenges, from lovely B&B’s and gracious hosts/hostesses to charming villages, from dependable bikes to near-perfect cue sheets and maps, Seamus Gallagher, owner of Ireland by Bike, has planned an adventure we will remember for years to come.

Alpskier November 14, 2015

The Rugged Beauty of the Emerald Isle

Highlights of the Highlands was one of my favorite trips. The affable local tour operator met us at our b&b in Donegal Town and told us what to expect. Bikes were great and the b&b lodgings were solid, including a satisfying breakfast. To be sure, the ride has parts that are truly rigorous, including a couple of long, steady inclines. And most of the ride follows low-trafficked roads, first along the rocky coast and later inland through national parks. The Irish were most welcoming and so were the pubs. But the beauty is in the land, resplendent vistas, hours of riding through glacial valleys. It was a pretty cool thing to ride through a pack of sheep. We road in the summer. Expect changeable weather, a bit chilly and rainy. Needless to say, bring a camera!