- Explore Slieve League, some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs!
- Cycle Donegal’s remote landscapes – National Geographic’s #1 Coolest Place on Earth
- Reach Ireland’s northernmost point of Ireland, Malin Head – a Star Wars filming location
What’s included in this cycling holiday?
- 7 days professional guiding with lead guide, plus assistant guide/support driver
- 6 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels/inns/guest houses on a B&B basis
- Most meals as stated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Vehicle transport throughout including ride support and luggage transfers
- Any required ferry transfers
- Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
- Ride snacks, home-baking and drinks and some Wilderness extras
- and a boat load of fun!
Download the dossier below to read more about this cycling trip!
Blue Grades 4-6
The road cycling trips that we offer are graded to take into account a combination of the general level of fitness required and the number of miles cover as well as the daily ascent and estimated saddle time.
Our blue graded trips are aimed at people who regularly enjoy road cycling and may have completed a multi-day cycle tour before. These trips include the occasional day with steeper climbs, but with plenty of opportunity to stop and to admire the view and take photos.
Harder days are usually followed by much easier ones both in terms of how much distance we cover that day and the number of steep ascents. Most days these trips allow plenty of time for exploring the surrounding area and to enjoy relaxed lunches.
Distance typically range from 30-50 miles each with rolling terrain. On some days you can expect some more challenging climbs and steeper descents. But remember, our support minivan will always be available to offer you a ride if you need it!
Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:
Are you happy being on your bike for around six hours each day for several days in a row?
Do you regularly ride your bike most weeks or have you done a multi day tour recently?
Are you comfortable climbing and descending steep roads?
3rd Aug - 9th Aug 2019
Shane FlanaganMeet cheerful Shane who could chat all day about geography, trees and maps!
This trip, the Bike Tour of Donegal From Cliffs to Coast features local accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. All accommodations provide breakfast. Relax by the fire in comfortable, countryside hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses snuggled into some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery surrounding quaint villages known for hand-weaving, the famous Glenveagh National Park and the glittering shores of the fjard Lough Swilly.
We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However, you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you specifically require a single room you will have to pay the single supplement charge of €250 but this is subject to availability
You will be met by your Wilderness Ireland Guide at Sligo Train Station at 12.00pm noon on Day 1 of your trip. You will be dropped of at Sligo Train Station at 12.00pm noon on the last day of your trip.
You can reach Sligo Train Station via a direct service from Dublin. Please contact us for more detailed information on reaching the start of this trip. Alternatively, please see our Travel to Ireland section here.
Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.
Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.
That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.
by R C 03/07/2019
Accommodation and Food
We stayed in three places. I'd rate the Woodhill manor house in Ardara as average (though the food was very good), the Shandon in Dunfanaghy as very good, but the Rathmullan House was excellent (lodging, service, food and beer)
Duncan and Graham could not have been any more informative, helpful, cheerful and generally brilliant for the tour. They are immensely talented men and we were lucky to have had them
The Bottom Line
It was a first rate experience from start to finish. Biking in Donegal truly is one of those once in a lifetime experiences, with challenging routes, breathtaking scenery, wonderful people, and comforts beyond expectations. It should not be missed!
by Sally Gallimore 02/07/2019
The website was informative and that was what got us interested initially. We originally booked on the Wild Atlantic Way Trip, which didn’t run; but when we changed to the Donegal Trip, we were given lots of advice and support on the best way to fill the time we had in Ireland before the trip began. That was really useful.
We really benefited from the enthusiasm, professionalism and local knowledge of our two guides. They were a font of knowledge about all things Irish; stories, culture, history and environment. The cycling was great and it also enabled us to see the beautiful diversity of the Irish landscape.
Accommodation and Food
Previously we had stayed mainly in small BandBs. This accomodation was different, both to the BandBs and to each other. It had plenty of comfort and character and was sometimes a little bit quirky.
The food was plentiful and always good.
Both our guides were excellent. They love what they do and were totally professional. All our needs were catered to, both on and off the bikes. This was particularly true when Richard was sick one day and our guides did everything they could to facilitate his recovery and provide all the things that he needed, such as late check outs or early check ins.
They were both fun, with great senses of humour.
The Bottom Line
It was a great trip and a great experience. We had lots of fun and felt totally supported. We would not have been able to plan such an enjoyable trip without the benefit of your local knowledge.
The only one comment we would make is that it’s a pity that the jersey didn’t have more of an Irish design. After all, Ireland was where we wanted to go and the trip really made us feel that we really experienced it.
by Laura Wilson 17/09/2018
Louise was able to answer all questions I asked and assure me the trip could work out. Thank you!
From our first lunch together to our final transfer to sligo the trip was wonderful! Our guides, Darragh and Shane were knowledgeable, competent, helpful, and a pleasure to be with. I especially wish to thank them both for the efforts they made to help me get my phone back.
Each day of our ride had its unique delights and challenges. Day One was somewhat rainy, hilly, and a bit scary as we got to know our bikes and each other. I must say it was a relief to get to our first Bed and Breakfast in one piece. By Day Two the ride became more fun and scenic, with amazing cliffs, lots of sheep, a beautiful beach and two great waterfalls. The challenge of two mountain passes was tempered by the beauty of the Irish countryside, and the happy hour we found back at our house.
Day Three was cut short by rain, and no one complained. A morning of lots of climbing brought us to a lovely beach which we got to enjoy by overlooking it from a glassed in restaurant with great food. After our transfer to our next hotel we travelled up a very long hill to Horns Head and were thrilled not to bike it. The view was outstanding and we took lots of photos, including some group photos with our mascot, Kevin the pineapple.
Day Four had a castle, a climb up Mt. Muckish and for us a demonstration of dogs herding sheep. As always, the scenery was amazing and lots of photos were taken that day. Darragh cycled with us on Day Four and proved himself a worthy cyclist as well. Day Five included another impressive climb, which our guides seemed to have conveniently kept under wraps until we rounded a corner and found it looming ahead. But what an amazing climb it was! We climbed past a gorgeous beach which we were told at the top was voted the second most beautiful beach in the world last year, and the decent toward the water took our breath away. At the top we were treated to a special snack of chocolate eaten with salt and vinegar crisps, which we had to "put in our gobs." Funny and delicious! As we arrived at Rathmullen House we were treated to a picnic of beer and snacks on the lawn in the sunshine. Thank you! That was a welcome treat.
Day Six was amazing for a number of reasons. It started on a ferry, then we climbed another mountain, we ate lunch at Nancy's and had the best seafood chowder in the world--really! But the afternoon ride was probably the most memorable of the whole trip. We rode in a driving rain along the shore of Lough Swilly toward Malin Head. I kept thinking of the quote: "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," and was feeling noticeably stronger by the time we caught up with Darrah and his special treat of Kevin and a bit of Irish Whiskey. Very fun! And for the last time, he was not totally forthcoming about the climb we had ahead. But our final climb from the beach to Malin Head was gorgeous, if not a bit challenging. We all made it, exchanged High Fives and transferred back to Rathmullen House for a final dinner together. Great day!
Accommodation and Food
I loved that we only had three different hotels. It was a treat to be able to stay two nights at each place and not have to pack up as often. All accommodations were very nice.
The food was amazing! Darragh and Shane's special Irish Oatmeal was a treat for two breakfasts, but all breakfasts and lunches were excellent.. We were impressed with each lunch stop; obviously you have been to these places before and chose well. And the dinners were had were just as good--we appreciated the restaurants chosen.
Darragh and Shane were both excellent. They were very knowledgeable and friendly and always helpful. We especially appreciated how much we learned from them of Irish culture and history. They were both warm and genuine, and always made us feel at ease--just good guys to be around.
As I said before, I especially appreciated how they both made the inquiries necessary to help me get my phone back. Thank you!
The Bottom Line
We found Wilderness Ireland to be an extremely professional operation from beginning to end. Great experience and we would do it again!
by Veronica Lile 07/09/2018
We were given all the information needed, like a packing list, itinerary, who our guide was going to be and any updates we needed to know.
It was amazing. The trip was planned very well and supported extremely well. We were taken care of from food and snacks. All the accommodations were great! And, my favorite part was our guides. Loved Darragh and Shane! They were very patient and worked well together. My husband and I really enjoyed them.
Accommodation and Food
Lobed all the accommodations. They were clean and very nice. We loved all the accommodations. The food was amazing too.
They were great. They let us know where all of our turns were, where we were eating, and were great with providing snacks and breaks at the right times. Again, we absolutely loved every part of the trip, especially our guides Shane and Darragh.
The Bottom Line
This is one of the best trips we have ever taken. I am already recommending Wilderness Ireland to everyone that asks about our trip. We were very well supported from the guides taking care of us, the bikes, the food, the accommodations, the company we had during the trip. We absolutely would do it again. The scenery was unbelievable. Just beautiful! Just remember, stay to the left on the road!
by Steven Taylor 31/08/2018
Every question was answered with complete satisfaction
Beyond my expectation
Accommodation and Food
The guides where always right where you needed. The start, breaks during, and finish of each day was well done
The Bottom Line
Very entertaining and helpful
Donegal, voted the #1 Coolest Place on Earth by National Geographic Traveller, is a corner of Europe overlooked by the rush of the modern world. By biking Donegal, explore rugged mountains, towering cliffs, swathes of white sand beaches and timeless fishing villages.
Today, biking Donegal, as romantically remote as it has always been, is a trip back in time. Traditional Irish cuisine, sports, music and language are an intricate part of Donegal. Experience the freshest local food while biking the rugged coastlines and moors of Donegal, retiring to comfortable and unique lodgings each evening.
Our biking Donegal route takes us from the cliffs at Slieve League – some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe – through the desolate but beautiful Glenveagh National Park, to the glittering shores of fjord Lough Swilly and along the rugged and rocky coast to Ireland’s northernmost point Malin Head – the backdrop for Star Wars Episode VIII. Hop on a bike and join us in discovering this cool, remote, off-the-beaten-path region of Ireland!
Bike Tour – Donegal From Cliffs to Coast
Day 1 ‐ Lough Eske & the Blue Stack Mountains
Start at the Sligo Train Station and transfer to the glittering shores Lough Eske. From here, we’ll hop on our bikes and enjoy an afternoon ride through the rugged and unspoilt backcountry and farmlands of Donegal on a backdrop of the remote Blue Stack Mountains. (L,D)
*Cycle Distance: 33km/20miles
Day 2 ‐ Slieve League Cliffs & Glengesh Pass
Today, we’ll explore southern Donegal, cycling up to the massive Slieve League Cliffs, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, (three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher). Along the way, discover hidden waterfalls and descend Glengesh Pass, a sweeping valley voted one of Ireland’s most scenic routes. End the day in the quaint village of Ardara, home to traditional Donegal tweed hand-weaving. (B,L)
*Cycle Distance: 64km/29miles
Day 3 ‐ Donegal West Coast & Horn Head Peninsula
Hugging the coast, we’ll discover an ancient Neolithic tomb as we cycle through timeless landscapes. Enjoy swathes of white sand beaches, quintessential farmlands and even the possibility of walking out to an island at low tide! We’ll transfer to the charming town of Dunfanaghy before hopping back on the bikes for a spectacular looped ride of the devilish Horn Head Peninsula. With the beautiful Sheephaven Bay over our shoulders, admire the golden moors and violet heathlands of Horn Head. (B, L)
*Cycle Distance: 35km/22miles
Day 4 ‐ Glenveagh National Park
Today, we’ll bike under the hauntingly beautiful mountains and lakes of Glenveagh National Park and Glenveagh Castle whose remote mountain setting was inspired by the Victorian idyll of a romantic retreat. Enjoy a beautiful panorama of castle and valley before pedalling through the foothills of the majestic Derryveagh Mountains, passing under the shadow of iconic Muckish Mountain. In the evening, settle down with a pint by an open fire in a cosy pub! (B, L)
*Cycle Distance: 64km/40miles
Day 5 ‐ Lough Swilly Fjord
Continuing north, we’ll bike along an elevated road that overlooks the azure shores of Lough Swilly, a huge glacial fjord between two peninsulas. Passing castles and bogs, explore the rocky coastal terrain in this little-travelled region of Donegal at the edge of the world. Back at our accommodation, enjoy panoramas over the white sand shores of the fjord Lough Swilly. (B,L)
*Cycle Distance: 61km/38miles
Day 6 ‐ Malin Head
We’ll follow the shores of Lough Swilly to bike the wild, remote roads of northern Donegal, passing quaint communities and desolate bogs. Our trip culminates at Malin Head, the northernmost tip of Ireland, which features in Star Wars: Episode VIII. A short walk around this rocky headland will transport you to another world! We’ll finish our biking Donegal adventure with a spectacular descent to the shores of Lough Swilly for a final group dinner. (B, L, D)
*Cycle Distance: 54km/33miles
Day 7 ‐ Depart
After a relaxing morning, it’s time to say goodbye to the rugged, desolate wilderness of County Donegal and transfer back to Sligo Train Station, where you can access a direct service to Dublin and Dublin Airport (more on travel in Ireland here). (B)
*This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements for 2019 departures.