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Holidays

Cycling - Donegal From Cliffs to Coast

Ireland
Available Departures: Jul, Aug

7 days from

US$3,485

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

Explore Donegal, nicknamed the Forgotten County, by bike and discover one of the most remote regions of Ireland

Trip Code: WDMB
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Cycling - Donegal From Cliffs to Coast

Highlights
  • Cycle the wildest, coolest and most off-the beaten-track part of Ireland
  • Explore some of Europe's highest sea cliffs and he wilderness of Glenveagh
  • Reach Ireland's northernmost point of Ireland, Malin Head - a Star Wars filming location
  • Enjoy the freshest local food and unique lodgings
  • Prices include full luggage transfer every day, support vehicle and expert guide

At a Glance
  • Group Size 3 to 8
  • 6 days cycling
  • 311 kilometres
  • 100% vehicle supported
  • 100% road
  • Join In Sligo

Accommodation & Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 6 Lunches
  • 3 Dinners
  • 6 nights Guesthouse
Overview

National Geographic voted Donegal the Number 1 Coolest Place on the Planet and it’s true that this a region clings to its romantic remoteness, earning itself the Irish nickname of The Forgotten County. Biking here, it doesn’t feel like the modern world has had much impact – traditional Irish cuisine and language still play an intrinsic part of Donegal.  The scenery has a wild, rugged beauty and you’ll cycle past Slieve League - some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs - through the haunting wilderness of Glenveagh National Park to the shimmering shores of fjord Lough Swilly and along the coastline to Ireland’s most northernmost point, Malin Head. We think that this is possibly the coolest, most remote, wildest part of Ireland!

explore international

Explore International. This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

This holiday is suitable for people with a good level of bike fitness, who regularly enjoy biking and may have joined a multi-day biking trip before. • Distances each day will be between 35 - 45 miles (55 - 70 km), biking at around 12/13mph. • Each day, we will bike the rolling and hilly terrain of Donegal, with notable climbs most days. • Some climbs will be more testing and riders may opt to push or ride in the support vehicle. Often, climbs are also followed by exciting descents. • We will be on our bikes for 5 - 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus some visits to sites of interest in Donegal.

Why KE?

On our Irish holidays we pride ourselves on the quality of our meals, the excellence of our local expert guides, and our attention to organisational detail, meaning that you can have a world-class experience in some of the world’s most majestic scenery. This holiday is also 100% vehicle supported.

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Itinerary

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

L D

Ascent

335 M

Distance

33 KM

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

Ascent

928 M

Distance

64 KM

Hugging the coast, pedal to the sound of crashing waves pounding on the rocky shores. We detour to explore the fascinating Kilclooney Dolmen, an ancient tomb from the Neolithic era. Donegal’s tiny villages and rural landscapes are a veritable time capsule of rural Ireland. After a transfer to the northern stretch of Donegal, we’ll have the chance to explore a spectacular looped ride of the Horn Head Peninsula from the coastal town of Dunfanaghy, rolling through vast moors and desolate bogs, all the while overlooking the sparkling waters of Sheephaven Bay.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

Ascent

222 M

Distance

35 KM

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!

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

716 M

Distance

64 KM

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

Ascent

558 M

Distance

61 KM

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

600 M

Distance

54 KM

County Sligo has long been associated with Ireland’s national poet WB Yeats, who drew inspiration from the surrounding mountains, lakes and landscapes. We stop at a tiny monastery under the shadow of the impressive and iconic Ben Bulben mountain to visit the famous poet’s final resting place. We then head to the bustling Sligo town - a lovely place for last minute souvenir shopping - before we say goodbye to Ireland’s rugged west coast.

Meals

B
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The Route
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional English-speaking guide plus assistant guide/support driver
  • All transfers involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals

  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers
  • Drinks
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses

This holiday is operated in association with Wilderness Ireland, and they sell their own customers directly on to this trip also. KE acts as an agent for Wilderness Ireland and by booking this holiday you are entering into an agreement directly with Wilderness Ireland under the terms of their booking conditions.

On Day 1 of the itinerary your guide will meet you at the centre of Sligo MacDiarmada Railway Station by the ticket machine at 12.00pm.

On Day 7 of the itinerary you will be transferred to Sligo MacDiarmada Railway Station by the ticket machine for 1:00pm.

All Breakfasts, Lunches on Days 1-6, and Dinner on Day 1 and Day 6 are included.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Evening meals will be taken either in local towns, which offer a good choice of restaurants to suit every taste, or perhaps in a different location in the countryside, depending on the day's cycle. Each morning, enjoy a homemade breakfast of your choice at your accommodation. Lunch will be taken in cafés or a Picnic along your route. Throughout the day, your guide will provide water and tasty, Irish snacks. Evening meals are included on the first and last nights only. For all other evenings, your Guide can provide expert recommendations.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

This biking trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort throughout Donegal. Expect small, comfortable and characterful lodging in B&Bs, family-fun hotels or guesthouses, in small towns and villages as well as in rural communities. Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower. Evening meals will be taken either in local towns, which offer a good choice of restaurants to suit every taste, or perhaps in a different location in the countryside, depending on the day's cycle.

The group will be led by an experienced and qualified leader.

A road bike or standard cycle-touring bike is recommended for this trip, fitted with a triple or compact chainset and 23/25mm touring tyres. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your bike. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are: 

a) Check rims and if they are worn, cracked or dented replace with a new rim or wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that your bike’s rims are not worn concave by the brake blocks - replace them if they are!

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is correct. 

c) Check and, if required, adjust, grease or replace ALL bearings and quick release skewers. 

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables. 

e) Check and tighten, if required, all bolts (esp. crank, bottom brackets, aheadset, stem/handlebars). 

f) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear - replace as necessary. 

g) Take the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES.

 Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. changing an inner tube and fixing a puncture. Naturally, the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, however, due to the often remote nature of our trips being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

You can either take your own bike or hire one locally.

Bike hire costs:

  • Road Bike – £175
  • Hybrid Bike – £175
  • E-Bike – £300*

*There are a maximum of 2 e-bikes available per trip and these are strictly on a first come, first served basis.

 

Details of hire bikes:

  • Road Bike – Checkpoint ALR 5
  • Hybrid Bike – FX Sport 4
  • Ebike – Verve+

 

Required information for bike hire:

  • Height
  • Inseam measurement
  • Type of peddle required (flat, SPD, own)

 

There is no weight limit for your luggage on this holiday, however you will need to be able to lift and move your own luggage easily.  There is also limited room in the transfer vehicles, and so apart from your bike, one bag to be transferred and one small day pack per person is ideal.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

For this holiday you will need your usual cycling clothing, including shoes, cycling gloves and helmet (which must be worn at all times when cycling).

Whether you are hiring a bike or taking your own, we recommend that you take the usual day-ride essentials of: mobile phone, multi-tool, mini-pump, tyre levers, spare tubes and puncture repair kit.

Bike Wear

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Daypack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack (e.g. Camelbak)
  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres water capacity (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Padded (baggy) cycling shorts
  • Long leg cycling trousers or leg warmers
  • Base-layer – short sleeve cycling tops
  • Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling tops
  • Fleece jacket or jumper
  • Lightweight windproof top
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Regular biking gloves
  • Long-fingered biking gloved
  • Warm hat that fits under your helmet
  • Buff
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream (inc. total bloc for lips/nose)
  • Camera

Other Stuff

  • Travel and off-the-bike clothing
  • Approach shoes or lightweight boots for the several days of walking
  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Swimwear
  • Basic First Aid kit and personal medication
  • Chamois cream (e.g. Assos/Ozone)
  • Insect repellant
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Spares

If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring any spares. The hire bikes are provided in good condition and a supply of spares is carried. You may be asked to pay directly for any spares used, especially in the case of crash damage or damage by mis-use. If you are taking your own bike, you should consider taking a minimum of spares, including a couple of spare spokes (for each wheel if they are different), spare brake blocks (or brake disc pads), chain links/chain connector, rear derailleur hanger and any non-standard parts specific to your bike.

Repairs

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. changing an inner tube and fixing a puncture. Your bike guide will be happy to help with repairs and general maintenance, but being able to carry out a simple repair yourself could save the inconvenience of having to wait for assistance.

Hydration and Energy Snacks

You should take suitable water bottle(s) or a hydration pack and you should also consider taking a small supply of the gels, power bars or sports drink mix that you would normally use on a ride at home.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your equipment.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Cycling - Donegal From Cliffs to Coast
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WDMB/02/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 6 Jul and ends on Fri 12 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$865
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycling - Donegal From Cliffs to Coast
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WDMB/03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 24 Aug and ends on Fri 30 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$865
  • Single Supplement Price: US$450 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis, joining with the group at Sligo MacDiarmada Railway Station by the ticket machine 12:00am on day 1 of the itinerary.

Travel arrangements should not be booked until you have recieved your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run'.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

 


This holiday is operated in association with Wilderness Ireland. KE acts as an agent for Wilderness Ireland and by booking this holiday you are entering into an agreement directly with Wilderness Ireland under the terms of their booking conditions.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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