Testimonials for Ireland by Bike Cycling Holidays
“Un’esperienza meravigliosa. Nonostante abbia fatto questo viaggio in solitaria, non mi sono mai sentita sola poiché ho incontrato così tante persone amichevoli – e anche animali! – lungo tutto il percorso e anche perché sapevo che voi, Nóra e Seamus, eravate sempre pronti ad assistermi. La pedalata è stata a tratti faticosa ma mi ha dato l’incredibile opportunità di visitare posti remoti e incantevoli con il mio ritmo. Ultimo ma non meno importante, avere avuto qualcuno che trasportasse la mia pesante valigia è stato impagabile!”
An amazing experience. Despite having done it solo, I never felt alone both because I met so many friendly people (and animals too!) all along the way, and because I knew that you Nora and Seamus were always there to support me. The ride was at times hard but that has given me the incredible opportunity to visit mesmerising spots and remote areas at my own pace. Last but not least, having you carry my heavy suitcase was priceless!
Federica, Italy, Highlights of the Highlands Tour, August 2016
Nora and Seamus, you did an excellent job! De manier waarop jullie zorg droegen voor ons en alles wat we maar nodig hadden gedurende de fietsreis, was voortreffelijk! We vroegen ons wel eens af of het allemaal niet te veel was voor jullie, al die zorg. We hoopten met het boeken bij Ireland by Bike op een zorgeloze vakantie, zonder geode en geregel; en dat is precies wat we hebben gekregen. Of het nu de keuze van B&B’s ,de fietsroutes of de routeboekjes waren, aan alles was te merken dat jullie deze vakanties met veel liefde en overgave organiseren. We zullen jullie zeker aanbevelen aan onze vrienden!
(“Nora and Seamus, you did an excellent job! The way you took care of us and of all the things we needed, was remarkable. Sometimes we worried if it wasn’t too much for you to handle. We hoped to have a carefree holliday, without any hassle, and that is what we got. In every aspect it was noticeable that you organize these holidays with a lot of love and care. We would surely recommend you to our friends!”)
Ilse en Answina, Utrecht 2016. (Custom Tour) July 2016
“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 from Italy, Treasures of Coast and Histroy, July 2016
Ron Pauley, Ohio, U.S.A. Treasures of Coast and History. June 2016
“Art and I had a most wonderful adventure on our recent (April 1-8) “Highlights of the Highlands” holiday in Ireland. 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 experience we will remember for years to come. We were lucky that the weather was ideal (cool and dry, mostly—of course, good clothing and rain gear helped) and that we arrived in the middle of lambing season—sweet singles and twins were thriving all along the Wild Atlantic Way!
We have recommended this tour to all of our cycling friends—anyone who chooses this tour will not be disappointed!”
Julane and Art Anderson. Maryland, U.S.A. Highlights of the Highlands. April 2016.
View Julane and Art’s amazing photo album from their trip here. (External link)
“Back Roads and Beyond” was our first self-guided bike tour in another country. We were doing it to celebrate a 65th birthday! Nora and Seamus organized and supported us with every rotation of our pedal, choosing excellent routes to ride and comfortable warm B&B’s to end each day. Having the luggage transferred and our B&B chosen ahead of time was so great. We could not have done this on our own. Their knowledge of the country was invaluable in every way. They were open, honest, knowledgeable and approachable.
There can be no other way to see Ireland! The Irish people were open, friendly and very welcoming. They are not jaded toward tourists but rather helpful and encouraging. We often got the side-ways nod as we cycled, the nod that says, “Not my cup ‘o tea but good for you!” Thank you Nora & Seamus!
Rochelle and Warren Brubacher, BC, Canada The Backroads and Beyond July 2016
“I really enjoyed the combination of landscape, scenery, sports and travelling. I will absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested in this kind of holiday. And I’m also quite sure, it won’t be the last one for me. Thanks again!”
Metin Kisa, Vienna, Austria Knock to the Hills of Donegal Tour May 2016
The hybrid bikes, detailed route planning with maps and GPS, and the B&B style accommodations all exceeded expectations – this part of Ireland is so beautiful and the small towns we biked through or stayed in each had their own wonderful expression of Irish history and Celtic culture.
Thanks for the memories.”
Beedell family, Ottawa, Canada, North West Grand Tour May 2015
“We wanted to go on a bike trip in late May 2015, but couldn’t decide where to go – France, Italy, or Spain – maybe Ireland. We knew that the weather would most likely be great in the first 3 countries and would most likely be bad in Ireland. So why choose Ireland?
In a nutshell:
Wow! The scenery is stunning, beautiful, incomparable – especially the sea cliffs.
Seamus is an amazing host. Words do not do justice.
The weather was challenging (rain, hail, wind, but also sun).
The people of Ireland are gracious, welcoming, and they take care of you – you have to experience it to believe it!
My wife and I were on the 11-day Cycling and Walking Tour in late May 2015. Compared to other bike trips in France and Italy it was both easier (terrain) and harder (weather). We were in Donegal during an unusually cold and wet May, or so we were told. And yes, you do hear “no one comes to Ireland for the weather” an awful lot.
But regardless of the weather (or maybe because of it), people were exceptionally friendly and welcoming — almost beyond reason. At two different B&Bs when we came in from the elements wet and cold, we were immediately taken care of by wonderful innkeepers (Rosaleen in Glenties and Geraldine in Glencolmcille). And I mean taken care of: we were placed near a peat fire, had our wet clothes dried, and provided with scones and hot tea. Afterwards, all was well in the world.
Donegal is a very special place. It is a generally quiet place, visually spectacular, a little browner in some parts than expected (from the peat), and the Glenveagh highlands were reminiscent of the Alaskan tundra (a surprise to us). In Donegal town, we heard traditional Irish music in a pub (not the touristy rendition that is heard in many places) and even had great Indian curry.
Biking along the coast from Killybegs to Glencolmcille or Glencolmcille to the Maghera Beach Caves near Ardara — were among the most memorable days of our lives. But it was the hiking at Slieve League and the sea cliffs near Glencolmcille that were our favorite parts of the whole trip.
But I’m saving the best for last – and this is Seamus. You’ve probably already read that he is amazing, is a wonderful man, takes care of you, and all that. And he is all this and more. But, the impression that I am left with is this: Seamus is a truly caring man who really wanted us to have the best possible vacation. And he made it happen. For example, during a break in an otherwise rainy forecast, Seamus offered to break with the schedule, drive back down to Donegal Town to pick us, drive us the opposite direction to Glencolmcille (a lot of driving on his part), and then dropped us off at the trail head for what became for us, one of all time great hiking experiences. The views were breathtaking and this was only made possible because of his generosity (and knowledge of the area).
So, if all this talk of rain scares you a little – don’t be turned off by it. We were in Ireland during a bad patch – even for the Irish. And, in spite of it (or because of it), we experienced one of the best adventures that we have ever had.”
Bob and Brenda Ryan, VA, USA, Backroads and Beyond, May 2015
“Our trip was a memory making experience of a lifetime. It was the first time I’ve used a service instead of travelling independently. The guidebook, route selection, high quality of accommodations and wonderful service was the REAL benefit of using Ireland by Bike. I’m now trying to talk a friend into joining me for the Yeats Country and Lakelands Tour.”
M. & E. Cowan, Alaska, U.S.A. (CUSTOM TOUR.) September 2015
“Due to our time with you we’ve proceeded to recommend the tour to our friends who might be interested. This is, for us, the highest form of praise. We felt well supported, which was of course important knowing you were never far off. Your knowledge with the landscape was perfect. It felt like a personalized experience, yet we had plenty of leeway to explore whatever we wanted. Also appreciated your understanding of us, the aging foreign biker people, and your sense of humor throughout. And your choice of places to stay was terrific as well. You guys totally rocked this thing. Thank you, and the best of success to you in the future. Best wishes, Steve and Jenny…”
Steve Weingarten and Jenny Otter, CA, USA Highlights of the Highlands September 2015
“We thank you for a wonderful trip with my family. You provided a very well put together service with wonderful accommodation selections and excellent response times to any issues we requested assistance with. I will not hesitate to recommend you to friends. Thank you again Seamus and Nora for everything.”
L. Shannonhouse, Utah, U.S.A Highlights of the Highlands August 2015
Click Here to see the Shannonhouse family’s tour video (external link)
“Kathy and I just want to let you know how fondly we remember our bike trip with you in County Donegal. You were both terrific and gracious hosts. The B&B people were most warm and helpful. The rain, the wind and the hills all added to the experience. We had a blast. County Donegal was everything we had hoped it would be.”
Tim and Cathy Rancourt, RI, U.S.A. Highlights of the Highlands September 2015
“The service, friendliness and availability of the owners far surpassed the other European self guided bike tours we have taken.”
Randy and Sheila Marshall, BC Canada. Highlights of the Highlands June 2015
“A fantastic summer getaway.” I would definitely recommend Ireland by Bike to friends as a first choice because of the Sat nav, the friendly owners, the professionalism of the guidebook, and the quality of the cycles. Thanks!”
Evan and Anna Horn, WY, USA. Highlights of the Highlands – June 2015
“It was an excellent tour from the start to finish. We were very well taken care of which was greatly shown by the pick-up at the station in Sligo, the time Seamus took to explain the tour and the equipment. There was great flexibility and support by Seamus to adjust the tour to personal and weather conditions as well as our planned itinerary.”
Finn, Heike and Knut Wintergerst, Waldbronn, Germany. North West Grand Tour – August 2015
Andrew Leung and Catherina Chan, Hong Kong, Backroads and Beyond – September 2015
Marion Elm, Elmshorn, Germany
“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.
“Without a doubt the best biking trip we have ever been on. Seamus created a tailored bike trip for us that was superb. Great scenery up around Sligo, Donegal, Blacklion, Belcoo. How he found those back roads for us to use was amazing. Safe biking, B&B’s were perfect and luggage waiting each day at B&B. We will return to Ireland and definitely use Irelandbybike.” Flossie and Paul Horgan, California
“This self guided custom Northwest Ireland “Grand” tour was a year in the planning and absolutely worth every minute spent. Our contact Seamus Gallagher, owner of “IrelandbyBike.com ” was absolutely flawless in his oraganizing, helping with every minute detail and readily available should we have needed him. Countryside was strikingly beautiful, but the friendly, welcoming people in this more rugged, sparsely populated and less travelled part of Ireland was what really made the trip. We would certainly recommend to anyone.”Doug Allen, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ca. View Doug’s Photo Album on Flickr (external link)
Paul and Els Van Herp, Holland
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
“Our Ireland by Bike tour was a great adventure. No better way to see the country than by bike. The lodging, routes and service that Seamus provided couldn’t have been better! The weather was a little cold but there’s nothing that could be done about that. Ireland By Bike is the best!” – Brad Lechtenberg, Fairbault, Minnesota, USA
“Just wanted to write to say that we had a fantastic vacation in Ireland. Thanks for the part that you and Ireland by bike had in that. Your passion for cycling shows in thought and care that you put in to planning this cycle itinerary. I would recommend this trip to any of my friends. The route was fantastic with so many fun, interesting, scenic, historic sites along the way. Maghera beach was fantastic – a gem to explore, the coast road from Killybegs to Carrick – seriously challenging, and very wet, but actually one of our favorite days sitting on the rock wall high above the beach just before Kilcar. Glencomcille village, Glengesh pass – both great as well.” Arden and Twylla Penner. – Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada
“Perfect. We would recommend the tour to everybody who is interested in biking, nature and Ireland.” – Anton Meyer + Family. Dachau, Germany
“Our tour was excellent! Seamus provided service that was second to none! He was extremely accommodating, organized, and worked very hard to ensure that we enjoyed our vacation. Our hosts at all the B and B’s were also very friendly and enjoyable. The scenery was beautiful, the attractions were interesting, and the route was challenging. Although, I had some issues with my bike, Seamus did his best to correct it. (I only realized on my last day that my tire was rubbing and I did not bring it to Seamus’ attention…so it’s not really fair to complain about it). I would highly recommend this tour!” – Angela Looby, Stratford, Ontario, Canada
“Absolutely perfect. Right from the website being tasteful and concise and prompt email replies, all the way through to the end of the trip. The attention to details such as the cell phone with all the numbers and the handlebar bag with the shoulder strap. The personal touches as well, like getting the bike to me a few days early as it was the end of the season and not too busy and deducting the cost of the first accommodation as I was already in the Hostel. I loved that the tours were self-guided, I could go at my own pace and spend time at the attractions that most interested me. Thanks again for everything Seamus, I have so many great memories of my trip. Keep up the good work!!!” – Kelly Newsholm, Hudsons Hope, BC, Canada
“Overall we loved the trip. We certainly had a sense of achievement at the end. Your routes are terrific – back roads that we would not have found ourselves with very little traffic. That was great. We loved Ireland, especially the friendly welcoming people in Co. Donegal. The real find, though, was the Ti Linn Cafe and Shop. They brewed the best coffee of the whole trip – and the home made cakes!! Yum! And they were so friendly and nice! I almost don’t want anyone else to know about the place. Anyway, all the best with future trips. We hope to be back in Ireland soon, as we have great memories of our trip.” – Margaret Carkeet, Lexington, MA, USA View Margaret’s tour photos on Facebook
“The self-guided Highlands tour was an excellent route with a bit of everything, including the weather. Organisation was first rate and Seamus accommodated our last minute change of plan without fuss. Bikes, instructions, accommodation and backup were all good. This was a better put-together package than one we did in Europe a few years ago and for us it has lifted the bar in terms of what to expect. We would recommend Ireland by Bike to anyone thinking of biking in NW Ireland.” – Bruce and Kristin Munday, Mount Torrens, Australia
“I have cycled the west coast from south to north using different companies, and Ireland by Bike was by far the best I have traveled with. Seamus & Nora will go to any lengths to make sure their customers have the best of times.” – Peter Boone, Oostakker, Belgium View Peter’s Tour Photos
“It was outstanding! It was a great value and in fact I think you could charge more as I think that from American standards it was an incredible deal.” – Mike DeJong, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
“The tour was the best thing I could do for my holiday. I didn’t have to care for anything and could enjoy it, although because I knew that I could trust Seamus. It was great outdoor leisure so I didn’t bear work in mind for one second. Thanks a million!” – Irene Dobeli, St. Gallen, Switzerland
“An exceptional experience. I have biked in the Cotswolds, Provence and Sicily, but the Ireland by Bike trip was the best ever. I think it was because of the accommodations, the wonderful people and the remoteness of the trails/roads, and because it was selfguided. The bikes were perfect for the terrain. Thank you so much for the wonderful trip.” – Gretchen and Ron Annan, Fruita, CO, USA
“Just great, even better than we expected. The county is marvellous. All types of green hills, fields and woods, sunny white beaches, sturdy rocks and the desolate emptiness of most parts of Donegal amazed us every single day. Cycling certainly is the best way to explore and admire them. Living in Holland, we think the Irish should wake up happy every morning living in such a country. Because of the more than complete itinerary and descriptions, finding our way was easy. It’s great to look forward to every village, hill or view that surprises you past the next corner. It’s easy to tell that Seamus is proud of Donegal and is an experienced cyclist himself. He did everything to make sure our journey would be a great experience. From the first contact by email to the briefing on day 1, to the ‘taxi service’ to the airport at the end, we had nothing to worry about.” – Joop Van Den Berg, Haastrecht, Holland
“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
“Had a great time despite being pounded by rain and wind a few times. Well researched. Really appreciated the historical details in the guide: enriched the overall experience. Thanks a lot. We appreciated your friendliness and the planning that you put into providing the tour. We will recommend Ireland By Bike to our friends.” – Andrew and Karen Larcombe, Vancouver, Canada.
“We really enjoyed our trip, we got to see the real Ireland with its beautiful landscape, hills, sheep on the streets, etc. We had a great time, thank you so much!” – Susan Glowka, Frankfurt, Germany
“All of us felt this was an amazing adventure and we were thrilled by it all! Seamus, you really went out of your way to communicate with me before hand and choose a trip that we could all enjoy. It’s a unique way to see gorgeous parts of Ireland. The B&B’s were well chosen. Extra service (rescues) and rides, and especially to Woodhill House in Ardara were far above expectations! WE LOVED that dinner – and the scenic drive there. I would highly recommend your services and the wonderful cycling tour. I’m looking forward to planning a return visit in a couple of years – bringing my family. In a word: Fantastic”. – Donna Lehman, Marietta, GA, USA. View Donna’s Tour Photo Album (external link)
“All four of us found the cycling to be a tremendous exercise in fun. The bikes are great for both occupying the daytime, but also as a boost to our egos in terms of our ability to complete cycling challenges. Seamus, your contribution was helpful, fun and showed masterful timing in terms of being there when most needed. A truly wonderful holiday amongst lovely people.” – Martin McMahon, Airdrie, Scotland
“I woke up one morning and had an impulse to take a bike vacation in Ireland for my 30th wedding anniversary. I am 57 years old and my wife is older but prettier. It was simply the best vacation we have ever had. I saw the most beautiful sights, heard the most beautiful music, visited with some of the most wonderful people on earth, all while getting some of the healthiest exercise my body has ever known. Our trip was safe, clear and free of anxiety. If I could have Ireland by Bike design every vacation from now till the end of my days I would”… – Mandy Patinkin, New York
“When my husband asked if I would join him on a 9 day bike ride in Ireland, my immediate response was “absolutely not.” I had not ridden a bicycle in 15 years, didn’t remember that experience fondly, and we had been away from home for two months and I was homesick. However, he is a persistent fellow, and he encouraged me to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary by trying something daring in mid-life as it were…and I am so grateful that I listened to him. It was an amazing journey. The coast of Donegal is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and I have been lucky enough to see a lot of the world. It was full of challenges and surprises and spectacular landscapes, each day a different kind of beauty. I recommend Ireland by bike for anyone who thinks their adventurous times might be over, so that they discover they are anything but…” – Kathryn Grody, New York
“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
“The tour is well organized and the bikes were super. We could climb nearly every hill with them even when you are above the age of fifty and used to a flat country. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery (sea and hill views), the friendly Irish, the difficult to understand Gaelic language, the sheep on the road, the excellent B&B’s with their warm welcome (and once with a super dinner). Even the Irish weather (with only a few rain spells) was good for cycling. So when we went back to Holland, our heads were empty and we had a lot of new energy to start work again. Definitely we will come back and recommend this tour to friends.” – Maria Meekes and Michel Nielen, Arnhem, The Netherlands
“We had an absolutely wonderful time cycling through Donegal County. Your choice of routes, sites and stops allowed us to see Donegal’s beautiful rugged landscapes and to experience the charm of small towns and their peoples. The detailed maps, directions, history and site descriptions made our trip far more meaningful than just a bike ride.” – Patti and Dennis Jones, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
“We were very pleased with everything to do with this tour from the early planning stages and the customizing of the itinerary to the personal and friendly service we received throughout the tour.” – Eamonn and Rhonda Ryan, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
“You simply could not have done any more to make the tour more enjoyable” – Marian and Ray Fagan, Dublin, Ireland