Frequently Asked Questions
How does a self guided bike tour work?
In a self-guided tour you are not accompanied by a tour guide. You, or you plus other members of your group will be provided with bikes and maps, along with notes on places of interest. You follow the route as outlined. When you arrive at your destination your accommodation will be booked ahead, and your luggage will be there for you. The advantage of a self-guided bike tour is the degree of independence that it allows. You are not forced to cycle with a group so the pace you go at is totally up to you.
What is the difference between the tours we offer?
All of our bike tours are based in Ireland’s north west. The difference between the various self-guided bike tours is in the amount of cycling that is involved each day. Obviously the more you cycle the more of the area you can see in the course of one tour. The coast west from Donegal Town and from there north to Ardara is included in all of our tours. The approximate daily distances covered in each tour are: “Treasures of Coast and History” 25 – 35 km, “Highlights of the Highlands” 40 – 50 km, “Knock to the Hills of Donegal” 50 – 65 km, “North West Grand Tour” 85 – 95 km.
What will the weather be like?
The weather in Ireland is changeable. It is not uncommon to get sunny dry weather at any time of the year, although rain is also common. However you will never encounter either extreme heat or cold, making it very suitable for cycling holidays. The late spring and summer daytime temperature varies from around 15 to 25 Celsius (60 to 75 Fahrenheit). In summer most rain showers do not last very long so light rain gear that you can fold up and use when needed will leave you ready for all eventualities. On rare occasions (if the weather is extremely unfavourable) we will arrange to have you and your bike transported to your next accommodation.
Will I be fit enough?
Our tours are graded to suit cyclists of all levels. You can select the tour that suits you best. Our easiest bike tour, “Treasures of Coast and History”, covers and average of 25 km per day. If you can ride a bicycle and have even a slight bit of fitness then you will have no problem with this tour. If you are worried about the hills in the area then you can avail of an electric assist bike. These are available at a cost of €100 per tour.
Note: At Ireland by Bike we strongly encourage everyone to get out and cycle anyway – even if you never go on cycling tours. If you are someone who hasn’t cycled in years – get yourself a bike (old, second hand, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s roadworthy). Go for a very short cycle, and gradually build up from there. You’ll be amazed at how enjoyable getting fit can be!
What should I pack for my holiday?
Luggage transfers are part of our tour package, so bring everything you think you’ll need. (If you’re flying, be sure to check your airline’s luggage policy). Carefully choose the clothing you will use for cycling. Tight fitting clothes are best. Padded shorts are recommended, although not absolutely necessary. A light fold-up rain jacket, that can be put in the front bag and used when needed, is a good idea. If you want to use your own helmet, saddle and pedals, we will gladly fit them to the bike we provide. (Make sure to label the pedals left and right when you remove them.)
Do I need insurance?
We strongly recommend that you take out personal accident insurance to cover you for the duration of the trip.
Is there an age limit?
We require that tour participants are over 18, unless accompanied by an adult. Many children as young as 10 have done the “Treasures of Coast and History” bike tour and others the same age have done the “Highlights of the HIghlands” tour without difficulty.