Explore the northernmost point of Ireland on this self-guided cycling tour full of country roads, sea breezes, and rich Irish culture. Begin in lively Donegal to explore the town's music-filled pubs and castle ruins, then make your way down the Atlantic coast. You'll see Assarancagh Waterfall, Doon Lough Fort, and Glenveagh National Park on your way, stopping in welcoming towns like Letterkenny to break the journey. Wrap it all up with a tour of one of the world's oldest whiskey distilleries and a walk around Giant's Causeway.

Highlights

  • Explore the lively culture and history of Donegal Town
  • Hike around Northern Ireland's famous cliffs of Slieve League
  • Marvel at the natural wonders of Giant's Causeway
  • Sample whiskey from one of the world's oldest distilleries in Bushmills
  • Wander through the wilderness at Glenveagh National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Donegal Town Donegal
Day 2 Ride to Killybegs- 24 miles  Killybegs
Day 3 Ride to Glencolmbkille - 39 miles   Glencolumbkille
Day 4 Ride to Glenties- 25 miles  Glenties
Day 5 Portnoo Loop Ride- 32 miles  Glenties
Day 6 Ride to Annagry- 28 miles  Anagaire
Day 7 Ride to Letterkenny- 27 miles  Letterkenny
Day 8 Ride to Derry- 27 miles  Derry
Day 9 Ride to Moville- 23 miles  Moville
Day 10 Ride to Portstewart - 23 miles  Portstewart
Day 11 Ride to Giant's Causeway & Ballycastle - 21 miles Ballycastle
Day 12 Ride to Cushendall - 18 miles  Cushendall
Day 13 Glens of Antrim Loop Ride - 15 miles Cushendall
Day 14 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Donegal Town

Cliffs outside Donegal
Overlooking the ocean in Donegal

When you arrive at Donegal Airport, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Once you get checked in, you will go get fitted with a bike that you will ride for the rest of your trip. As you'll have the rest of the night free, you might explore the town, tour the city's castle and abbey, or hang out at one of Donegal's lively pubs or cafés. 

Day 2: Ride to Killybegs - 24 miles

Cycle across Northern Ireland
Taking a break on the bike trail in Northern Ireland

Your route today will take you 24 miles west along Donegal Bay. Enjoy the sea air as you pass quiet bays, inlets, and the narrow peninsula of St. John’s Point, where you will have the Atlantic Ocean on your left and right.

Learn about the history of Killaghtee Cross and Rahan Castle before continuing on to the bustling fishing village of Killybegs, where you'll spend the night. 

Day 3: Ride to Glencolmbkille - 29 miles

On the road to Glencolumbkille
On the road to Glencolmbkille

From Killybegs, you'll ride west 29 miles to Glencolmbkille, where the scenery becomes ever more dramatic as towering cliffs, sandy beaches, and rocky headlands create a magnificent panorama. On your route, make sure to stop and see the cliffs at Slieve League—one of Ireland’s greatest natural landmarks.

After you walk around the cliffs, you will make your way to the valley of Glencolmbkille, your final destination. Here, you will have the night free to have dinner and listen to traditional music in a local pub.  

Day 4: Ride to Glenties - 25 miles

Assarancagh Waterfall
A hike to Assarancagh Waterfall

After you have breakfast, you will travel 25 miles into one of the most sparsely populated areas in Ireland. On the way, you can stop and explore the deserted village of Port, before continuing to Granny Valley and Maghera, where a pristine beach, caves, and the dramatic Assarancagh Waterfall await you. Further along is the historic village of Ardara, where you can also stop and explore. Your destination is Glenties, and once you arrive at your hotel, you'll have the evening free.

Plan your trip to Ireland
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Day 5: Portnoo Loop Ride - 32 miles

A small coastal village in Northern Ireland

You'll be able to decide the length of your ride around Glenties today, but you can also choose to take a rest day. Consider traveling 32 miles around the villages of Portnoo and Rosbeg, where you can visit mystical Doon Lough Fort and the late stone age dolmen at KilclooneyIf you'd rather relax, you can stroll around the village or spend time at a local pub.

Day 6: Ride to Annagry - 28 miles

Northern Ireland
Rocky structures off the Donegal Coast

Today, you'll ride through fog on your 28-mile ride to Annagry. You'll have the chance to visit one of the many inhabited islands off the Donegal Coast. You can head for Arranmore, a 20-minute ferry trip from Burtonport, for sea views that make the short trip over worthwhile. Spend some time exploring the island before making your way back to the mainland. You'll also cycle through the unique lake and boglands before arriving at your hotel in the seaside village of Annagry.

Day 7: Ride to Letterkenny - 27 miles 

A trail through the Donegal Highlands

The Donegal Highlands are the backdrop for your 27-mile ride to Letterkenny today. On your route, you will pass beneath the peak of majestic Mount Errigal and into the hauntingly beautiful Poisoned Glen as you head for Glenveagh National Park.

In the park, make sure you take some time to appreciate the natural wonders around you like red deer, golden eagles, pristine lakes, and mountains. As you follow the paths through the park, you'll reach the shore of Lough Gartan and the town of Letterkenny.

Day 8: Ride to Derry - 27 miles

On the way to Derry
A scenic stop on the way to Derry

For today's 27-mile ride from Letterkenny to Derry, you'll have nothing but country roads ahead. Derry, also known as Londonderry, is one of the few cities in Ireland with its medieval fortifications still intact. You will have the evening free in the second-largest city in Northern Ireland to explore and learn more about its history.

Day 9: Ride to Moville - 23 miles

On the way to Moville
A view of the shore on the way to Moville

After breakfast, you will leave the city of Derry behind you as you follow a calm path along the River Foyle. From the shore, you'll begin your 23-mile ride. You will be cycling along quiet country roads and across the border into County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Near the end of your ride, you will pass through pleasant green pastures with Lough Foyle on one side and the Inishowen Hills on the other. Then, you'll continue north to the pleasant seaside town of Moville, where you'll rest for the night.

Day 10: Ride to Portstewart - 23 miles

Greencastle
In the fishing village of Greencastle

Today's ride will take you 23 miles to the pretty seaside village of Portstewart. First, you will bike to the fishing village of Greencastle and catch a ferry to Magilligan Point in Northern Ireland. 

Across the water, you'll ride along the coast and reach Downhill Beach and Demense, where you can see the iconic Mussenden Temple. You'll continue on to the university town, Coleraine, at the mouth of the River Bann. A little further along the coast, you'll find Portstewart, where you'll have the evening free.

Day 11: Ride to Giant's Causeway & Ballycastle - 21 miles

Giant's Causeway
A view of Giant's Causeway

On today's 21-mile ride to Ballycastle, you'll see some of the most iconic sights in Northern Ireland. You’ll first pass Dunluce Castle, located on a clifftop. After you have a look around, you will cycle to Bushmills, where you can sample whiskey from one of the world’s oldest distilleries.

Further along your route, you will be able to stop and walk around the legendary Giant’s Causeway. For your final leg, you'll pass by the vertigo-inducing Carrick-a-Reed Rope Bridge before arriving in the lovely seaside town of Ballycastle. After you get settled, do some independent sightseeing at the harbor and have dinner at a local pub.

Day 12: Ride to Cushendall - 18 miles

Traveling the northeast corner of Ireland
Taking a break on the way to Cushendall

Your route will take you 18 miles along the coast to Cushendall today. The rolling road will take you past Fair Head and Torr Head and into the town of Cushendun, located in the heart of the Glens of Antrim. You'll follow the coast south to your final destination in the village of Cushendall.

Day 13: Glens of Antrim Loop Ride - 15 miles

Cushendall
An aerial view of Cushendall

On today's loop ride, you'll see an abundance of natural beauty in the nearby Glens of Antrim. You can either pick a leisurely 15-mile ride, which will allow you to explore Glen Ballyeamonn and Glenariff, known as the “Queen of the Glens.”  Or you can take a 29-mile ride that will take you through the quieter but no less beautiful Glendun and Glenanne. Either way, you'll have a downhill ride to the sea, and a final night in Cushendall.

Day 14: Departure

Glenariff
A final look at Glenariff

Your cycling adventure will end after breakfast today, and after you return your bike, a bus connection will bring you to Belfast or Derry to make your next connection. Safe travels!