Mizen Head to Malin Head Ireland Cycle Tour

  • The Mizen Head to Malin Head cycle tour or “Head to Head” conjures up a variety of images, rolling green fields, fantastic pubs, the “Craic”, a puncture or three, stunning scenery, and a tremendous sense of achievement. In devising this route we have heard on numerous occasions from our customers that “it’s only on our doorstep and I don’t really know much about it”….well now is a good a time as any to find out.

    Experience tells us that the best direction to traverse the length of the country is from the southwest to the northeast. The rationale behind this choice revolves around wind and transport. The prevailing wind blows from the southwest and the transport connections work best when returning from Belfast International Airport.

    The Mizen Head to Malin Head route will be undertaken over ten days cycling and we aim to keep away from busy roads wherever possible. It encompasses some of Ireland’s most spectacular countryside and exhilarating, wild scenery. Although the cycling in Ireland is great, there are times throughout the tour that the road surface is not as smooth as you may be used to. To this end, after testing all the roads on the trip, we are recommending completing the challenge on sturdier tyres of 28mm and up (25mm absolute minimum), to increase your comfort and enjoyment of the tour.

    You are provided with detailed route notes and for those with Garmins, we also have Mizen Head to Malin Head GPX files of the route (or you can hire a device from us with the route loaded on). A tour leader cycles at the back of the group and there is a support vehicle on hand should you require assistance. We also carry a few spare bikes just in case you have any major mechanical problems. Lunches are provided at a pub or a café each day and all your luggage is moved for you.

    Whilst emphasis is always on safety we aim to provide a relaxed approach to cycle touring and wish to facilitate a fun and enjoyable tour with many laughs and memorable moments along the way.

    The distance we will travel is 581 miles. The first day is shorter to allow for transfers so, taking that into account, the average mileage for the full days is around 64 miles per day. It should be borne in mind that a reasonably fit cyclist will average around 10 miles per hour and therefore we will be in the saddle each day for around 6 to 7 hours which leaves a little more time for getting your glad rags on and getting out for the “Craic”!

    We will pick you up from Cork airport at the start of the tour and at the end we will transport you from Malin Head for a drop off at Belfast International Airport (we can also drop at Derry and Belfast City airports too if needed). If you are worried about getting your bike home at the end of the trip we can arrange for it to be packed, boxed and sent to your address for you so you can relax when you have completed the challenge. Alternatively, if you can get your bike to us in Derbyshire, we can take it over and bring it back for you free of charge.

    You can view a recent blog here and photo’s here June 2016 August/September 2016

     

    2018 Tour Dates:

    Wed 16th – Sat 26th May 2018Places available

    Wed 20th – Sat 30th June 2018Places available

    Wed 25th July – Sat 4th August 2018Tour Full

    Prices for 2018 are £1495 for shared twin or double in B&Bs only, £1845 single B&Bs and £1945 for sole occ of a double in B&Bs.

  • Our Irish end to end will run in much the same way as our LEJOG tour, with the ‘magic van’ providing refreshments throughout the tour. Your bags will be transported for you each day and all of your lunches are provided at a pub or cafe each day. Most of the places we stay are in good standard hotels and a few excellent B&B’s.

    You are provided with detailed route notes and for those with Garmins we also have GPX files of the route (or you can hire a device from us with the route loaded on). A tour leader cycles at the back of the group and there is a support vehicle on hand should you require assistance. We also carry a few spare bikes just in case you have any major mechanical problems.

    The tour is easier than the LEJOG tour in terms of difficulty. The first days cycling is only 39 miles as we need time to transfer from Cork. The final day is the longest day at 77 miles and the average mileage is 64 miles a day. The route is hilly but not as hilly as the LEJOG tour.

    Arrival Day – Wed:  Cork

    Arrive at Cork. Accommodation is included on your arrival day and we will collect you from Cork airport if required. Check in is from 14:00 and the guides will be around all day to meet you. We plan to have an initial brief at the hotel at 19:30 followed by a meal at around 20:00. The hotel we use has a swimming pool, gym and spa facilities available.

    Day 1 – Thu: Mizen Head to Glengariff (39 miles) Elevation:  2795ft / 852m

    We kick off our Irish adventure in the stunning location of Mizen Head in Ireland’s Wild West. Heading northwards and on around the historically significant Bantry Bay, our destination today is the smart town of Glengarrif which is well known for having it’s own micro-climate due to it’s proximity to the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream (here’s hoping)!

    Day 2 – Fri: Glengariff to Tralee (59 miles) Elevation: 5226ft / 1593m     

    A great day today as we make our way into picturesque Kerry. We head for the famous mountain pass “The Gap of Dunloe” which cuts a fantastic route through the Macgillycuddy mountain range, which is also home to “Carrauntoohil”, Irelands highest peak at 1,038 metres. Today’s destination of Tralee is famous for “The International Rose of Tralee Festival” which is a competition to find the most beautiful girl of Irish origin.

    Day 3 – Sat: Tralee to Lahinch (76 miles) Elevation: 3720ft / 1134m

    We have a fairly flat and long day today, and from Tralee we go round the houses a bit to take in the lovely coastal views that the landscape affords. Cutting back inland a bit we head to Tarbert to have some lunch and catch a ferry across the border between the counties of Kerry and Clare. Again, hugging the coast for the best views, we crack on to Lahinch, a small but perfectly formed village famous for it’s amazing surfing and surf schools.

    Day 4 – Sun: Lahinch to Galway (62 miles) Elevation: 3474ft /1059m

    This morning sees us heading over to grab a quick snap of one of the iconic images of Ireland, the majestic “Cliffs of Moher”. Hopefully beating the tourist traffic, we pass the viewpoint fairly early and then come away from the main drag on some cracking back roads heading through the geologically interesting area of “Karst” limestone known as “The Burren”. After lunch at the lively fishing village of Kinvara, site of Dunguaire Castle, we make our way on quiet country roads that give way to slightly busier ones as we head to the brightly painted pubs, fantastic live music and general friendliness of Galway.

    Day 5 – Mon: Galway to Clifden (59 miles) Elevation: 2401ft / 732m

    A relatively easy, short day sees us heading further west as we spend a few days cycling deep into the “Gaeltacht”, which is the Irish speaking area of this stunning region. You will find that a lot of people speak Gaelic as a first language and all the road signs are in Gaelic. Moody landscapes dotted with pools and lakes with mountainous back drops are a large feature of Irelands Lake District, and many locals have holiday homes here. We stay tonight in the smart town of Clifden “The Capital of Connemara”.

    Day 6 – Tue: Clifden to Westport (58 miles) Elevation: 4212ft / 1284m

    One of the best days of the trip today sees us happily waste a few morning miles going the long way round the peninsula on the very pleasant “Sky Road”. Even in inclement weather this day is worth it as we head on through the amazing scenery of the Connemara National Park. Again, hugging the coast for dramatic effect, we skirt round beautiful peninsula’s and lakes, eventually heading inland through some brilliant hill roads. This area is reminiscent of the English Lake District and is a truly great day that sees us arrive to the lovely little town of Westport in the shadow of Ireland’s famous pilgrimage mountain, “Croagh Patrick”.

    Day 7 – Wed: Westport to Sligo (67 miles) Elevation: 3228ft / 984m

    Leaving Connemara behind and heading in a more direct route than the last few days we head out on roads that are hard to describe in any other way than extremely pleasant! As soon as we leave Westport today we are on pretty, undulating country roads through pastoral, rolling hillside. This then gives way to more dramatic scenery as we make our way round Croaghmoyle mountain and on past the lovely “Lough Conn”. Navigation is easy in the afternoon as we only use a few scenic roads to get to the lively town of Sligo which has a great reputation for its live music.

    Day 8 – Thu: Sligo to Portnoo/Narin (73 miles) Elevation:  4183ft / 1275m

    Leaving Sligo, we immediately follow Sustrans’s “North West Trail” which is a great little route taking in the best of the area, through little seaside villages, past rocky cliffs, lovely back roads and even a short cycle on the beach to get to lunch, tide permitting! After passing through dainty Donegal, we leave the Sustrans route and, avoiding a stretch of busy road, we head into the hills and mountains above this area. The back end of the day sees us drop down out of the hilly area to the gorgeous setting of Narin and Portnoo and it’s wonderful white sandy beach.

    Day 9 – Fri: Portnoo/Narin to Malin Head (77 miles) Elevation: 4934ft / 1503m

    An early start has us following the Gweebarra River in the morning heading up towards a climb into the magnificent hills and passes of the Glenveagh National Park. Coming out of the park we head for the ferry over to Buncrana. From Buncrana this wild, rugged ride takes you closer to your destination at Malin Head. As the tension reaches fever pitch (artistic licence!) we arrive victorious to the stunning, and ever so slightly windy, end point at Malin Head. Obligatory Peak Tours cuddles, sing a longs and can-can are optional.

    Day 10 – Sat: Transfer to the airport

    A coach will arrive at 8.45 and take everyone to Belfast airport. We can arrange drop offs at Derry/Londonderry, Belfast city and Belfast International airports. A flight time of 13.00 is the earliest recommended time to choose to allow a bit of travel time from the hotel to the airport.

  • What’s Included?

    The tour price includes 10 nights accommodation; 10 breakfasts; 9 lunches; snacks; tea; coffee; hot chocolate; full trip support including a tour leader that cycles at the back of the group; back up van with spare parts and a few spare bikes; detailed route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace; certificate; luggage transfer each day; transfer from Cork to Mizen Head and transfer from Malin Head to Belfast.

    What’s Not Included?

    Evening meals, cycle hire (available for a fee), garmin hire (available for a fee), transport to Cork, transport from Belfast.

    Group Size

    The group will be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 25 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.

    Accommodation

    Most of the places we stay are hotels plus a few excellent B&B’s. Your room options are sharing a double or a twin room (£1395). If you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option (£1745) or sole occupancy of a double (£1845). All of the rooms are good quality and en-suite.

    Route

    Although the length of Ireland can be traversed in a much shorter way, our Head to Head route is 581 miles long and avoids main roads taking in some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery. Wherever possible we cycle along quiet country lanes and cycleways and only join main roads when we absolutely have to. Our route takes us along much of Irelands West coast: wild, rugged, coastal scenery mixed with spectacular mountain passes and dramatic lakes and hillside lanes.

    Food

    All of your breakfasts and lunches are included in the price of the trip. You will have a choice of full Irish, toast, cereals, fruit juices, tea, coffee etc. Lunches will be provided each day and will generally be a buffet at a cafe or a country pub. Evening meals can be bought at your accommodation or in a nearby pub. We also have fruit, biscuits, nuts etc in the back up van that you are welcome to pick at throughout the day.

    Back Up

    An experienced tour leader will cycle with you each day and be on hand to help with any bike problems that may occur. You will have detailed route notes so that you can go slower or faster than the leader if you prefer or you can cycle behind the tour leader so that you don’t have to navigate at all.

    A back up van will leap frog the group a number of times each day so that help is never far away. We carry a range of spare parts so that repairs can be made en-route and we will have a spare bike available in the event that your bike has a serious breakdown.

    Bikes

    We highly recommend that you use a bike that you are used to and feel comfortable riding. Your bike should be fully serviced and in good condition before you start, this will reduce the risk of mechanical problems and unnecessary stoppages along the way. Due to the nature of the country lanes we use we recommend a cyclo-cross, hybrid or touring bike. We have a range of hybrid and touring bikes available for hire (£100 – £200 per person) if you need one.

    At the end of your trip we can arrange for your bike to be sent to your address (£70 in mainland UK) if you don’t want the hassle of transporting it yourself. Alternatively, if you can get your bike to us in Derbyshire, we can take it and bring it back for you free of charge.

    Fitness

    This tour is suitable for someone with a good level of fitness and who wants a challenge. If you do plenty of training beforehand you should have no problem completing the ride. The mileages are less than our current fourteen day trips so there is probably room for that extra sausage at breakfast!

    It must be stressed that a good amount of training before the ride will make your tour much more enjoyable and ensure that you finish your ride. We are always happy to advise you about training plans in preparation for the ride.

    Clothing and Equipment

    Clothing for all weathers is recommended so waterproofs are essential. A full recommended kit list is provided & we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.

    Insurance

    It is compulsory that you take out adequate insurance to cover against, personal accident, loss of belongings and cancellation cover

  • What happens at the start of the tour?

    At the start of the tour we will meet in Cork on the arrival day. The following day we transfer from Cork by coach to Mizen Head which takes approximately 2 1/2 hours. After group photos we will cycle approximately 20 miles for a late lunch then a further 19 miles leisurely ride to Glengariff.

    How do I get to Cork?

    You can get to Cork by plane & ferry. We can pick you up at Cork when you arrive on Wednesday and transport you and your bike to your first nights accommodation. Cork airport is about 15 minutes drive from our accommodation overlooking the city.

    To get to Cork:

    By Air : There is an abundance of relatively cheap flights to Cork from all major airports in the UK. It is a very well served airport so you should have no problems obtaining a very reasonably priced flight over.

    By Ferry : There used to be an overnight ferry from Swansea to Cork, that cut out hours of driving but it went bankrupt. The other options are at the far end of Wales at Pembroke Dock or Fishguard and get a ferry (3 and a half hours) to Rosslare, it is then still a fairly long drive to Cork. There are two ferries a day from Pembroke, roughly 2 am or 2 pm, coming back from Rosslare it is 9am or 9pm, not the most convenient of times.

    Holyhead to Dublin (a little over three hours) is another option and then hire a car to Cork (two and a half hours) but to be honest, both of these options from the UK are a lot less appealing than flying, especially considering the abundance of cheap flights.

    What happens when I arrive?

    If you would like collecting from Cork airport we will meet you and take you, your luggage & your bike to our first nights accommodation. It is about 15 minutes drive to our hotel from the airport so let us know when you want picking up and we will meet you then. We will have a group meal at 20.00 on the Wednesday night so if you are arriving much earlier you have the time free to yourself to relax, explore the city, enjoy the pool etc.

    What happens at the end?

    The last day is quite a long day as we have a full days cycling with a ferry to catch in the middle. We then have a celebratory finish at Malin Head then a coach will take everyone to a nearby hotel where we spend our final night and final group meal. On the last cycling day we will aim to have breakfast at 7.00 and be on the road for 7.45.

    On Saturday morning a coach will arrive at 8.45 and take everyone to Belfast airport. We can arrange drop offs at Derry/Londonderry, Belfast city and Belfast International airports. A flight time of 13.00 is the earliest recommended time to choose to allow a bit of travel time from the hotel to the airport

    If you are taking your bike back with you then we will transport your bike to Belfast for you or if you choose the ‘return transport’ option then your bikes will be packed and couriered back to your address for you.

    How hard is the tour?

    If you take away the first days cycling, which is only a half day, then there is 8 full days cycling with an average of 64 miles with 59 miles being the shortest and 77 miles the longest day.

    The route doesn’t have many difficult climbs but there are a fair number of hills along the route.

    What mechanical knowledge do I need?

    We don’t expect you to be an expert bike mechanic but there are a few simple skills that will be a great benefit to you. The most important skill you need to know is how to fix a puncture. It is quite likely that at some point you will have a puncture or two so it is essential that you carry a puncture repair kit and a spare tube or two with you. It is also helpful if you know how to change your brake pads and adjust your brakes & gears however this isn’t essential. Our guides will help you with any repairs and adjustments en-route.

    What are the lunches like?

    We arrange a buffet lunch at a pub or café each day. This will be a mixture of sandwiches, salads, soup, stews, pasta salad etc and will be different at each place. There will always be enough to go round so don’t worry if you are at the back of the group. The lunch stops provide a good opportunity to re-group and catch up with others and compare notes.

    Will I be left behind?

    No, a tour leader cycles at the back of the group so that you won’t be left behind if you are worried about cycling too slowly. Throughout the group there will be a mix of abilities and cycling speeds so you will usually be able to cycle with others that cycle at a similar pace. Some people like to cycle fast whilst others prefer to take their time, stop for coffee & cake or stop to take photos etc so whether you are a ‘speed demon’ or more of a ‘tourer’ there usually will be someone to cycle with each day.

    Do I need to be super fit?

    No, you don’t need to be super fit but a good level of fitness is important as, like any challenge, the more you put in, the more you get out. The fitter you are and the more training that you do before hand will add to the enjoyment of your tour and improve your chances of succeeding at the challenge. If you need any advice about fitness please contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions and concerns that you may have.

    What are the groups like?

    Obviously each group is different but generally our Peak Tours groups are a fun, friendly, helpful & adventurous bunch. There will be people of all ages and from all walks of life. We tend to get quite a few older riders although there will always be a few younger riders as well. So far our youngest rider was 15 & the eldest 76. We think that a group of 20-25 is ideal as there will be plenty of people with similar interests and character without being such a big group that it becomes too much.

    Generally the group will be split 50/50 between people travelling alone & people that travel as a pair such as two brothers, two friends, two partners. There will be plenty of people to socialise with throughout the day & in the evening.

    How do I get my bike home at the end of the trip?

    Unless there are unavoidable circumstances we don’t carry people’s hard bike boxes in the back-up vans as there simply isn’t the room. If you would like to bring cardboard bike boxes that can be folded flat to lie on the bottom of the van then we would be able to fit a few of those in. If you can get your bike to us in Derbyshire we will happily take it over and bring it back for you free of charge.

    If you would like us to box and post your bike back to your address from Peak Tours HQ this service will cost £70.

    What happens in the evenings?

    Once you have arrived at your accommodation you should have chance for some time to relax, have a shower, wander round etc before the evening meal. Eating with the group is by no means obligatory and quite often we will simply arrange a certain pub to meet up and just drift in when you are ready whilst at other places we may have a set time to eat or a free night – it just depends on the location. The nightlife is a real highlight of the Irish trip and there is good “craic” to be found in all the places we stay, with live music and lots of Blarney.

    Does the support vehicle follow the group?

    No, the back up van doesn’t drive behind the group at all times but the van shouldn’t be too far away if you require assistance. Sometimes we have one van and sometimes we have two depending on the group size. In the morning we have a group brief and set off cycling, meanwhile the backup drivers will collect all the luggage from the various B&B’s & hostels. Once all of the luggage has been loaded, the support vehicle will leapfrog the group stopping for refreshments once in the morning and once in the afternoon (as best as time allows). The backup driver will be at the lunch stop should you need anything from the van and in the afternoon will go on ahead to ensure that your luggage is in place before you arrive.

    How much luggage can I take?

    There is limited space in the back up van to store luggage. We therefore request that you try to keep your luggage size to a minimum & try not to bring too much with you. Washing clothes can be done a few of the places but not all. It is always handy to have a bit of travel wash with you in case of emergencies. The ideal size for luggage is 70 x 50 x 30 cm and a weight of 15 – 18kg (or less).

    What training should I do?

    The more the better. We will provide a training guide for you so that you can build up your cycling strength and prepare for the ride in the correct way. If it is possible, try to cycle two days back to back whilst training and also get some hills into your legs.

    What bike should I use?

    The most suitable bike for this trip is a touring bike or a cyclo-cross or hybrid bike. If you attempted this ride on a very lightweight, thin tyred bike we feel, after careful consideration, that this would affect your enjoyment of the trip. We are recommending sturdy, 32mm tyres and above for this trip (28mm would probably be the minimum) due to the nature of some sections of the route. Stunning bits of road nonetheless but not the smoothest in parts so sacrifice a bit of speed for comfort on this tour to get the best out of it.

    Please ensure that your bike is fully serviced & in good working order before the start of the trip.

    You are going to cycle 581 miles so it is important that your bike won’t let you down. You may want to fit new brake blocks, tyres & inner tubes before you start the ride & also bring 3-4 spare inner tubes, pump, puncture repair kit & multi-tool to carry with you each day. It is essential that you are able to fix a puncture.

    It is also advisable to have front & rear lights on your bikes & try to be a visible as possible.

    What gear should I take?

    We provide a suggested kit list so please contact us if you would like a copy sending to you.

    What is the male / female ratio?

    This varies with each group. There are usually more guys than gals but an average would be about 1/3rd ladies & 2/3rds gents.

    What are the Accommodation Options?

    Most of the places we stay are in good quality hotels with a few excellent B&B’s. You can choose to share a twin (or a double room if your with your partner) which is £1395 per person or you can choose the single room option which is £1745 per person or sole occupancy of a double room which is £1895. All of the rooms are en-suite.

    Throughout the tour we stay in 10 different locations and most of the time we will all be in the same hotel however there are a couple of times where the group is split and we use 2 or 3 smaller B&B’s.

    Twin or double option

    If you are with your partner then you can have a double room each night of the tour. If you are with a friend/relative then you would have a twin room each night of the tour. If you are travelling alone and choose this option then you will be roomed with other members of the group (same sex) and stay in a twin (occasionally a triple) room throughout. Usually you will have an en-suite bathroom but occasionally you have a separate bathroom.

    Single room option

    You are guaranteed a single room each night of the trip. Almost all rooms are en-suite. Sometimes you will have sole occupancy of a double room.

    Sole use of a double room option

    Here you are guaranteed single occupancy of an en-suite double room.

    Can I hire a bike from you?

    It is advisable to use your own bike if possible however we realise that it is not always possible to use your own steed so you may wish to hire one. We have two types of road bike and three types of hybrid/touring bikes bike available. Our road bikes are the Cannondale Synapse (£150) or the Cannondale CAAD10 (£200). You may choose the basic level hybrid Dawes Discovery 301 which costs £100.00 for the tour or you may wish to upgrade to the Dawes Galaxy Plus at £150 or the Dawes Super Galaxy at £200.00 for the tour.

    All of our hire bikes come fitted with mudguards, cycle computer, water bottle cage, bell, map holder, rear rack and front and rear lights. We can also provide a pannier with a multi-tool, pump, puncture repair kit, spare tube and tyre levers at no extra cost. All bikes have flat pedals so if you would prefer to use your own (and maybe your own saddle) then please bring these along with you. We can also provide a helmet for you at no extra cost.

    We have a limited number in each size with the majority in the most common sizes (road – 54, 56 or touring – 53). If you have any queries at all then please feel free to contact me anytime on 01457 851462 or at info@peak-tours.com.

  • Booking

    To book a tour please send a completed booking form and (a) Deposit of £250.00 per person for tours of 7 days or longer or £50.00 for all other tours or (b) The full holiday cost. If only the deposit is paid at time of booking then full payment of the holiday is required no less than 8 weeks before the start of your holiday. No further reminder is sent. If you book your holiday within 8 weeks of the holiday start date, the full holiday cost is required at time of booking.

    Cancellation by Us

    In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the tour you will be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid or we will move you to a different tour date if you’re able to do so. If the tour is cancelled because the minimum number of people required to operate this tour hasn’t been reached then you will be notified no less than 3 calendar months before the departure date. If the tour is cancelled by us we will not be responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred such as travel expenses, visas etc & no compensation will be paid to cover these expenses.

    Cancellation by You

    If you have to cancel your holiday then please notify us as soon as possible. We always try to be fair and will always try to move you to different tour date if possible. If you cancel your tour less than 8 weeks before your tour start date then you will lose all monies already paid. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover cover this.

    Notice of Cancellation Charge (% of Full Price)

    Length of time before the tour is due to start Cancellation Charge
    More than 60 days before start date Deposit
    Less than 60 days before start date 100%

    Cooling Off Period

    If you decide to cancel your tour after receipt of your booking form you will be entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. During this time you will be entitled to a full refund of any monies paid.

    Accommodation

    B&B Option – double or twin

    If you chose the B&B only option you will stay in a mixture of B&B’s, hotels and country pubs. If you are travelling with a friend then you will be roomed together in a twin or or if you’re with your partner then you will be in a double room (or a twin if you prefer). If you are travelling alone then you will be roomed with another member of the group in a twin room (same sex). The actual stopovers may change from the advertised accommodation providers, if this happens then an equivalent standard of accommodation will be used nearby. The majority of the rooms you stay in will be en-suite however you may stay in a couple of rooms that are not en-suite.

    Single Room Option

    If you choose the single room option you will have your own room for the duration of the trip. This will be in either a single room or single occupancy of a double room in a mixture of en-suite and non en-suite rooms.

    Sole Use of a Double room Option

    If you choose this option you will have a guaranteed double room to yourself throughout the tour. You will always have an en-suite each night of your tour. There may be a rare occasion when you have a separate bathroom but this is very unlikely.

    YHA (Youth Hostel) Option

    This option is only available for the 14 day LEJOG tour. If you chose the YHA option you will stay in a mixture of hostels, hotels & B&B’s staying in single sex dormitory rooms, single rooms, twin rooms & triples.

    Support

    On tours with 8 people or less in the group then there may only be one tour guide with you who will drive the back up van each day. Tours with 8 – 15 people in the group will have two tour guides with one guide driving the back up van and the other guide cycling with the group or both guides driving a back up van each. Tours with 16+ will have a guide that cycles with the group plus two back up vans do provide support.

    Cycle Hire

    If you choose the cycle hire option you will be provided with your bike at the start of your tour. The bike comes with everything you need for your trip although some people like you use their own saddle, peddles and/or helmet (just let us know beforehand). At the end of your tour you can simply hand your bike back to us when you finish cycling. Please see the additional cycle hire sheet for details of the bikes we have available.

    Minimum Number

    If the minimum number of people required to run the trip is not met then we will have to cancel the trip. You will be notified at least 3 calendar months prior to the start date of the trip if the minimum number (usually 8 people) hasn’t been met & you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.

    Consumer Protection

    In order to comply with EU Travel Regulations 1992 your deposit & final payment will be held in a separate account until your holiday is completed. This is to ensure the financial security of your holiday.

    Insurance

    It is compulsory that you take out adequate holiday insurance including medical cover, personal accident, loss of belongings & cancellation cover. We cannot be held responsible for your own illness, injury or loss/damage of your bike or belongings while on holiday.

    EHIC – European Health Insurance Card (for EU nationals travelling in Europe)

    This card entitles you to greatly reduced or free state medical services throughout Europe, including Switzerland. We recommend you send off for one of these before the trip and carry it with you. It’s important to bear in mind that these cards are not a substitute for travel insurance and adequate travel insurance is compulsory for this tour. This link will give you all the information you need about the EHIC. www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC

    Safety

    Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity & the risks involved should be considered before undertaking such a trip. We will be cycling mostly on quiet back roads however there will be times when we cycle on busier roads where traffic density is higher. All persons undertaking this tour do so at their own risk & Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for any accidents that may occur whilst on the trip. For further details please see our risk acknowledgement statement here which forms part of these conditions.

    Contract

    By signing your booking form you agree to the booking conditions as outlined above. Peak tours will carry out our obligations as detailed in the tour itinerary & any information supplied to you.

    DUE TO ‘BREXIT’ AND THE EVER DECREASING VALUE OF THE POUND WE MAY HAVE TO APPLY A SMALL SURCHARGE TO THIS TOUR IF THE SITUATION DOESN’T IMPROVE. PRICES WERE SET BEFORE THE ‘BREXIT’ VOTE AND SINCE THEN THE POUND HAS PLUMMETED AGAINST THE EURO. IF THE POUND CONTINUES TO FALL THEN UNFORTUNATELY WE WILL HAVE TO APPLY A SMALL SURCHARGE TO THE TOUR. IF WE DO HAVE TO APPLY A SURCHARGE THEN YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO CANCEL AND HAVE A FULL REFUND. WE HOPE THAT THIS WONT HAPPEN BUT IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE OUR CUSTOMERS AWARE.

  • I enjoyed the wide range of ages and the group worked so well together. 13 men and 13 women – a good mix!

    Nigel, Tony and Trevor were all excellent, a very good team! Everything that had to be done was completed with a smile and good banter. With what happened with dogs and ferries… nothing was a major problem!

    I enjoyed it so much, it’s one I will cycle again! Maybe next year!

     

    John Standen, Aug/Sept 2017

    Very satisfied with the overall product, will always highly recommend.

    A highly satisfied customer. Currently considering French end to end in 2019

     

    Dave Cordrey, Aug/Sept 2017

    As always the guides were truly excellent. Despite quite a few challenges they were calm and very professional. ‘Chapeau!’ (and not forgetting the back room staff in Glossop)

     

    Ian Hope, August 2017

    A great selection of rooms, always room for two and two suitcases. Good breakfasts including porridge. Clean rooms.

    Recommended to all.

     

    Hannah Marshall, June 2017

    Without exception all accommodation exceeded expectation. The best rooms had a bath which was very valuable when wanting to ease aching muscles at the end of the day.

     

     

    Jim Randles June 2017

    Superb scenery, very quiet roads. Most days not too long, except it took 10 hours on day 8 to Portnoo, but I blame the head wind!

     

    Claire Watson Sept 2017

    Extremely scenic and lots of quiet back roads. So well organised, we had absolutely nothing to worry about.

    The guys were all great- hard working, helpful, entertaining and constantly cheerful. When the final ferry wasn’t running they pulled out all the stops to get us to Mizen Head!

    This was my third tour with Peak Tours and as in previous tours it went smoothly and ensured I had a wonderful cycling experience. The guides always look after you and always look after you and make you feel you are part of one big family.

     

     

    Trish Winterbottom Sept 2017

    I would recommend peak tours wholeheartedly

     

    Nick Hall June 2017

    The scenery was great and the route, where possible, avoided the busier roads. All the hotels we stayed in were very welcoming with great facilities.

     

     

    John Holmes June 2017

    Was extremely impressed with the very high standard of accommodation and the welcome we always received. Fantastic! Far exceeded my expectations.

    Loved the quiet routes and how well you have avoided busy roads.

    Our three guys were brilliant! A really professional and quietly slick operation. A big thank you to Graham, Tony and Jeremy! Also really delighted with the post trip bicycle maintenance courtesy of Graham.

     

     

    Rachel Pattinson June 2017

    having come back down off cloud 9, after a week at work, I write to say a big thank you to you all and our 3 wonderful tour guides for a fabulous experience in Ireland. Having been on 3 Peak Tour rides before; it was everything I hoped for and a lot more. (Incidentally Graham, Tony and Jeremy you did all genuinely surpass yourselves with the floral arranging! 😊)

    The organisation, support, company, accommodation, food, scenery and humour was just first class. I feel very privileged to have met you all and truly inspired having learned so much about you all, your passion for cycling and joy that this brings.

    A big thank you to you all and a huge thank you to Graham, Tony and Jeremy; you are brilliant 😊.

     

    Helen Fieldson June 2017

    Yes it was a brilliant trip and like all of my adventures it's reputation (and allied stories) will grow over the years especially when drink is taken. I echo my thanks to all at Peak Tours for their faultless organisation, enthusiasm and professionalism. The sense of fun and enjoyment began with the tour leaders and all participants quickly gelled to form a cohesive team of peddle-pushers and bon-viveurs. The company was memorable and educationally I learnt a lot about Ireland and it's customs - all positive

     

    Nick Hall June 2017

    Thank you to all for an amazing experience exploring the wild Irish coastline. Peak Tours once again excelled in providing an unforgettable experience – from the cheerful disposition of the guys, the company of a great group of cyclists, fun, laughter, a British election, some wind and rain, spectacular vistas around every bend and a bit of flower arranging thrown in – what more could one want from a holiday.

    Michelle Watson June 2017

    Excellent accommodation including some superb hotels. It was great having a pool at Galway to have a sauna, jacuzzi and a swim – lovely treat! The storage of our bikes well thought out too so didn’t have to worry about them. Of course, there were slight differences in welcomes and breakfast menus but to be honest, I couldn’t fault them; we were well looked after and well fed!

    What a great adventure! The the scenery was stunning and the rides on some of the busier roads and though towns added to the contrast. It was so varied; on forest tracks, coastal paths, through mountainous ranges, villages, towns. . . . . . up and down a lot of hills!!. . . .  we had it all. It was breath taking – literally!!

    Great food for breakfast and lunches and excellent choices for the evening. The brew van was amazing; and always a ‘special of the day’ in terms of a new cake, fruit or nibbles as well as the daily musts – jelly babies, nuts, other sweets and biscuits. Great variety served by helpful, encouraging tour guides, who always did an excellent job at recommending the specials of the day. Graham is an advertiser’s dream for Boudoir biscuits!!

    I ate out each evening with others in local restaurants/bistros as on the list or at the hotel. Wasn’t disappointed by any of them.

    I was very satisfied with the pre-tour communication as well . The team answered all my questions promptly about my planned purchase of a new bike for the trip and training plan. The tour notes, maps and elevation profiles were very helpful. Excellent communication.

    This is my fourth tour. Whilst a future one is not looking very possible at this moment for me, because I have done all the ‘short’ ones, I cannot bring myself to try any other cycle tour company because my experience has just been brilliant and your crew make every difference. The organisation again has been first class.

    Graham, Tony and Jeremy made it such an exceptional trip with their belief in us, their sense of humour, their efficiency including their amazing memories for all our little problems and needs, their helpfulness and their patience!!

    Helen Fieldson June 2017

    What a fantastic you have organised. You must have had so much fun cycling those quaint rides of Ireland. I have loved every minute of the trip, yawned once and never ever wanted to throw my (your) bike away.

    Everything about he trip was exceptional and when I fill in the form it won't be much help to you - there won't be any improvements. I chummed up with Jill and Helen and did wonder how I would have got on without them.

    So your team leaders - where do you start. What fantastic guys they are. I just can't believe what they have done for us day in day out to make this such an exceptional trip. They think of absolutely everything, won't let you carry anything, nothing is a bother, they are 20 steps ahead and just great company. Absolutely faultless. Even today when I got off at Belfast international there was Jeremy rushing to get me a trolley for my luggage. You certainly are blessed to have each one of them. Then there was the floral competition what a laugh and there they were getting into the action and quite competitive to win the top prize! Hilarious.

    Thank you so much for a brilliantly planned trip Steve and Lee. No wonder people comeback. Thinking of putting France on the itinerary next year!

     

     

    Helen Walker June 2017

    I’ve never been to Ireland before so it was great to see so much of it. Good variety of scenery with some outstanding days- the climb on Day 9 and the descent were a real highlight. Great route! Usual excellent organisation we expect from Peak Tours. The help provided with logistics of getting bikes to/from start and finish makes a huge positive difference to the trip

    Fiona Cameron, August/September 2016

    The tour organisation was excellent – as always! It was a brilliant holiday

    Amanda Williams and Les Hearn, August/September 2016

    The route notes were, as usual, comprehensive and often overly fulsome in the detail provided, given that they were to be the guide between A & B. Peak Tours, for me, and this is how I describe things to people who ask me about my adventures, is an organisation which understands the needs of cyclists and seeks to help everyone who has an objective to do something like LEJOG, achieve that ambition and does so in a practical and supportive manner.  That gives Peak Tours a personality and, for me, it is attractive and very distinctive.  Please do not lose this USP and characteristic.

    Graeme Nichol, June 2016

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  • To view the pictures from the latest tours please click here:

    June 2016 August/September 2016 June 2017 August/September 2017

From: £1,495.00