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 June 2017 August/September 2017 May 2018 June 2018 July/Aug 2018

2019 Tour Dates:

Wed 7th – Sat 17th August 2019 Tour Full

2020 Tour Dates:

Wed 8th – Sat 18th July 2020 Places available

Wed 12th – Sat 22nd August 2020 Places available

Go To Booking Form

2019 Tour Dates:

Wed 7th – Sat 17th August 2019 Tour Full

2020 Tour Dates:

Wed 8th – Sat 18th July 2020 Places available

Wed 12th – Sat 22nd August 2020 Places available

Go To Booking Form

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.

Go To Booking Form

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, or, if you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option, or sole occupancy of a double.  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. It should be noted that if you have your bike serviced before the tour then it is a good idea to ride it a few times to allow things to ‘bed in’ before joining the tour. Either a road bike or a touring bike is preferable. We have a range of road and touring bikes available for hire if you don’t have your own bike. We will take your bike over for you if you bring it to us before hand and we will take it back for you at the end of the tour as well (free of charge if you drop off and pick up or we can box the bike and post it to you for a charge). Please note that Peak Tours will not be held responsible for any damage cause in the transportation of the bikes, problems are very rare indeed and we have a very safe, tried and tested system. Any bikes with DI gears need to bring their chargers with them for the trip and riders also need to be aware that it may be necessary to remove the saddle and in some cases with DI gears, unplug the cable (although we try to avoid this). We also remove the front wheel of most bikes being transported and place them in wheel bags, if anyone has a wheel that requires a specific tool you would need to provide that too please.

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

Go To Booking Form

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, 28mm tyres and above for this trip (25mm 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 three types of hybrid bike available and two types of road bike. Details of these bikes can be found by clicking on the ‘Tour Extras’ tab.

All of our hire bikes come fitted with a cycle computer, water bottle cage, bell, map holder, rear rack and mudguards (hybrids) 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.

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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. 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 two 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 and 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 a different tour date if possible. Usually if we are able to fill your place we will return your deposit to you however if your cancellation is close to the tour start date then we may need to keep your deposit and also full tour payment to cover potential losses we will incur.

Notice of Cancellation Charge (% of Full Price)

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.

Prices

Peak Tours reserves the right to increase the price of a tour anytime up until 28 days prior to a tour start date, even if all monies for the tour have already been paid. This maybe due to changes in exchanges rates or for any other reason. If this happens then you will be given the option of cancelling your tour and receiving a full refund if you are not happy with this increase. Peak Tours will not be liable to any additional expenses incurred such as flights. Changes in exchange rates and government-decreed price increases (e.g. in the VAT rate) may mean that the price of your package may change after you have booked. However, there will be no change within 28 days of departure. Where the price increase amounts to more than 10% of the offered and confirmed price for the travel arrangement, you have the right to withdraw from the contract free of charge within 5 days following receipt of notification. Payments made by you to us will be reimbursed immediately.

Accommodation

B&B Option – double or twin/triple

If you choose 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 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 or triple 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 an exceptionally rare occasion when you have a separate bathroom but this is very unlikely. Occasionally you may have a twin room to yourself if a double room isn’t available but again, this is rare.

YHA (Youth Hostel) Option

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

No refund will be given for any unused accommodation, services or feature of the trip if you need to leave the tour early for whatever reason.

Support

On tours with eight 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 9 - 15 people in the group will have two tour guides with one guide driving the back-up van and the other guide cycling at the back of the group or both guides driving a backup van each. Tours with 16+ will have a guide that cycles with the group plus two back up vans to 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 to 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.

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 two calendar months prior to the start date of the trip if the minimum number (usually eight people) hasn’t been met and you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.

Consumer Protection

In order to comply with EU Travel Regulations 1992 your deposit and 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 and 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.

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

You should Satisfy yourself before booking that you have researched your destination and made an informed decision to travel, and taken any necessary precautions. You can obtain travel advise from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (http://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonweath-office).

Please note that Brexit may change the validity of this arrangement and at time of writing things are still in flux. Please check the current situation before you travel.

Bicycle Insurance

It is important that your bike is insured for the duration of your tour. This insurance should include and loss or damage to your bike that may occur during your tour an any subsequent days in transit.

Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for the loss of your bike if it is stolen during the tour. This includes if the bike was stolen from one of the accommodation providers, lunch stops or if your bike is being transported in one of our vans. It is important to be aware that we don’t have any insurance for your bike, even if your bike is in our care, either in one of our vans or at any of our premises.

Whilst we take great care to ensure that your bikes are always safe. We have been very fortunate and have never had a bike stolen whilst in our care, but it always remains a possibility. For this reason, you need to ensure that your bike is fully insured from the moment you start your tour or from the moment that you hand your bike to us, if this is earlier than your tour start date.

Safety

Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity and 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 and Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for any accidents that may occur whilst on the trip.

Peak Tours reserve the right to abandon the day’s ride, at any point, should they feel that there are any factors compromising the safety of the group i.e. severe weather conditions. In the case of abandoning a ride, transport will be provided by Peak Tours to take all the riders to their accommodation.

Once the decision has been taken to cancel the day’s riding, and everyone is safely accounted for, any further guide support for riders wanting to continue with the ride will be withdrawn and, if you decide to continue with your ride, then you do so completely at your own risk. The decision of the Tour leader representing Peak Tours in final.

You are required to follow any safety advice provided to you including wearing a cycle helmet when cycling.

There is no official time limit set by Peak Tours for a rider to complete each days ride, however if a rider is consistently arriving at their accommodation at the end of each day with insufficient time to change and have an evening meal then the guides may intervene and offer options to allow the rider to finish at a reasonable time such as earlier starts from the rest of the group of riding in the van for sections of the ride.

In the most extreme cases where, due to a lack of fitness or any other circumstances, a rider is unable to keep suitable pace and complete the days ride in a reasonable time and other alternatives have been explored, Peak Tours reserve the right to remove you from the tour. No refunds or compensation will be given in these circumstances.

Medical

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are sufficiently fit and healthy to complete your chosen holiday. We reserve the right to request a doctor’s certificate proving you are medically fit to participate in your chosen holiday. If you are affected by any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect your or other people’s enjoyment of the holiday, you must advise us before booking. If you do not do so, we may cancel your holiday at any time.​

We welcome people with restricted mobility, medical or particular care requirements or a disability, and aim to ensure that our services are as accessible as reasonably possible to all. However, in order that we may consider the possibility of making reasonable adjustments, it is important that we are fully informed of any needs or requirements before any booking is concluded. It has to be considered that a tour group may have up to 25 people and the tour guides have a responsibility to all members of the group. If it is deemed that it wouldn’t be possible to accept someone with a particular disability or care requirements even after considering any reasonable adjustments that we would need to make then we reserve the right to decline a booking as we need to consider the safety of the group as a whole and our tour guides have a responsibility to the whole group. Also, if during a tour it becomes apparent that someone is unsuitable for a tour then the tour leader reserves the right to remove the person from the tour and Peak Tours will not be liable for any expenses incurred as a result.

Behaviour

We consider offensive, aggressive or illegal behaviour to be completely unacceptable. Any such behaviour directed at either our staff, other members of the group or the general public will not be tolerated. The guides reserve the right to ask you to leave the tour with immediate effect, if your conduct is considered by us to be inappropriate, likely to cause harm, or impair the enjoyment, comfort or safety of your neighbours, other members of your group, staff and/or the general public, or is likely, in our belief, to breach any terms of our agreement with you (including these conditions). No refunds or compensation will be given in these circumstances and we reserve the right not to accept any future bookings from you or any member of your party.

Flexibility

There is a natural need to be flexible in a holiday of this kind. The day to day agenda and ultimate aim of the holiday is taken as an objective and not as a contractual obligation. It is a fundamental condition of booking that you accept this flexibility, and acknowledge that delays and alterations and their subsequent results, such as inconvenience, discomfort, or disappointment, are possible.

If there is a significant change to essential terms of your holiday after booking, but before your departure date, we will notify you of these changes as soon as possible. If you are not satisfied with these changes, we will work with you to find a practical alternative. If you are not satisfied with the alternatives, then you will be entitled to cancel your booking without penalty and any money paid for services provided by the Company will be refunded. No refund will be offered for services not booked with the Company e.g. travel costs, flights, train fares etc.

Travel arrangements to the start point and from the finish point are your responsibility. Our responsibility does not commence until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. If you fail to arrive there at the appointed time for whatever reason, we will not be held responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you.

Complaints

Any complaints regarding your trip should be made direct to your tour leader who will normally take appropriate action. If at the end of your tour, you feel that your complaint was not dealt with properly and you were not satisfied with the response, you must notify us in writing or via email within 28 days of the actual completion date of your tour. We will try to agree a settlement with you.

Contract

By completing 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 and any information supplied to you.

Company Details

Peak Tours Limited 38 Storth Meadow Road, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 6UZ.
Registered in England 7992506
VAT No 130935822

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.

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This is the third, excellent tour with Peak Tours.

Lesley Posstlethwaite August 2018

Accommodation varied but all very good to excellent.

Adrian Long May 2018

Very happy with the route – challenging but scenic

Had a lovely holiday, away from the stresses of life, getting wet with likeminded people.

Ann-Marie Latham & Helen Cassady July 2018

I don’t think the route can be improved. Wonderful scenery.

One of the best, if not THE best cycling tour I have been on.

Martin Harvey June 2018

This tour exceeded expectations. Of course we had exceptional weather but apart from that the whole tour was well organised, well supported and covered roads that you’d find hard to beat for spectacular scenery. Thanks to you all especially Nigel, Steve & Martin.

Roger Turner June 2018

Brilliant route. Every day was spectacular. Not too challenging so there was time to appreciate the scenery.

Marion Kinshuck June 2018

Another wonderful experience with Peak Tours. Not to be missed.

Henry Slater May 2018

I thought the route was excellent with some great little roads which kept you away from traffic as much as possible and allowed best enjoyment of the beautiful scenery (the great weather we had helped of course).

The group size was good and the way the trip was run meant that there was no problem going at whatever pace you wanted.  Some people liked to go faster, I like stopping to take photos and admire the scenery.

The tour was well thought out and I think that Peak Tours have hit on a winning formula for a cycling tour.

Even when problems arose such as the second ferry not running an effective work around was devised which worked very well.

I will certainly look at the other trips that are on offer for a holiday next year.

Nigel was excellent particularly considering Bob and Emma had been co-opted in to support him at short notice.  Nigel worked tirelessly to make sure we enjoyed the trip – his efforts were much appreciated.

Richard Christie May 2018

The accommodations were actually better than I expected and definitely better than I usually book for myself. Even the B&Bs were charming but still very comfortable and updated.

Rebecca Miller May 2018

The route was wonderful – could not be topped – my favourite cycling and such a mixture of environments. Fabulous views and weather. Inspired to go back and explore further.

Loved the food van and thought the breakfasts were wonderful – the Bayview in Glengarriff was exceptional. Never thought I could manage another Irish breakfast but I’m missing them already. I liked the freedom to choose in the evenings.

So impressed with the hard working guides. Nigel was fantastic, and I loved Bob and Emma. Different skill set with each and as a team offered great strength. Indebted to each of them for their hard work and patience. Everything worked like clockwork, even when the ferry issues caused a minor detour, it was handled with calm and speed. I always knew where I was going, how to get there and my stuff was in place when I arrived. What more could you want?

The tour overall could not be topped. Imagine all that sunshine, fabulous countryside, swimming too. Will go back to experience more of Ireland. We were so lucky but even without the fab weather I would have loved it.

Sue Olliver May 2018

All the B&Bs were of a high standard and all very different.

The magic van is perfect for food.  Always a good selection, Emma brought local treats – which was a nice touch.

I was very impressed with the whole tour. Your hard work paid off to give us a good holiday.

Fiona Roberts May 2018

Accommodation was really good, everywhere we stayed the hospitality was excellent. So friendly and accommodating.

I loved the route, well done guys. This was well researched and easy to follow.

I could write a book about the tour guides. So nice, polite, so helpful and couldn’t do enough for you. You really are lucky to have such great tour guides! Please convey my sincere appreciation back to them for making my holiday a special memory

Alan Irwin May 2018

All in all I think Peak Tours are fantastic and it was a fantastic holiday!

Colin Sherrard May 2018

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

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