Cycling Tours FAQ

Are we accompanied by a guide?

Although the guide will not be cycling with you, he or she will be driving the support van and will make a sweep to ensure that all is well, and offer lifts to those who want a break. If at any point you need to contact the guide, you will have the telephone numbers of the guesthouses where you will be able to leave a message. This provides a sense of freedom in that you can travel at your own pace in the security that the guide is there for you in the event that you might need them. The guide will recommend places to eat and try to find out where the best entertainment is each night.

Most importantly, the guide sets the right tone, to make you feel welcome to the country and to help you in whatever way possible so that each day you are free to leave your worries behind.

Do we have to carry our own luggage?

No, your luggage is carried in the support van to your next hotel or guest house.

What will the weather be like?

While Irish weather is not easy to predict, our mild climate is ideal for cycling and the occasional shower can even add to the atmosphere of the landscape. The temperature will almost always be moderate, typically between 15-25 C (60º-80º F). We recommend that you do bring some rain gear; however, equally we recommend you bring suntan lotion and a sun hat!

Do I have to be super-fit?

Other than young children, whom we discourage from attending, people of all ages and abilities come on the tours, so do not worry if you are not super-fit. You have all day to cover the recommended route, and while Irish roads rarely follow a straight line, there are few really high climbs on most tours. Sore bottoms are an occupational hazard on a cycling tour, but a pair of padded cycle shorts or a gel saddle cover can work wonders. Complete beginners should take a few practice rides over the average daily distances of 30/35 miles (50 km) before coming on the tour.

What bikes do we get?

We will be using Trek 721 hybrids on our tours this summer. They come equipped with 21 speed grip-shift gears, carrier, mudguards, water bottle and a front pannier bag. People looking to use toe clips can bring their own, which we can then attach to the pedals. We give out maps along with route directions and historical details at the start of the week.

What kind of food and accommodation should I expect?

We stay in a combination of small family run hotels and guesthouses. The standard of such accommodation in Ireland is very high, with the vast majority having en-suite bathroom and other excellent facilities. We try to pick places with character; your home for the week can vary from a Victorian townhouse, a remote lakeside hotel, a farmhouse by the sea, an attractive harbour guesthouse, or an old style family hotel in the middle of a bustling market town. 

Breakfasts are included each morning, which in many cases will keep you going for the day! Our rooms are allocated on a twin-sharing basis. Unfortunately, we are very limited in our ability to provide any single rooms.

Fortunately, the days when Irish vegetables are cooked for an entire week are long gone. Most people are very impressed at the quality of new Irish cooking. While people are free to do their own thing in the evening, our guide will recommend a place for lunch and dinner each day that will hopefully cater to everyone's taste and budget.

What should I bring?

As we transfer the luggage each day, you are free to bring a ballgown and tuxedo should you wish to. However, we find that more experienced travelers arrive with one compact piece of luggage, and look on with amusement at those who have to drag their kitchen sink along airport corridors. Do bring a comfortable outfit for the cycling, and a pair of padded cycling shorts if you have them. We keep a limited stock of cycling helmets in our van, but you are advised to bring your own, which should be more comfortable.

Where do we meet, and how do we get to our safari?

We are happy to advise you on any travel arrangements into and around Ireland, and about additional accommodation or other services. Each of our safaris starts close to bus and railway stations, so they are all accessible by public transport. We can provide rail vouchers, which give you a discount on journeys from Dublin to Cork or Kerry. While we encourage you to give your car a holiday for the tour, we can arrange parking for those who have to arrive on four wheels. On booking, we can send you more specific information on the travel arrangements to and from each starting point.

Each safari starts on a Saturday evening at 6.30pm, and finishes the following Saturday morning. Although most the tours finish where you start, some are a little different: check with each tour. Our office can usually make separate arrangements for those arriving late or having to leave early.