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Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring : bike tours, cycle vacations and biking holidays in Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Italy and Spain.

Northwest Ireland Self-Guided Tour (7 nights)

Tour code: NWISG7

Tour Overview

This tour is built around wide-open spaces, peace and tranquility - and scenery to die for - in a region that is one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets. Many of the tiny roads followed by the routes are free of traffic, and at times you will ride for miles without seeing another living soul. Some of the very best vistas (of which there are many!) require a bit of elevation, so be prepared for a bit of climbing on some routes. If you have the time, the extended version of the tour that includes South Donegal will just enhance an already wonderful experience!

Starting in the lively town of Sligo, you head north, initially on quiet country lanes, and then around the picturesque Lough Macnean before arriving in Ballyshannon for a two night stopover.  The loop ride from Ballyshannon takes in the the busy market town of Donegal Town.  There is also a chance to ride around the stunning Lough Eske.

After leaving Ballyshannon you head inland slightly through the famous town of Belleek, before arriving at your destination of Belcoo, where you have another two-night stopover with excellent loop options.  You should be able to see Cuilcagh Mountains, Tullydermot Falls and the UNESCO recognised Marble Arch Caves.  After departing Belcoo, you then head through the majestic 19th Century Lough Key Forest Park, before arriving in Boyle.  The last leg of your journey takes you from Boyle back through glorious countryside to the bustling Sligo.

For information on the en route scenery and attractions see the Regional Details page

Ten highlights

  • The Lake Isle of Inishfree
  • Visiting Yeats grave in Drumcliff
  • The seascapes from Mullaghmore Head
  • Gleniff Horseshoe
  • A visit to the Belleek Pottery
  • Lough Navar Forest Viewpoint
  • Marble Arch Caves
  • Florence Court House
  • Donegal Craft Village
  • The circuit of Lough Eske


  • Ben Bulben
  • Boa Island
  • Boyle Abbey
  • Boyle Abbey
  • Gallaghers Cottage
  • Glencar Waterfall
  • Lough Key Forest Park
  • Lough MacNean
  • Mullaghmore
  • Sheep

Outline Itinerary

Day Start Stay Core route Other options En Route
→ km ↑ m longer shorter
1 - Sligo - - - -  
2 Sligo Ballyshannon 71 503 Glancar Lough, Yeats’s Grave, Ben Bulben
3 Ballyshannon Ballyshannon 50 442 Donegal Town, Lough Eske, The Pullins
4 Ballyshannon Belcoo 46 413   Belleek Pottery, Lough Macnean
5 Belcoo Belcoo 57 682   Florencecourt, Marble Arch Caves, Cuilcagh
6 Belcoo Boyle 58 433     Lough Key Forest Park, Arigna Mines
7 Boyle Sligo 59 491     Dromahair, Creevylea Friary, Parkes Castle

Day-by-Day Summary

Tour Costs

Costs in Euros
Basic cost per person sharing 755*
Single accommodation supplement (if applicable) 235
Optional Costs
Bicycle rental Hybrid 135
Road 190
luggage transfers Total for one or two people 310
Each additional person 20

* Prices for solo travellers are on request

Click here for more details on what's included in the costs above.

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