Cycle Northern Ireland
Join us on an epic cycle challenge in the very best locations around the whole of Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has seen an explosion of interest in recent years. There is a positive vibe about the place and a legion of sites to experience along the route and in the evenings. We have kept the mileage to around 55 miles each day with shorter options of 40 miles. This allows you time to explore on the way. The duration is nine nights with eight days’ cycling.
We have crafted the route to ensure your time is spent in only the areas with fantastic cycling and loads of things to see and do.
Cycle Northern Ireland Itinerary
The daily itinerary is shown below. The daily distance cycled is 35 to 50 miles:
18th July 2020 - Arrive and overnight in Belfast
19th July 2020 - Transfer to Mournes area - cycle Analong / Silent Valley / Bryansford
20th July 2020 - Mournes area - Spelga Damn / Rostrevor / Castlewellan
21st July 2020 - Strangford area - Country Down - Fishing Villages
22nd July 2020 - Ards Penninsula - Ards Peninsula and Strangford Lough
23rd July 2020 - Coach to the west and then cycle the Sperrin Uplands
24th July 2020 - Causeway Coast to Ballycastle - North Coast / Dunluce Castle
25th July 2020 - Causeway Coast and Glens Area - Giant's Causeway / Antrim Coast Road
26th July 2020 - Coast road to Port Muck on Islandmagee. Then coach transfer to Airport or the lively city of Belfast.
You may wish to extend your stay and spend some time visiting Belfast and other sites. There are plenty of options for finding things to see and do. Visit our See and Do page to learn more.
Cycle Northern Ireland Route Summary
After our arrival and preparation, we spend two fantastic days following carefully planned routes in the Mourne Mountains. The second day is the most challenging of the tour. But don’t worry, our SAG / Support wagon will be on call if you need assistance of any kind! We cycle the Silent Valley and Spelga Damn as well as the pretty small towns of Rostrevor and Castlewellan.
Next we head north through a number of small fishing villages including Ardglass. Stopping off to visit St. Patrick’s grave in Downpatrick before taking the ferry through ‘the Narrows’ at the mouth of Strangford Lough to the village of Portaferry on the other side.
The next day we cycle the quiet roads of the Ards Peninsula with several stunning lough views which change before your eyes as the tides empty and fill the lough. This area is renowned for its wild habitats, hundreds of small islands and rich bird life.
We finish in the picturesque coastal town of Bangor with its large marina, beaches and coastal walks. The next morning we do a coach transfer to the west and cycle north to Limavady through the beautiful Sperrin Mountain range and uplands.
The next day takes us to Ballycastle – a splendid village right on the coast. Our route takes us via the Giant’s Causeway and through the Dark Hedges - made famous as the King’s Road on Game of Thrones.
Then it’s on to the Causeway Coast Road, following it via the stunning Torr Head.
Staying a night in the village of Carnlough by the sea, we then pedal further south and finish at Port Muck on Islandmagee, north of Belfast. You will then be transferred to the Airport or the city of Belfast. You may choose to add on a night or two and explore this lively, forward-thinking city before leaving for home.
You will sleep and eat breakfast in local, good quality hotels or guest houses in shared or single rooms. There is a supplement for a single room and the number of singles is limited and subject to availability. Experienced crew will support the trip with help as required. All belongings will be taken ahead to your next stopover and there will be mechanical assistance if required.
You will be supported by an attentive, experienced and friendly team. We are based in Bangor and know the country like no other! The same team of friendly experts that brought you ‘MizMal’ - the now iconic Irish End-to-End!
We represent great value with no compromise on service or support! The points below explain what is provided:
Transport from Belfast to the start point in Newcastle for you and your bike
Transport to Belfast International Airport Hotel, or a Belfast Hotel from the finish point for you and your bike
Eight nights’ accommodation in good quality hotels (accommodation on the last day isn’t included as individuals have their own on-going travel plans)
Stangford Lough ferry fare
Luggage transfer - we move your bags and bits from one location to the next
Breakfast - Irish breakfasts are renowned for keeping you pedalling all day
Mid-Morning Brew stop. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, scones, fruit, cakes, bars, etc. all included in the price!
Lunch - In a pub, restaurant or café, or sometimes picnic style
Vehicle support - our support vehicle will be a phone call away and if called will be at your location as soon as possible. Depending on the size of group, there will be one or two vehicles supporting you
Rider pickup - if you are tired or ill, you are welcome to ride in the support vehicle for as short or long as you need. Just call and we will find you and stow your bike securely
Mechanical support - we can help with roadside minor adjustments and repairs (we carry tools, spares, pumps, bike stands, lube and cleaning materials). if we can't solve the problem at the roadside we will take your bike or broken component to where it can be repaired
Spare parts - we carry a selection of common spares in the vehicle which are available to you at cost price. Note, we don't ordinarily have a complete spare cycle available (this is impractical due to the range of sizes and riding a bike that isn't fitted for you may cause problems or injury)
Route information - GPX files for upload to your GPS navigation device / Garmin. GPS devices are recommend and you can hire from us should you require.
What’s not included?
Evening meals - Our stopovers all have reasonably priced restaurants and pubs nearby and most of the hotels have good dining. Breakfast and lunch IS included
Optional trips / entry fees for any excursions you arrange independently
Insurance - you need to organise your own bike and travel insurance as required
Gels, high energy bars, energy powder and shakes - bring your own as per what works best for you and your tummy!
Bike hire (we recommend you bring your own)
Getting to the Start
The first day we meet at a hotel close to Belfast International Airport to brief and prepare bikes. We then take a trip south the next morning and begin cycling from Newcastle, County Down. We recommend boxing and flying / travelling with your own bike. We will take care of your bike boxes for a small fee.
Departing at the End
On the last day we cycle south on the Antrim Coast Road to a point north of Belfast where the tour finishes. From there we provide transport to the Belfast International Airport, the George Best City Airport and the city of Belfast.
Booking Travel and Flights
We have never cancelled a tour due to lack of numbers. However, please refrain from booking flights until we let you know that your tour has reached the minimum number to run. The tour will run with a minimum of 12 people and a maximum of 24.
Bicycles and Box Handling
We encourage cyclists to bring their own bikes. Please let us know if you wish to discuss bike hire. Depending on where you are coming from you may be bringing your bike in a travel box or bag. In this case your box or bag will be taken away and stored securely for the duration of the tour. It will be returned to you at the end. The cost for handling is £30.