Featured Tour - Cycle Ireland End to End - Mizen to Malin (MizMal)
Featured Tour – Cycle Ireland End To End – Mizen To Malin (MizMal)
Cycle Ireland End to End – From Mizen Head to Malin Head in 12 Cycling Days
Specialising in Ireland End to End cycle tours, our signature “MizMal” tour is extremely popular. Another of our featured tours in our blog series, from Mizen Head to Malin Head this trip runs in two formats: 7-day and 12-day. Find out more about our 12-day tour.
The west coast of Ireland is rich in awe-inspiring landscapes, fascinating characters and foot-tapping music. Cycling from the most southerly point to the most northerly will leave you with wonderful memories, new friends and a thirst for more! There is no better way to explore the wild beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way than from the saddle. The grandeur of the Cork and Kerry mountains. The warmth and joy of a night in a Galway pub. The lunar like landscape of the Burren. The packed mountain ranges dominating the horizon of the Connemara National Park. The giant Sea Loughs of the Inishowen Peninsula. Your end-to-end journey of 12 cycling days has a breath-taking finish on the rocky promontory of Malin Head.
Approximately 87 km and 800 meters of climbing per day. The tour is primarily on quiet roads with a small number of joining sections on busier roads. Some cycling in towns and cities is necessary, particularly at the start and end of the day. Roads on our unique Ireland End to End cycle tour are generally well surfaced and suitable for of 25 mm or more.
Arrival Day – Arrival in Ireland
You may choose to arrive in Belfast, Dublin or Cork Airport. At the end of the tour, you can choose to be dropped off at Belfast International Airport, or in the city of Belfast.
Cycling Day 1 – Mizen Head to Glengarriff
From our hotel in Cork, we take a coach transfer to Mizen Head – one of the extreme points of the island of Ireland. We then cycle the beautiful Mizen Peninsula with its Atlantic breakers and rugged coastline. We pass through the pretty coastal town of Bantry and on to Glengarriff.
Cycling Day 2 – Glengarriff to Killarney
This day includes three climbs. The Caha pass culminates at the summit with a tunnel hewn into the rock. The second climb takes us up a scenic pass to Molls Gap. Then it’s a descent to the Black Valley followed by our third climb to Killarney via the Gap of Dunloe. Killarney is a treat with its lively night life, restaurants, pubs, music and breath-taking National Park.
Cycling Day 3 – Killarney to Ballybunion
A mostly flat day of rolling rural landscapes with one significant climb. We head east on the Dingle Peninusla and then traverse the peninsula with sea views and a thrilling descent. We stop in Ballybunion with its steep and rocky cliffs, surfing beach and the first statue of former US President, Bill Clinton.
Cycling Day 4 – Ballybunion to Spanish Point
From Ballybunion we take the quiet rural roads by the Shannon Estuary to Tarbert. Then it’s a pleasant and relaxing 20 minute ferry journey across the estuary with its colony of bottlenose Dolphins. The brave can venture into the Atlantic at Spanish Point for a cool-down!
Cycling Day 5 – Spanish Point to Ballyvaughan
Day 5 rewards us with some stunning cycling landscapes. We head north along the Wild Atlantic Way and stop off at the Cliffs of Moher – one of Ireland’s most visited attractions. The day’s only real climbing is a scenic one to its awe-inspiring cliff viewpoint. Then it’s the coast road through the beautiful village of Doolin and on to the Burren – a limestone plateau with its truly unique landscape, stone walls and views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands. Ballyvaughan is our stop-over with its old harbour overlooking Galway Bay.
Cycling Day 6 – Ballyvaughan to Galway
From Ballyvaughan we head south a little into the lesser explored areas of the Burren. A feast of isolated country roads set amidst endless rocky fields lined with ancient stone walls. On the way is the Poulnabrone dolmen dating back to the Neolithic period. We continue with a gentle descent through the spectacular Caher Valley and on to the bustling town of Galway, with its European feel and distinctive Irish character.
Cycling Day 7 – Galway to Clifden
Day 7 takes us to our most westerly point of the tour to the historic town of Clifden. We ride through the bogs of Conemarra past shimmering lakes, rivers and views of the Maamturk and Twelve Ben mountain ranges. This is one of our remotest days and you can cycle for miles without seeing much sign of human existence! It all changes when we reach the busy hub of Clifden – popular with hikers and outdoor enthusiasts and well-known for its great seafood restaurants and music pubs.
Cycling Day 8 – Clifden to Westport
Leaving Clifden we embark on a truly spectacular day of mountain passes and fjords. We head north-east into the mountains of County Mayo. We have lunch at the Killary Fjord – nestled snuggly within the heather covered mountains. Our biggest climb is the Sheeffry Pass where we cycle the tiny roads through the sheep farms to the summit, before tackling the thrilling descent and on to Westport.
Cycling Day 9 – Westport to Sligo
Today we ride off the beaten track on quiet, rural Irish roads passing through picturesque small villages and towns. The lake at Pontoon is beautifully unspoilt and largely left alone by the tourists. The terrain is gently undulating with few significant climbs. We reach Sligo on the quieter roads via Oakfield. In Sligo you will have time to enjoy its scenic river walks and cathedral. Benbulben mountain rises dramatically to the north
Cycling Day 10 – Sligo to Donegal Town
We leave Sligo and head towards Rosses Point before following the coastline north-east. This area is made famous as the birth and resting place of the poet Yeats. You can take time to visit his grave as we pass Drumcliffe Cemetery. Continuing on our way, we make a short loop around Mullaghmore with its fantastic headlands, vast sandy beach and small fishing village. We continue on to Donegal via Rossnowlagh Beach and spectacular views of the bay, before arriving in Donegal – Ireland’s home of country music!
Cycling Day 11 – Donegal Town to Letterkenny
On Day 11 we ride north deep into the heart of County Donegal – Ireland’s most remote county. We pick our way through quiet roads, many with grass up the middle! Passing through pretty villages such as Glenties, then along the shores of Lough Fin. From there it’s on into the bogs, mountains, rivers and lakes of the Glenveagh National Park. The views are stunning as we tackle our biggest climb of the day from Lough Barra up to one of the Park’s most photographed viewpoints.
Cycling Day 12 – Letterkenny to Malin Head
Leaving Letterkenny, we pass through Buncrana – the gateway to the Inishowen Peninsula and continue north. Once on the peninsula the terrain is hilly and spectacular with surprises around every bend. The tidal sea loughs are vast and unique with backdrops of distant headlands, sand dunes and mountains. Malin Head is the most northerly point and with its windy location it both looks and feels it! After celebrations and photos, we pack and head south back to Belfast where you can be dropped at the airport on the way, or in Belfast City.