to come to Ireland and participate in a bike tour is a big decision.
There are many queries and concerns that can only be addressed
by reading trough a previous customers testimonial. Below you
will find some of the testimonials we have received from past
customers. Hopefully you will get a feeling of what to expect
on the tour, and what to expect from Ireland.
Mike and Ihave done our share of traveling over the last few years,
to places like Africa, holland,greece, italy,cuba and barbados,
but this cycling trip with you was our most memorable.
definitely were not at our finest as far as physically fit, the
longest distance we had biked in one day would have been- 25km,
but with your help and encouragement, along with many, many bike
adjustments..retrofitting mikes bike completely to aid in his
back issues, we were able to obtain considerable accomplishments
as far as distance traveled and at the same time we never felt
stopped many times to take photos, and at times just enjoyed a
stop to rest with jo filling us in on local history and facts
about the area. I never expected the accommodations to be as appealing.
The meals were over the top…I gained 3lbs and biked 300km,
how does that happen?. Seeing ireland for the first time by bike
is something, everybody that is able, should experience. It one
point along the road I passed a couple from a different bike tour
struggling up hill with large saddle bags and rain covers…i
realized how convenient we had it..all of our luggage carried
in the trailer( therefore dry) and bus following if needed, no
worries as to where to stay , where to eat..can't get much better
The final day it rained, we were soaked.. but once Joe arrived
with the dry socks I had requested, … Mike and I carried
on to complete 75km, which was an amazing prize to take home.
The best part was the camaraderie, fun and friendship we shared
with the other 14 cyclists as well as John and Joe. Ireland is
one of the most beautiful place in the world and the Irish pride
shows in the knowledge of the culture, history and music shared
by John and Joe.
Thank to you, we take home a greater knowledge of not only Ireland,
but in biking as well..proper fit etc. We now know how it feels
when the bike is set just right.
John, you have obviously taken a lot of care developing this tour
to be everything anyone could wish fo. We are so glad we came
upon your website and hope to encourage many more to come your
all the best with your future plans…
a million Mike and Nancy o'Hara
Ontario, Canada. 2013
Holidays Ireland was the perfect family vacation with something
for everyone. The six of us were half the tour group, and while
none of us are particularly athletic, we all thoroughly enjoyed.
The countryside, the history, the welcoming Irish people and our
attentive and entertaining tour guides John and Joe made this
an unforgettable vacation. Biking is a wonderful way to experience
the beauty of the Irish coastline. Our guides were always available
with the van, if anyone needed a break. We had never traveled
with a group before, but we bonded with our fellow cyclists, experiencing
Ireland in small groups and sharing stories, adventures and smart
phone pix over meals. Highlights included castles and ring forts
that dot the landscape, farmland and fishing villages, camaraderie
at the pubs, a trip to Inis Mor and food that exceeded expectations.
All of us, from the high school students, their 28 year old sister
and her beau, and the 50+ parents, had a fabulous time and hope
to do it again soon.
knew I wanted to go back and visit Ireland since 1996. After researching
many companies, I decided to go with Cycle Holidays Ireland. The
price was right, John answered all my questions via email very
quickly and I remembered the west as being beautiful and thought
the routes would be just worth the view. Unfortunately, all my
friends thought I was crazy to want to cycle on vacation! So after
much prodding with no success, I decided to sign up and go alone.
John was the perfect host, even before I arrived. We communicated
about bike size prior to my arrival and he sent a packing list
so we could be prepared. He even helped me coordinate my travel
to Limerick and back to Dublin from Galway via train.
I was so fortunate since my tour group was large and had people
from Italy, Israel, Lebanon and the US. There also were two other
women traveling solo, but coming alone was not an issue since
the group spread out during the rides and we could find someone
else at our pace or ride alone. John and John Joe were in constant
contact with us while riding either by driving by or calling.
The evenings were generally spent together as a group by taking
a tour, seeing a slide show, or having dinner. The accommodations
were first class and though I paid for a single, I was often given
a double or double and twin room. The food was amazing and as
a vegetarian, I was always able to find enough to eat.
I know that this tour was worth so much more than any of the others
I researched before or since last summer. You just can't find
the level of service, amenities and tours with any other company.
John Heagney runs his business himself and he cares just as much
about sharing his homeland as providing first class accommodations.
No corporate tour company could provide that level of genuine
Irish hospitality. One family on our tour was a repeat customer,
and I hope that someday I will be so too.
Sharon Reiss, Atlanta, GA
you for a perfect vacation. Truly the best. Every detail on this
journey was taken care of with the smooth confidence of a seasoned
knowledge of cycling, the terrain, the country and its history
was huge in my mind. You had clearly done your homework in finding
just the right lodgings, quite comfortable and with good amenities,
quality food and entertainment in addition to knowing every twist,
turn and bump in every road traveled. Road closed in the middle
of nowhere? "No worries, turn left and we'll just go around,
it'll only add about a mile." Your ability to send off the
last rider from one checkpoint and make it to the next before
the first rider was uncanny. Your ability to meet the riding needs
and desires of a wide range of abilities and daily energy levels
was also much appreciated. Each day we knew we would be able to
take a challenging ride (defined differently for each of us),
feel a sense of accomplishment, and earn the right to dessert
and a comfy pillow that evening. You worked your magic to make
each one of us feel specially served while at the same time making
the group as a whole work well and keep the whole adventure on
time, moving forward, making progress, and having FUN!
Traveling in Ireland with a local, and all of your local lore
and personal history, simply made this vacation for us. Thank
you for sharing your own stories and giving us a glimpse into
the life of a "regular Irishman." Inviting a bunch of
strangers to your own home and allowing us to muck about in your
barn took courage. This generosity of your self was the portion
of our experience that simply could not be imitated or duplicated
by any other tour!
I have only positive comments to share. Whenever anyone has asked
about our trip, I have only gushed and gone on and on. Well done!!
we’ve done organized rides in the US, my wife and I have
long wanted to travel abroad for a biking trip, especially after
reading of Cycle Holidays Ireland in “Adventure Cyclist.”
As avid cyclists, we were a bit concerned about leaving our bikes
at home and using equipment to which we were unaccustomed. But
airline travel with bikes can be painful and expensive, so the
provision of a “fitted” bike was one of the reasons
we booked this tour. We’re very happy we did.
True to the advertising, Cycle Holidays Ireland provides high
quality bikes, nicely outfitted for the riding conditions, and
keeps them well maintained. The scenery along the routes is stunning;
the view from a bicycle is surely the best way to see Ireland.
The food was first rate, the beer was delicious, and the pubs
provided the traditional atmosphere and music we had hoped to
Perhaps the tour’s nicest attributes were found in the personalities
of John Heagney and John Joe Conwell. These incredible hosts arranged
some great riding, provided interesting lessons in Irish history,
and kept us laughing the whole time. After a week of riding, John
and John Joe did not seem like tour operators, but rather felt
If you have any doubts about this trip, throw them out the window
and start booking your dates. Our only regret was having to come
home, but we’ve no doubt we’ll be back!
Christine & Terry Turpin
we booked our tour with you to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary
this May we never dreamed of the “Level of management we
from Cycle Holidays Ireland”. It was beyond our highest
expectations. The equipment was absolutely top quality and you
tailored it precisely to each one of us. The routes you planned
were challenging for any level of rider while leisurely enough
to allow us to really enjoy the stunning countryside of your beautiful
country. And knowing you were never far out of reach by phone
or with the van provided a great “security blanket”.
If it was only about riding bicycles I would say you gave us more
than our money’s worth. But there’s more I need to
thank you for.
from the start you made us feel welcome. Because, even though
we arrived a couple days early, you were right there to pick us
up and get us to our hotel and offer suggestions on what to see
in the local area. Thank you so much for that.
we asked about attending Mass while we were there, you not only
found a church with a Mass that fit our schedule, you “broke
every traffic law on the books” to get us there; a truly
loved hearing about so many aspects of the history and culture
of Ireland that you don’t get to hear all the time, and
rarely from someone who has lived it.
also very much enjoyed your time at the pubs with us, especially
the night you sang for us. I can see why the Irish Tenors are
so popular. Apparently every Irishman has a great gift of song.
the nicest things you did for us was involved our anniversary.
Thanks again for the cake, the card and for helping me pick out
the best gift possible for Lorrie. You really exceeded our dream
of a very special vacation to celebrate our 25th. You made it
the best gift we could have given to each other. We might even
sign up with you for our 50th.
really can’t thank you enough.
& Lorrie Snyder
husband and I have had Ireland on our list of places to see and
so decided to combine our love of cycling with an Irish tour.
After browsing through the different cycle tour options, we decided
on Cycle Holidays Ireland. What an amazing holiday, it exceeded
our expectations and has made us anxious to return for another
John Heagney (owner/operator) and John Joseph Conwell (guide and
local historian) were the best of hosts and guides. The routes
we travelled were quiet, well mapped out and marked. John and
John Joe always had information to share about our destinations
and the sights we would see on our way there. The scenery was
breathtaking, lunch options delicious and our accommodations clean
and comfortable. Most nights, dinner was at the same place as
our accommodations and very tasty with a wide variety of dishes
to choose from, this surprised us more than anything else!
The Specialized Sirrus bikes were expertly fit by John and John
Joe and by the second day I was coveting one for myself instead
of the Trek WSD 2.1 I currently ride. John made bike maintenance
a priority and everyday we were ready to roll with a freshly tuned
up ride. A variety of bike bags are available for your use and
I was able to pack my Canon Rebel SLR with 28-135 lens easily
in the front carrier. What a relief to not have to wear my camera
backpack all week!
Feeling under the weather one day, I rode in the support van,
half the day with John Joe and the other half with John. They
readily shared information about the area, were never short on
a story that made me laugh and both were extremely generous to
stop the van and allow me many opportunities to photograph the
beautiful sights as we travelled along the road to Roundstone.
I came home with over 1000 photos!
We met wonderful people from all over the world, enjoyed great
laughs, beautiful scenery and formed some relationships to last
a lifetime. We can't wait to go back!
Don't hesitate, join Cycle Holidays Ireland bike tour for an unforgettable
Laurel & Nathan Onfrichuk
Ottawa, ON, Canada
a not terribly experienced biker (at all) I was concerned that
I may be out of my league to take a cycling trip with my sister
and her husband for her 50th birthday celebration this past September
2012, as they bike whenever they can and are quite good. Well,
truth be told, I was out of my league with them, but not at all
made to feel bad about it!
beauty of this adventure is hard to put in words because it is
so unique in what it brings to the table. When you first arrive
to meet a group of strangers who you will be cycling with for
the better part of a week, it is hard to know what that will mean
at the end of the week when you are so terribly sad for the week
to end. I always had a friend to bike with and could go as slow
or fast as I wanted to go, never being made to feel badly about
it. John and John Joe were delightful to just talk with and laugh
with, but the most important thing about them is they were very
attentive and helpful and actually would make you laugh about
punctures and things requiring maintenance that just happen on
I was worn out and the hill ahead was not calling, I would ride
in the van with John or John Joe and hear great tales,
both of them being extremely well educated on the history and
unique qualities that are Ireland. John Joe is a published author
of books of history about the country and John has such a love
for Ireland, it shines through in all his stories. Every lodging
was picked with care, clean and charming hotels, and despite cycling
all day long I still managed to add a few pounds because of the
delicious food. I tell people that and they can’t believe
it but the food was really extremely good and despite it being
un-cool and very American, I did manage to get some cold beers
as well. I never drank a warm Guinness but it was not for lack
of trying! I did however discover Irish Mist (which I learned
you are supposed to sip not shoot…however…). I discovered
Irish music and what a pub really is like and all in all- never
had a moment that was idle. Cycling and thinking all day about
what you have learned about the country, and hearing about the
lives of your new friends makes you appreciate traveling in a
way that is hard to do anymore on a standard vacation.
cannot stress enough what a great company this is and you will
be doing yourself a great favor to let go of feeling concerned,
worried and hesitant and jump right in. I never thought I would
go to Ireland but it is like it gets under your skin. I can see
myself coming back. Give yourself a gift and experience Ireland
with people who live, know and breathe Ireland. And you don’t
have to be a hard core cyclist to do it! Just someone who loves
adventure and nice people.
A last note- I traveled alone although my sister and her husband
were also in the group. This was an incredible break for me for
a busy life with a delightful (although less a biker than ever
me!) husband and three school age kids, to just have some time
alone but not feeling alone at all, and most important, to have
someone else make every decision for me allowing a relaxation
I thought I had forgotten. It would be a great treat for anyone,
married or not.
thanks to Cycle Holidays Ireland and all my week of cyclists for
a week I will always remember.
Loe , Richmond, Virginia
courtesy, friendship, knowledge, humor are only a few words to
describe the wonderful experience we had on our Cycle Holidays
Ireland Tour last August. Both John Heghany and John Joe were
the quintessential Irish tour guides. They demonstrated what the
country emotes in a fun loving, athletic atmosphere. The daily
cycling, guided by both Johns, was carefully mapped out and the
power point presentations that provided historic background, delivered
before dinner, rounded out your quest for learning about what
you saw and were yet to encounter. A wonderful memorable experience
Holidays Ireland Tours were the best !!
and George McGovern
& Barbara Miller
for the perfect vacation. No doubt the best way to see Ireland
is on a bicycle, and the most appropriate guide is a local person
who knows the right roads, local culture, and best eating establishments.
rides were gorgeous, lodging comfortable and quiet, food delicious
and satisfying with vegetarian options ...and the tour leaders’
senses of humor made us feel right at home. Although we took mostly
long rides, shorter options and alternate activities were always
available via a seamless operation.
oftentimes replied with “No worries,” and he always
followed through. We had none and felt completely at home the
entire trip. Landscape, culture, history, language, and hurling
lessons were added values that could not be measured in dollars
or euros. Truly, it was a wonderful trip in all aspects. Our only
regret was having to leave, but we will be back for more.
I was and am sincere in saying that our holiday with your tour
was the best vacation I have ever had.
Joy and I truly enjoyed our Cycleholiday adventure.
was one of the best vacations we have ever taken… and we
have been on a few vacations.
accommodations were very good, the food was excellent, and the
scenery was beyond our expectations. On top of that, we couldn’t
have asked for better hosts.
really appreciate all the work and detailed thought you’ve
put into making this a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We sent
you a small sample of the 1800 pictures we took on this adventure
on our shutterfly site.
had been thinking of biking in Ireland for a couple of years and
finally decided to do it. We wanted to have a real Irish trip
and decided to go with an Irish company. After spending some time
at our computer we settled on the Cycle Holidays Ireland tour
owned and lead by John Heagney. We have never regretted that decision.
Heagneys Cycle Holidays Ireland is a small company with a small
staff, but does a great job. John has a wonderful Irish sense
of humor and keeps people laughing every day. He has a certain
charisma, and you end up considering him a friend rather than
part of the service. You wake up in the morning wondering what
he will come up with next. He makes the week an experience rather
than another bike tour. He and his assistant John Joe Conwell
have excellent knowledge of the history of Ireland and John Joe
is an author of several books dealing with the history of the
area covered by the tour. This is a definite plus if you have
questions regarding castles, ruins and historic sites that you
notice during the day.
have participated in numerous bike tours in the United states
and in Europe and have had the full gamut of accommodations, itineraries,
food, and service and we have to rate the Cycle Holidays Ireland
tour with those at the top of the list.
accommodations were in first class hotels and bed and breakfasts,
and all were very comfortable after a day of biking.
tour itinerary was well planned and organized and had route options
for the novice biker as well as longer routes for the more experienced
cyclists. Maps were supplied for each days route, as well as having
turn arrows painted on the pavement at each turn. We were impressed
with the beautiful Irish scenery, historic castles, churches and
ruins. The week tour gives one a wonderful sample of the western
of the breakfasts were excellent with all of the normal choices
and the full Irish breakfast, consisting of two eggs, bacon, sausage,
potatoes, and black and white
pudding, toast and coffee, was available for the hungry cyclist
getting ready for a day of biking. Dinners were had in good restaurants
or pubs and we found the food well prepared and delicious. Along
with a pint of Irish beer and the Irish music, it couldn’t
service thoughout the tour was excellent. The bicycles that were
supplied were good quality Trek bikes, were well maintained and
well suited for the Irish roads. We were briefed each day about
the next days route with points of interest , historical info,
and places for lunch. During each day John was always on the route
with the van and trailer in case someone had mechanical problems,
or was tired and wanted a break. We had been given cell phones
at the beginning of the tour to use to call in case we required
assistance when we were out and about on the bikes. We always
felt secure knowing that we would be able to make contact with
John if we needed help.
enjoyed the week we spent with Cycle Holidays Ireland and had
only one regret. We wish we would have extended our trip for a
another two weeks to tour the rest of Ireland.
both heartily recommend the Cycle Holidays Ireland tour for anyone
interested in biking in Ireland . You can’t go wrong
and Joan Elkins, Woodbury, Minnesota
Holiday Ireland provided us with an outstanding vacation! John
Heagney has worked out every detail to giving his patrons an enjoyable
week of cycling in a hauntingly beautiful section of Ireland.
All started with a greeting and a smile when he picked us up at
the airport and the fun didn't end until he dropped us off to
catch our flight back home. The accommodations were all quaint,
clean and comfortable and restaurants and pubs were chosen to
provide delicious meals and drink and truly gave us the sense
of what village life is like in Ireland. By the end of the first
day, John had figured out the abilities and needs of every cyclist
and went out of his way to provide exactly the experience everyone
was looking for. The routes he chose each day took into account
the ability of the riders, giving each of us the choice of how
far we wanted to ride and how hard we wanted to work to get there
(and, of course the van was there if we overestimated our abilities).
A cell phone for each group provided true peace of mind if we
had mechanical problems or just wandered away from the intended
route. The only thing that John didn't seem to have control of
was the weather. But even on the most dreary day his wonderful
sense of humor always came through! By the end of the week we
all knew John's gift for telling the stories! We highly recommend
this trip to cyclists of all abilities. What a great way to see
Terry and Karla Meece
Oliver Springs, Tennessee
is no substitute for experience in conducting a successful tour,
and it quickly becomes evident that John and his assistants have
that experience. The custom bike fitting, knowing subtle details
of the bike routes, timing the group that everyone can comfortably
bike at the own pace and not feel rushed, assuring that the hotels
are prepared at every stop, making recommendations for the evening
and tolerating idiosyncrasies from people like me can only come
from individuals who have the knowledge and are committed to the
satisfaction of their clients. This was reflected on the day we
were to visit the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs can be obscured
for days by sea fog due to their elevation. John knew when to
collect the group, load the bikes, and travel to the destination
at just the right time to allow for an unobstructed view before
the fog arrived. Even the most seasoned air traffic controller
was my first cycling tour and I was pleased that everyone was
not limited to just following the group. Bike at your own pace
be it vigorous or leisurely. Bike as far as you want completing
the days route or only a portion. Take a detour along the way
and explore what's just around the bend or take the day off and
visit the sites along the way. It can be demanding or relaxing
as you want it to be. But I recommend taking a step back from
a hurried world and take in nature at a pace only riding a bicycle
can afford. I think you will find it both revitalizing and inspiring.
the cycling portion of the day is complete I think you will find
the evening equally enjoyable. The group dinner has an excellent
selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. An added bonus
is that this is not just any meal but a meal well earned from
the day's efforts made better with others that shared the experience.
Coming from someone who can be adverse to anything resembling
group "bonding" I can say that I enjoyed getting to
know everyone during the cycling, meals, and obligatory (voluntary)
trip to the pub. The shared experience has lasted through e-mails
long after the tour ended. And if you enjoy Irish music as much
as I do you will enjoy Doolin, where I was given the opportunity
to try my hand at playing the fiddle at a local pub.
writing about Cycle Holidays, cycling in general, food, and the
group experience I left out one significant mention - Ireland
itself! Whether your of Irish heritage or not I think you will
find the spirit of the Emerald Isle welcoming to all who visit
its shores. I can personally testify after being invited in by
a resident to have tea. The combination of new and ancient, provincial
and contemporary, common and unique - all of which can become
lost in the majestic landscape - will always leave a lasting memory
have travelled the globe on bicycling and multi-sport vacations
with some of the best companies in the world – those companies
have nothing over Cycling Holidays Ireland except higher prices.
Heagney and John Joe Conwell treat their guests better than family
and give the tour both great Irish hospitality and local historical
expertise. We hope we retained 10% of the information they shared
throughout the week. The tour offers a more extensive itinerary
than any other Irish bicycling tour we found, yet the week still
had a leisurely vacation pace. The ability to go at your own pace
and cycle the number of miles you are comfortable with cannot
equipment and hotels are first rate and the food (somewhat surprisingly)
was excellent. The scenery and wildlife you’ll see is varied,
dramatic and up close and personal. The Irish people have well
earned their friendly reputation and John and John Joe are great
ambassadors for their country. We thoroughly enjoyed learning
about hurling, invasions, kings, castles, the burren, the Aran
Islands, Connemara, cow milking, a touch of Gaelic and much more.
We look forward to a return visit.”
Karin, Rebecca & Eric Bigman. Florida, USA
Cycle Holidays Ireland tour was one of the most memorable experiences
in my life. Never having ridden as part of a tour or done any
I was a bit tenuous committing to a week's worth of riding. John's
tour, however, is designed to cater to all types of folks with
any level of cycling experience.
day we were given the option of several routes of varying difficulty,
usually stopping for lunch at a local pub or restaurant. Most
evenings were free for exploration. However, we did manage to
visit landmarks such the Cliffs of Moher, Portumna Castle and
the Aran Islands as a group.
nicest thing about John's tour is having the freedom to ride at
your own pace, on your own orwith others, taking in as much of
the scenery as you desire, and knowing that John is always only
a phone call away.
memorable events from the trip: visiting a local pub in Doolin
and being treated to some live Irish music, telling dirty jokes
and sharing a fifth of cheap Irish whiskey in the back of the
bus on the way back from the Aran Islands.
the onset of the tour we were seventeen strangers. By the end,
everyone had become close friends because of the experiences we
shared along the way. You can't put a price on that. So go take
the tour! You won't regret it.
Riess, Ohio, USA
have been on almost 10 bicycle trips around the world and this
was the best. Ireland has wonderful landscapes and an incredible
history and culture
that was shown to me by Cycle Holidays.
biking was as challenging as I could have wanted (I did all the
long options) and the specialized tours and lectures made me appreciate
the people of Ireland and their hospitality.
value of this trip is equal to and even greater than other more
expensive bicycle tours offer. If Cycle Holidays ran other tours
in other parts of the world I would go with them over and over
four of us came to the tour with different levels of experience
and expectation but the freedom, flexibility and back up you provided
meant that we all were able to really make the most of every day.
With your intricate knowledge of the areas were we cycled we really
feel as if we saw the” real Ireland” – a truly
beautiful part of the world and when we return (as we surely will)
we will definitely join your tour again. Thank you for making
our summer holiday one to remember .”
Len, Matthew and Jenny – Hertfordshire