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.
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
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 find.
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 like
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 could
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 Irish
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.
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.
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 adventure.
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
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
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 bikes.
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
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
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
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 Ireland!
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 would be
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 with me.
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 be
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 competitive
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
nicest thing about John's tour is having the freedom to ride at
your own pace, on your own or with 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 again.
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