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

Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring References

When you reach the stage when you are seriously contemplating booking a tour with the Iron Donkey, you may well have a question or two that would be best answered objectively by someone who has been on that particular tour - or a similar one. If you contact us, we will be happy to give you a couple of e-mail contacts for past riders who have been kind enough to agree to field the occasional enquiry from prospective Iron Donkey clients.

Below is a selection of feedback received from riders who have toured with us in previous years.


I just want to say how much myself and my husband enjoyed our trip. Some of the routes were challenging but we loved that! The accommodation was great and the food fabulous
One of my best ever holidays. Thanks again
Ciara O’Neill
West Sicily 2016

We had a great time! The weather, the roads, the people, the bikes and the scenery all conspired to give us just the best vacation!
Charles Bundy
West of Ireland 2016

I had heard that Tuscany was a great place to go bike touring – but it surpassed my expectations in just about every way!
Hal & Deborah Murray
Tuscany 2016

We loved the Picos de Europa – and tour was a great mix of mountain and coastal scenery. Our only complaint of the whole tour was the late hour at which the Spanish eat dinner!!
Tina and Beth Andrews
Northern Spain 2016

We had been to Ireland several times before – but never to the North. We were so glad that we decided to give it a try. Everything about Northern Ireland was great – especially the scenery and the food – but what impressed us most was just how friendly everybody was. We felt totally welcome everywhere we went!
John Devereux and Catherine Jennings
North of Ireland 2016

After spending 3 hectic days on the tourist train in Edinburgh, it was a relief to pick up our bikes and head off into the peace and quiet of the Scottish countryside. The bike tour was both exhilarating and relaxing at the same time, if that makes sense!
Tim Emerson-Smith
Scottish Borders

The Dingle Peninsula was one of the most beautiful landscapes that I have ever seen. Around every corner was another stunning vista – very possibly the most enjoyable day’s biking of my life!
Shawn Pritchard
Southwest Ireland 2016

It had always been my ambition to visit the country where W B Yeats lived and worked – I now fully understand how he was so inspired by his surroundings..
Sally Prentice
Northwest Ireland 20116

Thank you so much for everything you did to make our first bike tour such a great success. I must admit I was a bit nervous when we set off from our first guesthouse – but I needn’t have worried. The directions were easy to follow, and there was so little traffic on the roads that I found myself singing out loud with sheer pleasure. Ireland is a great country to visit – and our trip to the Aran Islands was the icing on the cake.
Melody Parmenter
West of Ireland 2016

If I could find one fault with our tour, it was too short! When we were planning, you had suggested that a 7 night tour would be better than 5 nights. I am sorry now that we didn’t take your advice. After our 4 days on the bikes we were just beginning to get into the whole experience!
Jack Nightingale
Southwest Ireland 2016

I had always wanted to visit Assisi – and getting there on a bike was simply the best! Umbria was wonderful – as you promised the cycling routes for me were quite forgiving, while my wife enjoyed challenging herself on some of the extensions. And the food was just marvellous – I would go and live in Italy in a heartbeat just for that wonderful food!
Mike and Fran Groetz
Umbria 2016

We have now done four tours with Iron Donkey, and you haven’t let us down yet! Is there any chance that you will run tours in Croatia in the future? We really want to go biking there!
Sara Wyatt
North of Ireland 2016

Sardinia is definitely a great place to ride a bike with great scenery and lots of challenging climbs (which I really like). The best part was the traffic – or lack of it! And the drivers that we did meet were so considerate – we felt totally safe on the roads.
Sam Adams and Gillian Lightfoot
Sardinia 2016 

It had always been an ambition of mine to visit Stonehenge, and I am really happy that I finally got to go there on our bike tour. Looking back on the whole experience however, I have to say that while it was a real highlight of the trip, it was outdone by some of the other attractions along the way. I especially enjoyed Bath (a really beautiful city), Stourhead Estate, Wells Cathedral and Avebury.
Vince Anderson
West of England 2016

You have been a good shepherd in a world of sheep! Thanks for all that you do – yet another terrific cycling adventure.
Vicki Labella
West of England 2016

Great trip – loved the routes. Looking forward to future trips with the good old iron Donkey! Thanks you for all your hard work – always with a happy smile!
Cindy Cotton
West of England 2016

I wanted to thank you for setting up our tour in northern Spain. The accommodations were great, the routes were clear, and we had a great time. We only had one riding day with any rain, so even the weather cooperated! Your local folks were kind enough to leave a floor pump with our luggage each night so that we could all use it at the start of the day. We will definitely consider using Iron Donkey again in the future.
Anderson group
Cantabrian Coast and Picos
May 2015

Thanks, once again, for a fabulous trip in Ireland this spring! We're sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but we would like to extend many thanks and much gratitude for helping to make this a most memorable trip.We would definitely choose Iron Donkey again for another self-guided bicycle tour. Again, you were very accessible, worked with us to customize our tour, gave us information in a timely manner, and provided thorough cue sheets, local maps and accommodation packets. We had a wonderful time and will recommend Iron Donkey to all our friends.
Laura Potash
West of Ireland 2015

I wanted to thank you for helping to provide Margi and me with an amazing time in Ireland. We could not have asked for a better experience cycling. Wish my back had been better but that will be fixed. Thank you for all you do.
Mac Hawkins
Northwest Ireland 2015

We arrived back from our cycling trip and just wanted to drop you a line to say what a fantastic time we have had. Everything was really well planned from the meeting at the airport, the accommodation, the route options and directions and of course the bikes and equipment which were excellent. We climbed over 34,500 ft in total, considerably higher than Everest and the cruising altitude of the plane that flew us there, which of course the sound bite I am using to impress people! We had never visited that part of Spain before and we were blown away by the landscape and mountains, almost enough to take the mind off aching thighs! Anyway thank you so much for your organisation and responsiveness which was so reassuring during the booking process.
Sue and Tim Jacklin
Costa Verde and Picos
September 2015

We had a wonderful time on our Cotswolds bicycle tour - the routes were great (we even enjoyed the hills!), the accommodations were fabulous, and your services throughout the tour worked perfectly! Thanks so much for a great vacation!
Jim Mullen
West of England 2015

All the members of the group would like to express to you our thanks for the wonderful experience you prepared for us. Everything was better than expected and we enjoyed every minute of our cycling tour. On our flight back we all agreed that we must come back to Ireland for another cycling tour.
Adons Ioannides
West of Ireland 2015

If you ever need a great reference, let me know. Both Dick and I are still talking about what a great time we had.
Dave Bell
West of Ireland 2015

Just wanted to say how fantastic we thought Iron Donkey was last week, will definitely be recommending it!
Rebecca Wiles
West of Ireland 2015

I had wanted to visit Stonehenge for years, and would have loved the tour if that was the only highlight! There were so many great days and places to see that I lost count. I think I will have to come back and do it again!
Emma Shields
West of England 2015

Thanks for a great trip - you guys are awesome and our group mates were some of the nicest people I have ever met!
Linda Frazier
West of Ireland 2015

Just wanted to let you know I have returned from my travels in Italy, having completed the fantastic tour you and Giovanni and Giacomo set up for me, following which I spent a few days in Rome. I really want to thank you all for the arrangements you made. I would highly recommend a Tuscany tour to anyone ready for some challenging riding and fantastic scenery, people, food and wine! I even enjoyed a few "artisanal" beers. All in all, a great trip, and I thank you and Giovanni and Giacomo very much for everything!
Patrick McCormick
Custom Tuscany
September 2015

Thanks Ian. We enjoyed our tour very much. The directions were superb. Bikes were perfect and the accommodations were wonderful. We will definitely book future tours with Iron Donkey in the future if given the chance. We will certainly recommend you folks to our friends.
Mitchell Koury
Tuscany Extended
September 2015

Just wanted to let you know we are having best trip of our lives. Loved the route today - especially the single track (forgot about your note regarding flood, obstruction, etc). Most beautiful biking I've done -- and I've been around. Hotels friendly and comfortable. We hope to do another trip within the year. My next destination targets are northern Spain or Scotland. Do you do Croatia?
Jim and Mary Meyer
Siena tour
September 2015

We had a most fabulous time. Great routes and great hotels.. Lovely weather.. Had airline trouble, but got home safe. The ride to Norcia was challenging but really left us feeling like we accomplished something worthwhile. That is a really cool area to visit. Again, thank you so much. As I look at my pictures I am determined to see it all again.
Annette Detwiler group
Custom Umbria
September 2015

Many, many thanks for organizing a fantastic tour for us!!! We enjoyed it all!
Meryl Redisch & Scott Lukens
Custom Tuscany & Umbria
September 2015

It was fantastic, and went as smoothly as one could imagine. Your not hearing from us for most of the duration of the trip is a sign of good organizing - we were having a good time, didn't get too far lost on the lead sheets, and thoroughly enjoyed the accommodations. The pool at Montalcino was heavenly after the long hot climb. We appreciate your putting together this custom itinerary for us, and I'm totally going to recommend you to any friends considering a similar trip. I may even come back for a longer version!
Mark Harkness
Custom Tuscany
July 2015

Just want you to know we are home and very proud of ourselves!! Every day was a marvelous adventure. We loved exploring the villages, swimming at incredible beaches and the river. Our day at the Guggenheim, our evening in the old city was a great way to start our trip. By eating the local foods, finding our way by ourselves, we experienced Spanish lifestyle. We appreciate the help that Ignascio and Martes gave us especially on the second day when he took us up to Colombres to start. The country is very beautiful. It will be a wonderful memory for all of us. Thank you for exceptional planning.
Mabel, Ginny, Isabelle and Caroline
West of Ireland 2015

Thank you so much for a great trip. The accommodation were all so lovely, the maps were great and the routes were well described. We really appreciated you coming to Leenane to check on Kieran's bike. Please let me know if there is a link where you would like us to write up a review? Cori and Kieran Knowles
West of Ireland 2015

We were glad that you had warned us about about the hills in Wales - we had plenty of time to get ourselves into shape for the trip. The scenery was awesome, the people were wonderful and we enjoyed every minute!
Harry Miller
Heart of Wales
2015

Everything was great!!! From the route, to the bikes and hotels! …This was truly an amazing journey!!
Per Carlsson group
Custom Tuscany
May 2015

We had a great time in Italy and would definitely do an Iron Donkey cycling tour again. The ease of having our luggage transferred and great bikes really made the cost worthwhile.
Michelle Jorgenson
Siena
May 2014

We've enjoyed the experience and our time in the wonderful accommodations you set up for us. I also enjoyed reading the helpful trip notes! Thanks again for all your help and support. Everybody we dealt with, associated with Iron Donkey was great!
Marilyn Morrissey and Paula Moreau
Custom Tuscany
September 2014

I just wanted to tell you how much we loved our bike trip in western Sicily. The routes he has developed are absolutely breathtaking in some cases and gave us a chance to see Sicily in a truly special way and for that we are so thankful - a car or bus just wouldn't have given us access in the same way. The hotels were all excellent choices and great respite at the end of the day.
We would definitely do a bike trip again with you guys and will recommend to our friends, interested in Sicily, to consider biking a part of it.
Cathy Halpenny
Sicily West Coast
April 2014

Ian, we had a fantastic tripl, we all loved Sicily, it's kind people, beautiful landscape, not to mention the food (I managed to gain weight, but I suppose I can't blame you completely). We loved the accommodations of the Agroturismo especially.
Braverman group
Sicily Western Highlights
May 2014

In short, our tour was wonderful. The routes were quiet and beautiful. Seldom were we on busy roads. The accommodations were comfortable, and clean with welcoming hosts. The breakfasts were delicious and ample with many choices (scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, yes!!!!). Our rides were the distance we had requested. Rain was benign and we were ready for it, but the weather was usually perfect. Our trip overall was thrilling, memorable, one of our best vacations ever!
Ed and Patty McAuliffe
Fife and Borders
July 2014

Just want you to know we are home and very proud of ourselves!! Every day was a marvellous adventure. We loved exploring the villages, swimming at incredible beaches and the river. Our day at the Guggenheim, our evening in the old city was a great way to start our trip. By eating the local foods, finding our way by ourselves, we experienced Spanish lifestyle. We appreciate the help that Ignascio and Martes gave us especially on the second day when he took us up to Colombres to start. The country is very beautiful. It will be a wonderful memory for all of us. Thank you for exceptional planning. If we ever plan to come over the ocean again to bike you will be the first to know. Great trip for us, thanks
Vogel group
Cantabrian Coast and Picos
August 2014

I wanted to add my thanks for the many memories, and add Ian of the Iron Donkey (through which I booked) to the list. It was my first venture into a cycling holiday, and I am now ready to go back again! The scenery in Northern Spain is amazingly beautiful and varied, and we would not have discovered it without the bicycle. The combination of mountains and coast was wonderful. And the people, all of you, were fantastic dining and wining companions - thank you.Am now well settled back in Boston - spare room available to anyone who comes by. Lets hope we meet again astride a bicycle somewhere in the world...best to you all!
Mari Fitzduff
Northern Spain Group Guided Tour
July 2014

Ian, thanks again for all your help. I wanted to report the bikes worked very well for us, obviously well maintained and I appreciate that. The gpx files worked very well for me as well. Hope to book another holiday with you in the not too distant future…
Bob Murphy group
Wessex
August 2014

I returned home on Friday from my two-week cycling tour in Northern Ireland and the Borders Region of Scotland. Everything went just perfectly and all according to the excellent plan that you and your staff at Iron Donkey developed. .All of your personal attention to detail and your very quick responses to all of my questions, beginning with your response to my initial inquiry last October, as well as your excellent suggestions along the way (including the suggestions around the GPS), are all very much appreciated. If ever I can provide a reference for any of your future clients, I would be more than pleased to do so - my experience with Iron Donkey was just great and I know my independent itinerary where I mixed some family genealogy with bicycle touring may have been a bit unusual, thanks to you and your company, it was just the greatest experience. Thank you.
Dwight Williamson
Custom North of Ireland and Borders
June 2014

Anyway, I will be sending you our complete thoughts on our grand trip through Donegal and Northern Ireland once we return from the backpack but, for now, we just wanted to thank you both for all your hard work and thoughtful organization that made for a grand adventure for the 6 of us. Tony, we loved the routes, sometimes seeing about one auto per hour. It was great. Ian, we loved you for getting Paul's bike configured so he could be comfortable on it. I hope it has worked well for others in that configuration. You went over the top to do that and we really appreciate it. Meanwhile, just know that we had a great time. Thanks, again, so much.
Hogshead group
Custom North of Ireland
July 2014

Just a quick note to say thanks to you, Nornan and Ian for organising our tour. We thoroughly enjoyed it and it all passed off without any problems- even the weather was kind. All the B&B's were excellent and friendly and we were impressed by the bikes. Norman was very helpful in getting us there and back and we learnt a lot about Ireland from him. He was duly toasted in the Crown and Duke of York. We would certainly recommend you highly and will take a look at what else you have on offer
Tony Rimmer
Custom North of Ireland
July 2014

I rode the Ballyshannon to Larne route with Tony Rimmer last week and just want to say thank you for the great organisation, choice of accommodation and assistance we received over the week. Norman was great and the final pick-up at Larne was really appreciated. The bikes were excellent and all-in-all it was a great service. Not sure how you also managed to organise the superb weather but it certainly helped!
Max Levy
Custom North of Ireland
July 2014

We had a very fine cycling tour in Scotland in July. Just one day raining and that is very good to be Scotland - isn't it? The people and the country were very good. ?We liked Kelso especially well. The places to stay were very good and the people who ran them were very good hosts. The roads were very good for cycling. Fine roads with little traffic. We had some problems finding the right track, but that was mainly because of bad road marks. We have now used Iron Donkey for 4 years and are all over very satisfied.
Kjell Olav Leirvåg
Scottish Borders
July 2014

Leah and I had a very epic adventure in Ireland. The trip went perfectly. Not a drop of rain! We enjoyed all the routes and accommodations very much--the places in Doolin and Inishmore were particularly nice. The bikes worked great although we had a few issues All the baggage transfers worked great. I trust you found the bikes and gear in good order in Westport at St. Anthony's. Wilma, we enjoyed meeting your friend briefly in Clifden as he was shepherding a Road Scholars group. Small world. In all, the trip really could not have gone better and I will definitely recommend your services to my friends. Thank you!
Bill Schwartz
West of Ireland 2015

Just a wee note to thank you for a wonderful tour. We were all very impressed with the thoroughness of our packets -- we only took one or two wrong turns! Our accomodations were absolutely lovely and we felt warmly welcomed wherever we went. Our bikes were great and we got lucky -- no flats! I am so happy that we decided to rent hybrids! Laura and I biked the Greenway on our last day in Westport and it was lovely and good to be on a hybrid! Ireland is a most beautiful country and the people delightful. Many folks stopped when they saw us studying our maps and asked if we were lost. I hope to return one day. And thank you for your patience with adjusting our bikes and orienting us to our packets, etc.
Joan Frazee
"The Best of the West" Ireland Tandem Tour
May 2014

We truly appreciate all your personal service throughout the entire planning and even while we were there. I have passed your name on to someone here who is interested in doing what we did.
Mary Lou & Mike Russo
West of Ireland 2014

How to express your effort and commitment to making our trip so incredible is impossible. Thank you so very much!!
Rhonda and Terry Cavanar
Tuscany 2014

Once again this trip was amazing. We really appreciate all that you do for us!
Todd and Dawn Gentzler
Tuscany 2014

Once again you have made memories for us that will last a lifetime…
Chuck & Lisa Mangus
Tuscany 2014

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