Frequently asked questions
Information about a bicycle tour in Ireland
Do I have to carry my own luggage
No, our backup vehicle will transfer your luggage from one place to the other on the guided tours. For self-guided tours it is left to yourself if you prefer to carry your luggage in pannier bags that we provide during the duration of your cycling tour, or if you prefer to pay to have it shuttled.
What bicycles will I be using? Can I bring my own bicycle?
What will the weather be like?
This is a million dollar question as far as Ireland is concerned. We are a small island in the Atlantic and whilst it never gets really cold it also gets never really hot. In other words – ideal cycling conditions.
A cool day in summer can be 10-15C (50 – 60F) whilst a for us “hot” day can be 20 – 26C (70-80F).
It is a good idea to take layers of clothing with you each day and to change according to the temperature. As a general rule, always take rain gear with you for those generally short showers. Whilst July and August may be the warmest months, the other months can oftentimes have more settled periods with stunningly beautiful warm days. It can be warmer in April than in August. Another point to remember is that while it does rain in Ireland, it is not as bad as some people make it out to be – it is quite often “soft rain” or short showers with not a lot of rain actually falling.
If the weather conditions are not favourable or if it rains, will the tour be postponed or cancelled?
Green Marble Cycle Tours are scheduled and we never change dates after the departure is confirmed, even when the weather conditions are not the best, as long as safety and health of participants are not endangered, in which case we provide alternative transport to the next destination. We can also help in organising transfers for inclement weather but will have to pass on extra costs.
What kind of accommodations can I expect?
Green Marble Cycle Tours’ can be accommodated in 5* castle hotels but we usually stay in 4* Hotels (sometimes 3* Hotels), Boutique style inns, Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts. The latter are comfortable family homes that rent out rooms. Some of the hotels are new and some others are historic buildings. We strive to always provide accommodations that are the best offered in the region. We prefer beautiful and comfortable smaller places, rather than chain hotels. Breakfast is included in the rate.
What about Wifi?
WiFi is generally available at all accommodations and is free. In some places though you will have to go to the lounge to use the wifi as the walls may be too thick for it to work in the bed-rooms.
What about meals? where will we eat?
A full Irish breakfast will always be served in the Hotels / Guesthouses / Bed & Breakfasts you are staying at. For lunch, we make suggestions of where the best pubs are to stop at or sometimes you will be required to take a picnic lunch. For dinner, we go to the best restaurants where you can try different dishes with the best fish and sea-food, Connemara lamb, etc. The Irish cuisine will surprise you as being in line with the best in the world for taste.
Can special dietary requirements be accommodated?
YES all the accommodation providers are well used to special requirements be they vegetarian (vegan), gluten-free, paleo etc. Gluten free is quite common in Ireland and restaurants do cater with at least one dish.
When will I find out what the specific itinerary for my tour will be, including the places where we will be staying, and contact numbers in case of emergency?
If you are interested to know the contacts and places beforehand, please tell us and we will send you the list.
Can my partner participate on a Green Marble Cycle Tour if he/she does not ride a bicycle?
If your partner does not ride a bicycle you both can participate on a guided (and even some self-guided) Bike Tours. The one not cycling can join our staff in the support vehicle. Your partner will meet the cycling group during the day, lunch and dinners and all the other activities included in the programme, except cycling.
What is the payment procedure?
The easiest way is for you to pay using your credit card. The payment procedure is divided into 2 steps: 1 – When you fill in the Booking Form you will be asked to pay for a Deposit – Euro 100/person – to complete your Booking. You can use your credit card via PayPal or you can pay by Bank Transfer to our bank account within five business days (please contact us). 2 – About 30 days before the date of the tour, you will be asked to do your final payment. Again you can use your credit card via PayPal or pay by Bank Transfer.
I do not know if I am prepared to join a Green Marble Cycle Tour; I do not know the country and I do not know the difficulty level. How can I assess the situation?
Green Marble Cycle Tours are not designed for training. Our aim is that you experience unforgettable vacations with your bicycle. We organize tours, not races. Each cycling tour is classified with a certain difficulty level from 1 to 5. Level 1 is the easiest and level 5 is the most difficult. The difficulty level of each tour is the result of the sum of the difficulty level of all the days of the tour. That difficulty level is determined by the length of the days and the amount of climbing.
Are children welcome on the trips?
Yes. Families with children are very welcome, we offer special family self-guided tours, but bear in mind that everyone must be happy and safe cycling on public roads. We can arrange kids’ bikes or a “tag-along” to attach to an adult’s bike. If you are traveling with kids, we ask that you and they pay particular attention to cycling safety.
Do I need an adaptor?
Electricity is 230V AC in the Republic and 240V AC in Northern Ireland. Plugs are three-pin flat but 2-pin round wall sockets are also found. British electrical appliances will work everywhere. North American appliances require a transformer and a plug adapter. Australian and New Zealand appliances need just a plug adapter.
and with regards to guided cycling tours
Describe a normal day on a guided bicycle tour in Ireland
In the morning, after breakfast, your guide will give you a briefing of the day ahead (unless already been given the evening before), you are then free to set out riding at your own pace. A guide will be riding with you (groups over 10 guests) and the support vehicle will be around to guide you. See the specific information about the ride you wish to participate; read the highlights and you will start getting a taste of the beautiful country you will see on your tour. Around lunch time we meet for a wonderful and nourishing lunch. After relaxing a little bit we move on and usually between 4:00pm or 5:00pm we get to our hotel, and you can relax a bit before dinner.
Who goes on a guided bicycle tour?
The one thing that all our guests share is a love of being outdoors. Other than that, our guests come from many backgrounds and have different levels of cycling experiencer. On the guided cycling tours our- guests are usually 40-65 years old. On the self-guided tours all ages (except for children 3 years – 8 years) can be found.
What is the minimum number of guests on a guided cycling tour?
The minimum number of participants for a guided Green Marble Cycle Tour is 4 people and the maximum number is 16, on a self-guided tour the minimum is one person and the maximum again would be 16 guests. (we can accommodate larger groups, but please contact us!) We suggest you book your tour as early as possible, in order to guarantee your reservation.
Do we have to stay together as a group whilst cycling?
Not unless you want to, we encourage you to approach each day of your vacation at your own pace – after all, this is your vacation! The tour leaders provide support for all participants whether they are meandering gently along or challenging companions to a more difficult ride.
I am traveling on my own?
Please don’t worry! Traveling alone is a fantastic way to enjoy yourself on a guided bicycle You will find your fellow travelers to embrace the group dynamic though this doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of time to yourself whenever you desire.