The Scottish Highlands are world renowned for their stunning scenery and the west coast where this tour begins includes peaceful and idyllic lochs, dramatic mountains and passes and a coastline dotted with a myriad of islands.
Among these, the Outer Hebrides are some of the most remote which gives them their special character. With astonishingly beautiful white sandy beaches and isolated dwellings, the islands of Barra and the Uists reveal their crofting legacy and a flatter terrain for cyclists. Linked by a string of ferries, the tour includes the inner Hebridean island of Skye and its notable hills before returning to the mainland town of Fort William.
You might think that, alas, this is not the place for gentle cycling. And you would be correct - but for the vehicle support we provide as part of this tour. As a result we have planned an itinerary where you can avoid cycling any big hills or even medium sized hills and any main roads. We are very pleased with the route we have designed and its close historical links with the infamous Bonnie Prince Charlie, its blend of castles, local crafts, fishing culture and seafood and its unsurpassed landscapes.
Your Scottish host and driver will be with you for the duration of the trip, sharing his local knowledge and making sure a fun time is had by all. He will be sweeping your route and providing vehicle support along the way as well as fixing any bike problems and generally adding to the banter.
DAY ONE- FORT WILLIAM
Arrive in Fort William and check into your hotel in the heart of the city. Your host/driver will meet you after lunch and organise your cycling equipment for tomorrow's ride. There will then be an opportunity, weather permitting, to take the gondola up the mountain just east of Ben Nevis, or you will visit nearby Inverlochy Castle. In the evening enjoy a welcome seafood dinner in the town with your cycling companions for the week.
DAY TWO- FORT WILLIAM TO GLENCOE
After a good Scottish breakfast we will transfer you a short distance to the shores of Loch Eil. From here, it's an idyllically peaceful, and completely unspoilt ride along Lochs Eil and Linnhe and as there are no refreshments in this part of the world, we will stop for a picnic lunch together. With barely a slope on your route and the shore always at your side, sheep, bogs and woodland are in the foreground and Ben Nevis in the background. At the end of the ride, there is a short ferry crossing and a transfer to a different but glorious scene at Glencoe where you will spend the night.
20 miles (32 km)
DAY THREE- GLENCOE TO OBAN
Today begins with a transfer through the dramatic setting of the pass at Glencoe. Historically significant and scenically marvellous it will take your breath away. The quiet glen that follows provides a very pretty and sheltered downhill cycling route with waterfalls worth more than just a camera stop. After lunch there is a further optional ride through a gently rolling landscape of small farms and sheep clad slopes that leads right into the coastal town of Oban. Your overnight stay in the heart of the town allows you to easily explore this rather charming gateway to the isles.
10 or 22 miles (16 km or 35 km)
DAY FOUR- OBAN TO CASTLEBAY, BARRA
The morning offers a choice. You can explore Oban under your own steam - there are some interesting shops, a distillery and a busy fishing port or you can ride along the coast to Dunstaffnage Bay to see the castle there and the marine science centre. It is of course a ride with a view, looking out to the numerous islands that lie close by and beyond. In the afternoon you board the ferry for Barra - a fantastic 5 hour crossing past Mull and Ardnamurchan Point. There will be lots of daylight as well as it won’t get dark until about 11.00pm so Barra will have the light behind it as the ferry comes in. Your hotel for the next two nights is close by once you have landed.
Optional 9 miles (14 km)
DAY FIVE- CIRCULAR RIDE ON BARRA
Pinch yourself as you rise and listen to the silence. Then pedal away to Vattersay - once an island but now linked to Barra, and discover its idyllic sandy beaches. There are some short hills on this section but the views are worth the effort! The rest of the ride around the island to the most northerly point is gentle and awesome and heads past the world's only runway that uses a beach at low tide. The landscape is one of sea, sand, stoney outcrops and green, dotted with sheep and dwellings. Enjoy a second night on Barra.
20 miles (32 km)
DAY SIX- BARRA TO NORTH UIST
Start the day with a short ferry crossing from Barra to the tiny island of Eriskay. Your guide will then lead you across the causeway to South Uist where you will spend the rest of the day pedalling very gently north along tiny back roads through bogs and ponds to bays, inns and a craft centre. Whilst you see hills to the east, your route is flat and abundant with wildlife. The island has a different feel to that of Barra and displays a wild charm. Your stay for the next two nights is in North Uist.
20 miles (32 km)
DAY SEVEN- CIRCULAR RIDE ON NORTH UIST
This morning you will visit a craft centre and the local fish smokehouse before pedalling around the remote west side of the island. Here there are long beautiful views, lots of water, some gentle slopes and one or two outstanding refreshment stops as you ride as far north as you can onto the island of Berneray, now linked to North Uist by causeway. The destination is breathtaking and remote. We will transfer you back to your hotel for a second night in North Uist.
22 miles (35 km)
DAY EIGHT- NORTH UIST TO PORTREE, SKYE
A short ferry crossing takes you onto the island of Skye where we will transfer you to an open air museum with a small croft at its centre. You can then enjoy the stunning and dramatic setting of the hills to the north of the island before the final pedal of the tour. This will take you downhill along the coast right into the heart of Portree, the capital of Skye where you will stay overnight. Nestled above the pretty harbour, you can share a farewell dinner together and och aye spin a few yarns.
20 miles (32 km)
DAY NINE- TRANSFER TO FORT WILLIAM AND DEPART
After breakfast, the tour includes a short ferry crossing back to the mainland at Mallaig and a transfer from there by minibus to Fort William. If you wish to take the afternoon steam train from Mallaig to Fort William , this is an optional extra.
Designed with the thoughtful traveller in mind, our creative routes aim to show you the hidden gems of Scotland, not just the highlights. Pedal or walk the glens, highlands and coast as you get to know the stunning landscape, culture, history and cuisine, and at the end of the day unwind in our favourite boutique hotels. With over 25 years of experience, our small team offers top notch service and we are picky when it comes to hotels! Our number 1 criteria is quality whether you are looking for a classic trip in authentic bolt holes or stays in Scotland's finest castles and hotels.
Monday- Friday 9am- 5pm
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