Classic & Luxury itinerary day-by-day
1. Day one
Arrive in Nairn
Our friendly host will meet you in Inverness and transfer you to your hotel for the next 2 nights in nearby Nairn. This ancient fishing port and market town has a harbour and expansive beach. Once you've settled in, your host will brief you on the routes, fit you to your bicycles and answer any questions you have. The rest of the day presents an opportunity to explore locally and unwind in your hotel.
2. Day two
Nairn to Findhorn and back
Heading to the remarkable community at Findhorn in a beautiful bay on the Moray coast, the riding is flat but always interesting. Tiny bridges lead over streams whilst 16th Century Brodie Castle is stuffed to the turrets with antique furniture. Spin past forests and stop at a distillery if you wish, before pedalling along the waters edge of the tidal bay, a haven for ornithologists. Findhorn village is cosy with a pub or two and is sandwiched between the bay and a stunning 7 mile beach. Here too is a spiritual community that is self sufficient, has its own currency and is also known for producing gigantic vegetables. Explore the village and unique marine setting before pedalling on to the town of Forres. From here you can take a short train hop back to Nairn or ride a fresh route to return to the hotel.
Optional 16 or 38 miles (26 or 61 km)
3. Day three
Nairn to Inverness
Let quiet roads and a pretty landscape lead you to the most romantic castle in the Highlands - Cawdor Castle & Gardens, which Shakespeare chose for the setting of Macbeth. Stop awhile here before riding through an idyllic scene of grazing sheep and gently folded hills. Pedal under a breath taking viaduct and then up a few slopes to survey the battlefield of Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie fought in 1746. Its just a short distance then into the heart of Inveness.
24 miles (38 km)
4. Day four
Inverness to Fort Augustus
Today is a completely different scene as you begin the ride along the water’s edge of Loch Ness on a quiet backroad. The setting of this vast and beautiful lake is magical with one or two pretty villages and their harbours and the delightful Dores Inn, located on a picturesque beach. This is the most demanding day with 2,500 ft (860 metres) of not too steep ascent above the loch with an awesome view from the top and a freewheel down hill into Fort Augustus which sits at the western end of Loch Ness. Gentle cyclists may prefer a transfer to the top, which we can arrange, at the time of booking only and is included in the luxury tour. .
19 or 33 miles (30 or 53 km)
5. Day five
Fort Augustus to Fort William
Traffic free and almost flat today, your route continues through the atmospheric Great Glen where the hills and peaks tower above in this wild, unspoilt and spectacular scene. The silence is broken only by the occasional boat or swing bridge in action but you might glimpse a red deer, a diving peregrine or soaring golden eagle. Riding along the towpath of the Caledonian Canal, beside Loch Oich on a disused railway line and through forests on the shores of Loch Lochy, you are witnessing the Highlands at their very best. The flight of locks at Neptune's staircase signals your arrival on the outskirts of Fort William with Ben Nevis to the south and the sea waters of Loch Linnhe to the west. Your overnight stay is in Fort William.
31 miles (49 km)
6. Day six
Fort William to Glencoe
Cycle through Fort William and take the ferry across Loch Linnhe. Beyond is an idyllically peaceful, and completely unspoilt ride along the loch with no refreshments or cars in this part of the world, 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. The Corran ferry takes you back across the loch for you to pick up the cycle path along Loch Leven into Glencoe village where you will spend the night.
20 miles (35 km)
7. Day seven
Glencoe to Port Appin
An utterly glorious day of traffic free riding down the west coast of the Highlands reveals stunning scenes and a backdrop of islands. Often following a disused railway line and hugging the shore, you will breeze through hamlets and woodland, past old jetties and relic castles and cross the estuary into tiny, picturesque Port Appin. Your day includes a short transfer to avoid a very dangerous 2 mile section of main road. Those wanting to ride on, can continue south along the cycle path and cross onto the tiny island of Eriska for a refreshment, before retracing the route back to Port Appin.
16 or up to 43 miles (26 or up to 69 km)
8. Day eight
Depart Port Appin
Today we will transfer you to Oban for your onward journey. Oban has a railway station and ferries to the many islands. We recommend stays on the island of Iona or on Mull at Glengorm Castle. You can also join our guided tour here of the Highlands and Hebrides.
We also recommend an additional night in Port Appin either to simply unwind in this splendid setting or to take the 10 minute ferry to the 'garden island' of Lismore. With 300 species of wild flowers and 130 species of birds, the many paths make this a wonderful place to walk. You can also cycle 5.5 miles across the island (300 ft ascent) and take the Achnacroish ferry (60 minutes) into Oban, returning late afternoon.
The silence is broken only by the occasional boat or swing bridge