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    Road Cycling

    Arran, Islay & Jura

    51 reviews

    Next Trip: 13th - 19th May 2023 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From £2,395 View Prices & Dates

    Travel Planning & Advice

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    Trip created by Paul Easto
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    Region: Multi-Location
    Trip Type: Road Cycling
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 3 Travellers Book
    Deposit From: £598.75 £598.75

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    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    This island-hopping trip combines scenic roads, excellent accommodation, delicious food and some of the world’s finest whisky to make an unforgettable cycle tour.

    Throughout the week, immerse yourself in the stunning coastal landscapes of southwest Scotland. Explore the Isle of Arran, Islay, the whisky island of Jura, and crossing the Mull of Kintyre.

    These small islands were made for bike exploration, and you can expect fascinating wildlife, history and culture along the way. Journey from island to island using local ferries and, to finish, a private RIB charter back to the mainland via the impressive Corryvreckan Whirlpool – the largest in Scotland! At the end of each day, relax in hand-picked accommodation with mouth-watering local food, ales and whiskies providing an authentic taste of the islands.

    Need a bike? See our bike hire page for details.

    Trip Highlights

    • Island hop across 3 of Scotland's best islands - Arran, Islay and Jura.
    • Enjoy world class whisky and wildlife on the beautiful Island of Islay.
    • Visit the third largest whirlpool in the world en route to the Kingdom of Argyll.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Glasgow to Brodick

    We meet in the morning in Glasgow for our journey to the west coast, where we catch the ferry from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran. We will cross the Firth of Clyde and arrive into the main village of Brodick. Arran is often described as “Scotland in Miniature” and is divided into the wild, unspoilt, mountainous north, dominated by the peak of Goat Fell, and the forest, farmland and resorts of the south. On arrival, we will make the short transfer to our accommodation for the next two nights. After checking in we will spend some time fine-tuning the bikes and ensuring everyone is set up for a week of riding. After a short ride, we settle into our accommodation at Lamlash to relax before dinner. (L, D)

    Day 2 – South Arran Loop

    Our ride today will take us around the southern half of the Arran Isle, which has a lower landscape in comparison to the mountainous north, although there will be a couple of hills to test the legs. Starting from Lamlash we head round south passing through Whiting Bay and on to the south side of the island. We stop for lunch at a ‘Velo Cafe’ before turning north again and the route is packed with interest and the coastline is worth exploring including standing stones, caves, castles and crags. We will also be treated to great views across to the mainland. Completing the loop we pass through Brodick and back to Lamlash. This evening we will enjoy dinner at the hotel (B, L)

    Ride Details: 64 km/40 miles | 908 m/2,979 ft elevation gain

    Day 3 – Arran to Islay

    Cycling directly from Brodick we pass by Goat Fell, the highest peak on Arran. The road winds north towards Lochranza and its ruined castle, where a short ferry crossing reconnects us to the mainland on the Kintyre Peninsula. We will then ride the short distance into Kennacraig to connect with our second ferry of the day to take us to the island of Islay. The crossing takes around 2 hours and takes us past the Isle of Gigha and through the Sound of Jura, where we can look out for minke whales, dolphins and basking sharks. On arrival in Islay, there is an option to ride a short distance to the accommodation or transfer in the support vehicle. (B, L)

    Ride Details: 62 km/38.5 miles | 755 m/2,478 ft elevation gain

    Day 4 – Cycling on Islay

    We will explore by bike the stunning famous area of the Isle of Islay located in the southern Hebrides. This morning we transfer to the picturesque coastal village of Portnahaven, where grey seals can often be seen in the harbour. Our route follows the west coast of the island, with the Atlantic to keep us company, before a short descent towards Port Charlotte. We then ride north to a wild sandy beach for a picnic lunch overlooking the sea. Back on the bikes, we start to ride back to our accommodation at Bridgend via Loch Gruinart, where we can stop off to visit the small RSPB centre for a break and to learn about the importance of Islay to many bird species such as migrating geese, corncrake, lapwing and hen harrier. (B, L)

    Ride Details: 48 km/30 miles | 480 m/1,572 ft elevation gain

    Day 5 – Continue Riding on Islay

    Continuing our Islay visit today will be a shorter ride along Islay’s quiet country roads. We set off to Port Ellen and reaching the coast once more we turn left and follow the road along the whisky coast – passing the 3 famous Islay distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We carry on a short way past, to reach the monolithic Kildalton Celtic Cross. We then ride back to Ardbeg for lunch in the cafe before spending the afternoon enjoying a tutored whisky tasting. Afterwards, we transfer back to Bridgend. (B, L)

    Ride Details: 40.5 km/25 miles | 347 m/1,140 ft elevation gain

    Day 6 – Jura and the Gulf of Corryvreckan

    It is time to enjoy some exceptional Jura cycling! This morning we ride the short distance to Port Askaig, where we board the passenger ferry to Jura, reaching the island in a little over five minutes. The support van won’t join us today, so we’ll need to be self-sufficient. The island has one distillery, one main road and many sites of historical interest, varying from Iron Age Forts, ancient burial grounds and standing stones. We will stop for lunch at a great little cafe, enjoying views of the bay. Continuing along the coast, we will meet a private boat and be treated to a trip to the Gulf of Corryvreckan, home to a famous whirlpool when the tide is roaring. From here, the boat takes us back to the Scottish mainland and our hotel, which has 17 acres of gardens and a beach overlooking the coast. We will enjoy a final dinner at the hotel and perhaps a dram to celebrate a fantastic week of island hopping. (B, L, D)

    Ride Details: 40 km/25 miles | 586 m/1,923 ft elevation gain

    Day 7 – Return to Glasgow

    After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, there will be time for a short walk around the neighbouring Arduaine Gardens. The gardens are run and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and benefit from the warming effect of the North Atlantic drift, which allows for the cultivation of many rare and tender plants from around the world.

    Our journey back to Glasgow will take us around 2 hours and 45 minutes, passing through Inverary and Loch Fyne, where we can stop for a bite to eat before returning to Glasgow. (B)

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    Road Cycling
    Arran, Islay & Jura

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    Trip Dates for 2023AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    13th May - 19th May 20235 places leftCONFIRMED£2,395Book Now
    17th Jun - 23rd Jun 2023Trip FullFULLY BOOKED£2,395
    8th Jul - 14th Jul 20236 places leftUNCONFIRMED£2,395Book Now
    29th Jul - 4th Aug 20237 places leftUNCONFIRMED£2,395Book Now
    2nd Sep - 8th Sep 20237 places leftUNCONFIRMED£2,395Book Now

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    This trip features some of the best hotel and guest house accommodation and food along the route we travel. We use a variety of accommodations such as country inns, guesthouses and small hotels, all hand-picked by us. Accommodation is in a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities.

    Single Rooms

    There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. A single room supplement of £525 is charged if a single room is available.

    Meals Read More

    Lunch each day will be either a wilderness picnic or taken at a local cafe/restaurant. Drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day as you require. Evening meals are included on the first and final evenings, and on this itinerary and we have the flexibility to take evening meals in local restaurants or pubs.Included dinners are two courses as standard. Based upon our knowledge and experience, we will visit the best places to eat along the route.

    On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 7 days professional guiding with lead guide plus assistant guide/support driver.
    • 6 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels/ inns/guest houses on a B&B basis.
    • Meals stated in the itinerary. (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • Vehicle transport throughout including ride support and luggage transfers.
    • All ferry transport and local boat services.
    • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary.
    • Ride snacks, home-baking and drinks.
    Trip Grading Read More

    Green Graded 1-3

    Green graded trips are suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness who enjoy cycling and are looking for an active but relaxed trip. They are also suitable for active people who are new to cycle touring and looking for a new way to explore the countryside.

    Distances each day will be between 25 – 40 miles, cycling at an average speed of around 12mph. We will ride on mostly straightforward rolling terrain with one or two more notable climbs during the trip, where some riders may opt to ride in the support vehicle. We will be in the saddle for 4-6 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus visits to sites of interest.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Glasgow Queen Street Station at 10:30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Glasgow Queen Street for 2:00pm on the final day of the trip.

    For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Chris Page

    Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Scotland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

    Ask Chris a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Green Graded Road Cycling Holidays 1-3

    Green graded trips are suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness who enjoy cycling and are looking for an active but relaxed trip. They are also suitable for active people who are new to cycle touring and looking for a new way to explore the countryside.

    Distances each day will be between 25 – 40 miles, cycling at an average speed of around 12mph. We will ride on mostly straightforward rolling terrain with one or two more notable climbs during the trip, where some riders may opt to ride in the support vehicle. We will be in the saddle for 4-6 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus visits to sites of interest.

    Compare road cycling grades

     

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.88 out of 5 based on 51 reviews of Road Cycling – Arran, Islay & Jura

     

    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

    CT

    Claire Tinker

    Reviewed on 05/09/2022

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: USA
    Trip Date: 13/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I think that you have to be of an adventurous spirit to do this sort of trip. My big personal learning is to book whatever makes the trip more enjoyable, in my case an e-bike which I didn't do. The world is going in that direction anyway. Another high point was to experience Scottish history which I am currently boning up on. The coastline is spectacular. I didn't get to see enough of Islay which is why I am returning next year. BTW - as an American, I learned that cycling on the left side of the road was no problem. Loved the food which was fresh and tasty. As I usually do, I opted for great beer over mediocre wine. (This from someone who has a serious winemaker friend and has helped out at the vineyard though my group was unconvinced that the Pacific NW makes good wine...we do, including British Columbia.) Anyway, it's back to Islay October 2023 to learn more. Thank you for everything.

    WP

    Wendy Primmer

    Reviewed on 03/09/2022

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: UK
    Trip Date: 13/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 3

    The Bottom Line

    DM

    David Moore

    Reviewed on 29/08/2022

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: United States of America
    Trip Date: 13/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

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