- Island hopping 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
- 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
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.
18th Aug - 24th Aug 2018
Lucy NobleShark-loving Lucy loves nothing more than getting a group bonded. Oh, and woolly hats.
11th May - 17th May 2019
Craig TweedieGlobe-trotting, pedal-pounding Craig knows a thing or two about whisky too. Learn more here.
13th Jul - 19th Jul 2019
Alexander KeltAlexander Kelt, known as Kelty, is our resident friendly Kiwi, get to him in his mini bio...
17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2019
Stuart WallaceMeet our wilderness guide Stuart Wallace. Learn more about his passion for cycling and find out some interesting information about meat carving forks!
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
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.
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. Based upon our knowledge and experience, we will visit the best places to eat along the route.
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 £350 is charged if a single room is available – please see booking form terms and conditions.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Glasgow Queen Street Station at 11:00am 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/
This island-hopping cycle tour has all the ingredients to become a classic – quiet scenic roads, excellent accommodation, food and some of the world’s finest whisky.
Throughout the week you will enjoy day rides on the beautiful islands of Arran, Islay and Jura, as well as crossing the Mull of Kintyre.
These small islands were made for exploring by bike 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 awesome 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.
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 which takes 55 minutes and arrives 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 weeks riding. After a short ride, we settle in to 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 Arran, 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)
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 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)
Distance: 36.2 miles/52km
Day 4 – Riding on Islay
This morning we transfer to the 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)
Distance: 38.8miles/62 km
Day 5 – Riding on Islay
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 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.
Day 6 – Jura and the Gulf of Corryvreckan
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 will stay on Islay today so we’ll need to be self sufficient for the day.
The Island only has one main road, passing by the Isle of Jura Distillery. There are many historical sites of interest, varying from Iron Age Forts, ancient burial grounds and standing stones as we cycle along the east coast of the Island towards the main village of Craighouse. We will stop for lunch at a great little cafe, enjoying views of the bay.
Continuing along the coast, we will then load the bikes onto a private boat and be treated to a trip to visit the Gulf of Corryvreckan, home to a famous whirlpool when the tide is roaring through.
Form here the boat takes us back to the mainland and our hotel which is set in 17 acres of gardens and 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)
Day 7 – Return to Glasgow
After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel there will be time for a short walk around the neighbouring Arduannie Gardens. The gardens are run and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and benefit form the warming effect of the North Atlantic drift. Due to the proximity to the sea, this allows the cultivation of many rare and tender plants from around the world.
Our journey back to Glasgow will take us around 2 hours 45 minutes, passing through Inverary and Loch Fyne, where we can stop for a bite to eat before returning to Glasgow. (B)
Prices and Dates
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by Paul Travers 22/05/2018
Team was in communication before the trip to make sure all parties had all the necessary information required to make the trip a success. This certainly builds confidence that you can turn up at the appointed spot and from then on everything will be taken care of.
It's very hard to identify a particular highlight from a trip that was pretty much a plateau of pleasure. Even the one day on Islay where the weather was less than perfect was tempered by humour ("You can see the American monument behind me .. oh no you can't, the mist's come down as I've been talking") and the distillery visit. My own favourite was probably the last day, cycling through Jura, where incredible scenery and fantastic weather combined with the boy's own adventure of cycling down to a small harbour and loading the bikes onto a RIB for a trip through Corryvreckan. Other high points have to include chocolate cake, the seals in Portnahaven harbour, cycling to Lochranza for the ferry to Skipness, and the Velo Cafe stop.
Accommodation and Food
The itinerary was great, with a minimum of hotel changes so not a lot of unpacking and repacking. The Glenisle in Lamlash was charming and had good food - possibly the best breakfast - but the sloping eaves in the room we had restricted movement a little. The Bridgend hotel in Islay was also charming and the food was excellent. The last night in Medfort was very comfortable with a much bigger room and fantastic views.
The guides were great. Both Craig and Mike were kind, considerate, knowledgeable and highly competent. They were just incredibly nice guys who made us feel at ease right from the start. It was a very small trip - just the two of us and a third person from Wilderness Scotland on a 'fam trip' - so the overall feeling was very much like a family, or a bunch of friends out together. The feeling that they were there for backup was very comforting, even if it wasn't needed.
The Bottom Line
The whole experience was a fantastic way to experience what Scotland has to offer in terms of scenery, wildlife, people and food, on a much more intimate level than just driving through the same terrain. The guides and their knowledge added value to enrich the experience, and made the whole process seamless and worry-free. Probably the best way to sum up was that I ended up making a commitment to an Outer Hebrides trip next year.
by Rose Zamoyska 22/05/2018
all went very smoothly
Great weather, great company, great scenery
Accommodation and Food
1st hotel room was a bit cramped but comfy
Both Craig and Mike were attentive, knowledgeable and good company. We didn't have to think of anything it was all taken care of!
The Bottom Line
Great company will go again (soon)!
by Rachelle Rochelle 10/09/2017
Team was friendly and knowledgeable. Things were pretty seamless with booking and getting questions answered.
My life in general is really busy, so I didn't have much time to plan or research prior to getting on the plane to Scotland. John and Craig took care of everything, it was glorious! All I had to do was show up. The knew the history and folklore of the places we visited, provided clear instructions and guidance, and were a pleasure to spend time with. The accommodations were lovely, food was great - local and delicious - and the routes beautiful. I would 100% do it again!
Accommodation and Food
See previous comment.
As I mentioned before, John and Craig were amazing. I think they both helped to make the trip. Knowledgeable, great sense of humor, kind, helpful, and easy going. Great fit with this type of travel. I think they both did a great job of accommodating the different levels of cyclists we had on the trip. Kudos to you both. I want my next trip to be led by the dynamic duo!
The Bottom Line
THE TRIP WAS AMAZING! I have already recommended WS to multiple friends. It was one of the best trips I have gone on to date. It was my first "active" vacation, and I loved it. You have a wonderful company, with great staff etc. Thanks for everything. The one note I have, and the rest of our group agreed that the ride should be listed as a 4 and not a 3 - it was harder than we all expected.
by Charles Tysseling 28/08/2017
Perfect guides, well organised, good hotels, etc.
Friendly helpful and supportive guides.
The Bottom Line
Perfect trip, enjoyable experience.