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Road Cycling – Island Explorer

  • 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.

 

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.

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.

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 £400 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/

Trip Details

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.

Trip 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 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)

Distance: 40.9miles/65km

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. (B, L)

Distance: 45-65km/ 30-40 miles depending on which distilleries you choose to visit

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)

Distance: 56km/35 miles | 700m/ 2300ft  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 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)

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Prices and Dates

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2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
11th May - 17th May 2019
£1,995
8 place(s) left
13th Jul - 19th Jul 2019
£1,995
8 place(s) left
17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2019
£1,995
8 place(s) left
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Trip Reviews

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.

Rated 4.85 out of 5 based on 27 review(s) of Road Cycling – Island Explorer

5 star 25

4 star 0

3 star 2

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Scott McMillan 06/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

This was our second bike trip with Wilderness Scotland. We came back because of the level of care and service the company provides for its guests. We will be back with WS for future scotland adventures.

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by William Aycock 03/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

A great trip that provided an in-depth look at a part of Scotland away from the crowds of Edinburgh.

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by Pamela Grieve 27/08/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Excellent and relaxing trip, stunning scenery and good fun with the guides and group.

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by Paul Travers 22/05/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The 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.

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Price from: £1,995

Next trip: 11th May

Duration: 6 night(s)

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Region: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 3

27 review(s)

Trip Photos

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