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    Road Cycling – The North Coast 500

    18 review(s)

    Next Trip(s): 18th Jun | 20th Aug Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From £2,175 View Prices & Dates

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    Trip created by Craig Little
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    Region: North West Highlands
    Trip Type: Road Cycling
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 3 Traveller(s) Book
    Deposit From: £543.75 £543.75


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

    Download Itinerary

    Ride the best sections of the North Coast 500, on a 7-day road cycling tour through the untamed beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Travel on our NC500 cycling holiday to experience a satisfying active journey – swap four wheels for two!

    The North Coast 500, often described as Scotland’s Route 66, take in some of Scotland’s most impressive wild places, from the mountains and lochs of Wester Ross and Assynt to the rugged sea cliffs of Sutherland. The ever-changing landscape will take your breath away, leaving you eager to get back in the saddle wanting more every day.

    At the end of each day, have a well-deserved rest in carefully selected accommodation, with mouth-watering local food and drink providing the perfect fuel for the next day of riding. For more information check out the North Coast 500 cycling holiday itinerary.

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

    Trip Highlights

    • Ride the best sections of Scotland's spectacular North Coast 500 touring route.
    • Arrive at Scotland's most northerly point by bike.
    • Cycle through the incredible scenery of northern Scotland on winding tarmac past towering mountains, sandy beaches and rolling wilderness.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – West to the NC500

    This morning we meet at the railway station in Inverness at 10.00am. From Inverness, a 1-hour transfer takes us to the tiny village of Achnasheen in Wester Ross. Here we have lunch and do a bike fitting before starting our ride – a leisurely route with more downhill than uphill, past beautiful Loch Maree to reach the coast at Gairloch. Here we settle into our hotel for the night and enjoy a welcome dinner. (L, D)

    Ride: 46km / 28 miles, 420m elevation gain, 2-3 hours riding

    Day 2 – North to the Gorge

    Riding from the door of the hotel, we hug the coastline of Wester Ross, passing mountains, moors and wild scenery as we ride north and then east along the NC 500. We end the day’s ride at the impressive Corrieshalloch Gorge. From here, we jump in the van for a 15-minute transfer into the pretty port of Ullapool, thus avoiding a short section of busy road. Settle into the hotel and then explore the village with its scenic waterfront and good pubs and restaurants. (B, L, D)

    Ride: 70km / 43 miles, 1,019m elevation gain, 5 hours riding

    Day 3 – The Mad Road

    We start today with a cycle that takes you directly under one of Scotlad’s most iconic small mountains, Stac Pollaidh. We reckon this is up there with one of the best day rides in Scotland! Explore the stunning Coigach peninsula with views across beautiful beaches backed by impressive mountains. We ride north along the coast to reach the port of Lochinver, where we’ll pause for lunch. We’ll then head north following ‘the wee mad road’. Your legs will soon realise why it has this name! We finish at a lovely hotel on the water’s edge. You can rest now – we’re here for 2 nights. (B, L, D)

    Ride: 75km / 46 miles, 1,253m elevation gain, 5-6 hours riding

    Day 4 – Rest Day with Boat Trip

    We’re at the halfway point so we take a day off to recover. A lovely boat trip departs from right outside the hotel, so we’ll join that in the morning and enjoy views of Scotland’s highest waterfall, as well as some wildlife such as the local seal colony. In the afternoon you can relax at the hotel, or perhaps enjoy a short walk along the coast. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 – Reaching the North Coast

    Riding from the door of the hotel, we set out on what is the most challenging day of the trip (remember that our support van is always available to give you a boost if required!). If you thought the scenery had been wild so far, it’s about to step up a notch! We’ll ride on rolling roads as we head north to reach the north coast at the tiny village of Durness. Turning east now, we weave around a couple of notable inlets before, just 10 miles from home, there’s a testing climb of 200m elevation gain. Make it to the top and it’s an easy coast down to the village of Tongue and our hotel for the night. (B, L, D)

    Ride: 104km / 64 miles, 1,344m elevation gain, 6-7 hours riding

    Day 6 – East to Thurso

    A shorter ride today after the exertions of yesterday. We ride from the hotel, following the road east past lovely beaches and bold, isolated peaks. It’s a short but ‘lumpy’ ride, with several short but quite steep climbs, so your legs will be glad when we reach the small town of Thurso mid-afternoon to check into our hotel. With just a short ride to go tomorrow, we enjoy a celebratory meal in a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

    Ride: 70km / 43 miles, 891m elevation gain, 4-5 hours riding

    Day 7 – True North and John O’Groats

    Riding from the hotel door, we set out on the final leg of this journey. Rather than head directly to John O’Groats, we detour to a viewpoint on Dunnet Head, which is actually the most northerly point on the Scottish mainland. We then continue around the coast to reach John O’Groats, the most northerly village on the Scottish mainland. Here, we can pose next to the iconic mileage sign and share stories with any ‘LeJoG’ riders over a coffee. All too soon, it’s time to go and we transfer south back to Inverness, arriving late afternoon. (B,L)

    Ride: 48km / 30 miles, 393m elevation gain, 2-3 hours riding

    Road Cycling

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    Trip Dates for 2022AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    18th Jun - 24th Jun 2022Trip FullFULLY BOOKED£2,175
    20th Aug - 26th Aug 2022Trip FullFULLY BOOKED£2,175
    10th Sep - 16th Sep 2022Trip FullFULLY BOOKED£2,175
    Trip Dates for 2023AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    6th May - 12th May 20238 place(s) leftPROVISIONAL£2,175Book Now
    3rd Jun - 9th Jun 20238 place(s) leftPROVISIONAL£2,175Book Now
    1st Jul - 7th Jul 20238 place(s) leftPROVISIONAL£2,175Book Now
    19th Aug - 25th Aug 20238 place(s) leftPROVISIONAL£2,175Book Now
    9th Sep - 15th Sep 20238 place(s) leftPROVISIONAL£2,175Book Now
    30th Sep - 6th Oct 20238 place(s) leftPROVISIONAL£2,175Book Now

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    During this trip, we will stay at carefully selected small hotels and guest houses along the route of the NC500, with two nights at Kylesku.

    Single Rooms
    There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another solo traveller 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 £375 is charged if a single room is available. Single rooms are allocated on a first come, first served basis and there is normally a maximum of 2 available per departure.

    Meals Read More

    This trip is ‘All Inclusive’. Breakfast is provided each morning at your accommodation and lunch each day will be either at a local cafe or a Wilderness picnic. Dinner each evening is also provided, and we will normally eat as a group with your guide recommending a local restaurant.

    Specific dietary requirements are happily catered for please just inform us at the time of booking.

    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
    • 6 nights accommodation in small Highland hotels and guesthouses on a B&B basis.
    • All meals as stated in the itinerary (indicated above as B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D= Dinner).
    • The services of a professional and qualified Wilderness Scotland road cycling guide and support driver.
    • All transport throughout the trip beginning and finishing in Inverness.
    • Loch Cruise on Day 4.
    Travel Read More

    Arrival and Departure
    You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Inverness Railway Station at 10.00am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to the station and dropped off for 5.00pm on the last 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

    Craig Little

    Craig has over 12 years experience in delivering travel experiences and events of exceptional quality across Scotland. As one of the longest serving members of the Wilderness Scotland team, Craig’s speciality is in road cycling and mountain biking. His expertise and innovation helped create the Road Cycling Guide Award which helps all our guiding team deliver excellence on our trips.

    Ask Craig a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Blue Graded Road Cycling Holidays 4-6

    Blue graded trips are suitable for people with a good level of bike fitness, who regularly enjoy cycling and may have joined a multi-day cycle holiday before.

    Distances each day will be between 35 – 45 miles, cycling at around 12/13mph. Each day will be rolling and hilly terrain and there will be notable climbs most days. Some of these will be more testing and some riders may opt to push or ride in the support vehicle. Some climbs are also followed by exciting descents. We will be in the saddle for 5 – 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus some visits to sites of interest.

    Compare road cycling grades

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 18 review(s) of Road Cycling – The North Coast 500 – Highlights



    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.


    Judy Fentiman

    Reviewed on 16/05/2022

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: Canada
    Trip Date: 07/05/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    From first contact to final drop off, our overall experience was amazing. We would without hesitation recommend Wilderness Scotland to anyone seeking an incredible experience in your beautiful country.


    Stephanie Reid

    Reviewed on 27/09/2021

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 11/09/2021
    Trips Taken: 3

    The Bottom Line


    Nita Hayre

    Reviewed on 27/09/2021

    Age: 40 - 50
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 11/09/2021
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    An excellent experience. The team took care of all the logistics of the trip so I could get on with enjoying the wilderness. The warm and positive energy from the Guides can bring the sun on a very grey day in Scotland :)

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