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    Selected Trips

      Road Cycling – The North Coast 500

      9 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 22nd May | 3rd Jul Duration: 6 night(s)

      From £1,895 View Prices & Departures

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      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by Craig Little
      View Craig's Profile

      Region: North West Highlands
      Trip Type: Road Cycling
      Comfort: Classic
      Max Group Size: 8
      Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
      Deposit From N/A £473.75


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

      Download Itinerary

      Trip Details

      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 our North Coast 500 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 check out our itinerary on our North Coast 500 cycling holiday.

      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

      Download Detailed Itinerary

      Road Cycling

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      What's Included

      Accommodation - Accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels 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 - Meals Info (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) Read More

      Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis, and lunch will be provided each day (except Day 4) either at a local cafe or a Wilderness picnic. Dinner is provided, and we will normally eat as a group with your guide recommending a local restaurant.

      Specific dietary requirements are happily catered for u2013 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.

      Travel - All transport throughout the trip 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

      Trip Dates & Prices

      Trip Dates for 2021 Availability Status Price Book
      22nd May - 28th May 2021 Trip Full CONFIRMED £1,895
      3rd Jul - 9th Jul 2021 2 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,895 Book Now
      14th Aug - 20th Aug 2021 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,895 Book Now
      11th Sep - 17th Sep 2021 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,895 Book Now

      Make This Trip Private

      Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

      Speak to an Expert

      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.

      - Craig Little

      Ask Craig a Question

      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 9 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.


      Mitzi Klukvin

      Reviewed on 07/10/2019

      Age: 50 - 60
      Country: United States
      Trip Date: 14/09/2019
      Trips Taken: 2

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      Everything was just about as perfect as could be!


      Tom Slover

      Reviewed on 03/10/2019

      Age: 70 - 80
      Country: United States
      Trip Date: 14/09/2019
      Trips Taken: 2

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      Loved the idea of booking local -- we were the only Americans on the trip. Help us to have a better experience in the culture. If you book with a US company you will get mostly Americans.


      Juliette Gundy

      Reviewed on 27/09/2019

      Age: 40 - 50
      Country: Canada
      Trip Date: 14/09/2019
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      I had an outstanding holiday biking the North Coast 500 with Wilderness Scotland! Highly recommended, with incredible scenery, guides and hospitality!

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