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    Self Guided Plus+ Cycling

    North Coast 500

    15 reviews

    Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From: £1,795.00

    Travel Planning & Advice

    Book With Confidence

    Trip created by Craig Little
    View Craig's Profile

    Region: North West Highlands
    Trip Type: Self Guided Cycling
    Accommodation: Classic
    Deposit From: £449

    Grading:

    Carbon Footprint: 165kg ? What does this mean?
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    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    This epic adventure on two wheels will take you through some of the wildest and most spectacular roads and scenery in Europe. This self-guided but fully supported trip sees you journey from the breathtaking and ancient mountains of Torridon to the wild coasts of Assynt and the vast moorland of Sutherland.

    With your warm and welcoming accommodation arranged, your bikes prepped, and your soigneur taking care of all the details, all you have to think about is turning the wheels. With nearly 10,000 meters of elevation, this journey truly is a cycling trip of a lifetime.

    This price is based on a group of 6, prices will vary depending on group size. There is also the option of choosing to upgrade your accommodation on the final night of the trip. Please get in touch with the team to confirm the trip price for your group.

    Trip Highlights

    • Enjoy full vehicle and mechanical support from a qualified guide, while enjoying the freedom to cycle at your own pace
    • Ride along beautiful isolated roads surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain and coastal scenery in the UK
    • Pit yourself against the famous Bealach na Ba - voted as the best day cycle in the UK
    • Enjoy the journey as your soigneur / support guide takes care of all the details
    • Experience the freedom of just turning the wheels as your luggage is transferred each day
    • Stay in handpicked warm and welcoming highland accommodation

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Inverness to Achnasheen

    Meeting in Inverness, we’ll transfer a short way out of the city to a quiet spot where we will set up the bikes and make sure you are comfortable with the route before you head off. An easy cruise out of Inverness on rolling roads, keep your eye out for the red kites as you travel north to Garve. Here, the support vehicle will be waiting to provide a welcome snack before you start heading west. You’ll enjoy a smooth road and lovely views of the winding River Bran as the scenery becomes more mountainous. Arriving at your accommodation you’ll have time to settle in while your support guide makes any adjustments to the bikes to make sure they are ready to go tomorrow. (B)

    Ride details: 40 miles / 64 km | approx. 3 hours | Elevation: 1,955 ft / 595 m

    Day 2 - Achnasheen to Shieldaig

    Set out for the village of Strathcarron after breakfast today. The riding from this point on is incredible and exploring the area by bike gives you the opportunity to really take in the stunning scenery. From Strathcarron, a short warm-up climb prepares the legs for what lies ahead. The Bealach na Ba is the UK’s highest and toughest road climb. With hairpin bends and ramps of up to 20%, you’ll be working all the way to the top – although the support van is always there if you need a boost – where the most incredible view of the Scottish Islands and West Coast awaits. After an amazing descent, our work isn’t quite finished with some punchy climbing around the spectacular coastal road which eventually reaches the charming village of Shieldaig. (B)

    Ride details: 63 miles / 102 km | approx. 4.5 hours | Elevation: 5,593 ft / 1,705 m

    Day 3 - Shieldaig to Corrieshalloch Gorge

    After breakfast this morning, you’ll get back on the bike ready for the day’s adventure. The route winds its way through arguably the most spectacular landscape in the UK. Dramatic mountains rise like ancient giants and provide an unforgettable backdrop. An early lunch in the fishing village of Gairloch offers an opportunity to recharge with some local seafood before we continue around the coast. We finish at Corrieshalloch Gorge, a dramatic river gorge whose name is from the Gaelic for ‘ugly hollow’. A short transfer takes us to our destination for this evening – Ullapool, very much the “capital” of the Northwest Highlands, home to a great range of restaurants and bars. (B)

    Ride details: 80 miles / 130 km | approx 6.5 hours | Elevation: 5,963 ft / 1,815 m

    Day 4 - Ullapool to Kylesku

    Start your morning with a climb out of Ullapool, rewarded with fantastic views as the mountain scene reveals itself. Today you’ll be riding some truly epic roads. Our favourite section, known locally as “the wee mad road,” squeezes between mountains and sea as it winds its way north. We’ll stop in Lochinver where we’ll enjoy lunch in the famous pie shop – a highlight in a day of highlights. The next 22 miles almost defy description. A looping ribbon of tarmac climbs and descends for over 3300ft/1000m. Look out for sheep that roam freely here – they tend to be the cause of traffic jams as you wait for them to casually move off the road. Arriving at your accommodation this evening, you’ll be tired but happy after an incredible day and you can relax as you admire dramatic views of sea lochs. (B)

    Ride details: 55 miles / 88 km | approx 4 hours | Elevation: 5,459 ft / 1,663 m

    Day 5 - Kylesku to Bettyhill

    You’ll start the day by crossing the iconic Kylesku bridge before continuing north. Following the winding coast, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic. After 21 miles you’ll cross inland on the most northerly road connecting the west and north coasts. It’s 14 miles of single-lane riding as you cross through wild moorland covered in heather and bog cotton. Arriving at Durness, there will be time for a break to explore the quirky artists’ studios and maybe grab a hot chocolate from a local chocolatier. Back on the bikes, it’s a wonderful ride along the north coast following the sea in places and dipping inland again to reach your accommodation with views of a sandy beach. (B)

    Ride details: 78 miles / 125 km | approx 6 | Elevation: 5,985 ft / 1,824 m

    Day 6 - Bettyhill to Dornoch

    From the coast at Bettyhill, you turn south this morning and head into the “Flow Country”, where we exchange wild coast for wild moorland. There is very little traffic on this route so keep an ear out for the songs of the many bird species that make this remote and isolated valley their home. Stop at a remote pub for lunch and admire the wild expansive views. An easy climb takes us through another wild and beautiful glen before a gentle descent takes you to the east coast, arriving at Dornoch where you finish the day. (B)

    Ride details: 62 miles / 100 km | approx. 5 hours | Elevation: 2,858 ft / 871 m

    Day 7 - Dornoch to Inverness

    After a final hearty breakfast, you’ll get back in the saddle today for the last push. You’ll cycle along the tranquil coastline of the Dornoch Firth and then there’s an optional ferry ride to take you across to the Black Isle and the historic town of Cromarty. You can explore the streets and look out for the Dolphins that are often spotted on this stretch of coast. After lunch at a local cafe, the final part of the ride sees you cross the Moray Firth and head to the outskirts of Inverness where your North Coast 500 journey will end. Your support guide will hand back your luggage, and you can either continue your journey home or spend a final night in Inverness.  (B)

    Ride details: 62 miles / 100 km | approx. 6 hours | Elevation: 3.020 ft / 920 m

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    Self Guided Plus+ Cycling
    North Coast 500

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

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    The phone number field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter your telephone number including the country code.

    Book Now

    Price from: £1,795
    Duration: 7 Days 6 Nights

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    This itinerary includes 6 nights in 3-4 star accommodation, staying at some of our favourite locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels along the North Coast 500 route, each handpicked for their warm welcome and bike friendly facilities. Single rooms are available on request.

    Accommodation Upgrades

    There is the option to upgrade your accommodation and opt for a five-star hotel on the final night of your trip in Dornoch. This would be from £1995 per person based on a group of 6. Please get in touch with our friendly sales team to request this directly.

    Meals Read More

    Breakfast is included each day barring Day 1. Your soigneur will suggest a number of options for your lunches and evening meals in each location.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 6 nights accommodation in 3-4 star locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary: Breakfast each day
    • A support vehicle, with a guide who will offer guidance, local insights, snacks, change of clothes, navigation and a boost if needed
    • Soigneur / Support driver, bike mechanic and first aider available 24/7 while on the trip
    • Essential equipment including GPS with pre-loaded routes, bike lock, bike tool, spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers
    • Bike cleaning and maintenance throughout the trip
    • Welcome briefing and expert bike fitting on Day 1 if hiring
    • Daily luggage transfers

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

    Trip Grading Read More

    Red Graded Road Cycling Holidays 7-9

    Red graded trips are suitable only for fit and experienced riders who love cycling and enjoy the challenge of long days in the saddle, riding for consecutive days.

    Distances range from 40-70 miles each day, cycling at roughly 12mph. We will ride a variety of terrain from rolling countryside to hilly and mountainous areas. Most days will be challenging and the trip will include some of the more testing climbs in Scotland. These harder climbs are rewarded with fast and exciting descents. You will often be in the saddle for 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus visits to some sites of interest.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    Arrival Info

    Meet at Inverness Train Station at 10:30 on Day 1

    Departure Info

    You will be returned to Inverness Train Station by 18:00 on the final day

    Bike Hire / Bringing Your Own Bike Read More
    Bike Hire

    We have an excellent fleet of bikes available to hire including road bikes, mountain bikes, and E-bikes.
    Find Out More

    Bring Your Own Bike

    You are also more than welcome to bring your own bike. If you’re bringing your E-bike along for the trip, please ensure it has a removable battery. Due to limitations around charging, E-bikes with non-removable batteries cannot be accommodated.

    If you choose to do so, please ensure it’s in excellent working condition and has been recently serviced either by you or by a reputable bike shop.

    In addition, please bring the following:

    • Multi-tool, including a chain tool
    • Mini pump and/or CO2 canisters
    • Two spare tubes and a puncture repair kit

    Because we will need to load your bike onto one of our trailers, please ensure that:

    • Your rear wheel is clear of any obstructions; including lights, mudguard or panniers
    • Your tyres are no wider than 45mm

    Due to the nature of our trips, we are unfortunately unable to carry bike boxes or bags with us, so please make prior arrangements if necessary.

    If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly and knowledgable sales team are always delighted to answer any queries you may have.

    Accommodation Upgrades Read More

    There is the option to upgrade your accommodation and opt for a five-star hotel on the final night of your trip in Dornoch. This would be from £1995 per person based on a group of 6. Please get in touch with our friendly sales team to request this directly.

    Other Read More

    For a full list of inclusions please see our comparison table here

    Looking to extend your stay? Get in touch with our friendly sales team to book extra nights before or after your trip.

    Photo Gallery

    Speak to an Expert

    Bridget Brown

    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 Bridget a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Red Graded Road Cycling Holidays 7-9

    Red graded trips are suitable only for fit and experienced riders who love cycling and enjoy the challenge of longer days in the saddle, riding for consecutive days.

    Distances range from 40 – 70 miles each day, cycling at roughly 12mph. We will ride variety of terrain from rolling countryside to hilly and mountainous areas. Most days will be challenging and the trip will include some of the more testing climbs in Scotland, including high mountain passes. These harder climbs are rewarded with fast and exciting descents. We will often be in the saddle for 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus visits to some sites of interest.

    Compare road cycling grades

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 15 reviews of Self Guided+ Cycling – North Coast 500

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    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.

    RS

    Robert Starkoff

    Reviewed on 10/06/2024

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: US
    Trip Date: 27/05/2024
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    We had a great time and didn't want it to end!

    SP

    Samuel Del Propost

    Reviewed on 08/06/2024

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: US
    Trip Date: 27/05/2024
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    It was exactly what we wanted and more. Loved every minute of it. Having and excellent guide made it possible to love it even when it was wet and windy.

    JL

    Jacob Lillich

    Reviewed on 14/09/2023

    Age: 40 - 50
    Country: Germany
    Trip Date: 05/09/2023
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

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