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    Self Guided Cycling
    Cairngorms National Park

    Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

    From £750

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    Trip created by Craig Little
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    Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
    Trip Type: Self Guided Cycling
    Comfort: Classic
    Deposit From: £187.50 £187.50
    Difficulty: Your Own Pace

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

    Download Itinerary

    This self-guided cycling holiday explores the beautiful Cairngorms National Park. Enjoying a combination of loop rides and point to point rides (with luggage transferred for you), you’ll discover the highlights of this region of the Highlands, as you cycle on quiet roads through outstanding scenery. In your free time, explore the local villages, nearby distilleries and a range of other local attractions. Each night, stay in carefully selected small hotels and guest houses, which reflect the character of this region. 

    Covering 15-25 miles per day, you’ll enjoy the rolling scenery as you gaze up at some of the highest mountains in Scotland. On most days, there is an option to shorten the planned ride. We also provide options to extend the ride each day if you prefer a longer ride.

    For those who wish to avail of our bike hire, you’ll love riding on our fantastic Trek bikes, perfectly suited for this kind of riding. Each bike comes fitted with a GPS unit, pre-loaded with each day’s routes, as well as all of the essential equipment you may need. For those of you seeking an easier ride, our Trek E-bikes are also available as small upgrade cost. All of our bikes are serviced before your trip, and you’ll benefit from having the bike fitted for you at the start of the trip, for a comfier ride.

    This price is based on a group of 4, prices will vary depending on group size. Please get in touch with the team to confirm the trip price for your group.

    Trip Highlights

    • Taste the freedom of self-guided cycling in Cairngorms National Park
    • Visit local pubs, whisky distilleries, or even ride on a local steam train!
    • Relax in warm and welcoming locally-owned accommodations

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Arrive in Aviemore: Welcome Briefing & Bike Fit

    Arrive in Aviemore and check in to your cosy Highland guesthouse, an easy walk from the railway station. Once you are settled in, come to the Wilderness Scotland office for your welcome briefing and expert bike fitting. You then have the rest of the day free to start exploring the local area. A short ride up to Loch Morlich is recommended for fantastic mountain views and to relax on the highest beach in the UK! (B)

    Optional ride details: 15 miles / 24 km 

    Day 2 - A Local Loop

    There are many reasons why we love being based in Aviemore, but this great loop is definitely one of them. A firm favourite with our team, your route takes you along quiet roads that undulate just enough to keep things interesting as you pass wooded hillsides and sparkling lochs to reach the village of Kincraig. Heading back to Aviemore, you complete the loop along a road that weaves past lochs and great mountain vistas before a final wee climb back into town. Of course, our route-notes highlight a couple of cosy cafes along the way at which you may wish to pause! For a longer ride, it’s worth extending the loop to the small town of Kingussie. On these extra miles, you’ll pass the atmospheric ruins of Ruthven Barracks and the Insh Marshes Nature Reserve. It’s also a short detour to the Highland Folk Museum, which is well worth a visit. (B)

    Ride details: 16 miles / 25 km | Ride extension: Options are detailed in your information pack and can add 14-18 miles

    Day 3 - Ride Aviemore to Grantown-on-Spey

    Today you leave Aviemore and ride to your next destination, the historic small town of Grantown-on-Spey. The route follows fabulous backroads through a combination ancient Caledonian Pine Forest and sweeping farmland with views back to the mountains. Pause at Loch Garten to admire stunning panoramic views of the Cairngorm mountains and maybe visit the Osprey Centre as you keep an eye out for raptors in the sky. Onwards to the tiny village of Nethy Bridge before the final few miles follow the River Spey, whose pure waters give their name to the rich Speyside whiskies in the area. Arriving in Grantown-on-Spey, your luggage will be waiting for you and you can head out to explore the town. (B)

    Ride details: 23 miles / 37 km – Ride extension: Options are detailed in your information pack and can add 2-15 miles

    Day 4 - Rest Day to Explore or Local Rides

    A free day to explore the village and the local area today. Grantown-on-Spey is a lovely town with lots of interesting locally-owned shops to browse and some excellent cafes to visit. We recommend taking some time out of the saddle to walk in the peaceful Anagach Woods on the edge of the town. If you are keen to ride a few more miles though, we provide route notes for a short ride to a local gin distillery, or a longer ride to a whisky distillery. These can also be reached by taxi if you plan to do some tasting!  (B)

    Optional ride details:

    • To Caorunn Gin Distillery | 8 miles/13 km
    • To Knockando (for Whisky Distillery and/or Woollen Mill) | 32 miles/51 km

    Day 5 - Grantown-on-Spey to Carrbridge via Dava Moor

    Today’s ride may well be the highlight of the trip, as you leave Grantown-on-Spey and ride across wild moors to the village of Carrbridge. The ride starts with a climb out of Grantown – it’s the biggest climb of the week but manageable! Cresting the rise, a short descent takes you onto Dava Moor. The huge skies and rolling heather-clad landscape is a joy to ride across. You pass a remote loch, the waters lapping at the edge of the road at times as you gaze out to a ruined castle which sits on a tiny island. A final rolling climb rewards you with a fantastic panorama of the Cairngorm mountains and the prospect of a swooping descent down towards the pretty village of Carrbridge. Enjoy a drink in the lively village pub tonight – you’ve earned it! (B)

    Ride details: 22 miles / 35 km | Ride extension: Options are detailed in your information pack and can add 5-25 miles

    Day 6 - Rest Day to Explore or Local Rides

    Choose from a relaxing morning at the hotel, perhaps taking a walk down to the nearby Packhorse Bridge. Or take a final ride before you’re met at the accommodation to hand the bike and equipment back. We then transfer you to Aviemore Railway Station to depart. (B)

    Optional ride details: 11 miles / 17 km 

    Self Guided Cycling
    Cairngorms National Park

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

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    Price from: £750
    Duration: 6 Days 5 Nights

    What's Included

    Accommodation Read More

    This itinerary includes 5 nights accommodation, staying at some of our favourite locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels, handpicked for their welcome and bike friendly facilities. The accommodations are graded 3-4 star. Each accommodation is located in the heart of the village, with restaurants, pubs and cafes within easy walking distance.


    Single Rooms
    If you require a single room, these are available on request – please see the Upgrade Options section for details.

    Meals Read More

    Breakfast is included each day. Your information pack will suggest a number of options for lunch and evening meals in each location.

    Inclusions Read More

    This trip includes the following:

    • 5 nights accommodation in 3-4 star locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary; Breakfast each morning (Meals indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • Essential equipment including a helmet, GPS with pre-loaded routes, bike lock, bike tool, spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers.
    • Welcome briefing and expert bike fitting on Day 1 if hiring bike
    • Luggage transfers on Day 3 and Day 5
    • Private transfer back to Aviemore Railway Station on Day 6
    • A local area guide, with cycling route notes and a map

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

    Travel Read More

    Arrival Info
    Travel to Aviemore (reached by train from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness) or choose to drive here. Check into your accommodation from 4pm, although it is possible to drop off your luggage earlier if you arrive early. Then meet a team member for your welcome briefing at the Wilderness Scotland office and collect your bikes if hiring, either today or the following morning, depending on your preference.


    Departure Info
    We collect you from the final accommodation at 11am on Day 6 and transfer you back to Aviemore Railway Station.

    Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More

    Accommodation Upgrades are available in some locations for a supplement and are subject to availability. Please note that choosing to upgrade the accommodation may mean additional transfers to and from the route at the beginning and end of each day.

    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

    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

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Self guided trips can be taken at your own pace, meaning that you can travel whenever and at whatever pace you feel comfortable, leaving time for optional extra activities, explorations or relaxing.

    On this self guided cycling adventure, each day you will have detailed route notes to follow. On most days, you will also have the option to extend your cycling routes with optimal extensions ranging from 2 to 25 miles.

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