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Scotland: Bike Tour of North Scotland

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 12 people
Destination(s): Scotland  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: June
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2995 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3395 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

There is a fresh feeling of clean air, water, and mind when you ride the less-traveled moorlands and coastlines of Scotland’s dramatic north. The isolated and profoundly scenic landscape, the ineffably polite and friendly inhabitants, and the echoes of a deeper past among the ancient castles and Iron Age ruins will leave you with a deep appreciation for Scotland, as well as memories for a lifetime.

The adventure starts in Inverness on the Northern end of Loch Ness, where you can keep an eye out for Nessie in case she rises from the dark and mysterious depths. you will visit Culloden - site of the last major battle fought on British soil, Urquhart Castle, and the quiet forests and glens surrounding the Loch. you will then cross Cromarty Firth from the Black Isle to Easter Ross, and after seeing the recent Iron Age excavations there, will relax in Tain, home to one of Scotland’s fine distilleries, Glenmorangie. You will then cross the highlands following the river Oykel, from Dornoch Firth on the East Coast, to Lochinver near the Summer Isles on the West Coast.

The Gulf Stream has such an influence on the climate here that palm trees grow in Inverewe Gardens - a stunning collection of temperate and sub-tropical plants in beautifully landscaped private gardens. The combination of charming villages, dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife on this adventure will inspire your life-long love affair with Scotland! If you would like to make a two week adventure, you can precede this with the West Coast and Hebrides tour, or can ask us about the options for golf. Either way, we will provide transport between the two, and make it as seamless as possible for you.

Day 1: Meet at our centrally located hotel in Inverness at approximately 16:00 for bike preparation and introductions. Dinner included on guided trips. Lodging: Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness.

Day 2: 40 miles plus options.
Start at the Culloden Battlesite and ride through the countryside to lunch along the shores of Loch Ness. Continue along the road built in the early 18th century by General Wade (keeping an eye out for Nessie) to finish the day's ride following the bank of River Ness back to Inverness. Breakfast included. Dinner also included on guided trips. Lodging: same as last night.

Day 3: 50 miles plus options.
This morning’s gorgeous ride provides an opportunity to visit Moniack Castle Country Wines & Preserves. You’ll ride along Strathglass through the beautiful Glen Urquhart to finish in Drumnadrochit, with its abundance of craft shops. There will be another chance to sight the Loch Ness monster, and you’ll be able to visit the historic ruins of Urquhart Castle. Breakfast included. Dinner also included on guided trips; Lodging: Priory Hotel, Bealy.

Day 4: 56 miles plus options.
Optional hilly ride to start the day. Otherwise a short transfer to begin riding through the Black Isle, a delightful area of gently undulating and varied farmland. A short ferry ride across the Cromarty Firth will bring you to your final stretch of the day through the Iron Age Archaeological Sites of Easter Ross. End the day with a wee dram at the Glenmorangie Distillery. Dinner on guided trips. Lodging: Morangie House Hotel, Tain. Includes: (B).

Day 5: 75 miles.
This crossing from East to West of Northern Scotland will bring you to some of the high points of your visit. Riding along the shores of the Dornoch Firth you will climb to the scenic descent through Strath Oykel to the Assynt Highlands. You will cycle past two impressive castle ruins standing on the shore of Loch Assynt. The last 10 miles of the day will bring you to your elegant inn on the West Coast, from where you’ll be able to enjoy a magnificent sunset over Loch Inver. Breakfast included. Picnic lunch included on guided trips. Lodging: Inver Lodge Hotel, Sutherland.

Day 6: 32 mile coastal loop, or a “rest” day.
Options abound. Visit a lighthouse, 9 mi. away. Perhaps ride and hike to the highest waterfall in Britain, four times higher than Niagara Falls. Go fishing, relax or take a boat ride to the Summer Isles. Breakfast included. Dinner included on guided trips. Lodging: same as last night.

Day 7: 25 miles.
You will cycle through the Inverpolly Nature Reserve and mountains of the Assynt Highlands, and may be able to visit Inverewe Gardens, where the proximity of the Gulf Stream allows palm trees to grow in the high latitudes! You will finish near Ullapool, and after lunch will return to Inverness including a short visit to the dramatic Corrieshalloch gorge pleasantly exhausted from your week (or two) of invigorating adventure. Breakfast included. Lunch also included on guided trips.

Supplemental Tour Information:
- Start: Inverness, 16:00, day one; three hours by train from Glasgow - one hour from Fort William
- Finish: Inverness, 17:00, day seven.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- Transfers from Glasgow available - $95 pp
- Transfer to Glasgow - $95pp
- Self-guided dates: you choose! Best months are June to September.
- Guided cost: $3395 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, all ferries, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and route notes, all taxes).
- Self-guided cost: $2995 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, one transfer, luggage handling, maps and route notes, taxes).
- Single occupancy: $895
- Bicycle rental: hybrid - $195, racing - $295
- All prices subject to change.