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THE ISLES OF SCOTLAND

When the time is right and hopefully in the not too distant future, consider joining us in Scotland for an unsurpassed bike tour.

Towering mountains, glittering lochs, dense woodlands and miles upon miles of golden beaches – the Scottish Isle landscapes really will take your breath away. Tour the rolling hills and lush farmland of the Lowlands, or drive through deep glens surrounded by mountains in the Highlands. Uncover magnificent coastal features in the west, and explore the atmospheric, royal settings of the east.

The Isle of Skye is calling you…

Skye is loved the world over for its dramatic scenery, windswept mountains and swirling seascapes. The intoxicating blend of rugged scenery mixed with fairytale legends and island charm makes the largest of the Inner Hebridean islands and one of our most cherished spots.

But there’s more to this enchanting island than you might imagine, and we’re going to let you in to a few of its secrets.  Our Self Guided Isle of Skye and Inner Hebrides bike tour is an amazing adventure and one just waiting for you.  7 Days, 6 nights, Self Guided Bike Tour, from £995.00. Contact CycleWest Ireland at tours@cyclewest.com for more details, dates and travel updates, 

 

Glameig from the Isle of Raasay Distillery (c) Raasay DistillerySO WHEN CAN I TRAVEL TO SCOTLAND?  Read here for more details on when you can travel to Scotland: Scotland Travel Advisory 

 

Beara Peninsula Bike Tour

Our Beara Peninsula bike tour in West Cork is possibly one of the most scenic tours in Ireland. Experience the unspoiled beauty of the sourrounding landscape and visit picturesque villages, including Kenmare, Castle

 

Dursey

Bantry ~ Allihes ~ Glengariff ~ Castletownbere
8 Days/ 7 Nights Self Led Bike Tour, from Euro 995.00 per person 

The Beara Peninula in Ireland’s West Cork, is an ancient, magical region where the power of the past is ever-present and the present just blooms with welcome for you the visitor. Laden with magnificent landscapes and history, the Beara peninsula is a special region and worthy of exploration.The rugged road that follows the coast along the Beara peninsula, on the SouthWestern coast,  is one of the most scenic in Ireland. The Beara Peninsula is quite remote and has remained perhaps the most unspoilt part of the south west region of Ireland, and like the peninsulas to the north, is a magical world of mountains and lakes surrounded by a picturesque coastlinet.  The Beara peninsula is possibly the least travelled but the most beautiful of the Kerry and Cork peninsulas.

Day 1: Welcome to West Cork!

Your tour starts in Bantry, West Cork. Famous in song, Bantry is located at the mouth of Bantry Bay. A trip welcome pack, itinerary, route directions and maps will await you at your first nights accommodations in Bantry.  Collect your bikes and, if time allows, take a short cycle around the town to get a “feel” for your surroundings. We recommend a visit to Bantry House and Gardens. The Desmesne, with panoramic views over Bantry Bay has been in the White family since the mid 1700′s and has a colourful history. Tearooms are open. A CycleWest Ireland favourite spot! Overnight in Bantry.

Allihies-Header-Slide

Day 2: Bantry loop

Today’s bike ride is a looped trip that takes you onto the Sheeps Head Peninsula following the spectacular “Goat’s Path” on the northern shores of this peninsula to Kilcrohane. From there you return along the southern shores to Durrus, renowned for some wonderful locally produced food, Durrus Irish Farmhouse Cheese being the most well known. We recommend a lunch stop at the Good Things Cafe located by the water in the village. It is part of the Durrus Cookery School. Aware winning chef, Carmel Summers uses only the finest local and seasonal ingredients. Return to Bantry for your overnight stay. Distance: 52kms/ 32 miles. Max. Ascent: 220m

Day 3: Bantry to Glengarriff

Leaving Bantry behind you, today’s cycle takes you on a lovely route to the beautiful Gougane Barra, meaning ‘the rock of Barra’, named after Saint Finbarr, who is said to have built a monastery on an island in the lake nearby during the 6th century. Today, the island is the site of a small oratory with ornate stained glass windows. The natural beauty of the lake and mountains is breathtaking. Spend some time in the forest park with its woodland walks and nature trails. Continue along the coast to Glengariff, which takes its named from the nearby Glengarriff Forest  (loosely translated as: rough glen) containing some of the oldest and most extensive oak and birch groves left in Ireland. Overnight in Glengarriff. Distance: 56kms/ 35 miles. Max. Ascent: 250m.

Day 4: Glengarriff to Lauragh

You might consider taking a boat trip from Glengariff to Garnish Island. Garnish is world renowned for its gardens which are laid out in beautiful walks and it has some stunning specimen plants which are rare in this climate. You can ake the Garnish Island Ferry from Glengarriff Pier to visit this amazing island garden. The very sheltered ferry trip includes a wonderful visit to seal island where you will visit the very tame seal colony. (Perhaps add an extra day to your itinerary to fully appreciate this day).

Cycling north from Glengarriff, you have a beautiful route over the “Caha Pass” a magnificent road through the mountains with wonderful views towards the Ring of Kerry. Descending onto the northern shores of the peninsula you cycle to Lauragh for your overnight. Overnight and dinner in Lauragh. Distance: 45kms/ 28 miles. Max. Ascent: 390m.

Beara-Peninsula-Header-Slid

Day 5: Lauragh to Allihies

Today your bike ride follows the northern coast by Coulagh Bay, with views of Miskish Mountain to the south, through the picturesque village of Eyeries, famous for its colorful houses.  Along the route there is ample evidence of ancient habitation with numerous standing stones, cairns and ancient burial sites. A twisting route with wonderful scenery. From there you continue to the tiny village of Allihies, reputed, by folklore, to be the spot where the four ‘Children of Lír’ came ashore after spending 300 years adrift on the Atlantic. The area was once noted for its copper mines and evidence of the long-ceased activity still remains.  Overnight in Allihies. Distance: 44kms/ 27 miles. Max. Ascent: 100m.

Day 6: Allihes to Castletownbere and Dursey Island

Your route today takes you to the Dursey Sound where a trip to the glorious Dursey Island can be taken by cable car.  Remember to pack a picnic lunch! Spectacular sea views – looking out to the Bull Rock (and its Lighthouse), Cow and Calf Rocks , the Skelligs and the wild Atlantic Ocean. Bull Rock  is reputed to be the site of Teach Doinn (‘the house of Donn’ ~ Irish God of the underworld) and it is here that souls wait to enter his domain.   Back on the mainland – you continue cycling east to finish in the fishing port of Castletownbere.   Take a walk on the expansive wharf where you will find lots of things of interest, from fishing boats to net mending. Overnight in Castletownbere.  Distance: 38kms/ 24 miles. Max. Ascent: 150m

Day 7: Castletownbere to Glenarriff

Today you have the option to take your bike over to Bere Island for a cycle around this beautiful place adding 14kms onto your day. The area is the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s 1943 novel Hungry Hill named for the mountain of the same name which is the highest peak in the Caha Mountains. From Castletownbere you then cycle east through Adrigole – with an option here to go kayaking if you wish. Continuing east ~ you finish your cycle back in Glengarriff. Overnight in Glengarriff. Cycle Details – Distance: 38kms/ 24 miles. Max. Ascent: 220m

Day 8: End of tour

After a farewell Irish breakfast you are then free to take the bus back to Cork & continue your onward journey from there.

Contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details or to book this tour. 

Gourmet Ireland Bike Tour

Our Gourmet Ireland Bike Tour is a triple delight, blazing a new trail in luxury biking in the West of Ireland. This is one of Ireland’s surprises for the discerning traveller.

The Burren~Aran Islands~Connemara
Gregans Castle ~ Inis Meáin Suites~Ballynahinch Castle
Luxe Country Lodge, Island Retreat & Castle Hotel
7 Days / 6 Nights Self Led Bike Tour

Introduction

Explore the limestone plateaus with breathtaking views over the Burren mountain’s and Galway Bay, onward to Inis Meain, Aran Islands and continue to Connemara where you cycle through remote mountain passes, beaches and lakes. The surprise element of Our Wild Atlantic Way Bike Tour is the award winning, luxury accommodations and the gourmet delights that await you at the end of each day! Some of Ireland’s top chefs and restaurants at each of our chosen locations.

Come join us on this terrific Wild Atlantic Adventure and let your imagination do the rest…..

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Our Wild Atlantic Way bike tour  provides you with a terrific biking experience through the spectacular vistas of Galway Bay, the historical Burren, the Aran Islands and scenic Connemara and blends this with award winning menus and Chef’s tastings at the end of each day. Immerse in the history, the culture and local produce of the West of Ireland: a magical combination.

In the Burren, you will the Cliffs of Moher Geopark experience,  stone forts, monuments, alpine and arctic flowers and plants that grow side by side, the seeds having been deposited by glacier millions of years ago. This is the mystical land of disappearing rivers and lakes, closed valleys, caves and limestone pavements. You may even find a real fairy fort! Sample local farmhouse cheeses, smoked Burren Salmon, organic. locally grown produce, burren beef and much more.

Inis Meáin, The Aran Islands, a timeless island in an endless sea showcases weathered monuments, great labyrinths of limestone, quiet beaches and a welcoming island people. As the least developed of the three Aran Islands, its landscape, culture, and history can be explored in peace and at the visitor’s own pace.

“I have decided that Ireland is my favorite place on Earth! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the bike tour. It was so beautiful and amazing! I really want to go again”. Kelly Christensen, Colorado

Day 1: Welcome to the Emerald Isle!
Here you begin our celebrated tour of the West Coast of Ireland: the Burren region, the Aran Islands and Connemara. We meet in the village of Ballyvaughan at you first overnight tour accommodation. Further details and transfer options will be sent to you upon booking your tour. Welcome meeting and bike fit out with briefing in the late afternoon. You will spend the next two nights here in Ballyvaughan in the heart of the Burren at the Award winning Gregan’s Castle Hotel (2 nights). Warm Up Bike Ride: 12 miles

DAY 2: Castles and Caves
This day is designed a leisurely day to bring you into the heart of the Burren, explore Ailwee Caves and the Wild Bird sanctuary where you can watch the falcons fly. A day of history and scenery, of ancient ring forts and dolmans. Onward to the environmental initiative of The Burren – the Burren Interpretative Centre in Kilfenora. Discover a world of wildlife, folklore, ancient archaeology and wonderful plant life. Explore Kilfenora Cathedral and Celtic High Crosses. Overnight in Ballyvaughan at Gregan’s Castle Hotel. Daily Miles: Minimum 22

DAY 3: Moonscapes and Music
A leisurely ride along one of the most scenic coastal routes taking you to the towering Cliffs of Moher. The flaggy shoreline, Fanore Beach and Blackhead Lighthouse are amongst just some of the points of interest you view along the route this morning. An afternoon ferry ride from the village of Doolin will take you to the historical and remote Inis Meáin Island, where Gaelic is the spoken language. This is a visit you will treasure long after your visit to Ireland. Overnight for the next two nights at Inis Meáin Suites. Daily miles: 19 miles & ferry boat ride

DAY 4: Island Exploration
As the island is just 5km by 3km, it is easily explorable by foot and bicycle. explore the many internal roads which wind through tiny stone-walled fields. The island is a haven for outdoor types looking for a “get away from it all” experience in a unique landscape. Home to a close-knit irish-speaking community, the island features many historical and cultural sights of note, and inspiring natural terrain including beaches, cliffs, and limestone karst hosting unusual, wild, flora and fauna. Shopping at the world-renowned Inis Meáin Knitting Company factory store and socializing in the traditional island pub add to the attraction of Inis Meáin as a refreshing and unique destination. The Island also offers Pre-Christian stone forts, beehive huts, ancient burial grounds, Synge’s house, Harry Clarke Studio stained-glass windows, and many more. Daily Miles: walking, hiking and biking mix today

Day 5: Ferry Boats and Foxes
Mid Day departure from the Aran Islands to the Rosaveal ferry port. You traverse a route bordered by heather and bracken, through scenery that is wild and barren. Picnic lunch is possible en route followed by a bike ride through the rugged Twelve Bens mountains towards the rugged coastline. Overnight in Recess, Connemara at one of Ireland’s favourite hotels: Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Daily miles: Minimum mileage of 36 miles with extensions possible.

DAY 5: Seascapes and Sandcastles
Early morning start to Roundstone village, the most picturesque fishing harbour in Connemara where traditional Galway Hooker, lovingly cared for over the years, can be seen on Bertraghboy Bay. Coastal loop ride via Roundstoneand  Ballyconneely village ~ stunning beaches at Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, taking time to visit the Connemara Smokehouse, perched on the water’s edge. Bike to the Alcock and Brown monument, dedicated to the first transatlantic flight in 1919 from New Foundland. Returning to Clifden via Ballynahinch Castle hotel by way of the scenic bog road where sheep are your only distraction! Overnight in Connemara at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Daily miles: minimum 25

DAY 6: Departure
Today, sadly, today we bid you farewell. This morning you depart from Clifden to your next point. We can assist you with any planning, be it rail, flight or car hire. Please also see our ‘trip arrival and departure’ instructions’ for transport options.

 

 

 

Coast to Coast Scotland Bike Tour

Trip Highlights

  • Challenging East coast to West coast cycle from Aberdeen to Applecross
  • Quiet roads, testing climbs and superb descents in stunning landscapes.
  • Scenic Cairngorms National Park.
  • Boat tour on the Iconic Loch Ness.
  • Amazing mountains of Torridon.
  • Fully supported

Aberdeen ~ Cairngorms National Park ~ Lough Ness ~ Applecross ~ Inverness

Duration: 7 Days/ 6 Nights
Price: from £1,795 per person sharing

ITINERARY

Not for the faint-hearted, this biking adventure will take you on a coast to coast journey, from Aberdeen to Applecross and Inverness.

A combination of challenging climbs, magnificent descents offering stunning scenery each day. Combine this with along with a variety of quintessential cultural experiences, ranging from castles and distilleries to a fantastic boat trip trip along Loch Ness, this is sure to be holiday to remember.

Day 1: Aberdeen to Ballater

Early morning meet and greet at Aberdeen Train Station this morning. We begin our journey across Scotland.  A transfer takes us to our start point, on the shores of the North Sea. We begin with a  group welcome, bike fit out and a briefing from your guide. This is followed by a bike ride along the quiet South Deeside roads, arriving at the scenic village of Banchory in time for a riverside lunch.  The riverside bike ride continues,  along the River Dee, leading us to the village of Ballater. A wlecome dinner awaits. (L, D)

Distance: 64km / 40 miles, Ascent: 670m / 2,189ft

Day 2: Biking in Cairngorms National Park

This morning, there are a few hills, including some challenging climbs rewarded with superb descents. Climbing over the Lecht pass you take a break Tomintoul village, the highest village in the Highlands. It’s also home to one of Scotland’s best whisky shops which is well worth a visit. This is followed with an easy end of day ride to the village of Grantown on Spey and your overnight stay. (B, L, D)

Distance: 93km/ 58 miles Ascent: 1342m/ 4,405ft

Day 3: Grantown-on-Spey to Fort Augustus

Today starts easily with a pleasant ride through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge.  Following a fantastic country road, we climb over the challenging Garbole where the views of the Highlands open up. A quick descent to the village of Farr, followed by quiet backroads alongside the iconic shores of Loch Ness. We love our 5 mile descent to end the day, dropping us down to the shores of Loch Ness. From here, we transfer to our accommodation in the village of Drumnadrochit.  A well earned dinner awaits. (B, L, D)

Distance: 88km/ 55 miles Ascent: 1009m/ 3,312 ft

Day 4:  Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

This morning is a restful start. Mid-morning, we board a zodiac for a high speed trip on Loch Ness, passing historical Urquhart Castle, nestled on the shores of the loch. This is followed with a bike ride  along a lovely road alongside the River Glass.  We wind our way through the countryside to our accommodation secluded in the hills above Contin. (B, L, D)

Distance: 65km/ 41 miles Ascent: 594m/ 1,950 ft

Day 5: Into West Highlands

This morning we climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg, rewarded with one of the finest views right down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree. This descent is an absolute blast on a perfect road surface arriving at Kinlochewe. Late afternoon we ride  through the dramatic Glen Torridon. Here, the scenery offeres us the majestic mountains of Liathach and Beinn Eighe. We gently climb across the watershed, we get our first glimpse of the west coast. We end the day in the village of Shieldaig, your overnight stay. (B, L, D)

Distance: 69km/ 43 miles Ascent: 596m/ 1,958 ft

Day 6: The Applecross Peninsula

This mornings ride is a coastal one from Torridon to Shieldaig. We continue south through the hills on a winding single track road reaching the start of our final, challenging climb: The Bealach na Ba. Alpine in nature, this route crosses the rugged peak of Beinn Bhàn. Starting from sea level and rising through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626m (2,054ft) over a 6 mile climb. From the summit the views are panoramic, stretching accross the sea downhill all the way to the coast and journey’s end. Your Coast to Coast journey ends with a celebratory lunch at the legendary Applecross Inn. With views over the sea to the Isle of Skye, it’s the perfect end to an amazing trip.  (B, L, D)

Distance: 40km/ 25 miles Ascent: 973m/ 3,193 ft

Day 7: Farewell

Sadly today we bid you farewll. This morning we will have a leisurely breakfast before transferring to Inverness. The journey takes us around 1.5 hours, arriving into the city around 12 noon. You continue with your onward journey from here. (B)

 

Treasures of the Highlands

MULTI-ACTIVITY FAMILY ADVENTURE

Self Drive Tour
7 days, 6 nights from £1,065 pps

This activity filled family adventure promises to be a big hit for all of the family. Immerse the family is a land of myths and legends, castle ruins, spectacular scenery and wildlife. Enjoy sea kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and all with knowledgeable guides. All activities are suitable for beginners.

 

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE FORT WILLIAM

Your adventure begins at Fort William, a great location to use as a base for exploring the West Highlands. As this is a self-drive itinerary, you make your way to Fort William in the West Highlands. If you are coming from Edinburgh or Glasgow, you can drive via the stunning Glencoe valley. Or, if you are starting from Inverness, you will drive along the banks of Loch Ness. Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands and is nestled  in the shadow of Ben Nevis. . Settle into your B&B accommodation and overnight.

DAY 2: THE HARRY POTTER STEAM TRAIN

A relaxing day to recover from your journey. After breakfast, don your wizard cloaks and grab your wands and jump aboard the Jacobite Steam Train – also known as the Hogwarts Express – the Harry Potter steam train –  to enjoy one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Sit back and enjoy the immense and spectacular landscape as you cross the famous Glenfinnan viaduct on your way west. A lunch stop in the fishing port of Mallaig provides the perfect break  before you return to Fort William.
(B)

 

DAY 3: SEA KAYAKING TO DESERT ISLANDS

Your first adventure activity is today’s sea kayaking on the beautiful coastline, in the Sound of Arisaig.  Here we will find lots of tiny desert islands, quite possibly with hidden treasure buried somewhere! This beautiful stretch of water offers excellent sea kayaking in fairly sheltered waters. It is also an excellent place for seeing marine wildlife such as seals, otters or even dolphins. You will have lots of breaks during the day to ensure that no-one gets too tired. Late afternoon, return to Fort William. (B)

DAY 4: CANOEING IN THE GREAT GLEN

A fun day, starting and finishing near Fort William. Your first stop will be Neptune’s Staircase – the impressive series of 8 canal lock-gates where the Caledonian Canal meets the shore of Loch Eil. Here you collect your canoe equipment and start with a canal-side briefing on how to paddle canoes. Then jump in and paddle north up the canal, enjoying the easy paddling on the calm canal waters and the beautiful views of the  hills, including the north face of Ben Nevis – the highest peak in Scotland. On reaching Gairlochy you’ll be collected and transferred back to the start point. Fort William.

 

DAY 5: CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK – MOUNTAIN BIKING

Driving east this morning to the Cairngorms National Park, 1 hour & 30 minutes away,  you have time to stop for a short walk or visit a whisky distillery. Grab lunch and then you meet your guide and pick up your bikes. We’ll take our mountain bikes on an off-road journey thorugh ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of Rothiemurchus Estate. through the ancient forests, seeking out the wildlife as we ride. The trails  are well-known for wildlife, including reindeer, golden eagles, red deer, squirrels and ospreys. All in all la great biking day through magnificent scenery.

DAY 6: HIKING AND TREASURE HUNTING

During the week you will have been collecting clues as part of your great treasure hunt! Today is teh day to find the treasure! So today is the day you try our geocaching – learning basic navigation skills and then using them, combined with the clues we have already gathered, to find the treasure. So today, we take you on a guided hike, geocaching and treasure hunting along the way. Tonight, enjoy your last night in the Cairngorms.

DAY 7: DEPARTURE… OR CONTINUE WITH AN EXTENSION

Sadly today we bid you all farewell. You begin your journey home. Or if you prefer to remain in the area and do some additional exploring, we are happy to be of assistance in planning your extended stay.

Outer Hebrides Road Cycling Tour

Trip Highlights

• An island safari experience through nine beautiful Hebridean islands, cycling through some of the most natural and unspoiled landscapes in Europe
• En route, enjoy the regales of local Gaelic culture and history of the Outer Hebrides
from your guide and visits to local sites
• Opportunities to see white tailed eagle, otter, and dolphins in this wildlife rich region
• This trip includes visits to impressive ancient sites such as the Callinish Standing Stones and the newly renovated Lews Castle.

Outer Hebrides Isles of Barra ~ Uist ~ Harris ~ and Lewis

Duration: 7 Days/ 6 Nights
Price: from £1,865 per person sharing

INTRODUCTION

This extraordinary journey will take you through nine amazing islands, covering a distance of 173 miles/280 kms along the entire Hebridean archipelago. Every day’s biking combines the stunning white sandy beaches, rocky mountains and wild glens with the rich cultural and natural history of the Hebrides. It will be a journey to remember.

From vast coastal fields of wild flowers to the mysterious standing stones of Callanish, we are sure you will be captivated by these special islands. Here, where Gaelic is still spoken, you will find a rich culture and history.

With warm hospitality, great accommodation and food completing the picture, join us for a memorable trip through the Hebrides!

Day 1: Inverness to South Uist

We meet in Inverness in the morning and drive west through the highlands. Crossing by ferry to the Isle of Skye, where your adventure begins.  Lots of opportunity to watch out for whales and other marine wildlife on the crossing, before we alight at the wonderful Outer Hebrides at Lochmaddy. Onward to the islands of North and South Uist. Welcome dinner and a cosy overnight stay (D).

Day 2 – Barra And Eriskay

This morning we ride to the Isle of Eriska, steeped in stories of local lore. It is here that Bonnie Prince Charlie and ‘the Seven Men of Moidart’ landed in 1745 to begin the Jacobite Rising. Onward by ferry to Barra where we take a loop bike ride of the island, taking in Kisimul Castle ~ the Castle in the Sea ~ at Castlebay. Further along the West Coast of Barra, we capture the beautiful views of the Atlantic. Later this afternoon we return by ferry to the Isle of Eriskay and South Uist, your home again for the night. (B,L,D) Distance 37 m / 59 km

Day 3 – South Uist, Benbecula & North Uist

This morning we follow the wild machair covered west coast, taking in all the sights and sounds as you weave past the wild flowers and white sandy beaches. The Machair is a wild, fertile habitat supporting an abundance of wildflowers in Spring and Summer. Here, you will also find sand dunes and fresh water lochans where an extensive array of wild birds thrive. Ease your way north along flat terrain and across the tiny island of Benbecula onto North Uist and Benerary. A short ferry crossing takes us to the Isle of Harris and a transfer to your harbourisde hotel.

(B,L,) Distance 47 m / 75 km 

Day 4 – The Golden Road and Luskenture

Today offers one of the best days biking on the Hebrides. We follow the “Golden Road” on winding roads to the east of Harris, known local as the Bays. The route offers amazing scenery and views across the Isle of Skye. Arriving into Rodel, we stop to visit the 15th century St. Clements church before lunch at Leverburgh. After lunch we follow the beautiful coastline to the beaches of Luskentyre and take a short beach walk. Optional transfer or follow the beach route to a final descent back to Tarbert, the islands ‘capital’ and your lovely hotel right by the harbour. (B,L) Distance 36 m / 59 km

Day 5 – Harris to The Isle of Lewis

After breakfast we visit the famous Harris Tweed weavers to see the worlds most famous weavers at work. Today will be your most challenging day as we climb through the hills but the striking scenery is a reward worth earning. As you traverse beneath the striking mountain of An Clisham – the highest pint of the Outer Hebrides. you should keep an eye out for golden Eagles.

 

Crossing the spectacular fjord of Loch Seaforth, we continue on to the Isle of Lewis, turning west towards the mysterious Callanish standing stones. These mysterious stones are over 5000 years old. The ancient site provides a fitting end to a memorable day of riding. For the next two nights your home will be a friendly 4 star Guest House located nearby. (B, L) Distance 39 m / 64 kms

Day 6 – Callanish to the Butt of Lewis

Your final day of cycling follows the west coast of Lewis and is full of historical and cultural interest. Heading north,  we pass the ancient Dun Carloway Broch and then the Blackhouse Village at Gearrannan which offers an insight into what island living was like not so many years ago.

 

Discover the Whalebone Arch, recovered from a huge whale washed up on a beach nearby. Perched on the Atlantic at the very edge of Europe, the Butt of Lewis is a spectacular place to end our journey through the Outer Hebrides. We return to Callanish for your final overnight stay and a celebratory dinner. (B, L,D) Distance 34 m / 56 km.

Day 7 – Callanish to Inverness

After a relaxed breakfast, you have time to take a final bike ride to the village of Stornoway. Alternatively, we can ride in the van to explore Lews Castle, recently renovated, with restaurants and museum. Lots to see and do here, including the excellent Gaelic cultural arts venue and nice cafes  where you can have lunch. Early afternoon we board the ferry for a scenic journey to Ullapool on the mainland. From Ullapool it is approximately 1.5 hour’s drive to Inverness, where we will arrive close to 6.30 pm. (B)

 ________________________________________

Scotland Island Explorer

Trip Highlights

  • Cycling the best of Scottish Islands: the Isle of Arran, Islay island and the whisky island of Jura,
  • Mull of Kintyre.
  • Stunning landscapes of south-west Scotland
  • An unforgettable cycling holiday.

 Arran ~ Islay ~ Jura

7 days/ 6 nights Classic Guided Bike Tour
From £1,995 per person sharing

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Our Scotland Island Explorer bike tour takes you through three of Scotland’s most beautiful islands: the isles of Arran, Islay and Jura. Enjoy a tutored whisky tasting including samples fresh from the cask. Experience a guided Rib trip to the world famous Corryvreckan Whirlpool. Throughout the week you will enjoy rides on the Isles of Arran, Jura and Islay. Included also is a crossing of the Mull of Kintyre. At the end of the tour you can enjoy time in Glasgow. At the end of each day, relax in hand chosen accommodations with wonderful. Enjoy local food, ales and whiskies, providing an authentic taste of the islands.

Day 1: Scotland in Miniature

Meet and greet in Glasgow, from which we depart to the west coast. Here we catch the ferry from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran. Arran is often described as “Scotland in Miniature”. It has the Highland-Lowland dividing line running through the middle of the Island. This divides the wild, unspoiled, mountainous north, dominated by the peak of Goat Fell, and the forest, farmland and resorts of the south.

The crossing through the Firth of Clyde takes 55 minutes. We arrive into the main village of Brodick. On arrival we will make the short transfer to our accommodation for the next two nights. After lunch we will spend some time fine tuning the bikes and ensuring everyone is set up for weeks riding. After a short ride, there will be time to enjoy the leisure facilities at the hotel. These include a swimming pool, sauna and steam room to help relax before a welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Brodick on the Isle of Arran. (L,D)

 

Day2: Castles, Crags and Caves

Today’s bike route will take us around the southern half of Arran. The day is jam packed with island scapes and the coastline. We will also be treated to great views across to Kinytyre and back to the mainland. Commencing in Lamlash we head south through Whiting Bay, and on to the south side of the island. We stop at a local ‘Velo Cafe’ before turning North again. The island is full of points of interest, such as caves, ancient standing stones, castles and crags. You also have stunning coastal vistas to the mainland. There will be time to explore the picturesque villages before arriving back to Brodick and back to Lamlash. This evening we will enjoy a well deserved dinner at the hotel. (B, L)

Daily Distance: 41 miles/65 km

 

 

Day 3: Island Hopping

This mornings ride skirts by Goat Fell, the highest peak on Arran standing at 874 metres (2,866 ft) to the village of Lochranza and its ruined castle. We have two short ferry crossings: a short ferry crossing takes us to Kintyre Peninsula. The second ferry from Kennacriag to Islay is a voyage of exploration. It takes 2 hours, whisking us past the Isle of Ghia and through the Sound of Jura, where we can look out for minkie whales, dolphins and basking sharks. On arrival in Port Askaig, we will hop back on the bikes and ride towards our accommodation and base for the next two nights. (B,L)
Daily Distance: 36.2 miles/52 km

Day 4: Wildlife and Whisky

This morning we transfer to the coastal village of Portnahaven,  following the west coast of the island to Port Charlotte. A picturesque ride, with views of Orsay Island. Picnic lunch overlooking the sea. Back on the bikes we start to ride back to our accommodation at Brigend via Loch Gruinart, where we can stop off to visit the small RSPB Center where they relate the importance of Islay to many bird species such as migrating geese, corn rake, lapwing and hen harrier. (B,L)

Daily Distance: 38.8 miles/62 km

 

 

Day 5: Island Exploring

Today will be a short day of riding on Islay’s quiet country roads. Setting off from Port Ellen, we reach the Coast once more and turn left, following the road along the Whisky Coast. We pass the island’s 3 famous distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We carry on a short distance to reach the Kildalton Cross, a monolithic Celtic Cross. We then ride back to Ardbeg fir lunch in the cafe before spending the afternoon enjoying a tutored whisky tasting. Afterward, we transfer back to Brigend. (B, L)

Distance: 45-65km/ 30-40 miles depending on which distilleries you choose to visit

Day 6: Jura and The Corryvreckan Whirlpool

This morning we transfer the short distance to Port Askaig, where we board the passenger ferry. We cross the fast flowing Sound of Islay and reaching the Jura in a little over five minutes. We follow the eastern coastline of the Island watching out for red deer and the many Iron Age Forts, ancient burial grounds and standing stones as we bike along the east coast of the Island towards the main village of Craighouse.

The highlight of the afternoon is when we load up the bikes and take a private boat trip to visit the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, the third largest whirlpool in the world. From here the boat takes us back to the mainland, where there is an option to cycle the last few miles back to our hotel, set in 17 acres of gardens and beach overlooking the coast. Farewell dinner tonight and perhaps a dram to celebrate a fantastic week of Island hopping. (B,L,D)

Daily Distance: 36 miles/57 km

Day 7: Return to Glasgow

Sadly, to day we bid you farewell. After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel there will be time for a short walk around the neighbouring Arduannie Gardens. The gardens are run and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and benefit form the warming effect of the North Atlantic drift. Due to the proximity to the sea, this allows the cultivation of many rare and tender plants from around the world. Our journey back to Glasgow will take us around 2 hours 45 minutes, passing through Inverary and Loch Fyne, where we can stop at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Deli for a bite to eat before returning to Glasgow. (B)

 

Outer Hebrides: A Very Special Place

Review of our Outer Hebrides Bike Trip 2018 by Christine Gray, Sept 24th, 2018
The Outer Hebrides is a very special place. It isn’t just the scenery but the people were so friendly and so genuine. We rode from the southern islands to the north, with the idea of prevailing winds at our backs.
The southern islands are less populated and flatter so it is also a breaking in while riding on single lane roads, stopping to photograph sheep along the roadside and marveling over the landscape.
There are virtually no trees to speak of which is a very different reality for me but the scenery is so striking with the expansive moors and pothole lakes, sweeping white sand beaches along the western coast and the mountains along the east.
As we traveled north, it got a little more populated and a little more terrain but nothing unmanageable. Riding the constantly winding road promised for more spectacular views around every bend.
We followed the Outer Hebridean Way from the Isle of Barra in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the north so it was about 200 miles all told.
We had all types of weather – rain, wind, sunshine – I think this is to be expected for islands off the NW coast of Scotland!
The guides were true professionals and strived to ensure we loved the islands as much as they did. Bikes were well maintained and checked over every evening.
I had the misfortune of lost luggage upon my arrival and the office staff were so great helping me by keeping in contact with the airlines to get my suitcase sent out where we could intercept it and keeping me up to date on progress.
I truly had a great week and am already looking into another trip.
For more details about our 2019 Outer Hebrides Cycling Tour please see: http://www.cyclewest.com/itinerary/outer-hebrides/

Beautiful Tuscany

Our Beautiful Tuscany Bike tour is a luxury, guided bike tour that captures the essence of glorious Tuscany and features some of the best scenery in the region. A stylish and unique experience!

Montepulciano ~ Pienza ~ Val d’Orcia
7 Day / 6 Night, Guided Tour

This tour has captured the essence of glorious Tuscany and features some of the best scenery in the region.  Starting at the beautiful Villa Marsili, in Cortona, this tour lets you discover Montepulciano, Pienza and Val d’Orcia through a landscape of sculpted curves created over the centuries by wind, rain, and man. The mystique of this land lies not only in its landscape, but also in its nature, its vineyards and its history: oak woods, olive groves and vineyards overlook enchanting hillsides, medieval villages and historical monuments. Each day you rise, enjoy excellent coffee, cycle for five or six hours in the fresh air and spend the night in a warm, welcoming inn.  The tour ends on a high note in the magnificent city of Siena.

Day 1: Cortona

Nice to meet you! Transfer from Chiusi station to the charming Villa Marsili where your bike fitting and tour introductions  take place. Explore this delightful hill town, made famous by Frances Mayes in her bestselling novel ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’. Stroll through the winding narrow (and steep! ) medieval streets, then enjoy a fabulous welcome dinner at Le Loggette in main square.

Day 2: Lake Trasimeno and Val di Pierle

Your bike tour to Trasimeno lake begins with cycling to Val di Pierle and its splendid castle or “Rocca”. The castle was built prior to the 10th century and belonged to the marquises of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina.  Then enjoy an uphill cycle to the top of Cima di Tuoro from where you will be able to enjoy a stunning view of the Lake and its islands before beginning your welcome descent. Distance 52 km/32.5 miles.

Day 3: Pienza and Montepulciano  

Today you bike to  Montepulciano and explore rolling hills before climbing to Pienza.  Ride from Cortona to Montepulciano, a jewel in southern Tuscany and stop in the village of Monticchiello, the quintessential Tuscan hill town. Bold cypress trees line our route to the Orcia valley where you bike through the fields that inspired Renaissance painters. Distance 50 km/ 31 miles…

 

Day 4: Val d’Orcia and Radicofani   

Enjoy a loop bike tour in the  Orcia valley and a climb to Radicofani, a medieval and enchanting village with ‘Rocca’ dating to 1200.  Then head downhill to Contignano. On the way back have a “pecorino” –  sheep milk cheese tasting –  at Pianporcino organic farm. Distance 66 km/41 miles.

Day5: Montalcino and Brunello wine

Cycle downhill to the fairy-tale like Bagno Vignoni, a miniature spa and unique town, then push on to the monastery of Sant’Antimo. The famed wine town of Montalcino is a highlight: from its fortress see a breathtaking view of the entire valley you’ve just biked. Once back in the saddle you are on your way to a winery where you will enjoy the local brunello. Distance 45 km/28 miles.

Day 6: Monte Oliveto Abbey & Siena 

Enjoy the downhill ride from Montalcino, stop at Giovanni d’asso, an ancient borgo (burough)  famous worldwide for its valuable white truffle, is rich with farms, hamlets and castles, reminiscent of the colours of the paintings of the Renaissance. Afterwards, you’ll travel through the fascinating area called Le Crete, Tuscany’s answer to the Badlands. Distance 55 km/34 miles.

Day 7: Siena

Arrivederci! Your bike tour has ended – explore Siena on your own before leaving by train for your next destination in Italy.

West Coast Adventure Dates & Pricing 2019

West Coast Adventure Guided Tour www.cyclewest.com

West Coast Bike Tour Adventure ~  Dates and Pricing

 

This extraordinary Irish biking tour, our West Coast Adventure Guided Tour, has been designed with escape, exploration and an overall terrific experience in mind!  We offer you the opportunity to explore and contemplate life to its fullest, away from all the hustle of everyday life.

CycleWest Ireland West Coast Adventure Guided Tour

Our West Coast Adventure, 6 days and 5 nights guided bike tour,  offers you a biking trip through the spectacular vistas of Galway Bay, the historical Burren, the Aran Islands and scenic Connemara. Immerse in the history, the culture and the pure magic of the West of Ireland.

Introduction

The BURREN is a unique landscape of limestone plateau and wilderness landscapes that invite you to explore.  You will discover ancient stone forts and neo-lithic monuments. Here alpine and arctic flowers grow side by side, the seeds having been deposited by glacier millions of years ago. This is a mystical land of disappearing rivers and lakes, closed valleys, caves and limestone pavements. You may even find a real fairy fort!

 

Cyclewest.com West Coast Adventure Guided Tour

The ARAN ISLANDS, three timeless islands in an endless sea, showcase weathered monuments on awesome cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone, meandering walls, patchwork fields, quiet beaches and a welcoming island people. Here Gaelic is still spoken and is the language of choice for the islanders.

Crossing by ferry from the Aran Islands, you will know immediately that you have arrived in wild CONNEMARA  by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape! Described by Oscar Wilde as “wild, mountainous country, magnificent is every way”.

For this rewarding bike trip, we have personally selected a wonderful variety of quality accommodations that offer a blend of luxury and personal hospitality.  You will enjoy the delights of stunning settings and vibrant culture.
Come and join us on this terrific West Coast adventure and let your imagination do the rest…..

Our trip was fabulous!. You really know how to organize a tour for the greatest scenery and wonderful accommodations. ….the little lanes we spent the majority of our time on were so relaxing and fun to ride on. They also got us into the wilderness and I often felt we were a hundred miles from anywhere!”

Dan Peters & Family, Superior, Colorado

‘We still talk to one another often and with great pleasure about our trip. We have so many wonderful pictures of our trip. As wonderful as our week in Ireland was, it was hardly enough time to fully capture the depth and breadth of your beautiful country and we all hope to find ourselves back on your roads sometime in the future. …Thanks again to you for all the effort and attention you gave us.’

Michael Riddell and family, Millburn, New Jersey

DATES AND PRICES 2019:

  • 21st – 26th March – TRIP FULL
  • 25th- 30th April- Provisional
  • 10th – 15th May –  6 places remaining
  • 24th – 29th May  – TRIP FULL
  • 7th – 12th June – 8 places available
  • 26th June – 1st July -8 places available
  • 12th – 17th July – Provisional
  • 23rd- 28th August – 8 places available
  • 6th – 11th September – Provisional

Minimum 2 persons booked will confirm a departure date. Don’t see a date that works for you? You can request a private tour for a small group of friends or family. Please contact us at tours@cyclewest.com for more details.

READ HERE FOR MORE DETAILS >