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Road Cycling Scotland: Coast to Coast                      


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Date: May 28 - June 3; June 24-July 1; July 23-29; August 20-26, 2016
Host: Locally Guided
Cost: from CA$ 3,210
Trip Type: Custom Civilized Adventure


New for 2016, the Highland Coast to Coast cycle is a rewarding journey of 262 miles/419km travelling from Aberdeen on the east coast to Applecross in the west. Cycling across the country we’ll climb over 17,000 feet/5,180 metres, including the UK’s highest and in our opinion arguably the most challenging road climb. Throw in some excellent Scottish cuisine, including the Applecross Inn (Scotland’s Pub of the year in 2012), changing and stunning scenery each day, along with a huge array of cultural experiences, ranging from castles and distilleries to a fantastic boat trip long Loch Ness, this is sure to be holiday to remember.

Accommodations – Staying in 3 or 4 star hotels, guesthouses and Highland inns, you can enjoy warm hospitality along with a hot shower, great food and a comfortable bed at the end of a day.

Questions? Please contact one of the Civilized Adventures' Adventure Travel Specialists at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Highlights of "Highland Coast to Coast"

  • Ride right across Highland Scotland from the east to the west coast
  • Quiet roads, testing climbs and superb descents through the UK's most spectacular landscapes
  • Visit the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, atmospheric Loch Ness and the mighty mountains of Torridon
  • Perfect for beginner to intermediate riders looking for a challenge and to develop their skills


Day by Day Itinerary

Click on a day below to view details:

Day 1 - Aberdeen to Alford

Day 1 - Aberdeen to Alford

Meet your guide then transfer to the start point on the North Sea. Spend some time bike fitting then begin riding along the quiet Deeside roads. Enjoy lunch by the riverside in the picturesque village of Banchory. Follow the River Dee; a short climb ends in the village of Alford. Stay in an old inn, dating back to 1850. (Distance 40 miles/64km Ascent: 2,189 ft. L, D)

Day 2 - Cairngorms National Park

Day 2 - Cairngorms National Park

Continue west enjoying quiet and scenic roads. Our first major climb is a steady rise across the wild expanse of the Cabrach moor. The descent leads to the Speyside village of Dufftown, well known for whisky and nearby distilleries. Visit Speyside Cooperage; learn how the coopers continue to produce the age-old casks using traditional methods and tools. After lunch, ride alongside the River Spey climbing into the village of Grantown on Spey in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Perhaps take a short walk to explore the village before dinner or perhaps sample a Speyside whisky in the local pub. (Distance 58 miles/93km Ascent: 4,405 ft. B, L)

Day 3 - Grantownon-on-Spey to Fort Augustus

Day 3 - Grantown-on-Spey to Fort Augustus

We go right off the beaten track onto rarely visited and virtually traffic-free roads. Ride through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge then up the remote Findhorn Valley. Following a fantastic single-track road, climb over the challenging Garbole where views of the majestic North Highlands really open up. If the weather allows, enjoy a spectacular high-altitude picnic by the roadside. Descend to the village of Farr on quiet backroads high above the shores of Loch Ness. A fantastic 5 mile descent brings you to the shores of the famous loch and our overnight accommodation in the village of Fort Augustus. (Distance 55 miles/88km Ascent: 3,312 ft. B, L)

Day 4 - Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

Day 4 - Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

Board a boat for a short cruise on Loch Ness to fascinating Urquhart Castle, the ruins perched right on the edge of the loch. After a short tour here, we climb back on the bikes. Our route rises west passing the Balmacaan Forest, alongside the River Glass and towards the small village of Beauly. Then it’s a short ride to our accommodation: a beautiful family-owned and run country house in the hills above Contin.  (Distance 41 miles/65km Ascent: 1,950 ft. B, L)

Day 5 - To the West Highlands

Day 5 - To the West Highlands

We continue west through Garve and Achnasheen. Dramatic changes occur as the landscape rises around us. Climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg. At the top you are rewarded with views down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree with the rocky ramparts of the Torridon Mountains forming the backdrop. The descent is on the most perfect road surface, ending at the head of Glen Torridon. At last we pass through the dramatic Glen Torridon with views of the majestic mountains of Liatach and Beinn Eighe. We gently climb across the watershed and get our first glimpses of the west coast. Ride alongside the river to overnight in the village of Torridon.
(Distance 43 miles/69km Ascent: 1,985 ft, B, L)

Day 6 - The Applecross Peninsula

Day 6 - The Applecsross Peninsula

Our final day brings a true tes: the famously spectacular and challenging Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle). Start from sea level and rise through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626m (2054ft), Over the 6 mile climb we reach gradients of up to 20% in places! It’s downhill all the way to the coast and journey’s end! If at any point you need some gravity assistance the Wilderness vehicle will provide whatever support you need. The view can only be described as breathtaking (on a clear day):  the Skye Cuillin Mountains, the Small Isles and the Outer Hebrides stretch out before you. The descent is simply superb, leading to the village of Applecross, where we meet the Atlantic, marking the end of our amazing coast to coast journey*. We celebrate with lunch at the Applecross Inn, recently voted the best seafood pub in Britain. (Distance 25 miles/40km Ascent: 3,193 ft*. B, D)

* For those of you wishing to cycle a little more, you can have the option of riding around the peninsula back to Torridon, adding an additional 24 miles and 2,073 feet of ascent.

Day 7 - Return to Inverness

Day 7 - Return to Inverness

After a leisurely breakfast, transfer back to Inverness. The journey takes around 1.5 hours arriving into the city around 12 noon, allowing you plenty time to connect with onward transport. (B)

PLEASE NOTE ‐ The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the Wilderness Scotland Guide with regard to weather conditions and other factors.


Call us for YOUR Custom Civilized Adventure!



Please review the attached itinerary for a more complete description of this adventure including info on bike hire, equipment, guides, accommodation & food, single rooms, trip grading & getting there and away.

Any prices we list are approximate; they can change with exchange rate flucuations or due to any change you might make as you customize this program. Please contact us for more information.

Cost: CA$ 3,210 based on a group size of up to 8 clients. This includes:

  • 6 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* small hotels/inns/guest houses with breakfast daily
  • 6 days professional guiding with lead guide
  • Services of an assistant guide/support driver
  • Meals stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
  • Vehicle transport throughout including ride support and luggage transfers
  • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
  • Ride snacks, home-baking and drinks

Bike Hire: Not included in the price but can be arranged for you. Wilderness Scotland works with brand new bikes each season. Choose from Lapierre audacio 400 (road bike), Lapierre Shaper 200 (hybrid). Bikes are ~CA$368 per trip.

Each bike is equipped wiht a bike computer, cmopact handlebar bag and a saddlebag with spare tube and tire levers.

(Posted Feb. 23 '16)

Trip Grade

Trip Grade: “Red 7”

  • Designed for committed cyclist who love cycling and spend many weekends each year riding
  • Longer days (challenging)
  • Testing climbs & fast descents
  • May involve several challenging days in a row with significant amount of climbing
  • Sometimes exposed to the elements
  • 40-80 km/day (as listed)
  • Can include some of the most testing climbs in the UK

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