Prices and dates are indicative of the likely cost and period of travel. Please contact our Tour consultants on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)208 876 5665 for more details.
Suggested travel dates for Scotland are June, July, or September.
Do you really want to get away from it all?
Come and ride the UK’s most perfect cycling territory with us. Just don’t tell anybody about it.
Northwest Scotland. You’ve probably got an idea in your head of how beautiful it is – mountainous wilderness, deep dark lochs, stunning coastline – but have you ever been there? Most people haven’t, and therein lies the real attraction of this tour. There’s nobody there. Our five-day ride, constructed with a genuine passion for this most expansive region, takes in the greatest scenery that Scotland has to offer. From the hidden depths of mysterious Loch Ness, passing medieval castles ravaged by history, over the highest pass in Scotland, tackling vertiginous coast roads where every corner opens up a stunning new panorama. Eagles, wild deer and some of the world’s greatest concentrations of seabirds will be your company rather than traffic, or even other cyclists.
The natural resources that abound in this wilderness give the hotels and restaurants dotted over the landscape the perfect larder to prepare mouthwatering local dishes. Seafood and game is often caught within sight of the dining table, and the number of award-winning chefs per capita of population far outweigh the ratios of London, Paris or New York. This is a trip for those who want to plug into nature and recharge their batteries. It is a non-competitive ride, but don’t be fooled: these are some of Europe’s most challenging roads. The Bealach na Ba has the greatest ascent of any climb in the UK, rising from sea level to over 2000 feet in six miles, with its upper hairpins resembling a mini Stelvio. Steeper still are the coast roads of Wester Ross and Assynt, which never seem to have any flat sections and a rare gradient of 30% can be attained. We have been riding here for many years and can guide you away from the trunk roads to find one undiscovered gem after another. The fear of wilderness riding is removed by having La Fuga professional back-up to ride with you and support you at all times.
La Fuga have prepared this trip in partnership with the well-known cycling writer, John Deering. He has guided the itinerary for this trip over his favourite roads along with our experienced guides and mechanics.
If it’s escape you’re looking for, you may never want to go home. Nobody ever comes here once, but shhh… don’t tell anyone, or they’ll all want to come.
- Five nights accommodation on a half board basis
- Airport transfers
- Experienced guides, mechanics and dedicated support car on each ride
- Complimentary energy drinks and bars
- La Fuga welcome pack
- La Fuga cycling jersey
What's Not Included?
- Lunches and snacks
- Travel insurance
- All drinks
- Incidental expenses
- Bike Hire
Please note tour deposits are non-transferable and non-refundable. Therefore please ensure you have the appropriate travel insurance in place should you have to cancel at the last minute.
Monday – ARRIVAL DAY
We will run collection transfers from Inverness (INV) airport at and also a transfer from Inverness rail station if requested.
After arriving into Inverness, we will transfer to our hotel on the outskirts of the city. Our mechanic will be on hand to help you assemble your bike, prepare your tour equipment and if there’s time we’ll head out for a quick spin to loosen the travel from your legs. Your Tour Director will host dinner at the hotel in the evening, where they will welcome you to the trip and introduce the fantastic riding to come.
Tuesday – Day 1
Ride: Inverness – Glenelg – 135km / 80miles
After a comfortable night in Inverness, the self-styled capital of the Highlands, we strike out along the lesser-trod east bank of Loch Ness. The small road rises high above the glassy water giving you a chance to spot any mysterious creature breaking the surface whilst the traffic is carried along the main road on the far side. You’ll have time to ride your legs into a little form before the first serious climb of an arduous week kicks in at Foyers, propelling you upwards and away from the inky depths.
Your second pass comes halfway through the day as you leave the Great Glen and strike westwards into the heart of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s country of the clans and the glorious scenery of Glen Garry. This drag is a steady manageable incline, but goes on tilted in the wrong direction for the best part of eight miles. It will all be worth it when the heathery expanse of the uplands suddenly gives way to one of the greatest Highland panoramas down the length of lonely Glen Quoich and beyond into the peaks that guard the way to the Isles.
A long easy swing through the stunning huge vistas of Glen Shiel and Kintail is just reward for your efforts, and by the time you reach the shores of Loch Duich you will have done well to avoid a crick in the neck from taking in the surrounding high peaks. Here, we say goodbye to the beaten track for pretty much the entire duration of our trip by heading into the forgotten valleys of Glenelg. To reach this beautiful Rivendell however, you must clamber up the fierce slopes of Mam Ratagan, a high barrier between you and your destination and the steepest of today’s climbs. The hairpins give you a view back across Loch Duich to the high ridge opposite and the individual tops of the Five Sisters of Kintail, a paradise for Munro baggers.
Glenelg is a world away from the land you’ve left behind, wherever you’ve come from. A sleepy little slice of Middle Earth hidden from the rest of the United Kingdom by the peaks and sea that surround it on all sides, a delicious meal and a comfortable bed await you at the end of the trip’s longest day.
Wednesday – Day 2
Ride: Glenelg – Applecross – 90km / 55miles
Have a lie-in today, as you don’t need to roll out too early. The tiny community-run turntable ferry that will carry you across the Sound of Sleat at Kylerhea Narrows to begin your ride doesn’t start running until 10am, and you will only be covering a mere 55 miles today. Flora MacDonald’s bonny boat that carried the escaping Young Pretender across the sea to Skye would have had but a short trip if she’d used this route – the magical isle is just a long caber-toss from the mainland here. Enjoy the seals that play in the wake of the ferry and look out for the wildlife above and below the waves that pass through these straits. Seabirds are in abundance, but you may be lucky enough to see Britain’s biggest bird of prey, a white-tailed eagle, or “flying barn door” as they are known in these parts.
Don’t think it’s going to be easy though. The minute you arrive upon the hallowed Isle of Skye, you’ll be climbing up the winding ramparts of the Bealach Udal. This will be a prelude for what awaits later. For now, enjoy the descent that provides you with a giddying view of the Cuillin, renowned as one of the world’s most dramatic mountain landscapes.
Your short visit to Skye is ended by cresting the bridge that takes you back to mainland Scotland by way of Kyle of Lochalsh and once again you can leave the big road behind and follow the shoreline of Loch Carron below a wide bowl of mountain scenery. Here begins three days of riding through Wester Ross, arguably Scotland’s most beautiful and overlooked region.
If you look across the water you’ll be able to pick out the mega-proportioned buttress of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain that looms forbiddingly over the West Highlands’ highest pass: the feared Bealach na Ba. You can warm up for Cow Pass, as its more prosaic translation reads, by climbing away from Loch Carron and down into pretty Kishorn, but as soon as you cross the small marshy expanse at Tornapress, there is nothing but up for the next six miles. The hairpins at the top are Scotland’s answer to the Stelvio, and who is to say that the view from the summit is any less dramatic than the panorama from the top of Italy’s greatest pass?
The best thing about getting to the top of the Bealach na Ba is that there are only another six miles of breathtaking downhill before you reach the Applecross Inn, a winner of Scottish Pub of the Year. It’s as fine an establishment as you’ll ever eat and drink in, let alone on the day that you conquered the mighty Bealach.
Thursday – Day 3
Ride: Applecross – Poolewe – 110km / 65miles
The most varied of all these stages, Day Three begins with the circumnavigation of the Applecross Peninsula. Some claim that this tiny road – only completed in the latter half of the 20th Century – is harder than the Bealach na Ba itself with its numerous steep ups and downs. There will definitely be sheep to negotiate, maybe a few red deer, and it will even be worth keeping an eye out for an elusive pine marten, partial to the rowan berries that line the little glens on the northern side of the peninsula. It’s a hard enough start to the day that a morning coffee stop in the safe haven of Shieldaig on the lee side of the peninsula will be a welcome breather.
The middle part of the day is a totally different kettle of fish. Bizarrely, as Torridon is an ancient landscape of enormous peaks that loom all around you, the road through Glen Torridon under Beinn Eighe and then along the silent length of lonely Loch Maree is easy, quiet and surprisingly flat. The road itself is different, too. Not only does it carry the proud epithet of being an “A” road, it even has white lines down the middle of it. What it doesn’t carry is much traffic. Ever. Here is a rare chance to roll alongside your neighbour and chat.
This road will eventually lead you away from the lochside and over some gentle rises, touching the coast at the pretty coastal village of Gairloch. This Viking settlement retains many of the old Norse placenames and is still populated by the MacKenzies and MacLeods of centuries gone by.
One last drag separates you from your resting place tonight at Poolewe, your view north from your dining table giving you a clue to the changing landscape waiting for you tomorrow.
Friday – Day 4
Ride: Poolewe – Achiltibuie – 120km / 75miles
An undulating start will keep you heading north along the head of Loch Ewe and its fascinating wartime defences. This is where the arctic convoys would assemble before their perilous voyages to Murmansk in World War II. The view across the Minch to Harris and Lewis is a fine one on a clear day.
Before long you will swing inland to take on the day’s foremost obstacle. The scenery becomes wilder and bleaker as the road heads up the long, steady ascent of Fain Pass. Two immense Munros dominate this section of the route: An Teallach up to your right and the brooding bulk of Ben Wyvis on the skyline. Corries of snow are often seen on these giants’ northern flanks right into high summer.
Fain Pass is a long ascent, but its wide, sweeping descent will put a smile on any cyclist’s face, and 10 miles downhill will cure even the foulest of moods. A brief pause in the interesting port of Ullapool will prepare you for a very different final third to today’s route.
The high ridges and charismatic peaks of Coigach lie beyond Ullapool. These mountains, and those of the neighbouring Assynt region, are dramatically different to those of the west Highlands that you have left behind. These hills are amongst the oldest rocks in Scotland, far outstripping the thrusting younger peaks south of here. The faultline of the Great Glen sent ripples far to the north, but on reaching Coigach the tumbling rocky moors are split asunder by huge prehistoric beasts thrusting high out of the moraine. Even their names speak of a language long forgotten – Suilven, Canisp and Quinag look and sound like nothing else. Your route now takes a tiny ribbon of road out into the Wild West, passing below the foot of the impossibly arresting pinnacle of Stac Polaidh.
From here the narrow road skims lochs and coast without rising or falling with any significance, giving you a gentle end amongst wild scenery. The Summer Isles Hotel, overlooking the bay of islands that give it its name is your home tonight. These Islands were the setting for the Hammer cult classic The Wicker Man, so don’t stray too far from the bar tonight, lest you run into any unusual natives.
Saturday – DEPARTURE DAY
A day to relax and enjoy your last few hours in the highlands. Your bike will be packed up ready for your travel home.