Loch Ness and the Highlands Cycling

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****. (83%) Based on 3 customer reviews
CC BY Jack Torcello / flickr
  • World-famous Loch Ness - wild, beautiful and slightly mysterious
  • Incredible natural setting: majestic forests, peaceful rivers, fjord-like lochs, spectacular waterfalls
  • Long-silent battlefields, fortified garrisons, magical castles steeped in history and intrigue
  • Rich bird and wildlife; diverse flora and fauna; even dolphin sightings!
  • Traditional Highland villages, warm, friendly locals, quality family-run hotels

What's included?

  • 4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Daily from 1 May '17 to 30 Sep '17
  • Full Scottish Breakfasts included
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 86%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Cycle transfers included

Excellent for...

Loch Ness and the Highlands Cycling

A sparkling jewel in Scotland's wild, unpolished North, the Highlands around Loch Ness are a place of undisputed natural beauty. Shrouded in mystery and legend, the atmosphere here will envelop you like a blanket of the finest tartan.

This linear cycling trip explores the very essence of Loch Ness and its surrounds with shaded forests, tranquil waterways, tumbling waterfalls and misty peaks, paving the way for some of the most scenic cycling in the country. Remote Highland villages atop fern-clad moors guard the vast wild landscapes and proudly maintain the unbroken links between history and folklore, and culture and tradition.

By including short transfers to altitude, we've managed to keep the cycling slightly more relaxed, leaving lots of time for independent exploring. Setting out from Invergarry, you follow the tranquil Caledonian Canal to historic Fort Augustus, on the south tip of Loch Ness. After exploring the loch's southern side it's on to Culloden - where Bonnie Prince Charlie saw his hopes dashed - and Cawdor where Macbeth plotted his unnatural deeds. Then a visit to the magnificent Fort George before a quick hop on the local train back to Inverness in time to explore its specialist shops and cafes, and take a riverside stroll beneath the pink crenelated castle, perched proudly above the Gothic old town.

Everywhere you stay has its own unique appeal: an award-winning Victorian mansion; a 4-star Highland country inn; a friendly B&B with direct beach access, and a luxury, riverside boutique townhouse in the heart of Inverness.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Inverness

We meet you in Inverness and take you (5 mins) to your riverside hotel just below the castle and close to the historic old town.

Day 2 - Invergarry to Fort Augustus 26km/16.5mi or 31km/19.5mi

A morning transfer takes you to the attractive village of Invergarry to pick up the scenic Great Glen Way. After some initial climbing (granting fabulous views over the northern side of Loch Oich), quiet lanes lead to brooding Loch Lochy whose sparkling waters and steep-forested hillsides give a fjord-like feel to the landscape. If you're lucky, there's even a chance of spotting ospreys swooping overhead. Your route then criss-crosses the Caledonian Canal before taking you along the freshwater shores of Oich to the beautiful double-cantilevered Oich Bridge (built in 1854) and from here your final stretch follows the foaming River Oich with fragrant fern-clad hills - carpeted with purple orchids in summer - along to Fort Augustus. You spend tonight in the fantastic Lovat Hotel in Fort Augustus, superbly positioned at the southern tip of iconic Loch Ness.

Day 3 - Fort Augustus to Dores 31km/19.5mi or 42km/26.5mi

There's a short transfer up to Loch Tarff for the start of today's cycle. From the outset you have spectacular, uninterrupted views of the wild, timeless landscape which open up as you climb steadily to Suidhe Chuimein Viewpoint (1200ft) and continue on along General Wade's old military road to Whitebridge. From here, there's a choice of route to Rabbie Burns' famous Falls of Foyers: an incredible 140ft waterfall which drops dramatically into the bubbling gorge to feed Loch Ness. It's then on past the Boleskine woods and riverside Inverfarigaig (home to Scotland's largest population of red squirrels) to Dores, one of the most photographed villages in the region, where your friendly B&B sits directly on the shingled southern shores of Loch Ness.

Day 4 - Dores to Inverness 25km/16mi or 40km/25mi

A total contrast today as you re-trace Scottish history starting first (after a short transfer) at Culloden, site of the last full-scale battle to take place on British soil (in 1746) and the place where the Highland Clan culture of Scotland sang its last song. It's well worth spending time in the award-winning visitor centre before pedalling up past Cairns and the impressive Nairn Viaduct to C14 Cawdor Castle, the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth (the gardens here are simply wonderful). Enjoy lunch in a traditional tea-room then head down to the water's edge at Moray Firth where the impregnable C18 Fort George stands as the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain - bizarrely, you can also engage in a bit of dolphin spotting from its ramparts! The day ends with a short train ride to Inverness.

Day 5 -Leave Inverness

Stay on a few extra nights in Inverness perhaps. Options include a cruise along Loch Ness to the ruins of C13 Urquhart Castle or a 13km circular cycle (route notes provided) taking in pretty Beauly Firth and the Ness Islands.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness   (3 Star)

Set along the tree lined banks of the River Ness in the shadow of Inverness Castle is The Glen Mhor Hotel. The Glen Mhor is a collection of stylish Victorian townhouses situated just minutes’ walk from Inverness town centre and railway station and offers classic Highland hospitality. There is a restaurant offering an informal atmosphere and dining inspired by French cuisine. There is also an extensive whiskey collection in the bar.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

The Lovat, Fort Augustus   (4 Star)

The Lovat Hotel

The Lovat is an award-winning eco-conscious hotel, situated on the southern tip of Loch Ness. The beautiful Victorian building with authentic décor is located in the loch-side village of Fort Augustus and has a restaurant which, in 2007, was named a Top 10 Restaurant in Scotland by the Press and Journal. It was recently awarded three AA rosettes for culinary excellence.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Balachladaich, Dores   (4 Acorn)

Balachladaich, Dores

Situated on the tranquil south side of Loch Ness, just outside the peaceful village of Dores, Balachladaich is a brand new, purpose built Bed and Breakfast, and the only B&B to be located directly on the shores of south Loch Ness. With direct access from the house straight to the beach, they will even supply wellies so you can have a paddle! The luxurious guest rooms have en-suite bathrooms and loch facing balconies / decking areas, offering a tranquil space for relaxing after a good day’s cycling.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Travel options

Transfers included from Inverness train station to Inverness hotel at start.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr MacDonald on 13/06/2016

Wonderful chance to experience the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness region. Everyting great including the weather!

Reviewed by Mr Gray on 05/09/2015

This was an interesting route in the Highlands, with plenty to see and experience. Weather was a problem on one day in particular, but you can't help that - it's been a bad summer in UK. Route needs a bit more work to sort out route instructions and generally settle down. Mileage each day conservative, but no harm in that as it allows for problems arising and time to experience features along the way

Reviewed by Mrs Ryan on 06/08/2015

Organisation and accommodation was first class, however weather was just bearable (both cold and Rainey), making it a tough cycle holiday. Also cycle notes for first day need rechecking as there are two obvious errors.

Departure dates & prices

May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 1$916
May 2$916
May 3$916
May 4$916
May 5$916
May 6$916
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May 27$916
May 28$916
May 29$916
May 30$916
May 31$916
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 1$933
Jun 2$933
Jun 3$933
Jun 4$933
Jun 5$933
Jun 6$933
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Jun 27$933
Jun 28$933
Jun 29$933
Jun 30$933
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 1$984
Jul 2$984
Jul 3$984
Jul 4$984
Jul 5$984
Jul 6$984
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Jul 24$984
Jul 25$984
Jul 26$984
Jul 27$984
Jul 28$984
Jul 29$984
Jul 30$984
Jul 31$984
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1001
Aug 2$1001
Aug 3$1001
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Aug 24$1001
Aug 25$1001
Aug 26$1001
Aug 27$1001
Aug 28$1001
Aug 29$1001
Aug 30$1001
Aug 31$1001
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 1$984
Sep 2$984
Sep 3$984
Sep 4$984
Sep 5$984
Sep 6$984
Sep 7$984
Sep 8$984
Sep 9$984
Sep 10$984
Sep 11$984
Sep 12$984
Sep 13$984
Sep 14$984
Sep 15$984
Sep 16$984
Sep 17$984
Sep 18$984
Sep 19$984
Sep 20$984
Sep 21$984
Sep 22$984
Sep 23$984
Sep 24$984
Sep 25$984
Sep 26$984
Sep 27$984
Sep 28$984
Sep 29$984
Sep 30$984

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.


Daily from 1 May '17 to 30 Sep '17, for 5 days (4 nights).


Full Scottish Breakfasts included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Inverness train station to Inverness hotel at start.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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