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Scottish Island Hopscotch

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.3 Read 17 reviews
  • Easy going cycling across the islands of Arran, Jura and Islay
  • Visit the whisky distilleries of Lagavulin, Bowmore and Bruichladdich
  • Sample freshly grilled Islay-landed lobster and langoustines
  • Explore the ruins of Skipness Castle
  • Ride rugged coastal roads and ferry hop the Inner Hebrides

Discover Scotland’s most famous whisky distilleries on this island-hopping cycling holiday, riding across the islands of Arran, Islay and Jura.

Catching the ferry from mainland Scotland to Arran marks the start of your island-hopping adventure. Well known for its stunning scenery ride through a landscape of jagged peaks, rolling hills and rugged coastal roads, Arran craft breweries produce excellent ales, perfect for quenching a cyclists' thirst.

From Arran catch the ferry to Kintyre and pedal across the peninsula to the Isle of Islay. Small whitewashed villages and vast empty beaches make the Isle of Islay a very special place. Home to the world-renowned distilleries of Lagavulin, Laphroig, Bowmore and Bruichladdich, Islay also boasts several smaller, independent distilleries such as Kilchoman that is worth a visit. The last island to explore is the remote island of Jura, excellent to spot red deer, explore wild Atlantic coastline and visit the famous Jura distillery. Rounding off each day in cosy, family run B&Bs and inns, enjoy meeting local islanders over a wee dram in the village pub!

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What To Expect

If you want to see a different side of one of the most gorgeous parts of Scotland, like nothing better than the wind in your hair and appreciate the finer things in life then this cycling holiday is hard to beat.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Cycling | A classic point to point cycling holiday, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wine, Whisky & More...
  • Wildlife
  • Coastal & Island

Featured in our collections:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded easy to moderate as you have various choices of route ranging from 20 - 62 miles. You should have a good level of fitness as there are several ascents / descents along the way.

Navigation

This trip is not way marked however you will be supplied with route notes and detailled maps so you should have no problem following the route each day.

Accommodation Information

We search out accommodations of character so that you can enjoy a genuinely warm welcome and authentic Scottish experience. This tour includes a mix of small family run B&B’s and charming island hotels. All offer a warm welcome to cyclists, have secure bike storage, offer traditional hospitality and delicious local food.

If you would like to extend your trip Port Charlotte on Islay is a lovely village to spend more time. If you have a long onward jounrey on day 8 we recommend an extra night in Brodick or Troon. 

Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms

This independent cycling holiday is available to solo cyclists but there is a solo supplement payable to cover the additional baggage transfer and accommodation costs for sole occupancy.  If you require single rooms in your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability.

Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively, your info pack includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your info pack will of course have details.

Included
  • 7 Nights in B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfer
  • All ferry travel (except Islay- Jura ferry - paid locally in cash)
  • Information pack and route notes with map
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • Travel to / from Ardrossan
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Entrance fees for attractions or distilleries
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route
  • Bike hire

When To Go

This holiday is available from late March to October and you can start your holiday on any date during the season. May, June, July and August are the best time of year for this holiday and tend to be the driest, but early spring and autumn are quieter times to visit the islands. 

Getting to the Start

By Train & Bus - Ardrossan is 32 miles south west of Glasgow and 18 miles north of Prestwick Airport. From Glasgow trains (50 minutes) and buses (1h15) operate regularly. From Prestwick a taxi is the best option and takes about 20 minutes. For detailed public transport information see www.travelinescotland.com

By Ferry - All ferry crossings (except Islay-Jura) are included in the cost of your holiday and are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. You can find full details of services and timetables at www.calmac.co.uk.

Baggage Transfer

When you are cycling between accommodation your main bag will be moved by our local crew. You will have to take your own bag on and off ferries and from your accommodation to the ferry terminal. With this in mind we would suggest you limit your bag to 15kg and suggest using a backpack or pull along as the best options.

General Information

The distances and ascent / descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailled equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Equipment

On this tour it is recommended that you bring or hire a mountain bike. As the terrain is very uneven using either a hybrid or road bike is not advised. Although the whole route is on tarmac a mountain bike is still the best option. You will need a helmet, cycling clothes, waterproofs and warm clothes as well as casual clothes for the evenings. Your info pack will have a detailed equipment list.

Bike Hire

We offer bike hire for this holiday and you can collect and drop off your bikes at your accommodation in Arran. We use excellent quality mountain bikes equipped with a rear pannier rack, repair kit, pump and lock.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Brodick and overnight Day 2 Cycling on the Isle of Arran 42 miles Day 3 Cycling and Island Hopping to Port Askaig, Isle of Islay 5 miles / 8 km Day 4 Cycling on Jura 62 miles / 100 km Day 5 Cycle on Islay 60 miles / 96 km Day 6 Cycle from Port Charlotte to Port Ellen 30 miles / 49 km Day 7 Cycle Islay’s whisky coast 20 miles / 33 km Day 8 Island Hopscotch back to Ardrossan 20 miles / 33 km

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