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Great Glen Cycleway

5 Days & 4 Nights 4.5 Read 27 reviews
  • Complete a Scottish coast to coast journey by bike
  • Visit 13th century Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness
  • Highland hospitality and cyclist friendly accommodation
  • Ride the single track of Loch Lochy and Loch Oich
  • Pedal the lush glen and hillsides of the Great Glen fault line
The Great Glen is an amazing geographical fault line that splits Scotland in two, forming dramatic lochs and glens and one of the most famous bodies of water in the world; Loch Ness. Biking along the banks of loch after loch, travelling from coast to coast is an amazing experience that immerses you in the iconic scenery of the Great Glen. From relaxing canal-side riding to flying down neat singletrack, the Great Glen Cycleway is a beautiful, challenging way to spend a couple of days. Your trip begins in the shadow of Ben Nevis, at Fort William. From there you ease into the journey by following the Caledonian Canal, passing the man-made phenomenon of Neptune’s Staircase. You will soon be cycling on singletrack and fire road alongside the first of a series of lochs, Loch Lochy then Loch Oich. Reach Fort Augustus, the gateway to Loch Ness which dominates the rest of your trip. With challenging climbs to reveal magnificent views and stunning, high speed downhills, the trip really does have a little bit of everything. Stay at hand-picked B&B’s, guesthouses and small country hotels, and enjoy the convenience of daily baggage transfer on this wonderful mountain biking holiday in Scotland.
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What To Expect

Experiencing the Great Glen from the saddle of a bike is something that any mountain biker will enjoy. The long stretches of tow-path make for relaxed riding while the single track and fire road provide more of a challenge. With such stunning views and scenery, the challenge is always a worthwhile one.

Trip Style:

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

Activity:

Mountain Biking, E-Biking | A more specialist category of cycling holiday, expect ascent, descent, and tougher terrain with mountain bikes essential, E-Bikes with electronic motors to assist available to hire on this holiday (subject to availability), to make things easier

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Historical Journeys

Featured in our collections:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

The route is on canal path, singletrack, forestry road and minor road. It does involve some steep ascents and descents and is graded moderate to strenuous due to the tough climbs involved.

Navigation

The Great Glen Cycleway is very well waymarked, with pale blue posts marked with a thistle guiding your way. You'll receive maps and a guidebook to ensure you find your way easily.

Experience & Fitness

Experience and fitness: The cycleway does have some steep climbs and descents so you should have experience of this type of off road riding and be in good shape.

Accommodation Information

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. A delicious breakfast is always included. You can see a list of some of the accommodations that we use for the trip by scrolling down the page.

Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.

Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.

Included
  • 4 Nights in 3*/4* B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • Baggage transfers
  • Information pack, and route notes
  • Access to detailed maps, and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • Travel to Fort William / from Inverness
  • Bike hire (mountain bike as standard)
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route
  • Bike hire (mountain bike as standard)

When To Go

This trip is available to start on any day, from April through to October. 

Weather and Climate

Weather and climate: This trip is available between April and October. The beginning and end of the season will be cooler, although the weather is changable and can be wet at any time in Scotland.

Getting to the Start

Fort William is easily accessed from Glasgow. There are several daily trains that run which you can check on the Scotrail website. Alternatively there are several buses that you can book on the Citylink website. Should you wish to drive, there are a couple of B&B’s that will allow you to leave your car with them while you cycle to Inverness.

From Glasgow there are frequent departures from either Queen Street Rail Station or Buchanan Bus Station. You can find further details for this section of the journey by going to City Link for buses or Scotrail for trains.

Getting from the End

Again Inverness is well serviced by Scotrail and Citylink and both can be booked via their websites. Inverness also hosts an international airport with flights to many places in the UK. If you are returning to Fort William to collect your car this is easily done by travelling on a Citylink bus which takes around 2 hours.

Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 18kg per person.

General Information

General info section: 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, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Equipment

Equipment hire section. We currently hire the following type of mountain bike on this trip. 

Brand 

Trek

Bike Type

Mountain

Frame types 

Gents, ladies, unisex

Sizes 

15, 17, 19, 21 in

Front suspension  

yes

Stand 

no

Mud guards 

no

Luggage rack Rear/Front 

no

Paniers

no

Handle bar Bag/ map holder

no

Bottle holder/Water bottle 

yes (available)

Computer meter 

No

Interchangeable pedals 

Yes

Front gear set 

2

Back gear set 

10 speed 

Brakes 

Hydraulic Disc

Helmet included

Yes

Puncture repair kit

Yes

Spare inner tubes/ how many

Yes/1

Pump

Yes

Lock

Yes

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.

How far in advance do I need to book?
How fit do I need to be?
How do the baggage transfers work?
What personal equipment do I need?
What type of mountain bike is suitable?
How do we get to and from the trail?
When is the best time of year?
What are the midges like?
What happens if I cant cycle a stage?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Starting Point - Fort William Day 2 Fort William to Invergarry 26 miles / 42 km Day 3 Invergarry to Drumnadrochit 30 miles / 48 km Day 4 Drumnadrochit to Inverness 24 miles / 39 km Day 5 Onward Travel

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