- Marvelling at the beauty of Kilmartin Glen and its ancient monuments
- Enjoying traffic-free cycleways and lovely canal side routes
- Checking out Ben Nevis and The Grampians from Loch Linhe
- Fort Augustus and taking on the legendary ascent of Glendoe
- Exploring Knapdale – One of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas
- Cycling to Scotland’s best-loved towns including Fort William and Fort Augustus
The group will meet at Balloch in order to transfer to Campbeltown.
We will take the journey through the beautiful Scottish scenery, making some stops along the way to take in the sights.
On arrival into Campbell town there will be time set aside for bike fitting in preparation for tomorrow’s first day in the saddle. Our evening meal will be taken at a local restaurant / pub in Campbeltown.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1150 Metres Approx.
Our journey begins on the beautiful peninsula of Kintyre in peaceful Campbeltown. Once proclaimed ‘the whisky capital of the world’ it is located on a deep bay sheltered by Davaar Island and the surrounding hills – a fitting place to start our ride.
There’s little time for warming up the legs on this initial day as we are straight into things pretty much from the off. Whilst the road is quiet, it’s certainly got some short and steep ‘cheeky climbs’ as it edges its way along the dramatic coastline of the Kilbrannan Sound and affords you wonderful views across to Arran.
After Skedaddlin’ past the aptly named Saddell (with its 17th Century castle), we continue to the hamlet of Claonaig where we turn inland to ride across Kintyre to Kennacraig. From here it’s pretty much downhill all the way to Tarbert. Situated on the west shores of Loch Fyne, Tarbert is a bustling little place and an ideal spot to spend the night with a nice harbour for a little leg-stretch after your day in the saddle.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.
Certainly less hilly than yesterday, today’s ride is nevertheless as, if not more, spectacular with minimal traffic on the quiet rural roads. Re-tracing our pedal strokes out of Tarbert, we are soon in the dramatic scenery of Knapdale – one of Scotland’s 40 National Scenic Areas. Identified as an area of exceptional scenery to ensure protection from inappropriate development, it’s easy to see why it made the grade.
Meandering our way around the peninsula, we’ll be setting our sights on Lochgilphead where we end the day. For those up for a wee challenge, the gravel section above Loch Fyne is a must or should you prefer a smoother way into town, then there is a good road option as well. Situated at the apex of Loch Gilp (an offshoot of Loch Fyne) the town grew in importance following the opening of the nearby Crinan Canal and today remains a popular base to explore Kintyre. With its eclectic mix of old buildings, shops, pubs and small ‘eateries’ you’ll not get a better slice of real rural Highlands life!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,550 Metres Approx.
Following a couple of days of fairly challenging riding, our initial miles along the towpath of the Crinan Canal are a welcoming start to the day as we head into the wonderful Kilmartin Glen. Considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland, the area is scattered with ancient monuments, standing stones and burial cairns, some of which we’ll visit during our morning section of the ride.
On reaching the immense Loch Awe, we’ll be following its western shore. Raising the bar somewhat is this truly awesome (no pun intended!) section of the Caledonia Way. Whilst very narrow in places, it’s well surfaced with continual steep ups and downs testing the legs and honing the concentration. For many, this section will no doubt rank high on the highlights of the trip with a very well-deserved coffee and cake stop at Dalavich providing sustenance just at the right juncture.
The roller-coaster ride then continues (though less demanding) until Annat where we head northwards away from the loch. From here on in, the scenery becomes more pastoral with the route winding its way through large stretches of farmland. Make sure you keep an eye out for the Hairy Coos during this section!
A very cheeky climb ends the exertions for the day and as always, what goes up must come down with the descent towards Oban a great way to end today’s ride. Badged as the Gateway to the Islands and the seafood capital of Scotland you’ll not go hungry tonight with lots of great places to eat along the coast.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1200 Metres Approx.
Another day of gorgeous views and fabulous riding ahead of us! After edging our way along the coastline to get the legs moving, our tyres are treated to a traffic-free cycle route between Loch Creran and Loch Leven for around 20 miles with much of the path built along the former railway line from Connel to the slate quarries near Ballachulish.
It’s a truly wonderful and largely flat route that meanders its way along and with only the odd steep section to contend with, you’ll be eating up the miles. Leaving the cycleway (close to Corran) we cross Loch Linhe from Nether Lochaber to arrive in Ardgour just ten minutes later.
From here we keep pedalling alongside the loch for another 20 miles before catching our second ferry that takes us from Camusnagaul to Fort William where we stay for the evening. Situated “beneath” Scotland’s and the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (1345m), it’s a busy little place with no shortage of establishments for a wee dram or to tuck into some Highlands fayre.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 905 Metres Approx.
This day has a bit of everything terrain-wise to contend with. Starting gently out of Fort William, we are soon beside Scotland’s longest inland waterway, the Caledonian Canal, and following the course of the Great Glen, a stunning 100km long narrow valley that cuts through the Lochs of Oich, Lochy and Ness.
At Clunes we leave the flat of the canalside behind for a while and head along the forest road through Clunes Wood. Whilst certainly an off-road section, it isn’t too technically demanding (even for those not used to off-road riding) with the trail wide.
After Laggan Locks, we enter the forest again to take the path north of Loch Oich via Invergarry, enjoying undulating gravel forest tracks and single-track paths. Popping out of the trees at Aberchalder, we rejoin the canalside towpath for the final 5 miles to Fort Augustus.
Situated on the most southern tip of Loch Ness on the Great Glen Way, this historic and scenic hamlet is where we’ll stay, with our evening meal taken at one of its small restaurants.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 850 Metres Approx.
Our final day on the bikes is a real cracker and will certainly end the trip in style. With only a few hundred metres to warm up the legs, we are soon tackling one of the classic Scottish climbs as we head up Glendoe which at just over 5 mile in length climbs around 366 Metres / 1200ft over the distance.
Your reward, however, is an equally long stunning descent (with no turns) that will flip your grimace into a grin as you speed down this wide road before continuing on to the Falls of Foyers, situated on the southern shores of Loch Ness. Our final 20 miles take us beside Loch Ness (monster spotting, anyone??) before our final rural roads lead us into Inverness. Congratulations!! You’ve Skedaddled the Caledonia Way and it’s time for celebrations after a week of incredible cycling and scenery.
- Meals: Breakfast
After our final hearty Scottish breakfast of trip, we start our return journey home. Transfers to the train station or airport at Inverness, or back to cars in Balloch will be provided. This is an amazing drive with breath-taking scenery, allowing you a few more photo opportunities before we bid you farewell.
The route is part of the National Cycle Network and follows traffic-free cycle paths and quiet rural roads. There are forest trails with some roots and stones, and forestry roads with small sections of rough track with chunky, looser gravel. Notably on Day 6 where there is no alternative option.
There will be ups and downs on most days, with very few flat sections. Most days have frequent but short climbs, however there are some longer hills dotted throughout. With this in mind we would recommend a decent level of fitness to enjoy the route.
We recommend either a hybrid bike, gravel bike or a mountain bike fitted with semi-slick tyres. Parts of this route are not suitable for a road bike so they are not recommended. E-bikes with sufficient battery capacity are suitable for this tour, let us know your make and model and we’ll double check all is fine! For more information about riding an electric bike on our holidays please click here
Leisure Cycling Grade
Distances generally between 30 and 50 miles per day / 48 and 80 kms per day
For those who cycle frequently
Will include some long and / or steep climbs
Includes varying terrain (some sections may see you cycling over uneven, unpaved or loose ground)
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
You ride quite frequently at home and perhaps enjoy cycling as one of your forms of exercise. Weekends will occasionally see you spending the day in the saddle exploring routes which take in some steep climbs. These tours may also see you riding over varying terrain and so it’s preferable if you have some experience of riding on uneven / unpaved ground. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 4 holiday to be fit and healthy, and ready to take on an achievable challenge.
For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.
Dates & Prices
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A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides
D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid
E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers
F) Access to the Skedaddle App for holiday information and navigation
G) Ferries integral to the itinerary
H) Scheduled transfers on arrival and departure days
I) Financial Protection through ABTOT
What's not Included
A) Personal clothing and equipment
B) Travel insurance
C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.
D) Bike & helmet rental (available if required)
E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
F) Single room option (may be available if required)
G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres
H) Other optional activities
Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.
E-bikes - everything you need to know
There’s no doubt that e-bikes are popular. We caught up with our expert to answer some of your burning questions!
Your Guide To The Caledonia Way
NEW! Cycle the Kintyre Peninsula, follow the Great Glen taking in Loch Ness, the Caledonian Canal and Ben Nevis...
Simple pleasures of a cycling holiday
That is what life is about and our cycling holidays are packed with these moments that we know you can't get enough of...
Sarah and Richard, KentThank you Saddle Skedaddle for one of our best ever holidays
Our first guided trip with Skedaddle after completing 2 previous self guided trips. We were a little anxious it might not be for us, but actually we enjoyed every minute of our holiday, and the whole week completely exceeded our expectations. For our guides, nothing was too much trouble – they fed and watered us, remained cheerful and helpful throughout the whole trip, looked after everybody’s needs within the group, and helped make the week an awful lot of fun. This was our first grade 4 holiday, but am pleased to say, there was plenty of enough challenge without any of it being overwhelming. The cycling we did felt a real achievement, but we also enjoyed the stunning scenery and quiet roads the Scottish Highlands has to offer in abundance. We can’t wait to return. Thank you Saddle Skedaddle for one of our best ever holidays.
Martin, BristolAn enjoyable experience from beginning to end
I enjoyed every day. The landscape unfolded day by day and I saw a lot of new places on the trip. Nice variety of road, trails, towpaths and single track. The guides were great. Nothing was too much trouble and they conducted themselves with professionalism and good humour. I’d say they went the extra mile all week. Having ridden the route a few weeks earlier, they knew all of the twists, turns, hazards, etc., which gave us all confidence.
Jim, GlasgowAn excellent route with the best supporting guide team I have had
The Caledonia trip is an excellent route though wild Scotland with wildlife (Deer, Golden Eagle, Red Squirrel, Seals…) and added gravel! It’s amazing to have great access to 4000 year old burial chambers, standing stones on the route with public access and very quiet so you can get a great view. There is more to Scotland than huge bare mountains glens, this lets you get a good mix!
I would normally ignore leisure rides but in this case I had a recommendation and chose to do it as it is rated as a grade 4 and is a really challenging ride.
The guides were excellent. Both very friendly and supportive. This may be the best supporting guide team I have had on a Skedaddle trip.
Alison, NottinghamshireAll days were marvellous!
It was a holiday in a beautiful remote place made superb by the hard work, good humour and slick organisation of the leaders. The guides worked extremely hard to make it a terrific experience and provided a superb lunch and snacks each day taking into consideration individual tastes.
Viktor and Claudia, SwitzerlandExcellent service and guides
We have never felt so looked after. We didn’t even have to secure our own bikes. Sometimes it itched in our fingers to help. But the guides were so efficient, that we would only have gotten in their way. Thank you! We would very much like to follow you around the world (on bikes of course).
Jenny, SouthamptonA stunning route. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip
Caledonia Way is a stunning route through Scotland with wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable guides. It was so well organised and smooth, I wouldn’t hesitate to consider a Skedaddle holiday again. Whilst I prefer cycling on the road or cycle paths, the off-road routes were a glorious challenge – especially the diversion on day5 (Fort William to Fort Augustus). The final two days, from Fort William to Inverness, had the most stunning views across Loch Lochy and Loch Ness. I enjoyed the challenging climb out of Fort Augustus and I was fully in my element with the rewarding swooping descents in to Foyers and alongside Loch Ness.
This was my first trip booking a guided ride with Skedaddle and I was a bit anxious about the group I may be cycling with. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. We all bonded so quickly being like-minded and everyone was very patient with the different cycling paces and regrouping each day. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip – thank you.