Island Hopping

Scottish Islands Scotland: (ZZ-BKSC-H04)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_cycling_scotland_island_hopping.aspx

Introduction
Scottish Islands Scotland
This self-guided biking vacation takes you by bike around the Isles of Arran, Jura, Islay and Colonsay. Explore the whisky distilleries on Islay and the unique Island culture and hospitality which only the Islanders can provide. This Scottish  Island Hopping cycle tour is ideal for couples as well as families.

You will experience fabulous quiet country lanes, remote coastal scenes, fabulous long sandy beaches (on Islay) and historic landmarks such as Brodick castle.  Many restaurants, particularly on Islay, will hunt the local produce, venison, pork, beef, lamb and fish are all in abundance. You can also visit the distilleries such as Ardbeg, Bowmore,  Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Caolila to name but a few.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive tour so you will sleep in different accommodations along the trail.

Description
You will stay in 3/4 star hotels, guests houses, country inns and bed and breakfast. Occasionally we have to book a nearby village in peak times which would mean a shorter day and a long days walk the next day.
Our handpicked accommodations are chosen for their accessibility to the route and warmth of welcome. We try and find accommodation which is interesting, and we are sure all our providers of accommodation will show an active interest in your tour progress.

We try and provide en-suite rooms where possible but on occasions, this may not be possible on some tours. If you insist on an en-suite room then please provide this request during the booking process.

Accommodation Itinerary for Road bike option - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Accommodation in Berwick upon Tweed
Night 3 & 4: Accommodation in Kelso
Night 5 & 6: Accommodation in Melrose or Galashiels

Accommodation Itinerary for Standard option - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Accommodation in Berwick upon Tweed
Night 3 & 4: Accommodation in Kelso
Night 5 & 6: Accommodation in Melrose or Galashiels

Room Occupancy
All our prices are based on two persons sharing a twin/double room. However, single persons are most welcome but incur a supplement.


Meals
Your package includes all breakfasts. Lunches and dinners are not included and should be paid locally.

We try and provide en-suite rooms where possible but on occasions, this may not be possible on some tours. If you insist on an en-suite room then please provide this request during the booking process.


Special diets

Riding

Insurance
It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance that you have purchased to cover cancellations, accidents, and repatriation etc. You will need to provide details (insurer, policy number and medical emergency telephone number) of the insurance you have purchased.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you have purchased covers you for your particular activity. We will not accept liability for any costs, losses or expenses which you incur as a result in not getting the correct level of cover.

Bike
If you choose to rent a bike with us, we usually use Scott Hybrid (Sub Cross 40) and E-Bikes (Sub Tour eRide) on this tour.
Bikes come with a small bag, map or smart phone carrier (1 per 2 bikes), inner tube, lock, tools, bottle carrier.
We must be notified in advance if guests wish to fix own pedals or saddles to our bikes.

Itinerary

Please, note that ferry times indicated in the itineraries are subject to change. Ferry tickets MUST be booked in advance, prior to the tour start day.


Itinerary
: 8-day option -
subject to changes

Bike handover is on the evening of Day 1, before your ferry to Arran (usually at 5 pm).
Bike handback is on the evening of your last day, at the ferry docks in Ardrossan.

Day 1: Arrival
Arrive to Ardrossan, where we shall meet you and handover the bikes. You take the 6:00 pm ferry to Isle of Arran which takes around 1 hour (this is the last ferry to the island). Car parking is available in Ardrossan.
Meals included: none
Overnight on Arran Island (Brodick)


Day 2: Arran Island Loop
Arran has it all, mountains, coastal cliffs, pan flat roads... That’s why it is said to be Scotland in miniature. You can visit the 13th century castle and gardens or the Arran distillery.
The road south provides ever changing views. Small villages intermix the cycling viewpoints. Lamlash provides the link to Holy Island, where a ferry can be caught to the monastery still occupied by Bhuddist monks. Head back across the ‘String’ (the link road across the centre of the island).
Distance: 54 km / 34 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Arran Island (Brodick)

Day 3: Arran Island to Isle of Islay
A day to cycle and relax on ferries. After the climb over to Lochranza, visit the castle and then catch the ferry to Cloanaig. The cycle across the Kintyre peninsular to catch your second ferry to Port Askaig on Islay.
On arrival on Islay you will only be a few miles from your hotel.
Distance: 32-37 km / 20-23 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Askaig)


Day 4: Day trip to Isle of Jura
Jura is populated by some 5000 deer and 250 people. Jura House can be visited with some wonderful walled gardens and exotic plants. The road east gradually gets smaller and smaller until eventually turning into a footpath. Here you will feel you have reached nowhere and the solitude will be something you will remember forever.
If you continue to the far end of the Island and look out to the river mouth you will see the natural wonder of this region, a huge whirlpool which is produced due to the tidal effects.
Distance: up to 80 km / up to 50 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Askaig)


Day 5: Day trip to Isle of Colonsay
Catch the ferry at Port Askaig to Colonsay. Colonsay being 10 miles long will allow you to explore most of the Island. Cycle to Ornasay across the tidal causeway to visit the ancient priory. The north section of Colonsay has some of the finest beaches in the Western Isles. Catch the evening ferry back to Islay.
Distance: 32 km / 20 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Askaig)


Day 6: Port Askaig to Port Ellen/Bowmore
With Islay only 30 miles long there are many choices of routes. Islay has no shortage of famous name distilleries. Many Malt Whisky brands are actually places on the Island.
Visit the Wildlife Centre, rural life museum or RSPB centre or just cycle the quiet lanes, see quaint bays & small sandy beaches. Here you may feel time has stood still.
Your destination for the day is the western port of Port Ellen or Bowmore depending on availability.
Distance: 57-68 km / 36-43 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Ellen or Bowmore)


Day 7: Loop Ride
Today you explore the eastern shores of Islay with a chance to visit the Ardbeg distillery and continue on a remote Island to a ruined church and famous cross and a lovely remote secluded beach.
Distance: 35-54 km / 22-34 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Ellen or Bowmore)


Day 8: Departure
First, take the 9:45 am ferry to Kennacraig (on Sundays the ferry is at 12.30). Then cycle across the Kintyre peninsul to Cloanaig and back on the ferry to Isle of Arran. Cycle around the NW coast of Arran back to Brodick. Take the 7:20 pm ferry back to Ardrossan.
Distance: 30 km / 19 miles
Meals included: Breakfast 

-------------------------------------------

Sample Itinerary: 7-day option - subject to changes

Bike handover is on the evening of Day 1, before your ferry to Arran (usually at 5 pm).
Bike handback is on the evening of your last day, at the ferry docks in Ardrossan.

Day 1: Arrival
Arrive to Ardrossan, where we shall meet you and handover the bikes. You take the 6:00 pm ferry to Isle of Arran which takes around 1 hour. Car parking is available in Ardrossan.
Meals included: none
Overnight on Arran Island (Brodick)


Day 2: Arran Island Loop
Arran has it all, mountains, coastal cliffs, pan flat roads... That’s why it is said to be Scotland in miniature. You can visit the 13th century castle and gardens or the Arran distillery.
The road south provides ever changing views. Small villages intermix the cycling viewpoints. Lamlash provides the link to Holy Island, where a ferry can be caught to the monastery still occupied by Bhuddist monks. Head back across the ‘String’ (the link road across the centre of the island).
Distance: 54 km / 34 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Arran Island (Brodick)

Day 3: Arran Island to Isle of Islay
A day to cycle and relax on ferries. After the climb over to Lochranza, visit the castle and then catch the ferry to Cloanaig. The cycle across the Kintyre peninsular to catch your second ferry to Port Askaig on Islay.
On arrival on Islay you will only be a few miles from your hotel.
Distance: 32-37 km / 20-23 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Askaig)


Day 4: Day trip to Isle of Jura
Jura is populated by some 5000 deer and 250 people. Jura House can be visited with some wonderful walled gardens and exotic plants. The road east gradually gets smaller and smaller until eventually turning into a footpath. Here you will feel you have reached nowhere and the solitude will be something you will remember forever.
If you continue to the far end of the Island and look out to the river mouth you will see the natural wonder of this region, a huge whirlpool which is produced due to the tidal effects.
Distance: up to 80 km / up to 50 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Askaig)


Day 5: Port Askaig to Port Ellen/Bowmore
With Islay only 30 miles long there are many choices of routes. Islay has no shortage of famous name distilleries. Many Malt Whisky brands are actually places on the Island.
Visit the Wildlife Centre, rural life museum or RSPB centre or just cycle the quiet lanes, see quaint bays & small sandy beaches. Here you may feel time has stood still.
Your destination for the day is the western port of Port Ellen or Bowmore depending on availability.
Distance: 57-68 km / 36-43 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Ellen or Bowmore)


Day 6: Loop Ride
Today you explore the eastern shores of Islay with a chance to visit the Ardbeg distillery and continue on a remote Island to a ruined church and famous cross and a lovely remote secluded beach.
Distance: 35-54 km / 22-34 miles
Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight on Isle of Islay (Port Ellen or Bowmore)


Day 7: Departure
First, take the 9:45 am ferry to Kennacraig (on Sundays the ferry is at 12.30). Then cycle across the Kintyre peninsul to Cloanaig and back on the ferry to Isle of Arran. Cycle around the NW coast of Arran back to Brodick. Take the 7:20 pm ferry back to Ardrossan.
Distance: 30 km / 19 miles
Meals included: Breakfast 


Rates and Dates for Island Hopping

Rates include:

Accommodations, All breakfasts, Luggage transfers & Navigation by Smart Phone App (Access code for App emailed around 3 weeks before departure)

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20248 day trip - self-guided€1455$1600
  • B
    20247 day trip - self-guided€1370$1510
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.1

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2024 Make your own transfer arrangements 0 $0
2024 Bike rental, pp 200 $220
2024 E-Bike rental, pp 370 $410

Season Tour Dates  MinReserve
A 2024 05/18 - 05/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 05/25 - 06/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 06/01 - 06/08 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 06/08 - 06/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 06/15 - 06/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 06/22 - 06/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 06/29 - 07/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 07/06 - 07/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 07/13 - 07/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Expired
A 2024 07/20 - 07/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 07/27 - 08/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 08/03 - 08/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 08/10 - 08/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 08/17 - 08/24 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 08/24 - 08/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 08/31 - 09/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 09/07 - 09/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 09/14 - 09/21 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve
A 2024 09/21 - 09/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip - self-guided 2 Reserve

Dates Note: For the shorter option daily arrival possible (except Mondays and Fridays)

Rates do not include:

Transfers before and after the tour, Lunches, Dinners & Travel insurance (mandatory)

Other Info
Meeting: Ardrossan
Airport: Glasgow
Transfer:

Climate:
                                               Brodick area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

47

47

49

53

59

62

65

65

61

56

51

47

Average Low Temperature (°F)

43

42

44

47

53

56

59

59

56

51

47

43

Average High Temperature (°C)

8

8

10

12

15

17

18

18

16

13

10

8

Average Low Temperature (°C)

6

6

7

8

11

14

15

15

13

10

8

6

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

19

14

15

12

11

12

13

14

16

17

18

17

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Scotland’s climate is quite moderate though changeable. As the old Scottish saying goes, 'there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!'
One of the most surprising things about Scotland's climate is how much it varies from one place to another. It's often the case that you can drive for 20 minutes and find the conditions are different.
The unpredictable nature means it's not uncommon to experience all four seasons in one day!

Spring
A beautiful time to visit, this season sees daffodils, bluebells, cherry blossom and rhododendrons bursting into bloom. With sprightly wildlife and a milder breeze in the air, there's plenty of activities to enjoy.
Even if you do experience an April shower or two, there is a fantastic range of galleries, museums and other attractions to keep you entertained all year-round, regardless of the weather.

Summer
Scotland's high latitude means that we enjoy lovely long summer days and often an extended twilight. In the north of the country, Lerwick in Shetland has about four hours more daylight at midsummer than London.  And, with the extra hours of daylight, you can pack a lot into your summer holiday.

Autumn
The colors of autumn are eye-catching and vibrant, as the trees change from green to fiery reds, oranges and yellows. It's a perfect time of year to snap some photographs as you take an invigorating autumn amble through the forest.

Winter
The average number of days with snow falling in Scotland ranges from 10-20 days. However, the peaks and mountains of the Highlands experience around 40 days of falling snow.

What To Bring:
Your luggage is transported for you every day. Luggage is limited to one bag per person and with a weight limit of 20kg.