The ultimate foodie mountain biking vacation in Scotland
Eat, drink and pedal your way round the Highlands of Scotland!
If you’re looking for a mountain biking vacation in Scotland that’s a little bit special and combines the most beautiful landscapes of the Scottish Highlands with excellent local food, drink and hospitality, our new ‘Tastes and Trails of Scotland’ adventure tour is for you.
You’ll experience some of the more remote, and off-the-beaten-track corners of the west coast – not just by bike – but by steam train, boat, car and on foot, ensuring that you get to soak up as much of the culture and natural beauty of Scotland as possible.
You’ll taste the best Highland produce, including world-renowned seafood, delicious local meat and cheeses, and, of course, the finest Scottish whiskies.
Highlights of mountain biking vacation in Scotland include a ride on the Jacobite Express steam train, made famous in the Harry Potter movies, and voted by National Geographic magazine as one of the best train journeys in the world, and lunch at the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye.
You will enjoy a warm Highland welcome in 3-star and 4-star guest house accommodation, where you will be able to relax and unwind after your exciting days exploring the Highlands of Scotland.
Our Tastes and Trails of Scotland mountain biking vacation is aimed at novice mountain bikers with level 2 fitness, and to find out what this means read the explanation of our skills and fitness levels.
Tour dates 2013
- 20 – 27 May 2013
- 24 – 31 August 2013
Please contact our expert tour team if you have different dates in mind for our Tastes and Trails mountain biking vacation in Scotland and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.
Tastes and Trails mountain biking vacation in Scotland itinerary
On the first day of your mountain biking vacation in Scotland you’ll be welcomed by our guide at Inverness airport (or train station) at around noon, and then transferred to Laggan Wolftrax, the north of Scotland’s best mountain bike trail centre, to tune bikes and have a quick ride.
We will stay in a lovely B&B close to the village of Laggan, where you’ll enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal made from locally-sourced produce.
The following day we will transfer to Fort William for a walk in Glen Nevis, at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain, before settling down to lunch in a seafood restaurant.
After lunch we catch Harry Potter’s train, the Jacobite Express, to Mallaig, voted one of the best train rides in the world by National Geographic magazine. We will stay in the coastal village of Arisaig tonight.
We will mountain bike along the coast to a hilltop bothy (mountain hut) located 100m above a stunning secluded bay looking out to the Isle of Skye.
Once we have finished exploring we’ll walk around the beach, have a picnic lunch of local produce, and cycle back to our accommodation. On return we’ll freshen up, then go for a coastal walk or relax on the white sandy beaches of Morar, then back to Arisaig for dinner.
Today we’ll catch the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye. When we arrive at the village of Armadale we go for a woodland wildlife walk, before straying further along the coastline to the famous Kinloch Lodge, and our Michelin-starred lunch.
After lunch we will go for an easy afternoon ride to get a panoramic view of the red and black Cuillin mountains. Then we’ll transfer to our accommodation in Portree.
This morning we’ll head north for a walk up round the Old Man of Storr, and its ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape. On returning to Portree we’ll have lunch at a local café, before going to the Talisker distillery in the heart of the island for a tour and tasting. We’ll then transfer to the mainland fishing village of Plockton.
After a relaxed breakfast we’ll pedal across the peninsula and back around the coast again on a lovely morning ride that will have you ready for your lunch on the shores of Loch Carron. Once lunch has settled we’ll embark on a fantastic seal and dolphin watching cruise around to Applecross, before returning to Plockton for another night.
We will head inland to the banks of Loch Ness, stopping off at Eilean Donan Castle for a tour and refreshments on the way, then continue through Glen Sheil and on to our accommodation for the night in Inverness.
We’ll drive right along the banks of Loch Ness and stop to take photos and see if anyone is quick enough to spot Nessie! We’ll end our Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure with a final delicious meal in Inverness.
We will spend the morning packing the bikes, organising your luggage and transport you back to Inverness for around noon to say our farewells at the end of an unforgettable mountain biking vacation in Scotland.
£980 / $1,568 USD per person (ex. flights, based on two people sharing a room)
A single supplement of £220/ $352 will be applicable should a single room be requested.
- All breakfasts
- 7 nights’ accommodation
- The services of a fully-qualified, expert mountain bike guide for the duration of the trip
- Transportation from the meeting point in Inverness around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland during the week, and then back again to Inverness at the end of the trip
- Whisky distillery tour and tasting
- Tickets for the Jacobite Express steam train
- All group safety equipment
- Transport to and from the pre-arranged meeting point
- Travel and activity insurance
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Bike hire – bike rental costs are: £240/ $384 for a good quality hardtail bike for the duration of the trip
- Entry fees to Eilean Donan Castle
- Lunches and evening meals
- Alcoholic drinks
- Any other items not mentioned as included
Arrival and departure details
Your Tastes and Trails of Scotland mountain biking vacation will start and end in Inverness. Your guide and/or driver will meet you in the arrivals area of Inverness airport, or in the main concourse at Inverness train station. He/she will be holding an H&I Adventures sign and should be easy to see since neither the airport nor the train station are particularly large or crowded.
We generally ask guests to arrive as close to midday as possible on the first day of the tour, however we can collect you up until 4 p.m. on your day of arrival. If you think you will be arriving later, or you are travelling a long distance, we would recommend that you arrive the day before and book an overnight stay in Inverness.
On your departure day we will return you to Inverness airport or train station at around midday. If you have an earlier connection please let us know and we can discuss it with you.
Travelling to Inverness
Inverness is well connected to the rest of the UK by good rail, air, and coach links. We have compiled some useful information and links for travelling to Inverness and the start of your trip from London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport. Here are some handy hints and tips on travelling by air with your bike.
For more information and advice on traveling to Scotland by air or sea check out the VisitScotland website.
Preparing yourself and your bike for your mountain biking vacation in Scotland
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your adventure tour in Scotland, to make sure you have everything you need!
This mountain biking vacation in Scotland is for novice mountain bikers with level 2 fitness, and to find out what this means, read the explanation of our skill and fitness levels.
The ideal bike for the Tastes and Trails tour is a good quality hardtail (front suspension only) with around 100mm of travel in the forks.
To get the most out of your mountain biking vacation in Scotland you should plan some training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you ensure that it has been properly serviced before the trip.
We can arrange bike hire for you, and have the bike ready for your arrival, at a cost of £240/ $384 for a high quality hardtail mountain bike for the duration of your trip.
For more information on the Tastes and Trails of Scotland mountain biking vacation, and travelling in Scotland in general, read the full trip brochure.
Tastes & Trails of Scotland
Thank you! It was an amazing and memorable trip for us! It was made memorable by our guides as much as it was the trails. Catherine was so important to us choosing this trip, she was extremely helpful and responsive to all our questions and needs. Thank you to the whole H&I Adventures team!
Here is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for our Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
A. We only run small group adventures to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally be between six and eight people in each group. The minimum number of people we require to run a trip is four.
Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this trip?
A. The Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 55-years-old, but age is simply a state of mind, as they say, and we welcome anyone over the age of 18!
Q. What style of mountain biking tour is it?
A.The Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour is a guided mountain bike adventure tour, ideal for beginner mountain bikers, which includes other activities, such as walking, a wildlife cruise, a trip on the Jacobite Express steam train, and a distillery tour.
Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
A. The distances we cover on each riding day will usually be between 15km and 30km. The terrain consists of double track, natural singletrack, and some minor roads, through forests and over low-level hill passes. Each evening your guide will chat with you about the following day’s activities and give you an idea of the sorts of adventures you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guide will be happy to discuss it with you.
Q. What if I come across a section of trail that I can’t ride?
A. Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your Tastes and Trails adventure tour! It’s not a race or a competition, everyone is there to have a great time, take photos, and revel in the spectacular landscapes of the west coast of Scotland.
Q. Who will be guiding us?
A. Your mountain bike, and wildlife guides are all local, qualified, experienced professionals who have a real passion for their particular specialism and for the fabulous outdoor playground that is the Highlands of Scotland. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. You can meet your mountain bike guides on our ‘Why H&I Adventures page?’.
Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
A. On this Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour you will be staying in 3- and 4-star B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels. We favour small, family-run establishments and you’ll often be staying in family homes, which gives you the chance to get to know the local people of the Highlands of Scotland.
Q. Which meals are included in the tour?
A. All breakfasts are included in the price of the tour, and you’ll enjoy fantastic breakfasts at each accommodation which will set you up well for each day of your Scottish adventure. Lunch and dinner are not included in the trip price. We will have lunch and dinner at cafés and restaurants that serve the best local Highland produce. We will also have a delicious lunch at Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye. This means that everyone can choose exactly what they want for lunch and dinner and only pay for their own choices. You should allow around £15-£25 per day for lunches and dinners, except for your lunch at Kinloch Lodge, which will cost around £40.
Q. What type of mountain bike is best for this trip?
A. A good quality hard tail (front suspension only) mountain bike will be ideal for this mountain bike tour. The terrain you will be riding is not especially rough, so there isn’t a real need for a full suspension bike. We can arrange bike hire for you for the duration of your trip; please let us know if you would like to rent a bike in Scotland.
Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
A. The weather in Scotland is changeable at any time of the year, so you must make sure that you have a waterproof jacket that you can ride in, and you should also bring plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot. You should bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, a warm jacket for the evenings, padded undershorts, and comfortable shoes for cycling and for walking. We would also ask you to bring a pair of binoculars for your day of wildlife spotting. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure tour.
Tastes & Trails of Scotland
Thank you! It was an amazing and memorable trip for us! It was made memorable by our guides as much ...