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Scotland - Island Hopping

Scotland - Island Hopping

Degree of difficulty - B/C

An exciting journey through Scotland's famous scenic assets -  Western Isles ( Arran, Jura, Islay and Colonsay)

This scenic route winds its way along the shores of beautiful rivers and isles in the shadow of majestic mountains. You can sample the whiskey distilleries,  explore unique Island culture all the while experiencing peaceful, rolling country lanes and beautiful coastal scenes. Island restuarants will hunt local produce for your tasting delights with an abundance of venison, fish, lamb or beef. A self guided cycling holiday like no other, combining island life, picturesque mountain views and village life all in 8 days of fantastic cycling.  

Please contact us or more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com)

DAY 1 Arrive Ardrossan Docks
Arrive in Ardrossan and pick up your rental bikes. Then take the 6 pm by ferry to the Isle of Arran. The ferry journey takes just under the hour.

DAY 2 Brodick 28 miles / 45 km
The Isle of Arran has it all, mountains, coastal cliffs, rolling and flat roads, that’s why many people say that Arran is a Scotland in miniature. Before setting off on today’s cycle ride why not visit the 13th century castle and gardens or the Arran distillery. The road south provides you ever changing views. Small villages intermix the cycling view points. 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.

DAY 3 Lochranza-Cloanaig-Kennocraig-Isle of Islay 16-19 miles/24-30 km
A day to cycle and relax on ferries . After the climb over to Lochranza , visit the castle and then catch the ferry to Cloanaig. 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.

DAY 4 Trip to Isle of Jura various upto 40miles/64 km
Today a short ferry crossing to the Island of Jura. On Jura navigation is easy, there is only 1 road. The Island of 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.
For a short additional trip visit Finlaggan near Ballygrant on your return to Islay, the home of the ancient seat of the Lord of the Isle’s, the rulers of the Western Isles once the Vikings had been removed. 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.

DAY 5 Trip to Isle of Colonsay 20 miles/32 km
Catch the ferry at Port Askaig to Colonsay in the morning. 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.

DAY 6 Port Askaig to Port Ellen 36 miles / 57 km
Today you will explore by bike the north west of Islay, known as the Rinns of Islay before cycling to the south of the Island. Today you will pass the Bruichladdich distillery before arriving in Port Charlotte. Then to the north coast and a wonderful sandy beach for a picnic, pass the wildlife centre, rural life museum or RSPB centre then cycle the quiet lanes south to Port Ellen.

DAY 7 Port Ellen Loop 6-20 miles / 9-32 km
Today you explore the eastern shores of Islay with a chance to visit the the Ardbeg distillery.

DAY 8 Isle of Islay to Arran 19 miles/30 km
First a 9.45 Ferry to Kennacraig. Then across the Kintye peninsular to Cloanaig and back on the Ferry to
Isle of Arran . Cycle around the NW coast of Arran back to Brodick. Take the 19.20 ferry back to Ardrossan and then a train back to Glasgow or to your next destination.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

€1161 per person sharing

(minimum of 2 people required for this tour)

Tour Includes

  • 7 nights in 3-4* guest houses/hotels with breakfast
  • 24 speed trekking bike with pannier bag, rear bag rack and mudguards
  • route details and maps
  • luggage transfers
  • emergency support

    NB - Ferry tickets are not included and are paid seperately on tour ( approx Stg£38 in total ) 

     €70 supplement for an e-bike


There is an option to organise this tour on a 6 night basis,  please email our office for more details 

Self Guided Tour Information

You can start Saturday from 1 May to 30 September. This tour operates with a minimum of 2 people on the tour.

Below is a list of places that we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.


Arran Glenartney Arran Glenartney1



Ballygrant Inn Ballygrant Inn1 Ballygrant Inn.2jpg

Ballygrant Inn

Upgrade option:

Kilmeny House Kilmeny House1 Kilmeny House2

Kilmeny instead of Ballygrant


Glenmarchrie House Glenmachrie House1 Glenmachrie House2

Glenmachrie House

How to get to the start point in Ardrossan: 

We recommend flying to Glasgow airport (approx 30 miles from Ardrossan) 

Then take 757 Shuttle bus from Terminal 7 to Sneddon Street stop (approx 20 mins). 

Go to train from Paisley Gilmour Street to Saltcoats station (approx 25 mins 5/6 stops) see ScotRail for more info. 
There you can take a taxi of a bus transfer to the dock for bike collection. 

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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