The Scottish Islands and West Coast (14-19 May 17)
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Duration: 5 Nights
Tour Area: Scottish west coast, Arran, Mull and Skye
Prices: From £650 per person
Accommodation: 3 and 4 Star Hotels
Mileage: 100 - 180 miles per day
Tour Mileage: Approximately 500 miles
Roads: Combination of A and B roads with single track roads in some areas
Skills: Suitable for intermediate rider, perhaps first-timers
Please see below for further tour information
This is the first of two tours planned for Scotland this year. The west coast and islands provides a fantastic sensory overload. The diversity of the scenery, from rugged coastline, to sublime glens and bens coupled with roads varying from sweeping A to remote single track provides you with a motorcycling experience worthy of note; something to share with your fellow tour buddies and to cherish for years to come.
The starting point for the tour will be a 4 Star hotel in Irvine. Meeting on Sunday, from 4 pm onwards, we will share a welcoming dinner, getting to know each other before heading to bed for an early start.
Day two starts with a short trip to Ardrossan to catch the ferry across to Brodick on the Isle of Arran. A circular route around the coastline will take us to Lochranza where
you will see the beautiful castle and have a chance to explore before we catch a ferry to Claonaig on the Mull of Kintyre. From here we head north to Oban along the glorious A83, heading through the huge pine forests before breaking out to hug the coastline to Lochgilphead and heading inland towards Oban, picking up the west coast and views of the Inner Hebrides. Arriving in Oban, the evening is then yours to explore the town and enjoy the views across to Mull.
After a hearty breakfast in the hotel we begin our 3rd day in the saddle with a ferry trip across to the Isle of Mull. By contrast to Arran yesterday, Mull feels more remote. This will be borne out as we travel the predominately single track roads around the island, in particular the north and west coasts where the scenery is breath taking. Arriving in Tobermory we break before a ferry trip across the Sound of Mull back to the mainland. We travel north skirting around the shores of remote Loch Sunart before heading for Mallaig and our afternoon ferry across to the Isle of Skye. If time permits we can detour via Glenfinnan to soak up the glorious vista across Loch Shieland the railway viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. Once on Skye we head for our 3 Star B&B where we will be accommodated for 2 nights.
Day 4 is a free day, providing you with the fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful Isle of Skye. There is so much to see here, suggestions would be to take in the coast road north through Portree for views of the Old Man of Storr before heading across to Uig. Dunveggan Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan MacLeod, is well worth a visit, as is the Talisker Distillery. Across the Skye bridge, back on the mainland, the Applecross Peninsular, in particular the challenging "Bealachna Ba " (the pass of the cattle), are an easy day ride, the latter being an old drove road used historically to take cattle to the market and is one of highest roads in Scotland at 626m (2053 feet). Still on the mainland, the picturesque village of Plocktonand EileanDonan Castle are very close.
Day 5 we leave the Isle of Skye, via the bridge, and head south. Enjoying more beautiful scenery we will pause at Eileen Donan Castle and the Royal Marine Memorial at Spean Bridge. We then travel over the beautiful and forbidding Glencoe and dramatic Rannoch Moor before we arrive at our final destination on the shores of Loch Tay. With its tranquil and beautiful setting we will enjoy a celebratory meal together in our 4 Star hotel, marking the end of a fantastic 5 days together.
Day 6. After breakfast you will be free to make your way home. The motorway network is within an hour of the hotel and will quickly get you down through Edinburgh or Glasgow. For those not on a tight timeline, a more scenic trip through the Trossachs National Park is a fitting way to end a glorious tour of the West Coast and Islands.
NOTE: At the time of advertising CALMAC Ferries have not released their summer timetable. The tour itinerary therefore is subject to confirmation of sailing times.
£650: One person sharing a double or twin room – 2 bikes
£1200: Two people sharing a double or twin room – 1 bike
£975: One person, sole occupancy – 1 bike(limited availability)
A deposit of £50 per person will secure a place on the tour, the balance being payable 8 weeks before the commencement date of the tour. Any booking made within 6 weeks of commencement of the tour must be paid in full at time of booking. Please read the terms and conditions for the provision of this tour.
What is included?
5 nights 3/4 star accommodation with breakfast
3 evening meals
All ferry sailings as described in tour itinerary
Route notes as appropriate – Garmin GPS
The company of a tour guide who will escort you throughout
What is not included?
Food and drink other than that specified
Personal travel insurance
Entrance fees to visitor attractions, museums etc
Any guarantee about the weather!
The important stuff!
We will be travelling in quite remote areas where fuel stations are few and far between. If joining this tour, you motorbike must be able to cover 120 miles without refuelling.
Again we will be travelling on remote roads. Although we may be able to get any breakdown fixed quickly it cannot be guaranteed. Make sure you have cover that gets you recovered promptly. This is as much for your benefit as it is other members of the tour.