Loch Ness and the Highlands Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Short Breaks, Private Group Adventures
United Kingdom
Trip Code:
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

7 Days Land only

Trip Overview

At a Glance

  • 6 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Trip Highlights

  • World-famous Loch Ness: wild, beautiful and slightly mysterious
  • Dramatic gorges, brooding lochs, tumbling waterfalls, breathtaking views at every turn
  • Superb bird-spotting: ospreys, red kites, peregrines, buzzards, magnificent golden eagles
  • Red squirrels, red deer, pine martens and even dolphin sightings!
  • Rich Scottish Highlands clan culture and history

Is This Trip for You?

Classification: Self-Guided
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies.


C06LN map

Land Only

Start City:
End City:

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Inverness

    Arrive in the waterside town of Inverness. Visit the castle with its 360 degree view over the Highland capital.

  • Day 2

    Gairlochy to Fort Augustus

    A transfer takes you to Gairlochy from where your route follows the Great Glen Way as it criss-crosses the Caledonian Canal and snakes effortlessly to Fort Augustus. En route you'll pass beautiful forest, peaceful rivers and brooding Loch Lochy whose sparkling waters and steep-forested hillsides give a fjord-like feel to the landscape. Your final stretch follows the foaming River Oich. You stay tonight in Fort Augustus at the southern tip of Loch Ness.

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 36 km / 22 miles
  • Day 3

    At Fort Augustus

    Spend the day at Fort Augustus, visit the Caledonian Canal Centre and watch the boats maneuvering the locks or head out on a cruise of Loch Ness to visit Urquhart Castle.

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 31 km / 19.5 miles
  • Day 4

    Fort Augustus (Dores) to Nairn

    A transfer takes you along the Loch to Dores. Cycle quiet country roads between Lochs Ashie and Duntelchaig. Pedal past the impressive Nairn viaduct to visit 14th Century Cawdor Castle, the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth. Continue onto Nairn, known for its two championship golf courses and sandy beaches, where you stay for the next two nights.

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 53 km / 34.5 miles
  • Day 5

    Nairn to Findhorn

    Today’s route is an out and back route allowing you to do as much, or little as you like. It mainly follows signposted NCN routes to the Findhorn which has a beautiful beach, harbour and small heritage centre. Findhorn is also home to the well-known spiritual and ecological community of The Findhorn Foundation. Along the way pass Brodie Castle to see how Scottish nobility lived from the 16th century onwards, the attractive town of Forres, home to the Benromach distillery. Close to Findhorn is the former air force base at Kinloss, once home to the RAF Nimrod anti-submarine squadron and mountain rescue operations. The small aviation museum “Morayvia” is highly recommended with many ex-airmen on hand to tell the story of the interactive exhibits.

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 63 km / 39.5 miles
  • Day 6

    Nairn to Inverness

    There is a lot to fit in today so an early start would be wise. Starting along the shore head first to the spectacular historic barracks and Highlanders Museum at Fort George. The route then passes the pretty waterside hamlet of Loch Flemington then follows the south side of the Nairn valley and under the impressive masonry arches of the Culloden Viaduct, the largest stone bridge in Scotland. Visit the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava which have long been a source of wonder. Across the river and up the hill lies Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle fought on British soil in 1746. The excellent visitor centre shows the timeline of events before, during and after the battle in great detail. Ride on into Inverness for your final night.

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 53 km / 34.5 miles
  • Day 7

    Leave Inverness

    Leave Inverness

    Meals included:



You will stay in 3 and 4 star hotels including a hotel in Inverness which is 5 minutes walk from the city centre and offers a swimming pool, leisure club, spa and free WiFi.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £400.00

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Location end:

What to Take

Reading List

The Rough Guide to Scottish Highlands & Islands, by Rob Humphreys and Darren Longley.
Scotland's Highlands and Islands (Lonely Planet Country & Regional Guides), by Neil Wilson.
Around Loch Ness: The Guide Book: See it, Do it.... Don't Miss It! By Lynne Woods
The Guide to Mysterious Loch Ness (Mysterious Scotland), by Geoff Holder

Practical Information


United Kingdom

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.


United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

United Kingdom's Timezone:
Europe/London BST (GMT +01:00)


United Kingdom's Electricity:

220-240V. 50Hz. You will need a 3 pinned type G plug.


Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.


Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.



The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.


These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.