Highlights: Tastes and Trails of Scotland

With Scotland being voted Best Biking Destination in the Outside Travel Awards 2014, we thought we’d put the spotlight on one of our newer Highland adventures, aimed at novice bikers, and share with you the highlights of our Tastes and Trails of Scotland experience.

This holiday is the perfect combination of effort and reward. Our expert local guides will share with you some of the most remote and beautiful corners of the west coast of Scotland, and your adventures aren’t just limited to the bike…

Days of Steam

Relax on the Jacobite (Hogwarts) Express steam train
Continually voted one of the most impressive train rides in the world the Jacobite Express steam train will take you from Fort William, along the coast, to the beautiful fishing village of Mallaig. You’ll be spellbound by the breathtaking scenery and the true scale of the Highlands and, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, the highlight of this trip on the ‘Hogwarts Express’ might well be the famous 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

In the shadow of a giant
Situated at the foot of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, Glen Nevis is another Scottish landmark steeped in a turbulent yet fascinating history. With some truly staggering views awaiting you at every corner, it’s easy to see why this is another favourite with movie makers, with the majority of Braveheart filmed in the Glen. It is also home to one of Scotland’s highest waterfalls, Steall Falls, offering you further spectacular photo opportunities.

Hand-dived scallops

Hand-dived scallops from the west coast of Scotland

Over the sea to Skye
Following the path of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s we’ll take the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye. You will have time to soak up the atmosphere, majesty and natural beauty of one of Scotland’s most famous islands. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some of Skye’s more celebrated residents, including seals and otters.

After a scenic walk you’ll be amply rewarded with a Michelin-starred lunch and wonderful dining experience at Kinloch Lodge. And, of course, no culinary visit to the Isle of Skye would be complete without a distillery tour and there’s none better than the Talisker Distillery on the north west of the island, where you’ll enjoy sampling some of the finest malts.

Iconic castles
If the walls of Eilean Donan Castle could talk, they would have one heck of a story to tell!

Mountain biking Glenelg Scotland

Mountain biking Glenelg Scotland

Inhabited from as far back as the 6th century, and undergoing at least four different builds and rebuilds, the castle has played host to Irish Saints, various medieval clans, and was subject to a Jacobite uprising, the result of which left it in ruin. Thankfully, the castle was restored to its former glory in the early 20th century, and is now regarded as one of the most iconic and picturesque castles in Scotland. A history lesson not to be missed.

Carefully woven into this itinerary of fabulous Highland experiences, are some of the most enjoyable and picturesque biking trails in the country. Our guides will give you hints and tips along the way to help you become a better mountain biker and ensure you get the most of your Tastes and Trails of Scotland experience.

If all this has whet your appetite for adventure, join us on our Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour this summer!

Availability mountain biking holidays in Scotland 2013

It’s July already, the Tour de France is underway and everyone’s enjoying cycle fever and (hopefully) some good weather, so we thought we’d give you a round-up of the remaining availability on our fabulous mountain biking holidays in Scotland for the rest of this year.

Many of our trips are sold out for 2013, but we still have some fantastic options for you on mountain biking holidays in Scotland, so whether you’re a mad keen mountain biker looking for the best riding available, or you just enjoy seeing new places on your bike, we’ll have something to help you scratch that itch!

Mountain biking holidays in Scotland 2013

Mountain biking in Torridon, coast-to-coast Scotland

A tough, but rewarding ride on day 5

Coast-to-coast Scotland, 17th – 24th August

By popular demand, we’ve added an extra date for our epic coast-to-coast Scotland mountain biking adventure, on August 17th – 24th. All other dates are sold out this year, and we’re taking bookings for 2014, so this is your last chance to experience our cross-Highland challenge in 2013!

This week-long mountain biking holiday will see you riding nearly 250km, 95% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge and ending your week at the stunning fishing village of Applecross, and Scotland’s Pub of the Year 2012 the Applecross Inn.

Read all the details of our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain biking holiday and book your place now!

Fresh local scallops from Scotland

Fresh local scallops from Scotland

Tastes and Trails of Scotland, 24th – 31st August

If you enjoy life at a slower pace and like the sound of combining the best local food and drink in Scotland, with stunning scenery, rich Highland culture and history, then our Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure will be just your cup of tea!

This week-long adventure includes a ride on the Jacobite Express steam train (aka Hogwarts’ Express) from Fort William to Mallaig, lunch at the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye, distillery tour and whisky tasting, a visit to the famous Eilean Donan castle, and some beautiful coastal walks and bike rides.

You’ll find all the information and tour photos on our website, and you can also book your place online too. We look forward to sharing the secrets of the west coast with you!

Torridon and Skye, Scotland, August 31st – September 7th

Mountain biking on the Isle of Skye

Hike-a-bike on Skye

If you’re an experienced mountain biker looking for the best, most technical trails in spectacular scenery, then our Torridon and Skye mountain biking holiday in Scotland will be right up your street. The landscapes of the west coast of Scotland consist of rocks formed billions of years ago and changed over the millennia by continental divides, volcanic activity and the ice age. What this means to us mountain bikers is that we get to ride the crème-de-la-crème of trails; not just in the UK but also in Europe!

Follow in the tracks of downhill champion Steve Peat, and trials stars Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey on this week-long mountain biking extravaganza in Scotland, from August 31st to September 7th.

If you need further convincing, watch the video of our trip with these three mountain biking legends, then read the tour details and book your place online!

And if you’re super-organised, we’ve published 2014 dates for our mountain biking holidays in Scotland, so you can secure your place in advance and look forward to an unforgettable adventure in Scotland next year!

Perfect vacation for mountain biker and non-biking partner in Scotland

What do you do if you like mountain biking, but your partner doesn’t? Vacation separately? It’s an option, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a vacation that would suit both of you? We think our Tastes and Trails of Scotland mountain biking tour offers the perfect vacation for a mountain biker and non-biking partner, here’s why…

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Our Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour offers the ideal mix of fantastic mountain biking and a variety of other activities that don’t involve getting muddy on two wheels! You’ll explore the stunning west coast of Scotland, from Fort William, to the Isle of Skye, to Applecross, then along Loch Ness back to Inverness.

The itinerary for this week-long adventure includes mountain biking, coastal walks, wildlife boat trip, a trip on the Jacobite Express steam train (from the Harry Potter movies), lunch in a Michelin-starred restaurant on Skye, and a distillery tour and tasting, so we’ve built in plenty of opportunities for you to do things together, rather than having two completely different holidays in the same place.

And on the days when one of you is out biking, the other can be taking advantage of the many cultural and historical sites, and beautiful scenery on Scotland’s west coast. There are many spectacular walks, offering endless opportunities for photography enthusiasts, or you can simply read a book and while away the hours sitting in a café enjoying delicious coffee and stunning views. The peace and tranquility of the west coast of Scotland provide one of the best places on earth to just ‘be’. You don’t have to have a plan or an agenda, you can just relish the fact that you are in this magnificent place, away from the crowds and stresses of everyday life.

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Your accommodation will be in wonderful, welcoming Highland guest houses, where each morning you’ll be spoiled with a delicious breakfast of local produce, and every evening you can relax in the comfortable lounge and share stories of your day’s adventures. You may also be lucky enough to enjoy an evening of Scottish poetry, recited by our very own mountain bike guide/ poet, Kevin, over a wee dram!

We have availability on August 24th – 31st, so say ‘No’ to separate vacations this year and join us in the Highlands for our Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure tour!

Highland Fling mountain bike adventure in Scotland this summer!

Mountain biking, canoeing, wildlife spotting, whisky tasting, and the Highland Fling… All part of an unforgettable mountain bike adventure in Scotland this summer!

Mountain biking in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Group riding together on their Cairngorms mountain bike holiday

From July 13th – 20th join us for our mountain bike adventure in the Cairngorms National Park, in the very heart of the Scottish Highlands, then end your holiday with a trip to the Inverness Highland Games on Saturday July 20th to round off the perfect “Highland Fling” adventure!

The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the UK, boasting a huge diversity of landscapes, wildlife, eco-systems, communities, views, and – incorporating the Speyside Whisky Trail – includes the largest concentration of distilleries in Scotland. And in 2013 the Cairngorms National Park celebrates its 10th anniversary, so there’s no better time to come and explore the UK’s biggest natural playground!

On our Cairngorms mountain bike adventure in Scotland this July you’ll enjoy the unspoilt, natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands and discover why, in 2012, National Geographic Magazine voted the Cairngorms National Park as one of the Top 50 ‘Last Great Places’. We’ll show you some fantastic hidden mountain bike trails that weave through ancient, silent pine forests, then suddenly open out to a glorious mountain panorama. We’ll take you on a guided canoe ride on the magnificent River Spey, then to a whisky distillery to taste the liquid gold produced from the clean, fresh waters of the Spey.

Country house accommodation Cairngorms, Scotland

Beautiful country accommodation in the Cairngorms, Scotland

You’ll have a half-day, guided wildlife walk, where our local expert will help you to spot some of the more elusive native species that make the Cairngorms such an important natural habitat.

After all this activity you’ll return to your warm, comfortable Highland lodge base in Aviemore to relax with your group, before heading out for a delicious meal in one of the local restaurants or pubs. Alternatively, you could choose to stock up on local produce and create your own culinary masterpiece in your Highland home-from-home!

This mountain bike adventure in Scotland is suitable for novice and intermediate mountain bikers with level 2 fitness, and to find out what this means read the explanation of our skill and fitness levels.

So, if you’re planning an active holiday this summer, why not join us in July for this fantastic natural, cultural mountain bike adventure in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland?! See you there!

Late availability on mountain bike tours in Scotland

If you’re still deciding where to spend your summer vacation, we have some last minute places on our world-class mountain biking tours in Scotland. There’s no better way to leave the stress of work life behind than pedalling it all out on an amazing mountain biking experience in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

Cairngorms Adventure Tour, 14th – 21st July

Loch in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Our Cairngorms Adventure Tour is perfect for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers and gives you the chance to really soak up the diverse natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK.

As well as fantastic mountain biking you’ll also enjoy a day’s guided canoeing on the River Spey, a guided wildlife walk, and a tour and tasting at one of the region’s many famous whisky distilleries.

Join us in July to experience the splendour of the Cairngorms by booking your place online, or contact us for more information. 5 places remaining

Coast-to-coast Scotland, 28th July – 4th August

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

This is the ultimate coast-to-coast mountain bike route in Scotland; almost 95% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge, to Applecross in the west.

You’ll stay in 3- and 4-star welcoming B&Bs, and your luggage will be transferred every day so that you’re free to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and the challenge of riding across Scotland on your mountain bike.

You can book your place online via our secure booking system, or contact us for more information on our coast-to-coast mountain bike adventure in Scotland. Only 4 places remaining

Tastes and Trails of Scotland, 11th – 18th August

Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure tour

Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye

If you’re looking for an adventure tour that’s a little bit different and special, our new Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour will be right up your street.

Highlights of the tour include a ride on the Jacobite Express steam train, voted by National Geographic magazine as one of the best train journeys in the world; a wildlife boat trip; distillery tour and whisky tasting; and lunch at the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye.

If you like the idea of enjoying the finest produce and stunning scenery of Scotland’s west coast this summer book online, or contact us for more information. 6 places remaining

Torridon and Skye, 25th August – 1st September

Mountain biking in Torridon and Skye, Scotland

Mountain biking on Skye

If you’re looking for the best mountain biking that Scotland has to offer, look no further than our epic Torridon and Skye mountain bike tour.

We’ve hand-picked the most exhilarating trails in the most dramatic landscapes in Scotland to give you the crème-de-la-crème of mountain bike tours. Not for the faint-hearted, this trip incorporates some awesome, rocky, technical riding that will challenge your bike-handling skills, but then reward you with sweet singletrack descents.

View more trip pictures on our flickr page.

If this sounds like your idea of mountain bike heaven, grab one of the last places and book online, or contact us for more information. Only 4 places remaining

Late availability: coast-to-coast Scotland, Torridon & Skye, Cairngorms

Summer is almost upon us and we have a few last minute places left on our world-class mountain biking tours in Scotland. So, get your chains oiled, check your gear cables, and get some miles on the clock in preparation for an amazing mountain biking experience in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland!

Coast-to-coast Scotland, 12th – 19th May

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

This is the ultimate coast-to-coast mountain bike route in Scotland; almost 95% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge, to Applecross in the west.

You’ll stay in 3- and 4-star welcoming B&Bs, and your luggage will be transferred every day so that you’re free to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and the challenge of riding across Scotland on your mountain bike.

You can book your place online via our secure booking system, or contact us for more information on our coast-to-coast mountain bike adventure in Scotland.

Torridon and Skye, 26th May – 2nd June

Mountain biking in Torridon and Skye, Scotland

Mountain biking on Skye

If you’re looking for the best mountain biking that Scotland has to offer, look no further than our epic Torridon and Skye mountain bike tour.

We’ve hand-picked the most exhilarating trails in the most dramatic landscapes in Scotland to give you the crème-de-la-crème of mountain bike tours. Not for the faint-hearted, this trip incorporates some awesome, rocky, technical riding that will challenge your bike-handling skills, but then reward you with sweet singletrack descents.
If this sounds like your idea of mountain bike heaven, grab one of the last places and book online, or contact us for more information.

Cairngorms adventure tour, 9th – 16th June

Loch in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Our Cairngorms adventure tour is perfect for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers and gives you the chance to explore the diverse natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK.

As well as fantastic mountain biking you’ll also enjoy a day’s guided canoeing on the River Spey, a guided wildlife walk, and a tour and tasting at one of the region’s many famous whisky distilleries. June is the perfect time to experience the splendour of the Cairngorms, so if you’d like to join us on this mountain bike adventure, book your place online, or contact us for more information.

We look forward to showing you round the Scottish trails soon!

Foodie mountain bike tour in Scotland

Scottish mountain bike holiday experts Highlands & Islands Adventures, best-known for their epic all-mountain tours, have just launched a new trip that focuses as much on the fabulous food, drink and culture of Scotland as it does on the tasty trails.

 

The new, week-long ‘Tastes and Trails of Scotland’ mountain bike tour gives you the chance to explore some of the more off-the-beaten-track corners of the west coast of Scotland – not just on your mountain bike – but by steam train, boat, and on foot, ensuring you soak up as much of the wild, natural beauty of Scotland as possible.

 

Highlights of the vacation include: a trip on the Jacobite Express steam train, made famous in the Harry Potter movies; a Michelin-starred lunch at Kinloch Lodge on Skye; a walk to a secluded hilltop bothy; whisky tasting; a wildlife boat trip off Applecross followed by world-class seafood at the Applecross Inn; and more outstanding Highland hospitality than you can shake your kilt at!

 

This mountain bike adventure takes in the majesty of the Cairngorms, the pure, white sands of Arisaig, the rugged wilderness of the Isle of Skye, and the untouched beauty of the Applecross peninsula.

 

H&I Adventures currently have three dates planned for 2012 at a cost of £955 per person. This includes seven nights’ 3-star accommodation, breakfasts, all transport throughout the week, the services of a fully qualified mountain bike guide and driver, a wildlife boat trip, and a distillery tour and whisky tasting.

 

For all the info visit www.mtbholidayscotland.com/tastes-and-trails.html or contact info@mtbholidayscotland.com

Mountain biking in Scotland on TV

Mountain Biking in Scotland Hits Sky TV

Steve, Danny and Hans ride away from the helicopter

Steve, Danny and Hans leave helicopter behind and blast down the trail

Sky Sports have launched their new series, Cycle Sports World, with a two part documentary following Steve Peat,

Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey on their ‘three mountain bike legends’ Scotland trip around Torridon and Skye with Scotland’s mountain bike holiday experts, Highlands and Islands Adventures.

We’ve managed to get our hands on the footage so you can watch exclusive interviews with Steve Peat, Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey during their epic mountain bike adventure in Scotland, mountain biking the best trails and enjoying the finest whisky that the west coast of Scotland has to offer.

If you want to follow in the tracks of these three mountain bike legends and book your own mountain bike holiday in Scotland contact Highlands and Islands Adventures

Episode 1

Episode 2

For further information on Cycle Sports World viewing times