Sail & Bike Scotland
Inner Hebrides & Highlands – Isles of Jura & Mull
8 days / 7 nights | from/to Oban | Guided bike tours
up to 147 miles/237 km | Level 2–3
Oban is the start and end point of your tour through the Inner Hebrides and the Highlands. With the Flying Dutchman, we visit the island of Mull and the Kintyre Peninsula, home to the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland and largely untouched by mass tourism. The isle of Jura, which is known for its rich stock of red deer and its world-famous whisky distillery, is new to our program. Enjoy the wild scenery of Scotland, its colour contrasts and great biodiversity. Treat yourself in the evening to a glass of whisky in one of the pubs and listen to the ever-present Scottish music. On your crossings with the Flying Dutchman, we keep watch for dolphins and seals, and let the grandiose landscape pass on by. On our cycle tours, we’ll be looking out for eagles, red deer and otters with incredible views down over the sea from the most beautiful lookout points.
Day 1 (Sun): Oban (Embarkation) (D)
Individual flight to Edinburgh or Glasgow followed by either train or bus to Oban. You are welcome to reserve a space on our collective transfer service leaving at 5.30 pm from Edinburgh centre and at 6 pm from the Edinburgh airport (see prices below). Your cabins on the Flying Dutchman are ready for check in at 5 pm. Should you arrive earlier, your luggage can be stored on board until check-in time. A late evening dinner will give you time to get to know your crew and tour guides.
Day 2 (Mon): Oban - Toberonochy – Crinan (aprx. 22 mi. /36 km) (B, D)
After breakfast we adjust our bicycles and start our first cycle tour. This leads us southwards from Oban through hilly landscapes and along the shores of a small highland lake back to the sea. Here we cross a remote peninsula before embarking on the ferry which takes us to the island of Luing. The island is made up of slate and the mining of the gray glistening rocks played an important economic role in the past. The University of Edinburgh for instance, is largely constructed out of the slate off of this small island. At the Toberonochy dock, the Flying Dutchman awaits us for our cross over to Crinan where we will spend the night.
Day 3 (Tue): Crinan – Isle of Jura (aprx. 23 mi. /37 km) (B, L)
Today’s bike tour takes us from Crinan to the fascinating excavation site of Kilmartin. Stone circles, which remind us of the Stonehenge and prehistoric burial mounds, characterize the vast landscape. After visiting the museum grounds and enjoying lunch at the museum Cafe, we return to Crinan. Past the Kintyre Peninsula, famous from the Paul McCartney song ‘Mull of Kintyre’, we continue by boat to the island of Jura.
Day 4 (Wed): Isle of Jura – Isle of Mull (aprx. 17 mi. /27 km) (B, L, D)
After breakfast we cycle northwards on the isle of Jura. The renowned author, George Orwell, spent the last three years of his life here and described it as the most unattainable place on earth. Enjoy the tranquility of the island, which is only occasionally disturbed by one of the about 5,000 deer that live there. Passing the so-called Paps of Jura we arrive at a small dock where the Flying Dutchman takes us to the island of Mull. On the way we pass the swirling waters of Corryvreckan, one of the largest natural whirlpools in the world - but do not fear, our experienced crew will guide us safely to a quiet bay on the island of Mull for the night.
Day 5 (Thu): Mull Island: Duart Castle – Salen – Tobermory (aprx. 37 mi./60 km) (B)
Today’s cycle tour is dedicated entirely to the spectacular natural beauty of Scotland. The route takes us through hilly terrain and along the Island’s coastline. Behind every bend in the road another breathtaking view awaits. After the road divides, and the few cars that we have encountered along the way so far have turned off towards Iona, we share the road virtually only with sheep and shaggy highland cattle grazing peacefully in the bright green meadows. Along an ever-changing coastal road, we cycle past Loch Na’ Keal to Salen where the ship is waiting for us. On a short crossover our ship brings us to Tobermoy bay. In this pretty, little place, with its colorful facades, an evening visit to an original Scottish pub is high on the agenda. This includes trying national dishes such as fish ‘n’ chips or haggis.
Day 6 (Fri): Mull Island: Tobermory – Salen (aprx. 31 mi./50 km) (B, D)
Today we will encounter an elevation gain on our ride through the northern part of the Island of Mull. As a reward a cozy tearoom offers us a welcomed reprieve before we head for the brilliant white beach of Calgary Bay and its crystal clear water. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland and swimming enthusiasts should not pass up this opportunity to jump in for a refreshing swim. Ship ward bound we cycle through a lush valley until we meet the shoreline, shortly before Salen, offering breathtaking views as well as some interesting ships wrecks. Our ship awaits us again in Salen for a little crossing to Lochaline on the Morvern peninsula, where we throw the anchor for the night. Dinner on board.
Day 7 (Sat): Peninsula Morvern: Lochaline – Kingairloch (aprx. 16 mi./26 km) (B, D)
After a small crossing through the Sound of Mull to Lochaline a scenic cycling tour awaits us. After the first ascent, we reach an almost traffic-free road leading through the barren highlands. We follow hillsides, wild mountain streams and moorlands before we reach the Flying Dutchman, to ferry us back to Oban. Before dinner we have the opportunity to take a stroll through Oban. The Mc Caig's Tower, an incomplete replica of the Coliseum in Rome, is a worthwhile visit.
Day 8 (Sun): Oban (Disembarkation) and return home (B)
After breakfast, individual return trip home from Oban or group transfer to the Edinburgh airport.
We reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary, depending on wind and weather conditions or organizational requirements.