Bike and Boat Tour Scotland
About your bike tour
Oban is the starting and end point of your tour of the Inner Hebrides and the Highlands. With the Flying Dutchman, you visit the island of Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, which belong to the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland but are so far largely untouched by mass tourism.
Also the Caledonian Canal is worth seeing and your gate to the Highlands. Admire the fortresses on the island of Mull, stubbornly facing wind and weather, and enjoy the wild scenery of Scotland, its intensive colours and great biodiversity. Treat yourself in the evening to a glass of whiskey in one of the pubs and listen to the ever-present Scottish music.
On your crossings with the Flying Dutchman, you watch out for dolphins and whales, and let the grandiose landscape glide by. On your cycle tours, you’ll be looking out for eagles, red deer and otters and gaze down on the sea from the most beautiful lookout points.
Individual flight to Edinburgh or Glasgow and from there either by train or bus to Oban.
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. You are also welcome to use our fee-based transfer service leaving at 5.30 pm from the train station in Edinburgh and at 6 pm from the Edinburgh airport. During a late dinner, you get to know your crew and tour guides.
After breakfast, you cross from Oban to the island of Mull. Here, you unload your bicycles and start on your first cycle tour. After only a short stretch, you arrive at Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the Scottish McLean clans. After a short tour of the site, you can use the chance to eat lunch in the tearoom. Whoever feels like it can take part in a longer cycle trip and join the tour guide heading for Loch Buie. In this impressive landscape, you may see your first otter, gold eagle, or stags.
Today’s cycle tour is entirely dedicated to the spectacular beauty of Scotland’s natural scenery. The route takes you through hilly terrain and along the coast. Behind every bend in the road, another breathtaking view opens up. After the road divides and the few cars that you have encountered so far have turned off towards Iona, you share the road virtually only with sheep and shaggy highland cattle grazing peacefully in the bright green meadows.
Along an ever-changing coastal road, you bicycle past Loch Na’ Keal to Salen, where the ship and dinner are waiting for you.
Today, you discover the northern part of the island of Mull by bicycle. The route passes the Eas Fors waterfall, one of the most spectacular of the island and consisting of three consecutive waterfalls. You continue your tour, heading 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. Afterwards, a cozy tearoom offers a welcome reprieve, and if time allows you can visit the whisky distillery in Tobermory before returning and having dinner on board.
Early in the morning, you start with the ship from Tobermory across the Sound of Mull. The destination is the small ferry landing at Lochaline on the Morvern Peninsula. Here begins an interesting cycle tour. After a first ascent, you reach an almost traffic-free road leading through virtually treeless highlands. The route runs along hillsides, wild mountain streams and moorland and leads finally back to the coast, where you ride along the rocky coastal road to the ferry landing at Corran. Here, you have the choice of going either by ship to Fort William or to cover the remaining 15 km by bicycle. The ship anchors in the first lock of the Caledonian Channel, where it can lie undisturbed by the tides. By bus or taxi you can easily get to Fort William, where numerous cozy pubs in the lively pedestrian zone are eagerly waiting for your visit.
An initially level route takes you along the foot of Ben Nevis and the Caledonian Channel. This channel connects on a length of ca. 100 km the North Sea with the Atlantic and consists for the greater part of rivers and lakes connected by canals.
The first highpoint of the cycle tour is Neptune’s Staircase, the longest chain of locks in Great Britain. In eight consecutive locks, the ships negotiate here an elevation difference of 20 meters.
You then continue to follow the Channel until you reach the shore of the first lake, Loch Lochy, which you follow for a short distance. A detour takes you then to yet another waterfall. On the way back to the ship, you cross a mountain ridge, which offers a fabulous view across the highlands. After a meal en route, you return to the ship, which remains in Fort William for another night.
In the morning, the ship casts off for the last time and you start the fairly long trip across the Firth of Lorn in order to return to Oban. Prior to the Captain’s Dinner, you still have time for a stroll around Oban, where McCaig’s Tower, a never completed replica of the Colosseum in Rome, is well worth a visit.
After breakfast, individual return trip home from Oban or group transfer to the Edinburgh airport.
Photos of this bike tour
What we love
- visit the island of Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, which belong to the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland but are so far largely untouched by mass tourism.
- tour the Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the Scottish McLean clans.
- see the Eas Fors waterfall, one of the most spectacular of the island and consisting of three consecutive waterfalls.
What to know
- Moderately difficult tour. In some instances, field paths are used as well.
- This tour includes some longer and steeper ascents where, however, bicycles may be pushed any time. Strong headwinds may also be encountered.
- Helmet use is mandatory on our tours. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own (well-fitted) helmet. A limited number of rental helmets are available (reservation necessary).
- A cycle trip may at any time be substituted by a sailing tour. The daily program depends on the weather and the captain’s orders.
Collective transfer Edinburgh (5.30 pm) /Edinburgh Airport (6.00 pm) – Ship in Oban: 20 euro/person
Collective transfer Oban – Edinburgh Airport (07.00 am to reach flights starting from 12.00 on):
20 euro/person (booking incl. the complete transmission of flight details)
August 9th – September 6th 2015
Accommodation & Rates
- $1,839: Double Room (1 bed)
- $1,839: Double Room (2 beds)
- $2,302: Single Room
- 8-day cruise on a tallship with crew
- 7 nights in a double cabin with shower / toilet
- 7 x half board
- 6 guided cycling tours as described in itinerary
- Overview-maps for the daily tours on board
- Bed linen and towels
- English speaking tour guide
- Journey to Scotland
- Drinks on board (tally sheet)
- Meals ashore
- Entrance fees to museums and sights
- Tips for crew and tour guides
Description of Accommodation during the bike tour
We are pleased to announce that in 2011 we could add to our fleet Captain Klass‘ Flying Dutchman, an ocean-going, two-masted top-schooner. Thanks to her extensive safety and navigation technique, the Flying Dutchman has the world-wide permit to carry out sailing tours. With a sail surface of 480 m2, it usually possible to cover the stretches between islands under sail, and Captain Klaas appreciates any assistance offered by his guests.
The Flying Dutchman, once a herring logger, was launched in 1903. The conversion took place in 2004: the ship was equipped with 10 small but functionally furnished cabins, each with a shower and WC. The front saloon in the deckhouse serves as a cosy dining room and lounge with upholstered benches for seating all guests. At the stern, you can sit beside Captain Klaas at the wheel and perhaps even steer the 39-m-long vessel for a while.
The cook on board is a member of the crew and prepares the breakfast and one warm meal a day. The full catering starts with the dinner on the arrival day and ends with the breakfast on the departure day.
Photos of Accommodation
Photos are examples, actual hotel & room may vary.
E-bike with 8-gear-hub-shifting