Scotland is one of the most popular tourist destinations for exploring the finest nature’s finest artwork. You’ll love the many beautiful and fascinating locations in Scotland and get to know more about the country’s interesting history and magnetic culture. With so many great locations to visit, it might seem a bit difficult to keep track of all the wonderful, exotic places without completely disrupting your travel schedule. This is where the bike trails’ role comes into its own, as it is designed to provide an adventurous trip to the area, taking in all the best Scotland has to offer. What could be more exciting than riding an E-bike through the marvellous and mysterious Highlands of Scotland? A ride through the majestic, world-famous Scottish landscape is sure to guarantee a fun-packed trip to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world!
There are many great adventures to be had in Scotland, so to help narrow down the field, here are our Best Cycle Trails in Scotland 2021. These will help you to plan your trip more effectively and get to know the locations that will make your trip the most memorable possible. These three trails are the most popular amongst the millions of tourists that visit every year – all of which are in the Highlands of Scotland! So read on and get ready for the ride of your life!
Trail 1- The Great Glen Way
The Great Glen Way stretches up to 77 miles (125 km), emerging from Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland and ending at the city of Inverness, which sits at the south-west of Moray Firth. The starting section of the trail is a great introduction to cycling in the highlands and provides a great headstart for beginners. The trail will cover the longest glen in Scotland, with major lochs like Oich, Lochy, and the world-famous Loch Ness – home of mysterious Loch Ness Monster (Nessie). You will bike along the Caledonian Canal near the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.
Along the route, there are several breakpoints where you can get off your bike and take in the spectacular landscape, explore the area, or maybe just have a wee rest in the company of the stunning views. Tourists from all over the world are always eager to meet new people, and chances to explore these locations with both locals and other tourists alike will help you make friends along the way.
This bike trail is the most elevated region with an ascent of 1835 meters that providing you with great views and ultimately a better experience. Visitors will love to test their limits along with enjoying Scotland’s scenic beauty on the way. The best time to visit the trail is during the summer, as you will witness the exotic views of the Great Glen Way cycle trails at their best. Plus, if you’re riding an E-bike you can experience all this and you can avoid getting tired on the way!
Trail 2- Etape Loch Ness
Etape Loch Ness is the only circular route on this list of bike trails in the Scottish Highlands. There is a lot of hype surrounding this track amongst visitors as there are several official bike races that take place here annually. Because the route brings you back to where you started, it is a very popular choice for many cyclists. A cycle race around Loch Ness is a great way to discover the local area on your bike. Some cyclists refer to it as the Loch Ness 360 due to its circular dimensions.
This trail begins in Inverness and for the most part, will be a headwind stretch. After you reach Dochgarroch, there are a few miles of flat road to help catch your breath before the extreme roller-coaster track that lies ahead! On the way to Fort Augustus, you will encounter enthralling views of such iconic sites as Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness.
It is quite a long trail of about 66 miles, and it can take up to three days to complete. This Loch ness tour is worth the hustle; however, some tourists prefer to stay longer to enjoy the surroundings and taste more of what Scotland has to offer at a slightly slower pace. Whatever pace you decide to take, there will be plenty of opportunities to sample the culture, scenery and get those all-important holiday photos and selfies.
Trail 3- North West Coast 500 Cycle
The North West Coast 500 has become one of the most popular routes over the last few years. People flock from far and wide to experience the 500 miles trail through the Highlands. The route is sometimes also called The NC 500 and is quite a long run on a bicycle as you can imagine. Many prefer to travel the road in a car, campervan or motorcycle, but if you’re up for the challenge, then cycling the route is sure to be a very rewarding experience.
Cyclists take this challenge to put their limits to the test as this bike trail can take around seven days to complete. Planning an appropriate route for the journey and packing all the essentials is absolutely necessary when tackling a trail of this size. There are several locations where you can rest along the way and allow yourself to marvel at the wild natural landscape that surrounds you. Like other routes, it originates from the Inverness region and ends near Scotland’s northern coastal area.
Some believe that the longer route gives more time for exploring the great heritage of the country. The best time to travel the NC500 is between May and September as the weather is mostly clear and warm compared to the more challenging weather that can blight a cycling holiday.
All the above bike trails have Inverness as their starting point. You can select a trail and get the most out of Scotland by cycling its most popular routes and discovering its charm and beauty for yourself. Inverness has an airport, and other major transport links, so getting to your starting point should be no problem, but you will only be able to watch that leg of the journey from the height of 30,000 feet.