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Inverness to Banavie 7-day Bike and Barge Tour (Level 2)

  • 7days
  • Scotland

Single bed room:
Twin bed room:
Double bed room:
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Bike & Barge Tours Europe
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A 7 day Bike and Barge cruise from Inverness to Banavie

This cruise week through the Great Glen can combine the best of intermediate cycling with barge cruising. Carefully chosen routes cover a variety of terrains from smooth cycle tracks and forest trails to quiet back roads ‐ perfect conditions for our high quality hybrid bikes. Each day’s ride will be led by our experienced guide, providing stories and information along the way and offering places to visit to suit the interests and requirements of our guests. Daily distances vary from 7‐18 miles (11‐29 km), allowing plenty of time to explore and relax. At any point of the journey, guests are very welcome to stay on board and enjoy cruising on the barge.

Highlights: 

  • Aldourie Castle and the shores of Loch Ness
  • Laggan Avenue and The Dark Mile
  • The Caledonian Canal and Neptune’s Staircase

Tour Character: Level 2

Daily distances vary from 7‐18 miles (11‐29 km), allowing plenty of time to explore and relax. At any point of the journey, guests are very welcome to stay on board and enjoy cruising on the barge.

Your accomodation: 

Fingal has been running successful cruises since 1996.  She is 39 metres long and has the capacity to carry 12 passengers and up to 6 crew members. There are 6 twin ensuite cabins, a large dining and a saloon area. 

Included in the tour: 

  • 6 nights accomodation in twin ensuite cabin
  • All meals
  • Knowledgable guide
  • Visits/ activities included in the itinerary
  • Tea and coffee

Not included:

  • Drinks
  • Optional extras
  • Insurance
  • Transfers (from 45 Pounds)

Notes: 

  • Maximum 12 guests
  • Departure Saturday
  • 25% discount for children (12 and under) in a shared cabin
  • Activities are optional. You are welcome to stay on board and relax
  • This tour is available to charter. Please email us for further details
  • Single cabins are very limited and always on request

Arrival/ Departure: 

  • There are good connections to Fort William and Inverness by rail and coach from Glasgow. There is an overnight sleeper service from London Euston to both Fort William and Inverness. The cruise start points of Muirtown (Inverness) or Banavie (Fort William) are a short taxi ride from the town centres.
  • Airport Inverness is the closest but the airports at Glasgow and Edinburgh can also be used
  • Carparking is available at Muirtown (Inverness) there is a locked compound and at Banavie (Fort William) an open car parking is available next to our pontoon.
  • For an additional charge, a minibus can be arranged to take guests from where they finish the cruise back to where they joined the barge (where their car may be parked). This must be booked at least 2 months in advance.
  • Guests must be able to climb a small ladder to access/ depart the barge

Slow Tours offers a range of Bike and Barge Tours Europe

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  • Day 1

    Saturday ‐ Sea Lock to Dochgarroch

    We welcome our guests on to the barge in Inverness at 14:00 on the first afternoon. Here we introduce our friendly crew before the barge commences the ascent of the staircase of locks, marking the start of our adventure. The afternoon cycle ride then visits the sea lock at the eastern entrance to the Caledonian Canal, before following the towpath along the canal reach to Dochgarroch lock.

    7 miles, (11.3 km) no height gain

  • Day 2

    Sunday‐ Aldourie Castle and the shores of Loch Ness

    Our tender will drop you ashore at a small inlet on the shores of Loch Dochfour. The cycle route follows the forest path past the spectacular Aldourie Castle, through Tor Point woods to the village of Dores on the shores of Loch Ness. The shingle beach by The Dores Inn provides a spectacular location for refreshments whilst admiring the view down the length of Loch Ness. The route then follows a back road along the shore of Loch Ness to Inverfarigaig. From here the route heads uphill along good forest roads, with occasional views over Loch Ness, before reaching Upper Foyers with its shop and café with a short walk on offer to a spectacular gorge and waterfall. The route down to Lower Foyers is a welcome downhill to the shore of Loch Ness where we find our barge waiting at the pier.

    16 miles, (25.8 km) approx. 240m height gain

  • Day 3

    Monday – The wild side of Loch Ness to Fort Augustus

    We start the day with a steep climb to Upper Foyers to re‐join the South Loch Ness Trail. This takes us along back roads via the picturesque Loch Tarff. The fun descent to Fort Augustus offers some wonderful views of the village and Loch Ness below. For an easy‐going morning alternative, you can stay aboard the barge and enjoy cruising along the spectacular wild quarter of Loch Ness. We are reunited with the barge in Fort Augustus. The village is centred on a staircase of 5 canal locks which raise the canal high above Loch Ness. This is the main habitation on our route and there are a variety of cafes, shops and visitor centres as well as an interesting museum describing the life of the 17th Century Highlander.

    15 miles, (24 km) approx. 400m height gain

  • Day 4

    Tueday – Loch Oich, Glen Garry and the ruin of Invergarry Castle

    In the morning we can cruise or cycle along the middle sec􏰀on of the canal and through the first half of the beautiful Loch Oich. The barge will anchor on Loch Oich by the elegant Glengarry Castle Hotel, within sight of the ruined Invergarry Castle.

    7 miles, (11.3km) no height gain

    After the morning cruise or cycle, we can set off along the road to Skye for a few miles before heading off on the start of the longest no‐through road in the UK. We leave that road to cross the narrows of Loch Garry on a bridge, then head onto a fairly remote forest trail climbing steadily uphill before an exciting descent takes us down to the River Garry and then back to the shores of Loch Oich. Back on board the barge at the end of the day, we spend the night at our beautiful anchorage overlooked by Old Invergarry Castle.

    18.5 miles, (30km) approx. 250m height gain

  • Day 5

    Wednesday – Laggan Avenue and The Dark Mile

    After breakfast, the barge will weigh anchor and cruise along the remaining half of Loch Oich and on through Laggan Avenue, which makes for a stunning journey by bike or barge. The cycle route would then follow a forest trail along Loch Lochy, with views of the largest of Scotland’s mountains across the loch. The trail takes a moderate undulating route to Clunes, the start of the Dark Mile, and then passes the stunning Cia‐aig Falls. After crossing the bridge at the foot of Loch Arkaig and stopping to enjoy the views stretching out to the west, we head through the Achnacarry Estate, home of Clan Cameron of Lochiel. Here the Clan Cameron Museum makes an interesting stop, offering information about the history of the area and a chance to buy a well‐deserved ice cream. The last leg of the day takes us along The Great Glen Way to meet the barge at Gairlochy.

    14 miles, (22.5 km) approx. 150m height gain

  • Day 6

    Thursday – Gairlochy, the Nevis Range and on to Banavie

    From Gairlochy, we cycle past the impressive Commando Memorial to the village of Spean Bridge. We then head onto forest tracks through the spectacular scenery of The Nevis Range, our local ski centre and home to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Here you can take the optional gondola ride up to 650m, for spectacular views and a high level café stop. Later we take the cycle track towards Fort William passing the local Distillery before returning to Banavie for our last night aboard the barge.

    16 miles, (25.7 km) approx. 300m height gain

  • Day 7

    Friday – The Caledonian Canal and Neptune’s Staircase

    For our final morning we cycle the towpath and explore the local features of the dramatic Caledonian Canal. We will see one of the aqueducts that carries the canal over the tributary rivers to the River Lochy and visit Corpach where the canal meets the sea. We then cycle back to reach journeys end at the top of the spectacular flight of eight canal locks, known as Neptune’s Staircase. A fitting end to an inspirational adventure.

    7 miles, (11 km) approx. 30m height gain

    Guests are fully briefed each day on the cruise plan and activity options. The itinerary above is an example all activities are subject to weather conditions.

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
Apr 27 2024 May 03 2024 12 Single rooms 0€
Double rooms 1,616€
Aug 31 2024 Sep 06 2024 12 Single rooms 0€
Double rooms 2,020€

Car rental Scotland

If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.

Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote

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