24 Trips to Explore in 2024See the List
7 days
  • 7 day guided cycle
  • 6 nights barge
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts





Trip Code: XGC

Trip highlights

  • Absorb the impressive views of majestic mountains and large expanses of open water
  • Discover smaller atmospheric lochs and pretty canal sections along the Great Glen Way
  • Relish in the accomplishment of cycling the breadth of Scotland
  • Relax on board your floating hotel in the company of like minded fellow travellers

Scotland's Great Glen Way walking trail stretches 75 miles from Fort William to the capital of the highlands, Inverness. Based on board a comfortable barge at night, this bike and barge cruise offers the opportunity to cycle from one coast of Scotland to the other. During the weeklong trip, the barge stops are planned to suit the cycling stages. Guided along the route by an experienced escort, who will point out places of interest along the way, there is no shortage of highlights. From impressive views of the mystical Loch Ness to glimpses of Scotland's highest peak, Ben Nevis, this relaxed pace cycle will immerse you in the Scottish Highlands. In the evening, share stories of your day with like minded travellers and relish in the accomplishment of cycling the breadth of Scotland.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

We will board the barge at 14:00 (2pm) today and after meeting the crew and other guests, we cycle to Clachnaharry Sea Lock, the easternmost point of the Caledonian Canal, to start our coast to coast journey. The canal which was constructed in the early 19th century connects the east coast of Scotland, from Inverness to Fort William. This afternoon we will follow the barge to Dochgarroch, a picturesque settlement located on Loch Dochfour, where we'll stay for the night. The cycle follows the towpath with the Caledonian Canal on your right and the River Ness on your left. Height gain: 15m/49ft

Meals:  D

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. Height gain: 240m/792ft

Meals:  B,L,D

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. Height gain: 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we can cruise or cycle along the middle section 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. 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. Height gain: 250m/825ft

Meals:  B,L,D

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. Height gain: 150m/495ft

Meals:  B,L,D

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. Height gain: 300m/644ft

Meals:  B,L,D

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. Height gain: 30m/99ft

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


  • 6 breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, 6 dinners
  • Breakfast includes porridge, cereal, yoghurt and fresh fruit, followed by toast and a hot cooked option. At lunchtime we have home-made bread, soup and fresh salads. Packed lunches are individually prepared.
  • Dinner consists of a main course with two options, dessert and cheeseboard. Local produce is sourced wherever possible including: fresh fish; Scottish venison and Scottish beef. Haggis, meat or vegetarian is provided as an option on one of the meals.
  • The chef is happy to cater for most dietary needs as long as you advise us on booking.
  • Daily tea and coffee
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a category C+ barge with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. The compact cabins are configured with split level beds. Single cabins are limited and on a request basis (supplement applies).
  • Boat crew consisting of skipper, chef, walking guide (who accompanies the group on the daily walks) and bosun.
  • hybrid bike rental

  • Travel to and from the start and end point of the trip
  • Drinks - payable locally
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend GBP20-25 per person (to be distributed between the leader, captain and crew).
  • Travel insurance - mandatory *cruise cover may be required - check with your insurer
  • A supplement will apply if you are booking a single cabin (we do not match single travellers)
  • Items of a personal nature

Bike information


introductory to moderate  

Introductory, cycling approx 7 miles/ 11km to 18miles/ 29km. 3-5 hours The route has many flat sections close to the canal and lochs but also includes some short steep hills and longer hills. There is an option to stay on board should you not want to walk some sections.

Departure dates


Begins in Inverness
Begins in Banavie (Fort William)
Mid season is from 27 Apr to 3 May & 28 Sep to 4 Oct. High season is from 4 May to 20 Sep. Supplements apply for mid and high season departures. D = Departure on board the Fingal of Caledonia, K= Departure on board the Ros Crana. Single cabins and single use of twin cabin - available on request, please ask our consultants.
The cancellation and payment terms and conditions are different for this trip. Please see the detailed trip notes for information.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews

Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips