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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • 7 day guided multi activity
Accommodation
  • 6 nights barge
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$1989USD

Walk and cycle Europe with confidence

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We've initiated extra cleaning and hygiene protocols on all trips

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Outdoor walking and cycling trails
Social distancing comes naturally when exploring Europe’s countryside

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Health declaration forms
Required on boat based and guided group holidays so you can travel with confidence


 
 

Overview

Trip Code: XBW

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 an active holiday
  • 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 multi activity holiday incorporates hiking, cycling and canoeing in one of Scotlands most picturesque regions. The cruise offers the flexibility to walk, cycle or canoe sections of the route at an easy pace from one coast of Scotland to the other. The choice of how much activity to incorporate into the week long trip is up to you. The barge stops are planned to suit the active stages, breaking them into manageable walks, cycles and paddles. Guided 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 active holiday 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 walking the breadth of Scotland.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

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Boarding time is 14:00/2pm. After meeting the crew we begin our first cruise of the week, with excellent views of Ben Nevis, to Gairlochy where the barge will be berthed overnight. Walking, cycling and relaxing aboard are all excellent options this afternoon.

Meals:  D

Cruise to Bunarkaig Bay on Loch Lochy. Choose to relax on board or to walk or cycle this short section. After anchoring in the bay, the morning activities at Bunarkaig may include an opportunity to sail, canoe or explore, by foot or bike, the Clan Cameron estate. After lunch the barge will weigh anchor and motor up Loch Lochy towards Laggan locks at the north eastern end of the loch. Again you will have the opportunity to walk, cycle or relax on board. The barge will tie up alongside a pontoon at Laggan overnight.

Meals:  B,L,D

We make our way along the picturesque Laggan Avenue by foot, bike, canoe or barge. The barge will then anchor in the picturesque Castle Bay, Loch Oich, from where it can offer an afternoon of activities on or around the loch. These may include canoeing, sailing, walks ashore and cream teas. The barge will remain at anchor overnight.

Meals:  B,L,D

There is another chance to participate in a range of activities on Loch Oich before departing for Cullochy and Kytra locks for lunch. The afternoon route takes us towards Fort Augustus. This section can be walked, biked or cruised. An alternative walking option maybe offered that allows for fine views of Loch Ness. The barge will tie up at a pontoon at Fort Augustus overnight.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we descend the staircase of 5 locks at Fort Augustus and then tie up at the bottom of the locks for lunch. Here you can relax on board, take in some shopping, or explore the local area by bike or on foot. We leave Fort Augustus around lunchtime making the scenic cruise to Foyers pier for the night. From here you can choose to take a quiet-road cycle or relax on board and try and spy the elusive Loch Ness Monster. Foyers is a tranquil spot, home to the lower falls of Foyers, made famous in one of Robert Burns’ poems.

Meals:  B,L,D

Foyers bay can be an excellent place to participate in canoeing or sailing. For land lovers there are plenty of walks of varying length and difficulty to suit everyone. A walk up to the Falls, on an established path, through the pine forest is a must. You should also keep a lookout for the also elusive Red Squirrel, which can be spied in the forest. The barge will depart around lunch time and cruise down the loch, firstly towards Urquhart Castle on the north shore and then onwards to Dochgarroch Locks where the barge will lie overnight. Cycling along the South shore of Loch Ness is the alternative to cruising on the barge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Morning cruise from Dochgarroch to Muirtown basin near Inverness. You have the choice to either cycle the route or relax on board. At Muirtown we descend a staircase of 4 locks to lie alongside at Muirtown basin. Trip concludes.

Meals:  B

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Boarding time is 14:00. After settling in on board, a short (1.5mi) walk to Muirtown Sea lock and back is on offer. It takes you to the easterly point on the Caledonian Canal and allows you to stretch your legs at the start of your holiday. Afterwards you can relax on the barge as we cruise the 6 miles of canal to Dochgarroch, or you can cycle the towpath to Dochgarroch.

Meals:  D

Setting off from Dochgarroch we explore the small yet beautiful Loch Dochfour before entering the North East end of Loch Ness. From the start you have the chance to explore the water or land by canoe, sailing boat, bike or on foot. In the afternoon the barge will cruise to Foyers pier taking in views of Urquhart castle. If you prefer, cycling along the south shore of Loch Ness is the alternative to cruising on the barge. Foyers bay can be an excellent place to participate in canoeing or sailing. For land lovers there are plenty of walks of varying length and difficulty to suit everyone.

Meals:  B,L,D

Making the most of the tranquil beauty of Foyers we will spend the morning continuing our exploration of the area be it by canoe, sailing boat, bike or foot. A walk up to the Falls, on an established path through the pine forest is a must. Leaving around lunchtime we take a scenic cruise to Fort Augustus. Guests can choose to do a road cycle or relax on board and watch the wildlife on the remote coast line and a last chance to spy the elusive Loch Ness Monster. The barge will tie up at the bottom of Fort Augustus locks overnight

Meals:  B,L,D

Ascend Fort Augustus staircase of 5 locks during the morning and then tie up at the top of the locks for lunch. Time to relax on board, do some shopping or explore the local area by bike or foot. Departing after lunch the barge’s journey heads south west through Kytra lock, Cullochy lock and then out onto Loch Oich, where we will spend the night at anchor. The afternoon route also makes a great walk and an equally good cycle. An alternative walking option maybe offered that allows for fine views of Loch Ness.

Meals:  B,L,D

The barge will stay at anchor up to lunchtime meaning there will be more time to take in the surroundings and participate in further activities on the water or ashore. In the afternoon we will make our way along the picturesque Laggan Avenue by foot, bike, canoe or barge, another magical part of the journey. The barge will tie up alongside a pontoon overnight at Laggan locks.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we cruise to and anchor at Bunarkaig Bay on Loch Lochy. Here you can relax on board or choose to walk or cycle to the bay. Late morning activities at Bunarkaig may include an opportunity to sail, canoe or explore by foot or bike the Clan Cameron estate. After lunch the barge will weigh anchor and motor the rest of Loch Lochy towards Gairlochy at the south western end of the loch. Again you can choose to walk, cycle or relax on board. The barge will lie alongside a jetty at Gairlochy overnight.

Meals:  B,L,D

The morning cruise is from Gairlochy to Banavie near Fort William. Choose to cycle the route or relax on board. The barge will tie up at a pontoon just before Neptune’s Staircase. Trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks)
  • 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, guide (for activities)

  • Travel to and from the start and end point of the trip
  • Drinks - payable locally
  • Items of a personal nature
  • 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

Cabins


Grading

introductory to moderate  

Introductory to moderate, walking approx 8 miles/ 13 km to 14.7miles/ 23.5km. 3-7 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


Notes

1
begins in Inverness
2
begins in Fort William
DN4
Important: 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.

Total Priceper person from

$1989USD

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. 

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Explore Scotland by Bike and Boat Tour | UTracks Active Travel
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