Port Askaig - Port Ellen - Port Charlotte

Cycle around Islay

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Cycle Port Askaig to Port Charlotte

The route starts at Port Askaig, where the ferry from Jura and Calmac ferries from Kennacraig and Oban arrive. The first 14% climb on the road will warm you up, looking back is recommended, as the views are amazing. The route takes a small track through a gate on the right, which leads to a loch. The track becomes wider here and takes you through a beautiful woodland on a wide track and past another, bigger loch. Shortly after the loch the route joins the tarmac again on Glen Road. 

The route follows Glen Road south, past the wonderfully rugged hills on Islay’s eastern coast. While it is tempting to try some of the gravel tracks that leave the road to the left, sooner or later they’ll end in a deep bog. The route follows Glen Road and then meets High Road into Port Ellen. From here the route follows Lennox Street out of town and a cycle path to three distilleries - Laphroig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg. You could easily spend a day visiting and enjoying the pretty coastline, but once the route returns the same way, it passes Port Ellen and takes a left at the end of the town/village.

A singletrail on the left takes you through another beautiful woodland and onto a beach and on a wider track back to the road. From here the route continues on a short section of gravel on the right to connect with the main road to Bowmore. This is flat and enjoyable, but be mindful of passing traffic. As an alternative for those with wide tyres and loads of time, try the beach all the way up to Bowmore.

Past Bowmore the route continues all the way to Bruichladdich on road, and on a final section of segregated cycle path to Port Charlotte, where the hostel offers a great choice to stay for cyclists, and pizzas and ice cream to purchase for late arrivals without food.