Wild About Bikepacking Video & The Argyll Islands Route
Just premiered, “Wild About Bikepacking” is a video by Markus Stitz that documents the new Bikepacking Argyll Islands route, a 496-kilometer route connecting the Argyll islands of Mull, Jura, Islay, and Bute. Watch the video and find more details here…
Argyll’s islands offer fantastic bikepacking opportunities loaded with beautiful beaches, some of the world’s best distilleries, excellent gravel and doubletrack roads, and local food options. A wide range of accommodations also makes the region accessible for new bikepackers and gravel cyclists. “Wild About Bikepacking” is the third short film from Markus Stitz documenting the area and following the new Bikepacking Argyll Islands route. The video was self-filmed in October 2021 when he traveled on a Twmpa Cycles GR 1.0, a bike built around a unique wooden frame. The route Markus rode also includes part of his journey around the world on a singlespeed back in 2015-16 (linked in related content at the bottom of this post). Watch it below, then scroll down for more info about the route.
“When I arrived from my 34,000-kilometer trip around the world with a small boat in Port Ellen, I instantly fell in love with Islay. I returned a few times since and was delighted when I had the opportunity to work with Wild About Argyll and CalMac Ferries to map a new bikepacking route across the lesser-frequented islands in Argyll. It complements the existing Wild About Argyll Trail, which has been enjoyed by many cyclists since its launch in January 2018.” —Markus Stitz
Bikepacking Argyll Islands Route
Bikepacking Argyll Islands is a 496-kilometer (308-mile) route that connects the Isles of Mull, Jura, Islay, and Bute on a mixture of gravel tracks, singletrack trails, cycle paths, and roads. According to Markus, it’s 25% off-road (18% tracks and paths, 1% singletrack, 5% cycle paths) and 75% on minor paved roads. The route also makes use of CalMac Ferries to connect the islands and ScotRail’s Highland Explorer, a bike-friendly train connection between Glasgow and Oban, where the new route begins. The carriage offers storage for up to 20 bikes, including tandems. Bikes travel free on trains and all ferries along the route.
The region, known as Scotland’s Adventure Coast, offers 3,750 kilometers (2,330 miles) of coastline, 23 inhabited islands, and 40 lochs, all of which are complemented by long-distance cycling routes like the Wild About Argyll Trail and Caledonia Way.
The route can be ridden all year round, but the best time to visit is from April to October. Highlights include:
- The scenic coastal road along Loch Na Keal and MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree on Mull
- Tall trees at Dalavich on Loch Awe
- Gravel tracks on Jura’s rugged west coast
- Islay’s distilleries and Finlaggan historic site
- The charming village of Tighnabruaich and Argyll’s Secret Coast
- Mount Stuart and the Canada Hill Serpentine Road on Bute
Find the GPX downloads and more at BikepackingScotland.com.
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