Hiking and Wild Swimming in the Cairngorms

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The one that's a retreat into Scottish wilderness, with swimming, hiking and biking


5 days, 1 country


4 nights in Lodge


4 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 4 Dinners

Travel style


Group Size

Average 12 people


Local Host

Map & Itinerary

Day 1

Aerial view of the Ballintean Mountain Lodge in Cairngorm National Park, Scotland


Welcome to Ballintean Mountain Lodge in the heart of Scotland’s Cairngorm National Park. It’s time to kick off your shoes, switch off from the stresses of everyday life and meet your fellow travellers. After a welcome drink on arrival we'll take a walk along the River Feshie and get the lay of the land before getting to know each other better over an included 3 course dinner.

Day 2

Travellers exploring mountains of Cairngorm National Park in Scotland


The dawning of a new day full of fresh opportunity! Today, it’s time to explore. We'll visit epic mountains, chase (secret) cascading waterfalls and enjoy the company of wild reindeer high in the hills – be prepared for some serious cuteness. After an included lunch, you'll also have the chance to fully submerge yourself in Scottish culture, literally, with wild swimming in Loch Morlich followed by afternoon tea. Tonight we'll join together for an included 3 course dinner, Scottish-style.

Day 3

Caledonian Forest Scotland


Today we crank up the adventure with a thrilling mountain bike ride across the Cairngorm Mountains, before a stop for lunch at the lodge, then an adrenaline-filled zip line through the ancient Caledonian Forest. This afternoon we'll have time for lawn games overlooking the hills before our included 3 course dinner.

Day 4

Steam train travelling over the Glenfinnan Viaduct


We'll begin the day with a hike to a jaw-dropping viewpoint and perfect Instagram spot, with a chance to meet and feed the resident Highland cows. After breakfast our journey continues south with a brief stop to take in a slice of Scottish history, then west alongside Loch Laggan towards Glenfinnan. This place has a special treat for Harry Potter fans as we visit the spectacular viaduct made famous in the Chamber of Secrets film. After an included lunch and some free time this afternoon, we conclude today's day trip in a beautiful remote spot, with our own private chef serving fresh stone-baked pizzas as twilight descends. We'll settle in around a cosy campfire near the river and swap Scottish tales before returning to the lodge to sleep.

Day 5

Traveller holding mug towards campfire, Scotland


After our included breakfast this morning, it's time to say goodbye to our new friends and look forward to new adventures! Thank you, Scotland, it's been truly unforgettable. 

General FAQs

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What is Contiki?

Contiki are the world leaders in organized youth travel. We’ve been providing amazing travel experiences for young travellers, from 18-35 years old, since 1962. Imagine how good you would be at something if you had been doing it for more than 60 years?


Everything about Contiki is deeply rooted in our two values ‘Make Every Moment Count’ and ‘We’re About People’. We don’t just talk, we walk the walk and live by our brand philosophy of ‘Travel.Together.’ which means to travel with one another, with the destinations we visit, the people and cultures we enjoy and the environment.


You’ve never experienced travel like this.

Why only 18-35?

Focusing on 18-35 year olds allows us to tailor a dramatically more powerful travel experience and an itinerary so fun it feels like all of your best Friday nights combined.

Tailoring to select ages brings together like minded, likeable people, and allows us to use Social Travel planning to build great groups of people so fast you’ll wonder if you’ve been friends forever.

What destinations can I go to with Contiki?

A sunrise, shoreline or bright light for every whim. We are proud to offer more than 350 Global trips, intelligently designed for a seamless and simple social travel experience. Visit our search page to discover your perfect travel destination.

How does it work?

We’re reinventing hassle free travel. Whether you are a solo traveller or group you can be rest assured that there has been tonnes of planning behind every trip.

Booking with Contiki means you are saying yes to a smile inducing trip where the typically stressful elements just seem to magically happen.

No one does trips like Contiki, essential accommodation, transport, reservations and so much more is all taken care of. You can multiply the magic with trip add ons and numerous customisations for your free time.

Every single Contiki social travel trip is managed by one of our expert Trip Managers, who are there to provide hands-on support and ensure your trip runs smoothly whilst you stay in the moment.

From 2022 your good time will be good for the planet as all Contiki trips are carbon natural. Find out more here.

How many other travellers are on each trip?

Group sizes are completely dependent on where and how you choose to travel with Contiki. 

In Europe and in most of North America and New Zealand, group sizes can range between 24 – 53 awesome travellers. 

In regions like Asia, Australia, Africa and Latin America, and on some North America and New Zealand trips, our group sizes are considerably smaller – as low as 12 or up to 30 travellers max.

Detour trips offer a different type of experience and max out at 16 people led by a local host.

Wondering what is so great about travelling together? Check out the Contiki Social travel page.

Each group is administered according to our strict Covid policies which can be viewed here.

What’s included?

All essential trip elements have been catered to ensure a great time, with great people in great places. But you mean more specifically right?

Your accommodation, essential trip transport, and a good handful of meals are included in the cost of your Contiki trip (on most trips we offer breakfast every day, plus a hand-picked selection of authentic and tasty meals). 

To fill your days and Insta feeds we have Included Experiences, which are basically the sights and activities we think you just can’t afford to miss. Of course you also get our expert and highly trained team of Contiki staff to support throughout.

A day by day breakdown of inclusions and Free Time Add-Ons are available on the trip specific pages. 

We always try to accommodate special requests such as birthdays, proposals etc. Please chat to our team and we can explore how we may support the request.

What’s not included?

Contiki social travel trips have a large degree of flexibility built into them to enable you to truly own your experience. This means that some trip elements are not included in the initial cost and may require additional budgeting. 

Flights to and from your starting and ending points are not included in the cost of your trip. These can be added on during the booking process either online or via our contact center or booked independently by you.

Each trip contains the right amount of free time for you to explore or indulge your travel desires. We offer Free Time Add-Ons, which are additional experiences that are not included in the overall price. These add ons are highlighted on the specific trip page. Your Trip Manager will highlight these to you and organise their booking on trip. Exceptions may apply where pre booking is required but this will be made known to you in your pre departure information.

A number of meal times are left open for you to explore a region and its foodie offerings in greater detail, so budgeting for your taste in non-catered meals is important. 

Travel insurance and visas are also not included in the cost of your trip, and should be booked separately.

What are Contiki's sustainability credentials?

Travel comes with responsibilities. That’s why we’re determined to travel sustainably and consciously, and that’s why we’re willing to take a stand on issues closest to our hearts. Find out more details here.

With the help of our four-point Climate Action Plan, we're now on a journey to Net Zero - committing to carbon reductions and evolving to support the transition to a low-carbon future.

Find out more details here.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance for this trip?

Yes! It’s a requirement of traveling with Contiki that you take out comprehensive insurance cover for cancellation, personal injury, death, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, evacuation expenses, personal liability & loss of personal property and Covid related expenses before you travel with us. It’s also super important to check that your insurance covers all of the activities you’ll be trying out, particularly any adventure activities (for all you adrenaline junkies).

For more information check out our full travel insurance FAQs.

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