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Hiking and Wild Swimming in the Cairngorms


1 review

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


  • Duration

    5 days

  • Meals

    4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners

  • Group Size

    Average 12 people

  • Team

    Local Host



Mini adventures by Contiki

Welcome to Detour. This isn't just another holiday: this is travel that connects you, teaches you and changes you. Get off the tourist trail and learn new skills with a local host, discovering spectacular destinations through a local's eyes. These mini-adventures will change the way you look at the world.

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How Contiki works

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    STEP 1

    Pick your destination & book

    Picking where to go out of 150 countries worldwide is the hardest part. Booking is easy with complete flexibility, & confidence that your money is secure.

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    STEP 2

    Book 7 hotels, try figuring out public transport in a foreign language, get into an argument with your taxi driver, lose your passp…

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    STEP 2

    Turn up to your dream trip

    Everything has been sorted for you. Cool, convenient accom, smooth transport from place to place - plus a bunch of meals and travel experiences all locked in.

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    STEP 3

    Have the time of your life

    Your Trip Host has designed every trip to be packed with incredible, local experiences, made even more amazing as you share it with other incredible 18-35 year old travelers.

Meet your host

Sam Host Hiking Swimming Cairngorms

Sam - Hiking and Wild Swimming in the Cairngorms

Sam is a Cairngorms local, born and bred in the area. He and his team have been offering travellers an opportunity to escape through retreats in Scotland and around the world for several years. Sam has always been passionate about health, fitness and adventure, so he decided to combine all three of his passions and create these trips. Sam started out as a Biathlete and Cross-Country Skier for Team GB, training full time and competing internationally in one of the toughest sports in the world. This, alongside years of working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor, and a deep passion for his homeland and it’s people, food and culture equip him to deliver what we deliver today. So, welcome to the family. We hope you are ready to experience something special.

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route


Highlands Lodge


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.


people hiking in the cairngorms


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.


Highlands River Hills Trees


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.


Cairngorms Viaduct Steam Train


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.


Outdoor Campfire Mug


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. 

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All accommodation is included

Ballintean Mountain Lodge

Kingussie, Scotland

About this trip

A wild retreat in the Cairngorms of Scotland, with hiking, lake swimming, cosy campfires and all the comforts of a Scottish lodge.

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  • Only $200 deposit to book

    Reserve your space now with a deposit of only $200, pay the rest 45 days before departure

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