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Holiday Name

Hidden Cairngorms

Holiday summary

Guided walking Short break in the Cairngorms




4 days, 5 nights

Meeting Points

We tend to group pick ups as much as we can. Please notify us as soon as you have booked your transport so we can co-ordinate the pick ups as efficiently as possible. We will pick up once from Inverness airport (if required) but can make more than one run to the station as it is only 6 miles from our home base. If the airport and train pick ups conflict, we would advise you of somewhere warm and comfortable to wait for your pick up

All Inclusive



3 out of 5

Tour Highlights

These 4 days of walking take you off the beaten track to explore some of the best but most overlooked parts of the Cairngorms National Park. On all 4 days we are very likely to have the mountain completely to ourselves with each route affording a grandstand view of the peaks around. Each day visits mountain scenery of quite different character. As well as seeing the more common species of plants, animals and fungi, by reaching these quieter backwaters of course increases the chance of seeing the rarer wildlife of the national park.

Autumn hiking

Hiking in the autumn (Cairngorms, Highlands)


Fraoch Lodge (dates as per website). Try to aim for between 5 & 7pm so that you have time to settle in and meet the group before dinner at about 8pm.

Day 1:

We ascend to the summit of Geal Charn Mor. With all the ascent complete you’re left to enjoy a high level traverse on easy ground before descending back to the woodland and the fields to complete a great circuit – an excellent mountain gander.

720m of ascent and 9.5 miles (15.3km) on footpaths and tracks with some moorland walking and a little moderate gradient. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 4:30

Guided hiking holiday

The heart of the Cairngorms only visible to those who are prepared to hike in.

Day 2:

We’ll walk along the shores of Loch an Eileanbefore heading on up to the Argyll Stone and spectacular panoramas across Glen Einich to Braeriach.

700m of ascent and 9.5 miles (15.3km) on footpaths, tracks and mountain moorland with some moderate gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 5:00

Evening: After one of Rebecca’s delicious home cooked meals and as dusk beckons we head to a local wildlife hide. On the wonderful Rothiemurchus Estate we discover the nocturnal habitats of the Pine Martin, Badger and Red Deer.

pine marten in the Cairngorms

One of the rate nocturnal pine martens viewed from the Wildlife hide used by BBC Spring Watch programme

Day 3:

This is a day off for all of us from breakfast onwards – a chance for you to explore the area on your own; maybe vist the local RSPB Osprey Hide or browse the gear shops in Aviemore; pop up to Inverness for the day; or simply relax. We top the day off with a fantastic meal out at our top local restaurant, Anderson’s, a few doors up the road.

Day 4:

We head deep into what was illicit distilling territory – the Braes of Glenlivet. The Ladder hills provide us with a relatively gentle but wonderfully elevated hill walk amongst broad ridges and steep sweeping heather clad slopes.

580m of ascent and 8.3 miles (13km) on footpaths, tracks and near pathless mountain moorland with some moderate gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 4:15

distillery whisky

Typical pagoda structures which seem so incongruous on a distillery

food at Fraoch Lodge

Freshly baked home made croissants

Day 5:

The Fara at just short of Munro height, is one of the best overlooked hills in the area. This fine circuit provides a fine gently undulating ridge walk with fantastic views down the full seventeen mile length of Loch Ericht.

950m of ascent and 11.3 miles (18km) on a good track and pathless moorland with some moderately steep gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 6:10

on day after walking finishes, as per website after breakfast.

We asked our guests what sets Scot Mountain Holidays apart, why they return year after year:

“the social aspect”  –  “the camaraderie, food and conversation”   –
“the company of the hosts”  –  
“so warm and welcoming”  –  

 “a profound sense of belonging”  –  “the welcome of Rebecca’s home cooked meal”  –  “Andy’s skills as a guide, naturalist and leader”  –  “stewardship, sustainability and a small footprint”  –  “in harmony with the land”  –  “a slice of rural Scottish life”




accommodation near Aviemore

Fraoch Lodge in it’s autumn plummage

Scot Mountain Holidays is the ONLY adventure tour operator in Highlands of Scotland with a combined home and guest lodge. We strive to be more than just an tour. We aim to provide you with a ‘home away from home’ on your adventures. We thought of no better way of doing this than to welcome you into our own home.

We have owned and operated Fraoch Lodge as our home base and business since 1999. In that time, we have come to embrace our guests as members of our extended Highland family.

We source our meals from locally produced and home grown ingredients to provide you with the most delicious flavours and traditions the area has to offer (while minimising our impact on the environment, too). Our dining room and lounge are shared spaces where we gather with guests and friends to share in the holiday and offer you extensive knowledge of your tour.

No matter the season, the Cairngorms and Fraoch Lodge is a place to relax and explore all its beauty and comforts, and we hope to make you feel as at home as we are.

food at Fraoch Lodge

Chanterelles and courgette noodles

We have achieved Gold Star Awards from the world’s most highly respected green accreditation scheme, Green Tourism, and were awarded Highly Commended in their Green Star Awards 2013 for both Scot Mountain Holidays and Fraoch Lodge. We offer a Green Travel Discount of £15 to any guests who travel to us by public transport. Our primary aim is to minimise the carbon footprint of our holidays, and to this end we donate 1% of the price of our tours to the RSPB’s Abernethy Reforestation project.

It is a holistic approach we have to the care of the environment. Andy your adventure guide has a passion for the natural world – whether it’s the flora, fauna or fungi. He has a background in geology and a lifelong interest in natural history, as well as being a keen gardener.  He knows a Golden Plover from a Dotterel, a Green Shank and a Dunlin. He also makes no apologies to being very excitable upon spying a Golden Eagle!

For further information, please don’t hesitate to check out our Environmental Responsibility page, or contact us directly at info@scotmountainholidays.com.

Stocking up with pellets

Booking Procedure

Departure Guarantee

We are proud to continue to offer our unique departure guarantee*. If your booking is confirmed by Scot Mountain Holidays you can be assured that your holiday will run. We can offer this guarantee as we are unique amongst walking holiday operators in Scotland by providing all the parts of your holiday (guiding, accommodation and catering) in-house.
* Scot Mountain Holidays reserves the right to alter the venue and itinerary of holidays advertised as based away from Fraoch Lodge.

We work with Worldpay to process our online transactions now so you can rest assured that your payment will be processed securely. We accept the following cards:

maestro mastercard VISA visa_electron poweredByWorldPay

Booking online is straightforward and enables us to confirm your reservation immediately. We also accept bookings by telephone, email, and post.

Attention! Don’t forget to read our trip dossier and booking terms and conditions, BEFORE you complete the booking process!

A deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking unless you are booking less than 28 days before departure. In this case, full payment of the trip price is required

Your Financial Protection

In compliance with the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 a client deposit account has been arranged with the Royal Bank of Scotland to protect monies paid in respect of travel arrangements offered in the Brochure and to cater, where necessary (and subject to the terms of the insurance policy), for a refund of such monies in the unlikely event of our financial failure. The balance of payment is due 28 days prior to the commencement of the course. Credit/debit cards accepted are: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Switch, Non-refundable deposits will be debited on receipt of the booking form. Balance of payment reminder will automatically be sent out to you. Please be prompt in paying the balance. If you decide to pay by internet bank transfer please use your own name or booking number as a reference for the payment so it can be reconciled.


It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. We also recommend that you take out insurance which includes cancellation and baggage cover.

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