Kintyre 66: Scotland’s answer to Route 66 unveiled

The Kintyre 66 is a 66-mile circular loop around the west and east coast of Argyll's peninsula.

Scotland’s answer to Route 66, covering stunning coastlines, white sandy beaches and breathtaking views, has been launched.

The Kintyre 66, or K66, is a 66-mile circular loop around one of Scotland’s most scenic regions, taking in both the west and east coast of the Argyll peninsula, from the top at Kennacraig to the bottom at Campbeltown.

The route has been developed to showcase the west coast of Scotland, which enjoys views across to Northern Ireland on a clear day.

Inspired by Route 66 in the US, the K66 journey can be taken by bike, foot or car, with the aim of encouraging tourists to slow down following a stressful year.

Covering the six key areas of West Kintyre, Gigha, Machrihanish and Southend, Campbeltown, East Kintyre and Tarbert and Skipness, the route will be provide options to start from any point whilst also pinpointing trails, places to explore and natural heritage sites.

Niall Macalister Hall, chair of the Kintyre and Gigha Marketing Group, said: “Kintyre is a hidden gem on the west coast, with beaches that would rival the Caribbean on a good day, a pristine marine environment helped by the warmth of the Gulf Stream, and so many unspoiled places to discover.

“With a record staycation summer expected this year, K66 has been developed to encourage visitors to explore the whole of Kintyre – slowly and at their leisure – with plenty of open spaces and places of interest branching off the main route.

“There’s also the option of taking a short Calmac ferry to the beautiful islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura to the west and Arran to the east and turning the trip into a longer break.

Saddell Bay, part of Kintyre 66 route STV News

“After a long and stressful 12-months for everyone, it’s a good feeling to be able to launch the route, and we look forward to welcoming travellers to our friendly community in the months to come.”

Highlights on the route include Ballochroy Standing Stones, Saddell Castles, Keil Caves, and Westport beach, famed for its Atlantic waves that attract world-class surfers from across the globe. 

Six spur roads offer a deeper venture to Tarbert, Claonaig, Carradale, Southend and Machrihanish with the Isle of Gigha just a short ferry ride from the core route.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Explore Kintyre and Gigha Tourism and Marketing Group and supported by CalMac Ferries.