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Islands & Castles Tour - 10 Days
The Islands and Castles Tour underlines the many contrasts of Scotland; beautiful island and coastal landscapes, fabulous majestic Highlands, magical castles, remote historic places and sparkling cities. This is our only tour to take in the Islands of Mull and Iona, and the vibrant city of Glasgow.
Argyll Forest Park & Loch Lomond
With rugged mountains, glens, great forests, moorland, lochs and rivers, Argyll Forest Park, along with Loch Lomond, is on the very edge of the Highland Boundary Fault, the great geological barrier that marks the line between the landscape of Lowland and Highland Scotland. There is no better introduction to the breathtaking landscape of Highland Scotland.
The Isle of Mull
Mull is the perfect size to tour the whole island in one day.  The coastline is peppered with white sandy coves and historic monuments.  Visit the amazing Torosay Castle with the brooding and dramatic Duart Castle nearby.  Tobermory, the main town, is a picture postcard place with brightly painted buildings.  Mull is renowned for its wildlife and you may well see the white tailed sea eagle along the coastline. 
The Isle of Iona
One of Scotland's most historic and venerated sites, lona Abbey is a celebrated Christian centre and the burial place of early Scottish kings.  The Abbey and Nunnery grounds house one of the most comprehensive collections of Christian carved stones in Scotland, ranging in age from 600AD to the 1600s. the Isle of Iona is a stunningly beautiful sparkling green gem, fringed with white beaches.
Glencoe & Loch Ness
Glencoe is a hauntingly beautiful place with its towering mountains and many waterfalls providing a dramatic backdrop.  It is best known for the dreadful massacre during a bloody period of Scotland's history but it also famous for climbing and geology.  Charming Fort Augustus and serene Loch Ness provide a contrasting atmosphere before reaching iconic Eilean Donan Castle.
Eilean Donan Castle
The original castle was built in the early 13th century as a defence against the Vikings.  By the late 13th century it had become a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail.  In 1511, the Macraes, as protectors of the Mackenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the Castle.
The Isle of Skye
The magical Isle of Skye has its own unique mystic atmosphere, defined by the jagged outline of the ridges of the Cuillin mountain ranges contrasting with the gentle curves of coastline.  The views to mountain, sea and coast are outstanding.  The main town Portree is colourful and welcoming with visits to splendid Armadale and Dunvegan Castles en route.
Central Highlands
The Cairngorm National Park is in the heart of Scotland.  The scenery is greener and more afforested but dominated by the stark, ancient mountain ranges of Monadhliath . Heather moorland and the protected remnants of the original Caledonian pine forest cover much of the National Park, providing a valuable habitat for Scotland's native species.  Distillery stopovers are en route and perhaps a visit to Hamish the Coo
Stirling Castle & the Wallace Monument
Stirling is very much associated with Scotland's battle for freedom and a tour of Stirling Castle, sitting majestically on top of volcanic rock will reveal close connections with the great figures from Scotland's past. The National Wallace Monument commemorates Scotland's greatest national hero, Sir William Wallace and the Bannockburn Heritage Centre tells the tale of Robert the Bruce  
Edinburgh Castle & Rosslyn Chapel
Amazing  Rosslyn Chapel is en route to Edinburgh therefore a great opportunity to pay a visit.  Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, is famed for its architecture and the mediaeval Old Town and Georgian New Town are listed as World Heritage Sites.  Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline, a castle fortress with a history as a royal castle since the 12th century.  During a tour of the Castle you can view the Scottish Crown jewels
City of Glasgow
Glasgow Cathedral has an aura of ancient timelessness. A shining example of pre-Reformation Gothic architecture, the grand and imposing interior conjures up medieval mights and is the only mainland Scottish cathedral to have survived the Reformation. Most of the current building dates from the 15th century. Glasgow has many fascinating historic places but is also a modern, bustling city, with a unique culture.
Islands & Castles Tour - 10 Days | Overview

Day 1 is a fabulous introduction to the Scottish landscape, exploring the mountains, glens lochs and rivers or Argyll Forest Park & beautiful Loch Lomond, staying in Oban for the night.
Day 2 we make our way to the Isle of Mull which has a fascinating clan history.  We tour the whole island, visiting Torosay Castle and Tobermory with its wonderful frontage of painted houses.
Day 3 we travel south to Finnphort to take the ferry to Iona and a tour of Iona Abbey, which is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe.  After a day exploring we return to Mull for the night.
Day 4 we travel via fabulous Glencoe, steeped in history with dramatic scenery.  On the way, we stop over in the charming town of Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness.
Day 5 we visit the iconic 13th century Eilean Donan Castle and then head for the Island of Skye.
Day 6 is a full tour of the Isle of Skye, passing through Broadford and on to the Island capital, Portree, taking time to view the famous Cuillin mountain range.  Heading north we take in Dunvegan Castle with other options a possibility.
Day 7 we head south via Invergarry, stopping for a tour of Blair Castle; the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. The castle enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings in the heart of Highland Perthshire. If preffered we can take a tour of Edradour Distillery which probably houses one of the finest single malts you can find.  
Day 8 explores Stirling with a visit to the National Wallace Monument commemorating Scotland's great hero William Wallace; the views from the top are stunning and worth the climb.  Stirling Castle is the next stop for a full tour to take in the castle's long and turbulent history.
Day 9 takes us to Edinburgh calling in at  Rosslyn Chapel made famous by Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code on the way.  We visit Edinburgh Castle and then enjoy a walk down the Royal Mile, with its charming mediaeval architecture and the opportunity to do some last minute whisky shopping.
Day 10 on our final day we explore the City of Glasgow with the option of a city tour with the highlight of a visit to Glasgow Cathedral, a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture.

Islands & Castles Tour - 10 Days | Overview

Day 1 is a fabulous introduction to the Scottish landscape, exploring the mountains, glens lochs and rivers or Argyll Forest Park & beautiful Loch Lomond, staying in Oban for the night.
Day 2 we make our way to the Isle of Mull which has a fascinating clan history.  We tour the whole island, visiting Torosay Castle and Tobermory with its wonderful frontage of painted houses.
Day 3 we travel south to Finnphort to take the ferry to Iona and a tour of Iona Abbey, which is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe.  After a day exploring we return to Mull for the night.
Day 4 we travel via fabulous Glencoe, steeped in history with dramatic scenery.  On the way, we stop over in the charming town of Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness.
Day 5 we visit the iconic 13th century Eilean Donan Castle and then head for the Island of Skye.
Day 6 is a full tour of the Isle of Skye, passing through Broadford and on to the Island capital, Portree, taking time to view the famous Cuillin mountain range.  Heading north we take in Dunvegan Castle with other options a possibility.
Day 7 we head south via Invergarry, stopping for a tour of Blair Castle; the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. The castle enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings in the heart of Highland Perthshire. If preffered we can take a tour of Edradour Distillery which probably houses one of the finest single malts you can find.  
Day 8 explores Stirling with a visit to the National Wallace Monument commemorating Scotland's great hero William Wallace; the views from the top are stunning and worth the climb.  Stirling Castle is the next stop for a full tour to take in the castle's long and turbulent history.
Day 9 takes us to Edinburgh calling in at  Rosslyn Chapel made famous by Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code on the way.  We visit Edinburgh Castle and then enjoy a walk down the Royal Mile, with its charming mediaeval architecture and the opportunity to do some last minute whisky shopping.
Day 10 on our final day we explore the City of Glasgow with the option of a city tour with the highlight of a visit to Glasgow Cathedral, a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture.

We have been talking to all who will listen about just how great our vacation was, thanks to 'Best Scottish Tours'. Our son, Jeff, wants us to do a return trip to visit St. Andrews to play some golf! It was a wonderful family trip, one we all will remember for a long time to come. Thank you for your patience and for being so polite in handling all the details of our trip. ”

The Adams, USA, Sept 2011