Start Date: 20th June 2024
Duration: 9 nights
On this 10 day tour, enjoy a mix of scenic walks, world-renowned whiskies, island communities and spectacular castles. Scotland has a rich and fascinating history in producing the Water of Life or 'Uisge Beatha'. Take a trip to the Isle of Islay and Speyside - Scotland's best known areas for famous Single Malt Whisky. Taste world famous whiskies directly from their source, experience first-hand the spectacular locations of the distilleries, meet the local experts who have had whisky making in their families for generations, and even try exclusive and rare drams only available from the distilleries. Along the way, enjoy scenic walks over varied landscapes and visit spectacular castles, each with their own bloody tales and clan rivalry that is sure to stir the soul.
After pick-up from Glasgow, we head for the highlands and begin the tour with a tour and tasting of Glengoyne distillery, often described as Scotland's most beautiful distillery. We tour into Scotland’s first National Park and visit the quaint village of Luss on the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond. After a look around the village, we make our way to the lochside town of Inveraray for a tour of the castle which is home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. Overnight Kintyre.
This morning we travel to the ferry port for our morning crossing to the Isle of Islay. This is Scotland’s fifth-largest island and has an impressive 130 miles of coastline. There are nine working distilleries here, best known for their peaty, smoky flavours and we start our tastings at Laphroaig distillery before making our way to nearby Ardbeg for lunch at the Old Kiln Café. Later, we tour along the coast to the island’s main town, Bowmore, for a look around followed by some island sight-seeing. Overnight Islay.
Wake to the splendour of "The Queen of the Hebrides". After breakfast, we head out to visit more of Islay’s famous distilleries. We begin with visiting nearby Kilchoman distillery for a dram by the fire before enjoying a walk at Gruinart Bay where we hope to spot some birdlife at the Nature Reserve before. We take the small single-track road to Bunnahabhain for a Premium Tasting, then board the afternoon ferry back to the mainland. Overnight Crinan.
Today we explore Scotland’s west coast with a wonderful tour through beautiful Kilmartin Glen to the bustling seaside town of Oban. Here, you’ll enjoy a tutored tasting of the best selection of malts from the distillery - one of the oldest whisky distilleries in the country. After a tour and tasting, and a spot of lunch in the town, we move on to spend the afternoon in the beautiful landscape of Glencoe. Enjoy the fine scenery here with a picturesque hike in the area. Overnight Fort William.
We head out on the spectacular ‘Road to the Isles’ providing wonderful views across the Sound of Arisaig to the Small Isles of Eigg and Rhum. The journey takes us through Scotland’s largest highland town, Fort William, which has its own distillery, and past ‘Neptune’s Staircase’, the longest staircase lock in Britain completed in 1822 as part of the Caledonian Canal. We view the famous 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct on our way to the fishing village of Mallaig and the ferry “Over the Sea to Skye”. Overnight nr Skye.
Today we tour the magical Isle of Skye, passing through Broadford and the spectacular Cuillin mountain range which dominates this island. We stop for a tour and tasting at the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye, Talisker, for a tour and tasting of this award-winning single malt. Later, we tour to the main settlement on the Island, Portree, for look around and some lunch before heading to the Old Man of Storr for an afternoon hike. Overnight nr Skye.
We start the day with a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, which is perhaps Scotland’s most photographed castle due to its stunning location. We move on along the shores of Lochcarron and Achnasheen, and after some lunch in the area, we head for Glenmorangie Distillery for a tour and tasting. Scent the fruity aromas of this complex malt and see the bourbon casks where the whisky mellows for 10 years. Finish your distillery tour with a two-dram tasting. Overnight nr Inverness.
Today we tour south, stopping at Culloden Battlefield for a 1-hour walk at this historical and moving place. When ready, we tour into Speyside, Scotland’s best-known whisky region. We take the famous Malt Whisky Trail, the only trail of its kind in the world, to our first distillery stop, Benromach, which is home to the world's first organic single malt. Then, tour to Glenfiddich Distillery, the only distillery in Scotland to use a single source of water throughout the entire whisky-making process. Overnight Speyside.
We travel south along the main whisky smuggling route from the Highlands to the Lowlands through the Cairngorms National Park with heather-clad mountains and vast swathes of Caledonian Pine Forest. Enjoy a scenic walk here before visiting the highest distillery in Scotland at 1,073 feet, Dalwhinnie, for a dram in the tasting tent. Spend the afternoon at Blair Castle & Gardens which has had a diverse history, witnessing both turbulent and peaceful times, over its 700-year lifespan. Overnight Pitlochry
Today begins with an enjoyable walk around the highland village of Dunkeld with its historic Cathedral and quaint 18th century ‘little houses’. Touring south, we arrive at Deanston Distillery for a tour and tasting of the wonderful, fresh, honeyed sweetness that Deanston is known for. Nearby is our final stop of the tour, Stirling Castle, for a 2-hour visit to take in the castle's long and turbulent history. We take a look at Bannockburn battle site before making the journey into Glasgow to end the tour.