Start Date: 16th September 2019
Duration: 8 nights
This popular Highlands & Islands tour underlines the many contrasts of Scotland; beautiful island and coastal landscapes - the highlights include: the majestic Highlands, magical castles, remote historic places and does so in a relaxing 9 days. Take in the contrasting scenery that Scotland has to offer, from the lochs and forests of the mainland, to the mountainous landscapes of Skye and the Cairngorms as well as the history and culture of the Outer Hebrides. This tour includes carefully selected, quality accommodation.
Day 1 is a fabulous introduction to the Scottish landscape; exploring the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and Scotland’s first National Park, the fairy-tale castle of Inveraray and fabulous Glencoe, steeped in history with dramatic scenery. Overnight nr Glencoe.
Day 2 takes us aboard the Jacobite steam train, now famous as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express. The train journey provides wonderful views across the Sound of Arisaig to the Small Isles of Eigg and Rhum. After lunch in the fishing port of Mallaig we take the ferry “Over the Sea to Skye”. Overnight Skye.
Day 3 is a tour of the Island of Skye, passing through Broadford and on to the Island capital, Portree. Heading north we take in the fabulous scenery and seascapes with Dunvegan Castle and other options a possibility. Overnight Skye.
Day 4 we travel by ferry from Skye to the Outer Hebrides and we will spend the afternoon exploring the dramatic beauty of the Isle of Harris with highlights including the Golden Road and stunning Luskentyre beach.
Overnight North Harris.
Day 5 we explore the rich history of Lewis which has been inhabited by man for around 5000 years or more. Visiting the ancient Calanais Standing Stones, Dun Carloway Broch, and a traditional blackhouse village we will discover the ancient way of life. Overnight Lewis
Day 6 allows more time to explore Lewis before we head back to the mainland past the Summer Isles and venture through Wester Ross. This is a very old landscape and the area is well known for its spectacular mountain scenery, especially the Torridon Hills. Overnight nr Inverness
Day 7 we head south into the "Capital of the Highlands"; Inverness and on to Culloden Battlefield to learn about the last Jacobite rebels who fell here. Iconic Loch Ness is next up with fabulous scenery and picturesque villages along the way. Overnight nr Inverness.
Day 8 explores the Cairngorms National Park with towering mountain ranges and large tracts of the original Caledonian Pine Forest. Heading south, we take in Carrbridge, Aviemore and Pitlochry with the opportunity to visit the whisky Distillery. Overnight Pitlochry.
Day 9 explores Highland Perthshire and the beautiful village of Dunkeld before we head south to Edinburgh via the Forth Bridges. A leisurely visit to Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code, will be enlightening before we enjoy a walk down the Royal Mile, with its charming medieval architecture and the opportunity to do some last minute speciality shopping.