Edinburgh, the Islands & Highlands Tour

On this tour – Edinburgh, historic castles & ruins, Scottish culture, history, Oban, Isle of Mull, Isle of Skye, glorious highland scenery, whisky, fabulous local food inc seafood, harbour towns, Isle of Iona and Isle of Staffa, Speyside and St Andrews.

Day 1 – Edinburgh. We will visit all the important and historic sights of this beautiful city. Edinburgh Castle, The Medieval Old Town where the Royal Mile lies at its heart, The Palace of Holyrood House, The Scottish Parliament, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh University, The Grassmarket, Greyfriars Kirk and graveyard, The Georgian New Town, Stockbridge, village of Newhaven and the port of Leith.

Day 2 – Leaving the city of Edinburgh we will visit the fine ruins of the great royal palace of Linlithgow. We then make the short journey to Stirling Castle thought to be the grandest in Scotland, the architecture is outstanding and the views are breathtaking. Continuing west we arrive at Loch Lomond, one of the most beautiful in Scotland. We then journey in to the region of Argyll ‘the land of the Gael’. At Loch Fyne you can visit the beautiful Georgian town of Inverary, home of Clan Campbell then travel past beautiful Loch Awe and Loch Etive to the harbour town of Oban. Overnight.

Day 3 – Catching the morning ferry to Mull we then take the quiet and scenic drive to the tiny Island of Iona. This peaceful island is where Christianity gained its foothold in Scotland in AD563, it is also the burial place of Scottish Kings. It is an island full of atmosphere with unrivalled views. You can take a trip to the basalt columned island of Staffa and visit Fingals cave – truly inspirational! I recommend an overnight on the tranquil Isle of Iona.

Day 4 – Travelling through the serene Isle of Mull we will explore this  Hebridean island further and look at its history spending the night in the charming harbour town of Tobermory. Overnight.

Day 5 – Taking the small ferry from Tobermory to Kilchoan, we are now in the unspoilt area of Ardnamurchan, a peaceful and wild peninsula rarely visited, we will visit the ancient MacDonald castle of Tioram. We will journey north to join the ‘road to the Isles’ and catch the ferry at Mallaig to the Isle of Skye for two nights.

Day 6 – A full day to explore this unique island we will travel over the Trotternish peninsula for wonderful open sea views to the Mainland and Western Isles. We will visit the Museum of Island life, and have lunch in the much quieter Waternish peninsula. Travelling west we will visit the MacLeod Home, Dunvegan Castle, then on to the local craft of Skye Silver and to western most place, Neist Point where you will feel ‘on the edge of the world’!

Day 7 – Leaving the Isle of Skye we continue through the stunning landscapes of the Western Highlands to Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich, Glen Shiel to Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, travelling east to the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness. Overnight in this small bustling highland city.

Day 8 – Travelling through the Cairngorm National park and with the opportunity to visit a whisky distillery (or add another night in the historic coastal town of St Andrews) we arrive back in Edinburgh or Glasgow for your return flight.

Wildlife we may see – Red Deer, Red Squirrels, Eagles & other birds of prey, Puffins, Dolphin, Whales, Seals.