Our 3 day tour from Edinburgh transports you through the majestic Scottish Highlands to the romantic Isle of Skye, immortalised in words and pictures the world over and voted the globe’s 4th best island destination according to National Geographic.
From Edinburgh we go west to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and soon we’re deep in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. On the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond sits our first stop, the charming village of Luss with its abundant summer floral displays. The village was chosen as a Christian settlement by the Celtic Saint MacKessog in AD 510 who was Scotland’s patron saint before St Andrew. Later it was raided by the Vikings but today you’ll find a pretty conservation village with a sandy beach and pier stretching out into the stunning loch.
From your luxury mini coach you’ll take in sparkling lochs, tumbling waterfalls and majestic Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet) on our way to bleak but beautiful Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. We’ll stop for lunch here and you can learn about the infamous Glencoe Massacre of 1692 when the MacDonalds were slaughtered by the Campbells.
Our Highland road trip continues to Fort William, a popular holiday destination sitting in the shadow of Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. Here you can opt to take one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys, the Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig. This one-way, two-hour trip crosses the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, immortalised in the Harry Potter films as the journey to Hogwarts school.
From the train you’ll catch spectacular views of Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel stretching 17 miles out in the distance. Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at Glenfinnan in 1745 in an ill-fated attempt to return the exiled Stuarts to Great Britain and Ireland’s throne. Today the Glenfinnan Monument, with its lone piper on top, proudly commemorates the Jacobites who died fighting their cause.
Another moving location to look out for is Loch Eilt, chosen for another Harry Potter scene where a sad Hagrid skims stones across its waters. The loch’s little island Eilean na Moine was chosen as the location for Dumbledore’s final resting place.
If you prefer not to take the train, you can spend a little time in Fort William before we carry on by road to Mallaig where we all meet up for our ferry ‘over the sea to Skye’. After landing in lush southern Skye we have a 30-minute drive to Kyleakin where we spend the next two nights.
Please note: Subject to it operating, we take the ferry to the Isle of Skye from Easter to the end of October. Outwith these dates we drive to Glenfinnan to see the viaduct and then drive north to Skye via the Skye Bridge.Day 2
You’ll have a full day to explore the amazing Isle of Skye and your driver-guide has the flexibility to ensure you see the best of the island whatever the weather.
You can’t miss Skye’s mountain range, the Black Cuillins, which adorn calendars and paintings the world over. The sparkling azure waters of the Fairy Pools lie near their foot in Glenbrittle and make for great photos, or even a spot of wild swimming!
We stop for lunch in Skye’s main town of Portree before we head to the spectacular geological wonders of north Skye and the Trotternish Peninsula. This is a beautiful, if not bizarre, landscape of rocks and pinnacles that will leave you spellbound.
Access permitting, we’ll visit Faerie Glen, a peculiar, miniature landscape of grassy cone-shaped hills and lochans (ponds). It’s said that if you count these hills you’ll find 365 but if it’s a leap year there will be 366!
From there we head for the Quiraing, an iconic geological landslip that is on many a traveller’s tick list. You’ll have time to capture plenty of pictures before we move on to the magnificent Mealt waterfall and Kilt Rock, a spectacular 90-metre-tall column of basalt that appears to resemble our national tartan dress.
On our return to Kyleakin, and an evening to yourselves, we’ll stop for photos at the Old Man of Storr, a pinnacle of rock created by a massive ancient landslide.Day 3
With the Black Cuillins behind us we leave the island by road and the Skye Bridge, opened in 1995 to much controversy. Our tour of Highland lochs, glens and castles continues to Eilean Donan, Scotland’s most iconic fortress. The 13th century castle is perched on a little island at the meeting point of three magnificent sea lochs. Its spectacular setting has been seen in TV and films such as Highlander and Loch Ness and James Bond epic The World is Not Enough.
From there we’ll take time to go off the beaten track to visit Glenelg viewpoint for amazing views to Loch Duich and the Five Sisters of Kintail and then drive on to Fort Augustus at the southern tip of Loch Ness.
There’s time for lunch and a stroll beside one the world’s great waterways where you can witness its famous canal locks in action. Or you might like to try to secure photos of elusive Nessie on a one-hour ‘monster-spotting’ cruise.
Then it’s back to dry land and a road trip through the Grampian Mountains and across sweeping ‘Monarch of the Glen’ country to Dalwhinnie Distillery for a wee dram of single malt whisky and a chocolate tasting session.
From your panoramic window seat you’ll see the landscape change from moody mountain and moorland to lush forest and woodland not surprisingly known as Scotland’s ‘Big Tree Country’. Keep an eye out for birds of prey and red squirrels. Journeying through Perthshire we’ll pass Blair Castle, ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home of Europe’s only remaining private army the Atholl Highlanders. Just a few miles down the road and we’re enjoying our final refreshment stop in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, favoured by Queen Victoria and Scots novelist Robert Louis Stevenson.
We return to Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh via the Queensferry Crossing. Opened on 30 August 2017 and costing over £1.3 billion, this 2.7 km structure is the longest bridge of its type in the world. As you cross, look left for a great view of Scotland’s most famous structure, the Forth Bridge, whose three red cantilevers carry the rail line over the Firth of Forth. The Forth Bridge has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, placing it on a par with the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.
Discover Scotland Tours 1 day trips and Multi-Day tours take you to some of the most beautiful, historic and inspiring places in Scotland. Our guests enjoy guaranteed departures, our unique hotel pick up service and a modern fleet of small luxury Mercedes coaches.
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