Relax and enjoy our spectacular four day tour from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye, voted 4th best island destination by National Geographic. We’ll take in lochs, glens, castles, moors and breath-taking wildlife and natural beauty.
Departing from Glasgow we take the high road to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and our first call at the quaint conservation village of Luss. This pretty Highland village, with its over-flowing summer floral displays, is well preserved from the 18th and 19th centuries but there’s been a Christian settlement here for at least 1500 years. The plundering Vikings passed through in 1263 and at the village churchyard you can see their legacy in the 11th century ‘hogback’ Viking grave, a stone-carved sculpture.
As we sojourn through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, we’re firmly in the Scottish Highlands. Much photographed mountains and mysterious lochs lead to the wilderness of Rannoch Moor and on to foreboding Glencoe, scene of the 1692 massacre. We’ll stop here to breath in the Highland air and appreciate the haunting beauty of Scotland’s most famous glen.
Our road trip of the Scottish Highlands continues to Fort William where we stop for lunch and admire Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. From here, you can take the Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig, a two-hour rail trip often described as one of the world’s most scenic. You’ll cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct, also known as the ‘Harry Potter bridge’, as its 21 arches transport the boy wizard to Hogwarts in the epic movies.(Please note the Jacobite Steam Train is an optional extra on limited tour dates only, these can be viewed on our website)
From the train you’ll see an iconic Scottish vista, the Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel. Another hero who’s immortalised in history and legend is celebrated here. This is the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie gathered his clan to win back the throne of Great Britain and Ireland for the exiled Stuarts, a cause that famously led to much bloodshed. The monument was erected to commemorate those who died fighting for the Jacobite cause.
Keep an eye out for another Harry Potter setting, Loch Eilt, where a sad Hagrid is seen skimming stones and where Dumbledore is put to rest on its little island.
If you choose not to take the Jacobite Steam train, why not explore Fort William before heading to Mallaig in our luxury mini coach where your small group will reunite. Then we board the ferry that takes us ‘over the sea to Skye’ and after a 30-minute drive we arrive in the small village of Broadford where we’ll spend the next three nights.
Please note: Subject to it operating, we take the ferry to the Isle of Skye from Easter onwards.Days 2 & 3
Scottish weather can be changeable so, with two full days to explore this diverse island, we keep days two and three as flexible as possible. You’ll be enchanted by the natural wonders, wildlife and culture of this wonderful island. Your expert driver-guide has flexibility to ensure you experience the best of Skye according to the weather conditions. Skye never disappoints.
By now you’ll have spotted the Black Cuillins, the mountain range that is synonymous with the Isle of Skye. Near the foot of the Cuillins at Glenbrittle, you can take a short walk to discover the Fairy Pools. These sparkling, blue waters offer magical photographs and you can even swim in them! In good weather we’ll try to get to Elgol where you can take a leisurely boat trip or a more exhilarating, wind-in-your-hair ride on a RIB. Either way, this is one of the best ways to see the Cuillins up close. Keep your eyes peeled for basking sharks, minke whales and dolphins.
During your sojourn to Skye you’ll have time to explore its largest town Portree, a busy port and cultural centre.
While the south of Skye is lush and fertile, the north is famous for its unusual geology created millions of years ago. As we head into the craggy landscape of the Trotternish Peninsula we’ll stop at the Quiraing, an ancient geological landslip that’s an iconic Scottish vista today. You’ll want to photograph the fantastic Mealt waterfall and Kilt Rock, a bizarre 90-metre-tall column of basalt that reminds us of the kilt! Another wonder of this part of Skye is the Old Man of Storr, a pinnacle of rock that resulted from a massive ancient landslide.
It’s worth the drive along narrow, winding roads to reach Neist Point Lighthouse, one of Scotland’s most celebrated. You’ll feel as if you’re on the edge of the world, with stunning views of the high cliffs and the lighthouse itself.
To reward ourselves we may have a dram of whisky at one of Skye’s distilleries or visit Dunvegan Castle or Armadale Castle Gardens & Museum.Day 4
Our Scottish road trip continues to the mainland via the controversial Skye Bridge which replaced the more traditional ferry crossings in 1995. Our first stop is at Eilean Donan Castle, probably Scotland’s most photographed castle, which defiantly occupies a little island at the point where three great sea lochs join. It’s easy to see why film-makers chose it as a scenic backdrop in movies such as Highlander, The World is Not Enough and the Bollywood blockbuster Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
The Five Sisters of Kintail is a mountain range dramatic enough to compete with the Cuillins and to get the best view we’ll take the not-so-tourist route to Glenelg viewpoint. There are also stunning views of Loch Duich here.
Heading towards Loch Ness we’ll have lunch in Fort Augustus which is famous for the engineering marvel of its locks on the Caledonian Canal. You can spend some time finding out more about this great waterway or, if you didn’t take the Elgol cruise, you might like to embark on a one-hour cruise on Loch Ness. Look out for our legendary ‘monster’ Nessie!
From there we traverse the Grampian Mountains and Laggan, countryside made famous by TV’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’. If we haven’t enjoyed a distillery on Skye, we’ll call in at Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery to savour a single malt.
Our final break is in Perthshire, known as ‘Big Tree Country’, and the old cathedral ‘city’ of Dunkeld. In the 9th century the first King of Scots, Kenneth MacAlpin, built a church here and made Dunkeld head of the Celtic Church and capital of Scotland. The present church dates from 1318 and was partly destroyed during the 16th century Reformation. We’ll stop to look at the cathedral, now part church and part ruins, and have some refreshments.
Our return to Glasgow will take us over the Queensferry Crossing to our capital city Edinburgh. The 2.7 km structure is the longest bridge of its type in the world, and at 210m high it’s Britain’s tallest. From a distance its three towers and cables appear like three graceful sails on the horizon. Its neighbour the Forth Bridge is a UNESCO world heritage site and Scottish icon recognised across the globe. A feat of modern railway engineering, it was the world’s first major steel structure and is still the world’s longest cantilever bridge.
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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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