17 Day Highlands and Islands of Scotland
with the Scottish Islands of Skye, Harris, Lewis,
the Orkney Islands and the Shetlands
April 22nd - May 8th, 2020
highlands tour of scotland, scotland highlands tour
"Nothing captures the Romantic wonder of Scotland more than the Highlands and
Islands. If you have never experienced the Isles of Scotland, I cannot do them justice in
just words! I have been doing this tour for as long as I have been doing tours and we
almost always offer it twice a year, once in spring in once in autumn. I am often asked
which time of year that I prefer it and my answer is always the same, whenever I am
there! My family comes from the Islands, which is part of the draw for me, but you can't
help but be drawn into the history and wild beauty that abounds at every turn. Please
join me on one of these amazing adventures" - Shannon McDonald Tate
scottish highlands, highlands and islands This tour is designed to accommodate only 12 people for a more personal experience to
allow you to get the most of your Scottish holiday. Keeping the tour size small gives us the
opportunity to veer from the beaten path and take advantage of accommodations,
restaurants and sightseeing venues that would not be available to larger groups. You may
find yourself staying in a delightful city guest house, a small country house hotel, a
comfortable farmhouse and an old coaching Inn all in the same visit. We hope to show you
the real Scots people and some of the wonderful sights to be seen all over this beautiful
country. You will not feel rushed and we spend as little time on the bus as possible.
Tour includes all accommodation in 4 and 5 star Scottish Tourist Board Approved
accommodations. Full Scottish breakfast each morning, all meals listed in itinerary.
Porterage of one suitcase per person. Minibus travel including tour guide. Knowledgeable
guide for all tourist venues. All sightseeing as indicated in itinerary including any entrance
fees. All taxes and service charges.

$7495US per person. 1 Spot Just Opened Up!
$500 per person deposit to reserve your spot on the tour.  
scotland tour of highlands and islands
Our Islands tours are ever changing as ferry crossings may be delayed or cancelled or venues change times or dates. We try
to keep to the itinerary exactly as it is, but sometimes things out of our control happen. If you are not able to easily go with
the flow or have problems with changes that may come up, please do not sign up for this tour! Although we provide the very
best level of accommodation available, we are sometimes limited for choice when we are out in the Hebridian, Orkney and
Shetland Islands.

Day 1 - April 22nd - You will be met this morning at Glasgow International Airport before we make our way
northward and into the
Highlands. Our drive will take us through the Trossachs National Park with a few photo op
stops along the way. We will also stop at
St. Conan's Kirk, spectacularly sited over Loch Awe. You will fall in love with this
Romanesque Church! Designed and built by Walter Douglas Campbell, the kirk is unique in having an example of
almost every style of church architecture. Highlights include the
Norman Doorway, the Gothic Flying Buttresses, a
Celtic Cross, the Arts and Crafts Carvings, the Saxon Tower and even a Stone Circle.  
After some exploring we
Stop for Lunch before driving through the spectacular Rannoch Moor and Glencoe Mountains to Glencoe where we
visit the site of the
1692 Massacre of the McDonalds. Against a backdrop of craggy peaks and the tumbling River Coe,
the Glen offers some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. We then take the
Corran Ferry across Loch Linnhe to a
remote lodge on the
Ardnamurchan Peninsula where we get settled in before a Welcoming Dinner. Dinner and
Overnight Strontian. (L,D)

Day 2-
This morning we start our journey to the Isle of Skye  along the 'Road to the Isles' with a stop at Glenfinnan
which sits at the head of mysterious and beautiful Loch Shiel and is at the crossroads of four steep sided Glens. It was here
Prince Charles Edward Stuart or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' as he came to be known, called for the local clansmen
to assemble in August 1745 and raised the standard proclaiming the throne of Great Britain to rightfully belong to his family,
the Stuarts. We will make a few more stops along the way at the picturesque
Lochailort, Arisaig and Morar before
ending up in
Mallaig for Afternoon Tea. Mallaig is a busy fishing port and ferry terminal with services to Skye and the
Small Isles.
 The town is a fascinating place where visitors can soak up the atmosphere of a working fishing port. After some
time to walk around and explore, we take another short ferry ride across to the
Isle of Skye. Once on Skye, we will continue
our journey to our accommodation for the next two nights.
Dinner and Overnight Skye. (B,L,D)

Day 3 -
This morning we journey to Dunvegan to visit Dunvegan Castle which has been the stronghold of the Chiefs
of MacLeod
for nearly 800 years and it remains their home. Built on a Rock once surrounded entirely by salt water, it is
unique in Scotland as the only house of such antiquity to have retained its family and its roof throughout the centuries. You
can find some lunch at Dunvegan before we journey round the
Trotternish Peninsula with its spectacular coastline. We
will stop at the grave site of
Flora MacDonald at Kilmuir. Flora is best known for her brave act in helping Bonnie
Prince Charlie
escape after the Battle of Culloden. We will also visit The Quiraing being one of the most exciting
natural rock formations anywhere in Scotland We will also stop to see some of the other natural rock formations on the island.
Next we visit
Portree, meaning Port of the King. You will be able to explore this delightful harbour village before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Skye. (B,D)

Day 4 -
Leaving Skye behind today, we take the ferry from UIg across to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris where we will
visit the
Harris Tweed Shop and Warehouse of Family Weavers. Harris is also famed for its beaches with miles of
white shell sands washed by turquoise waves more reminiscent of tropical islands than the cold waters of the
. We will Stop for Lunch and then see several of these beaches on our way to Rodel on the south end of the Island.
At the southern most point of the island we find
St. Clements Church at Rodel. The church was built in the late 15th
century for the
Chiefs of the MacLeods of Harris and in 1528, Alasdair Crotach MacLeod, 8th Chief, prepared for
himself a magnificent wall tomb on the south side of the choir - possibly the finest medieval wall tomb in Scotland, being
crowned by an arch and with ornate carvings of biblical design. We then make our way back to Harris get checked into our
accommodation before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Harris. (B,L,D)

Day 5 -
This morning we make our way across the almost indiscernible Land Bridge across to the Isle of Lewis to visit
Callanish Standing Stones. Dating back over 4000 years, ranks second in terms of importance only to Stonehenge
and is older. The main monument is an extraordinary cross-shaped setting of stones, centred on a circle of tall stones. At its
heart stands a solitary monolith 15 feet high. Lines of smaller stones radiate from the circle to east, west and south. From the
north runs an avenue 175 feet long, formed by two lines of stones that narrow as they approach the circle. Within the circle is
a chambered tomb. We will also visit the
Arnol Blackhouse Museum which tells the story of the original crofters native to
this area of Scotland. There is also an attached barn, byre and stackyard. Beside the Blackhouse, a furnished
can also be seen. We then make our way to Stornoway, the largest town on the island where you will have
some free time to wander and then find some dinner before returning to Harris.
Overnight Harris. (B,L)

Day 6 -
This morning we visit the Isle of Harris Distillers before we leave the island behind. The Isle of Harris Distillery
is a working distillery, creating spirits for the award-winning
Isle of Harris Gin and their forthcoming 'The Hearach'
Single Malt Whisky.
Their tour will allow you to go behind the scenes and witness the heart of the distilling operation
before sampling some of the product! From here we will make our way back up to the Isle of Lewis and to
Stornoway, which
is the largest city on the island and the
Capitol of Harris and Lewis. You will have some time to explore Stornaway and
find a bite to eat before we board our ferry back to the mainland at
Ullapool. Once we are in Ullapool we will take some time
to explore this delightful fishing village with its wide array of shops and cafes before checking into our accommodation and
getting settled in before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Ullapool. (B,D)

Day 7 -
This morning we start our long journey northward to Thurso on the north coast of Scotland. I love the drive
through the
Assynt Mountains and Loch Assynt with its spectacular viewpoint. We continue through the mountains
before we travel the
Scenic Coastal Route to Thurso with some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere in
Scotland. Have your cameras ready as there will be several wonderful photo ops. On this coastline  you will see some of the
most amazing
Beaches and Cliffs you have ever seen! We will find a cozy place to stop for lunch along the way. Much of the
coastline is composed of sea lochs and kyles and including
Loch Laxford, Kyle of Durness, Loch Eriboil, Loch Hope
and the
Kyle of Tongue. Our journey will eventually takes us to Scrabster where we take the ferry across to Orkney. You
will be able to find dinner onboard on the way.
Overnight Orkney. (B,L)

Day 8 -
Our first stop this morning is Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe. Built before 2700 BC, it
was raided by the Vikings in the mid-12th century and plundered of its 'treasures'. Maeshowe is interesting because of the
various runic inscriptions carved into the walls.  This is one of the best known collections and includes the
- a very well known Orkney icon. Next we visit Skara Brae a neolithic village dating from 2,500 BC which has been
hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved, for thousands of years and was only rediscovered 150 years ago.  We will also
visit the
Broch of Gurness, one of the most outstanding surviving examples of a later prehistoric settlement that is unique
to northern Scotland. The
Vikings who settled in Orkney from around 800 often used the mounds of earlier settlement sites
as burial places, and this was the case at Gurness. Next is the
Ring of Brodgar, a stone ring  built in a true circle originally
containing 60 megaliths. Finally we visit the
Standing Stones of Stenness dating from 3,100BC making the stones
complex one of the earliest stone circles in Britain.
Dinner and Overnight Orkney. (B,D)

Day 9 -
First thing this morning we will visit the Tomb of the Eagles on South Ronaldsay Island. Perched above
the dramatic
South Ronaldsay cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn - better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’ -
is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites. Discovered by chance by a local farmer in the 1950s, this
Stone Age Tomb
revealed an amazing collection of bones and artefacts, placed here some 5,000 years ago. Next we stop at Highland Park
. This whisky is made with the same enduring belief and integrity, to the same exacting standards, as it has been
since 1798. We will have a tour of the distillery followed by a wee dram  and then you will have some free time in Kirkwall
before  dinner and then before boarding the overnight ferry to the
Shetlands. While here you may want to visit St.
Magnus Cathedral
. Begun in 1137 this cathedral built from alternating bands of local red and yellow sandstone is one of the
finest and best preserved medieval cathedrals in Scotland. After dinner we board the late night ferry that will take us on an
overnight voyage to
Shetland. Overnight At Sea. (B,L)

Day 10 - Shetland,
a natural world where wildlife is truly wild and where you can watch otters and seals at play and where
the air is filled with the sound of seabirds crowding extraordinary cliffs in huge, noisy colonies.  6,000 years of human history
have endowed the islands with some of the finest archaeological sites in Europe. Our journey today will take us to the very
most northerly point in the
Shetlands on the Island of Unst. Our journey will take us north on Mainland Shetlands to
Toft where we board a wee ferry to cross the Island of Yell. We travel northward to the top of yell to Gutcher where we
board a wee ferry for the crossing to
Unst. We will explore the wilds of the Shetlands and drive to the most northerly point of
Unst where we can look out to
Out Stack, and uninhabited island that is the last land mass before the North Pole! After a
lovely days outing of exploring and amazing photo ops we make our way to our accommodation back on Mainland Shetland
for dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Shetland. (B,L,D)

Day 11 -
This morning we travel to Eshaness and the Eshaness Lighthouse in the area of Northmavine. Eshaness
boasts one of the highest energy coastlines in the world. Blasted by the full force of the North Atlantic it displays a stunning
array of stacks, blowholes and geos (narrow inlets). The area of Northmavine boasts a wonderful range of wildlife and
Seals, Otters, Porpoises and occasionally Dolphins and Whales can be seen from the shore. Inland
expanses of peat and heather are home to
Mountain Hares, Rabbits, Polecats and a multitude of birds, including the
elegant Red-throated Diver which can be seen on many lochs. The lighthouse, which is visible for miles, is perched on the rim
of fabulous volcanic cliffs where the full Atlantic fury has shaped some of Shetland's most dramatic cliff scenery. You can walk
along to the head of
Calder's Geo, where the sea has gouged out a deep inlet along a line of weakness in the rock. Fulmars
float on air currents above the surging waves and nest among the crannies of the vertical rock faces, which are transformed
into hanging gardens. We then return home for dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Shetland. (B,L,D)

Day 12 -
This morning we take in the multi-period Jarlshof Prehistoric Norse Settlement. Jarlshof lies at the most
southernly tip of Mainland Shetlands and provides an insight into the way of life of the inhabitants at particularly interesting
periods – the late
Bronze Age, Iron Age, Pictish era, Norse era and the Middle Ages. It includes oval-shaped Bronze
Age houses, Iron Age Broch and wheelhouses, Viking long houses, medieval farmstead and 16th century laird’s house. We will
have a tour of the site before we make our way to
Lerwick, the largest town in the Shetlands. After lunch we will visit the
Clickimin Broch on the shore of Clickimin Loch, an outstanding example of a sophisticated type of stone-built round
house found only in Scotland. Clickimin Broch has evidence of settlement spanning over a thousand years. You will then have
some free time to wander around Lerwick where the harbour is an excellent location to seal watch and where we will board
the overnight ferry back to the mainland at
Aberdeen. After boarding the ferry you will be able to find some dinner on
Overnight at Sea. (B,L)

Day 13 -
We dock this morning in Aberdeen and then make our way west up and then along the Moray Firth to Elgin
to visit Elgin Cathedral. This superb ruin of what was perhaps the most beautiful cathedral in Scotland is Scotland's second
largest cathedral behind St. Andrews and was known as
'The Lantern of the North'. If suffered many mishaps and then
was rebuilt only to see the Reformation in the 1500's. Even in ruins, it is still one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Scotland.
This is a good place to find some lunch and we will take some time in Elgin before we then drive a bit further up the road to
Lossiemouth on the Moray Firth. This is a lovely seaside village where we can find some great ice cream before a stroll
on the beach. We will continue our coastal route taking is through
Forres and Nairn and then down into the Cairngorms
National Park
to our accommodation in Speyside where we find dinner waiting. Dinner and Overnight Dulnain
Bridge, Speyside. (B,D)

Day 14 -
This morning we make our way to Culloden Moor and Culloden Battlefield first. A desolate stretch of
moorland, Culloden looks much as it did on 16 April 1746, the date of the last battle to be fought on British soil. Here
Prince Charlie
made his last stand for the Stewart Cause. The battlefield itself is now restored to as close as possible that
two side marched on that fateful day. We will find out why this battle that lasted only one hour changed the way of life of the
Highlands forever. We will stop for you to find some lunch before making our way to the village of
Dalwhinnie and to
Dalwhinnie Distillery
. The distillery stands in the Cairngorm National Park at the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
From this remote location comes their
Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, it is also known as the
‘gentle spirit’. We will have a distillery tour and sample single malt whiskies paired with specially selected
Highland Chocolates
! We then make our way south to Pitlochry where we get settled into our accommodation before
Dinner and Overnight Pitlochry.  (B,D)

Day 15 -
Today our first stop is Blair Athol and Blair Castle. Blair Castle is set in extensive parklands, including the
recently restored
Hercules Garden and Diana's Grove, and with 725 years of history and over 30 rooms open to the
public, an absolute delight to explore! We then stop at
The Queen's View named after King Robert The Bruce's wife
but made popular by Queen Victoria. This is one of the most breathtaking sights in Scotland and will become a
favorite of yours. We will
Stop for Afternoon Tea once we are back in Pitlochry and then the rest of the afternoon and
evening is free for you to explore this delightful town. You may want to visit the
Dam and Fish Ladder or the
Heathergems Factory and Showroom or just stroll up and down the main street, shopping as you go! Overnight
Pitlochry. (B,L)

Day 16 -
On the way to Glasgow today we stop in Perth to visit Scone Palace, the home of the Earls of Mansfield.  
Once the crowning place of
Scottish Kings, Scone Palace occupies a unique position in Scotland’s history. A breathtakingly
beautiful place of power and mystery and the rightful home of the celebrated
Stone of Scone, Scone Palace is regarded as a
national treasure and is revered as the historic jewel in Scotland’s crown. We then make our way back to
Glasgow with
a stop in
Falkirk to see The Scottish Kelpies. We will see the world's largest equine sculptures up close to marvel at the
complexity and the engineering which created these fantastic pieces of art.
Our Guided Walking Tour takes us through
the vision of artist
Andy Scott and how history and industry impacted on his designing of these breathtaking sculptures.
The pinnacle of the tour is that we get to experience a Kelpie from the inside, and see for ourselves the breathtaking
engineering and design of the Kelpies.  
Farewell Dinner and Overnight near Glasgow. (B,D)

Day 17
- May 8th - This morning we return to Glasgow International Airport for our journey home.