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.

$7695US per person. $1195 single supplement. 2 Spots Available!
$500 per person deposit to reserve your spot on the tour.  
Please read our
terms and conditions.
scotland tour of highlands and islands
Number of People
Terms and Conditions Agreement
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
wee
Romanesque Church! 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
make our to just near
Fort William for a Welcoming Dinner. Overnight near Fort William. (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
that
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 Fish and Chips Lunch. 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 past the lovely
Cuillen Hills and north past Portree to our home for 2 nights on Skye. Dinner and
Overnight Skye. (B,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 cn
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. After some shopping we make our way across
the almost indiscernible
Land Bridge across to the Isle of Lewis to visit the 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
1920s Whitehouse can also be seen. We then make
our way to Stornoway where we find dinner waiting.
Dinner and Overnight Stornoway. (B,L,D)

Day 6 -
This morning we take the very early ferry across to Ullapool on the mainland and 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 end
up near the town of Thurso where we find dinner waiting.
Dinner and Overnight Thurso. (B,L,D)

Day 7
- Our first stop this morning is the Castle of Mey, the most northerly inhabited castle on the British mainland. The
Queen Mother
renovated and restored it and for almost half a century she spent many happy summers here and shorter
visits at other times of the year. The Castle of Mey was built by
George, the 4th Earl of Caithness, for his second son
William Sinclair in the 16th century. In 1952, HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother saw what was then known as
Barrogill Castle while staying with Commander and Lady Doris Vyner at the House of the Northern Gate on
Dunnet Head, a short distance to the west. Despite its poor condition, she purchased the castle that year and set about
renovating and restoring both the castle and its gardens and parklands. We will also make our way to
Dunnet Head, the
most northerly point on mainland Britain and on a clear day it commands some of the most extensive views you are likely to
find anywhere in northern Scotland.
Overnight Thurso. (B,L)

Day 8 -
After our Ferry Across to Orkney our first stop 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
Maeshowe Dragon - 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 -
This morning we will take the short journey to the Isle of Hoy. Synonymous with the world famous sea stack the
Old Man of Hoy, Orkney's second largest island rises dramatically from the sea. With mountainous moorland and glacial
valleys, you will encounter a dramatic highland landscape. Hoy is unlike anywhere else in Orkney. Once on Hoy we visit
Dwarfie Stane, a huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut. It is believed to date from
around 3000 BC and the tomb was formerly sealed by the blocking stone which now lies in front of the entrance. Hoy is also
famous for its birdlife. 10,000 acres of moorland and dramatic sea cliffs form an
RSPB Nature Reserve which attracts large
numbers of migrating and resident birds, including the much loved
Puffin! The viewpoint overlooking the Old Man is said to
be the best place to spot them. After thoroughly exploring the island, we return to the mainland for dinner where you can find
some dinner.
Overnight Orkney. (B,L,D)

Day 10 -
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
Distillery
. 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 a ferry that will take us on an overnight
voyage to
Shetland. Overnight At Sea. (B,L)

Day 11 - 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 12 -
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
habitats.
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 13 -
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 you find some lunch we
will visit the
Shetland Textile Museum where you can watch demonstrations of spinning and knitting and admire the
extensive collection of over 500 knitted or woven items at this one of its kind museum dedicated to the islands’ textile
heritage. 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 board.
Overnight at Sea. (B,L)

Day 14 -
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 to our accommodation where we
find dinner waiting.
Dinner and Overnight Moray Firth. (B,L,D)

Day 15 -
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
Bonnie
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
Handmade
Highland Chocolates
! We then make our way south to Pitlochry where we get settled into our accommodation before
dinner.
Dinner Overnight Pitlochry.  (B,D)

Day 16 -
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
Isabel
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 17 -
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. Our next stop is
Stirling and Stirling Castle.
Stirling Castle is  one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland. Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned
here at Stirling Castle and the
Great Hall and Chapel Royal are wonderful highlights. An ongoing project has returned
the six ground floor apartments in the castle’s
Renaissance Palace to how they may have looked in the mid 16th century.
Farewell Dinner and Overnight near Glasgow. (B,D)

Day 18
- May 8th - This morning we return to Glasgow International Airport for our journey home.