21 Day Highlands and Islands of Scotland
with the Scottish Islands of Mull, Iona, Staffa, Lunga, Skye,
Harris, Lewis, the Orkney Islands and the Shetlands
April 20th - May 10th, 2022
"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 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.

$9995US per person. $1495 Single Supplement
$1000 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.

Pre Tour -April  19th - Arrive into Glasgow International Airport and spend the day getting rested up at our airport
accommodation before the tour starts the following morning.

Day 1 - April 20th - This morning we make our way northward and into the Highlands. Our drive will take us through
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! 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 and then make our
way to
Oban, known as the Gateway to the Isles. It has a lovely seafront with great shops and lovely walks. We will take
some time to explore before we take a short ferry ride across to
Craignure on the Isle of Mull. We then drive to
the other end of the island to
Tobermory where we get settled into our accommodation before gathering for a Welcoming
Dinner. Dinner and Overnight Tobermory, Isle of Mull. (B,L,D)

Day 2 -
This morning  we make our way to the Ferry Terminal at Fionnphort on the other end of the island. Here we
catch the wee passenger ferry across to the small and very beautiful
Isle of Iona where we will explore the 800 Year Old
Iona Abbey
where St. Columba began his crusade in the year 563. It is said that 48 Scottish Kings are buried in the
abbey graveyard. While here you will also want to visit the
Nunnery and St. Oran's Chapel. We then Lunch on Iona
before taking the ferry back to Mull to visit Duart Castle, home of the Macleans. Standing proudly on a cliff top
guarding the
Sound of Mull, Duart enjoys one of the most spectacular and unique positions on the west coast of Scotland.
For over 400 years this has been the base of the
Clan Maclean's sea-born power. You will have some time to wander the
grounds and you may want to also visit the
Castle Shop. We will do a bit more exploration of the island before
making our way back to Tobermory
where you can find some dinner and enjoy an evening on your own in this delightful
seaside town.
Overnight Tobermory, Isle of Mull. (B,L)

Day 3 -
This morning we depart the dock at Tobermory to take a Treshnish Isles Cruise. The journey around Mull's
West Coast
affords an abundance of wildlife and stunning views on a comfortable journey to enjoy the dramatic
surroundings. At
Lunga, we spend time ashore with the Huge Colonies of Puffins and other sea birds. This will be an
experience you will never forget and you will delight in every moment! Then we are at sea again as we go in search of
Dolphins, Eagles, Whales and Basking Sharks, the perfect mix of wildlife and scenery. From Lunga we cruise to the
Isle of Staffa, the most dramatic of all the Scottish islands with the geological splendour of its Hexagonal Pillars and
Fingal's Cave.
If you have every been to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, you will appreciate seeing the
columns from the other end! While on our way to Staffa we will have our
Packed Picnic Lunch and keep an eye out for
Dolphins, Porpoises and Minke Whales which are often seen during the warmer months. Once back in Tobermory you
will have some time on your own before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Tobermory, Isle of  Mull. (B,L,D)

Day 4 -
This morning as we head toward Fort William with a few stops along the way. We will drive through the striking
mountains of
Glencoe with its assemblage of peaks, ridges and valleys which rise up above the peat hags and scattered
Lochans of Rannoch Moor. The waters which tumble from these high mountains give rise to a series of spectacular
waterfalls that gather initially at the
'Meeting of the Three Waters' to form the River Coe, the site of the Glencoe
Against a backdrop of craggy peaks and the tumbling River Coe, the Glen offers some of Scotland's most
spectacular scenery but has also seen one of the most violent acts in
Scottish History when in 1692 the Clan
were massacred on this very spot! Once in Fort William we will board the Souters Lass for a Loch Cruise
departing from
Fort William Town Pier. The cruise will sail on Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil, surrounded by wonderful
wildlife and unique views of
Ben Nevis. While onboard we will receive a fascinating commentary throughout from our
Skipper learning about its history, wildlife, geology, industry and more. Often times you will see
Seals, Porpoise,
, a whole host of birdlife. We will spend some time in Fort William Town before getting settled into our
accommodation before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Fort William. (B,L,D)

Day 5 -
This morning we will take in 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 19, 1745 and raised the standard proclaiming the throne of Great Britain to rightfully belong to his family, the
We will make a few more stops along the way at the picturesque Lochailort, Arisaig and Morar before
ending up in
Mallaig for Lunch. Mallaig is a busy fishing port and ferry terminal with services to Skye and the Small
 Then you will board the Jacobite Steam Train(also known as the Hogwart's Express) for the journey back
to Fort William. The train crosses the
21-Arched Glenfinnan Viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films)
which overlooks Loch Shiel and the
Jacobite Monument. Once back in Fort William you will have some tome to look
around and then find some dinner on your own.
Overnight near Fort William. (B,L)

Day 6 -  
We make our way to the Isle of Skye today through some spectacular scenery with several photo ops along the
way. We make a first stop at
Spean Bridge and the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill Outlet. After some shopping, we make
our way further with a drive along
Loch Lochy to Invergarry and than alongside Loch Garry, Loch Loyne and then to
Loch Cluanie where we Stop for Lunch. After lunch we continue to Invershiel and then alongside Loch Duich through
Inverinate and then to Dornie where we find Eilean Donan Castle sited prominently on the Loch. Situated on an island
at the meeting point of three great sea lochs,
Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, and surrounded by some majestic
scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited attractions in the Scottish Highlands. Although first
inhabited around the 6th century, the first fortified castle was built in the mid 13th century and stood guard over the
of Kintail.
Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of
Scotland unfolded through the centuries. Once on Skye, we will continue our journey to our accommodation for the next two
nights where we get settled in before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Skye. (B,L,D)

Day 7 -
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
and just take in all of the natural beauty that is known as the Isle of Skye! We will bring along a packed Picnic Lunch and find
a spectacular sight to sit and have our lunch. Next we visit
Portree, meaning Port of the King. You will be able to explore
this Delightful Harbour Village, do some shopping and even get some amazing island ice cream before returning to our
accommodation before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Skye. (B,L,D)

Day 8 -
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. The shop is an Aladdin's Cave of Harris Tweed
and Hebridean Wool
items. Across from the shop is the warehouse where you will find the largest choice of Harris Tweed
available. A rainbow of colours and designs stretch from floor to ceiling. There are
Checks and Tartans, Plain,
Herringbone and Overchecks, Houndstooth and the Kaona Collection
all on show for you to browse through.
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
Atlantic Ocean. We will Stop for Lunch and then see several of these beaches on our
way to
Rodel on the south end of the Island where 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. Once back in Tarbert we get checked into our
accommodation before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight Harris. (B,L,D)

Day 9 -
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 then make our way 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 10 -
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
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 and then we get checked into our accommodation once we are
on Orkney Mainland.
Overnight Orkney. (B,L)

Day 11 -
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 12 -
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
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 the late night ferry that will take us
on an overnight voyage to
Shetland. Overnight At Sea. (B,L)

Day 13 - 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 seabird 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
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 14 -
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 15 -
Today will be a lovely day starting out with a visit to the Shetland Pony Experience. We know you did not get
enough ponies yet, so no visit to Shetland is complete without getting up close and personal with some more friendly Shetland
ponies. The experience is very hands on and includes plenty of picture perfect photo opportunities while you lead the ponies
through the idyllic, picturesque, rugged coastal fields to a secluded beach. We then make our way to
Scalloway, once the
ancient capital of Shetland. We will stop at
“The Scord”, one of the most iconic and breathtaking views that Shetland has to
offer, with harbour, castle, bridge and the scattering of  smaller isles in the harbour approaches, only the larger of which are
occupied. Then you can explore Scalloway and find some lunch on your own before we visit
Scalloway Castle. The castle
was the home of
Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney and Shetland. ‘Black Patie’, as he became known in Shetland, was
notorious for his oppression of the Shetland people. He was accused of using forced labour in Scalloway’s construction in 1599,
and was eventually executed in Edinburgh in 1615. The castle itself stands as a sophisticated and impressive example of a late
1500s tower house. One of only two castles constructed in Shetland, for many it stands as a symbol of Earl Patrick’s harsh
Dinner and Overnight Shetland. (B,D)

Day 16 -
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 17 -
We dock this morning in Aberdeen and then make our south to Arbroath and Arbroath Abbey,  founded by
William the Lion in 1178, in memory of martyr Thomas Becket. Here we explore the origins of the most famous
document in Scottish history – the
Declaration of Arbroath. Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England in
this letter to the Pope, sent from Arbroath Abbey in 1320. The abbey remained one of the nation’s grandest monasteries for
almost 400 years and much later, the Stone of Destiny had a starring role in Arbroath Abbey’s story. You can find some
lunch in Arbroath before we make our way to the village of
Glamis where we find Glamis Castle. The castle has been
witness to a thousand years of history. Home to the
Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, setting for Shakespeare's
and beloved childhood home of the late Queen Mother. On a tour of the castle you will follow in the footsteps of
Mary, Queen of Scots, James V, Bonnie Dundee, the Old Jacobite Pretender to the throne James VIII, the ill-
Janet Douglas and of course tell the story of the bitter-sweet life of Mary Eleanor Bowes. Dinner and Overnight
Pitlochry.  (B,D)

Day 18 -
This morning we will join Highland Safaris as we climb aboard our Land Rover complete with Kilted Guide
and journey to the high tops through a land sculptured by the elements and steeped in history, culture, nature, and
breathtaking views with no shortage of photo opportunities. We may even be lucky enough to see the
Majestic Red Deer,
the Famous Grouse, the elusive Mountain Hare or the soaring Golden Eagle
as we travel through forests,
mountains and moors on private hill tracks. Our safari includes
Hot Chocolate, Coffee and Tea, a Dram of Dewars
Whisky with Shortbread in their Mountain Bothy
. When we return from our safari we will have Lunch in the Café
and look through the shop before we experience a
Red Deer and Barn Owl Encounter where we come face to face with
Britain’s largest native land mammal – the majestic Red Deer and meet and encounter their tame Barn Owl in a hands on
demonstration. Once we are back in
Pitlochry, 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 19 -
Today we will take a day trip north to visit Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns. Culloden is a desolate
stretch of moorland that looks much as it did on
16th 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 is restored to as close as possible as it
was when the two sides 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 then stop at our very favourite
Tavern in Scotland for Lunch. After lunch we will
visit the
4000 year old Clava Cairns, one of Scotland’s most evocative sacred prehistoric sites. The cairns are dominated
by a line of three exceptionally well-preserved burial cairns, each enclosed by stone circles. We know little about who the
cairn builders were, for they left no written record. The actual remains of those buried within the cairns no longer survive
because of overzealous archaeological digging in the early 20th century. We will then make our way back to Pitlochry with a
few more stops along the way. Once we are back to our accommodation we are out for a
Pub Dinner. Dinner and  
Overnight Pitlochry. (B,L,D)

Day 20 -
On the way toward Glasgow today we stop in Stirling to visit  Stirling Castle, one of the finest examples of
Renaissance Architecture in Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots was crowned here and the Great Hall and Chapel
are wonderful highlights. Here you will be able to step back into the sumptuous world of Stirling Castle’s Royal
. 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. You will then have some time in Stirling Town to find some lunch and do some exploring
before we visit to Doune Castle, a magnificent late 14th century courtyard castle and famous for the filming location of
Python's The Holy Grail
and more recently, the Outlander TV series as Castle Leoch. This is one of my most
favourite places as it gives such a wonderful glimpse into
14th Century Scottish Castle Living. Before returning to our
accommodation, we will stop at the Kilmahog Woolen Mills for some shopping and also to visit
Hamish Dhu and Honey,
the resident
Highland Cows. Farewell Dinner and Overnight near Glasgow. (B,D)

Day 21
- May 10th - This morning we return to Glasgow International Airport for our journey home.