21 Day Highlands and Islands of Scotland
with the Spectacular Scottish Highlands, the Island of Mull,
Iona, Skye, the Orkney Islands and the Shetlands
April 21st - May 11th, 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. $1295 Single Supplement
$1000 per person deposit to reserve your spot on the tour.  
scotland tour of highlands and islands
Deposit
Agree to Terms and Conditions
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  20th - 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 21st - This morning you will be met at our Glasgow Airport Accommodation and then 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 including the
Bonny, Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond. 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 get settled into our accommodation. The we are out to a
Welcoming Dinner on the
waterfront
. Dinner and Overnight Oban. (B,L,D)

Day 2 -
We are up early today to take the ferry across to the Isle of Mull. Once on Mull 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. Iona is very small but has an abundance of shops that offer Genuine Artisan
Crafts
and Eclectic Gifts along with numerous Iona produced items in the island’s stores as well as a great selection of
books and literature. We then
Lunch on Iona before taking the ferry back to Mull to visit Duart Castle, home of the Clan
Chief 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 700 years, Duart Castle has dominated the view to
the
Sound of Mull and Loch Linnhe with its huge curtain walls and solid keep and 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 before taking the ferry back across the water to Oban where you can find some dinner on your own.
Overnight Oban. (B,L)

Day 3 -
This morning we take a Wildlife Sea Journey sailing across Oban Bay past Dunollie Castle and
Hutcheson's Monument on the Isle of Kerrera to the Seal Colony in the Firth of Lorne with open views of Mull
and Lismore.
Along the way there's an abundance of wildlife to spot with many sea birds such as White-Tailed Sea
Eagles, Common Cormorants
and many other species, and of course seals basking in their natural unspoiled
surroundings. You will also be able to see a local
Salmon Farm just behind Kerrera, and you might even see Otters and
maybe even
Dolphins - all set in the beautiful and stunning scenery of the Scottish West Coast. After our cruise we will
explore Oban before
Stopping for Lunch and then after lunch we visit Dunstaffnage Castle, one of Scotland’s Oldest
Stone Castles
. This mass of masonry guards the seaward approach from the Firth of Lorn to the Pass of Brander
and thereby the heart of Scotland and it still overawes everyone! The castle was built around
1240 by Duncan
MacDougall
, son of Dubhgall, Lord of Lorn, and grandson of the great Somerled, King of the Isles. The King of Scots
won control of the region in 1266, but Dunstaffnage continued to see plenty of action during the
Wars of Independence
(1296–1356).
King Robert the Bruce famously besieged the mighty fortress around 1308, after his victory over the
MacDougalls at the Pass of Brander.  Overnight Oban. (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
Massacre.
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
McaDonald
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,
Dolphins
, 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 -  
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
Lands
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 6 -
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 7 -
Leaving Skye behind today, we take the Skye Bridge back across to the mainland to Loch Duich where we find
Scotland's most photographed castle,
Eilean Donan. Originally built in 1220 by Alexander II as a defence against the
Vikings. It subsequently became a stronghold of the
Mackenzies of Kintail who installed the MacRaes as Hereditary
Keepers
and they rebuilt the castle as you see it today. We then make the short journey to Plockton. This peaceful
Highland community in the Gaelic heartland was once based on fishing and crofting but now draws artists and photographers
from all over the world. We often see
Highland Cows traveling through town and they are a very welcome sight! We then
continue into the
Applecross area, one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland. With amazing panoramas to the Outer
Hebrides
and South to the Kintail Mountains you will understand why they call it "the Sanctuary". This afternoon
we make our way to
Loch Ewe at one of the most dramatic and remote locations on the north-west coast of Scotland, with
breath-taking views across the
Minch to the Isle of Skye, the Shiant Isles and the Outer Hebrides. We then make
our way to Ullapool to get checked into our accommodation before dinner.
Dinner and Overnight near Ullapool. (B,D)

Day 8 -
This morning we take some time to enjoy this lovely Fishing Village of Ullapool before we start our drive north
to
Thurso. This is one of our favourite drives with a few amazing stops including the Evocative Ruins of Ardvreck
Castle
. There is not much left of the castle, but something about  it captures my heart each time I see it. Our drive then
takes us 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 along the way. Once we come
out of the mountains our journey will be mostly coastal and on this coastline  you will see some of the most amazing
Beaches
and Cliffs
you have ever seen including one of our very favourite, Ceannabeinne! This is a beautiful, white sandy beach with
pink rocky outcrops and crystal clear water which just begs to be walked on, and so we will. After our walk 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 at our hotel.
Dinner and Overnight near Thurso. (B,L,D)

Day 9 -
This morning we take the Ferry from Scrabster to Stromness in the Orkney Islands where our first stop will
be
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 10 -
This morning we will take the short journey by ferry 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, including the
Much Loved Puffin! We will have a Packed Lunch Picnic before we visit
Hackness Martello Tower and Battery, part of the extensive military remains on the island. The tower and battery
were built in the early 19th century to provide defence for British convoys at the height of the
Napoleonic War. Barrack
room furniture and other military memorabilia give an idea of life at the barracks and you can stand on the tower and take in
the view towards
Scapa Flow. Then back to the mainland and to our accommodation for dinner. Dinner and Overnight
Orkney. (B,L,D

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

Day 12 - 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
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 13 -
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 14 -
Today will be a lovely day starting out with an outdoor pursuit with 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 rule.
Dinner and Overnight Shetland. (B,L,D)

Day 15 -
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
board.
Overnight at Sea. (B,L)

Day 16 -
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
Macbeth
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-
fated
Janet Douglas and of course tell the story of the bitter-sweet life of Mary Eleanor Bowes. Dinner and Overnight
Pitlochry.  (B,D)

Day 17 -
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 1
8 - 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 19 -
This morning our first stop will be Stirling and  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 Royal are
wonderful highlights. Here you will be able to step back into the sumptuous world of
Stirling Castle’s Royal Court. 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
Monty 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 20 -
Today will be spent in the Scotland's Largest City Glasgow, named as the European Capitol of Culture
and also as
UK City of Architecture and Design. We will start our day with a visit to Glasgow City Chambers
Building
for a tour. The focal point of George Square is one of the city’s most iconic and imposing buildings whose
magnificence tells the story of the wealth and industrial prosperity of the
Second City of the Empire. It’s one of the most
beautiful civic buildings in the UK and a huge favourite amongst locals and tourists.  Then we make our way into the
West
End
for a West End Wander Tasting Tour. We will walk through Glasgow’s West End tasting the fabulous Scottish
food and Drink
the city has to offer, enjoying the Glasgow Patter and some Gaelic, while exploring the history and
culture of Glasgow itself. Our guide will show us some interesting gems of the West End while visiting 6 amazing, well known
restaurants, shops and bars where you’ll interact with the locals, taste unique delicacies, sample some fabulous gin and enjoy
a wee dram. After some free time to wander, we will return to our accommodation to get settled in again before a
Farewell
Dinner. Dinner and Overnight near Glasgow. (B,L,D)

Day
 - May 11th - This morning we return to Glasgow International Airport for our journey home.