A Six-Day Tour with Five Overnight Stops
Scotland, with its wild and stunning landscapes and fascinating history, is a wonderful place to visit, and on this tour, we will explore the best Scotland has to offer.
GST can arrange for your tour to begin at any departure point, such as your hotel, in the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh or Inverness. We can also arrange your accommodation to suit your preferences. Just give us a call as far in advance as you can to make sure that we can secure the bookings of your choice.
The first part of the tour passes through beautiful Perthshire to Crieff, famous for its whisky, and up to Loch Earn, in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Continuing west to Oban, we detour into the village of Taynuilt, which boasts spectacular views of the south side of
Loch Etive and smoked salmon from the local smokehouse.
Heading onwards, we reach Oban and its spectacular views over to the Isle of Mull. Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides and the largest island in the area of Argyll and Bute. It is the first of the Inner Hebrides islands which we will visit, crossing the Sound of Mull by ferry.
After disembarking at Craignure, we turn left along the single-track road to Fionnphort. There is a good chance of spotting some highland ‘coos’ as we travel through Mull's magnificent scenery on the short journey to Fionnphort, where we will enjoy our first overnight stay.
We start the morning in Fionnphort harbour and board the foot ferry for a short crossing to the 'sacred isle' of Iona, taking in the glorious scenery on the way. This beautiful island, home to the iconic Iona Abbey, is one of the oldest Christian religious centres in Western Europe and is reached by a short walk from the ferry landing.
There is also an opportunity to visit Fingal's Cave. This is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, known for its natural acoustics and fascinating hexagonal basalt columns. Composer Felix Mendelssohn visited Staffa Island, where he jotted his first notes of the Hebrides Overture Fingalsӧhle (Fingal’s Cave). Allocated time ashore is around two hours, depending on the tides.
There may also be a chance, depending on the time of year of your visit, to see the puffins May to early August are the best months to see the colony and watch the puffins searching for sand eels to feed their young, making this a worthwhile trip for any nature lover. These delightful and comical-looking little birds spend some months entirely at sea, leaving their colonies towards the end of July- August
Depending on the limits of time and your itinerary, there are several options at this stage, including, perhaps, heading over to Tobermory or back to Craignure to catch the ferry back to the mainland. However we choose to spend the rest of the day, we return to Oban for our second overnight resting place.
The Famous Grouse Distillery.
Driving out of Oban, we visit Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel. Dunstaffnage Castle, dating from the first quarter of the 13th century and steeped in history, is now a partial ruin and was the home of the chief of the MacDougall clan for a short while.
We continue north over the Connel Bridge and encounter another castle.
Castle Stalker, which has its own long and interesting history, is on a tiny tidal islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhe, and is surrounded by water. In recent times, the castle was brought to fame by the Monty Python team in their film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.
Past Loch Linnhe's shores and heading north we reach Fort William, which lies at the foot of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s Highest Mountain, and continue onward and upward to Eilean Donan Castle, standing on an island surrounded by sea lochs and immersed in majestic scenery.
The village of Plockton, where we stay for the third night of the tour, is known as ‘The Jewel of the Highlands’, and has been described as the most charming town in the UK by photographers. After dinner, we can head back to Eilean Donan to see it in all its floodlit splendour — a magical experience.
Famous Grouse Distillery.
The next morning we set off for the bonnie Isle of Skye, passing up through the Kyle of Lochalsh, travelling ‘over the sea to Skye, billow and breeze, islands and seas, mountains of rain and sun’, as you may know from the Outlander theme tune. We take the road to Portree and stop at Sligachan Bridge, from where the Cuillin Hills are visible.
Upon arrival at Portree, there is time to shop around this quaint port, which is the largest town and capital of the Isle of Skye, before heading onto the Old Man of Storr. This is a dramatic, rocky peak on the Trotternish peninsula, and is clearly visible from the road as we pass Loch Fada. It is possible to hike up to the Old Man of Storr to enjoy the stunning views. This hike is a round trip of three hours, including a good hour enjoying the scenery, and is an activity well-worth undertaking. This tour is optional as there is a degree of steep Hiking.
Further north we arrive at the Kilt Rock , famous because of its ‘pleated’ basalt rocks of varying tartan-like colours, from which can be seen the Mealt Falls plunging 100 metres to the shore below.
After visiting the Kilt Rock, we loop around the Quiraing geological formation. This feature is the UK’s largest landslip, and we will have plenty of time to explore this stunningly beautiful landscape before continuing to the Fairy Glen. The Fairy Glen is a magical place, a geological wonder, a strange miniature landscape of small hills and ponds with an otherworldly feel. We spend our fourth night in Uig, not far away from the Fairy Glen.
In the morning we visit Neist Point Light House with its unbeatable views of the west coast of Skye. The views are breath-taking.
Dropping down into Carbost, there is the option of visiting the Talisker Whisky Distillery, where one of Scotland's greatest single malt whiskies is produced. At the end of the road, a few miles away, sits Talisker Bay, which can be enjoyed in a 20-minute walk and is surrounded by views of vertical cliffs and an impressive waterfall.
Close by is Glenbrittle and the Fairy Pools, beautiful rock pools of crystal-clear spring water, which are fed from streams and waterfalls tumbling down from the Cuillin Mountains.
After visiting the pools, we make our way down to Armadale for the fifth, and last, overnight stay.
We take the Armadale ferry crossing and leave the gorgeous Isle of Skye, perhaps thinking of the Skye boat song as we sail to the fishing port of Mallaig.
On this return leg of our journey, we pass through the stunning coastal landscape of Arisaig to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, where the Hogwarts Express Train was filmed for the Harry Potter movies, and park at the end of Loch Shiel facing the statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Later, we head along the shore of Loch Eil to Fort William and turn south for Glencoe, with its spectacular landscape and tragic history. This is a glorious opportunity to take photographs as we drive up past the Three Sisters of Glencoe, the highest peaks in the area of old Argyll, and enjoy mile after mile of the unrivalled beauty of Rannoch Moor.
As we head south, we are now heading back where we first met, and this is where we will have to say ‘until we meet again’ to new friends.
Great Scottish Tours hopes that you have enjoyed this incredible experience.
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