Day 1 - Oban, Loch Lomond National Park and Islay
Explore the delightful harbour town of Oban then venture through the sights and stories of the Loch Lomond National Park.
Try and spot dolphins and whales as you travel by ferry to Islay. Leaving Edinburgh, you head into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments.
After travelling through the mountainous part of the Loch Lomond National Park, you arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. You have a couple of hours here, where you can visit the Oban Distillery and sample some local seafood for lunch.
You then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey through Kilmartin Glen to the port of Kennacraig where you catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over two hours, and you should look out for dolphins, whales, and seabirds.
On arrival it’s a short drive to Bowmore for your three night stay.
Day 2 - Kilchoman Distillery, Bruichladdich and Bowmore
Sample Scotland’s peatiest whiskies and discover the modern distillery of Kilchoman.
Today you explore Islay’s beautiful viewpoints, white sand beaches, and famous whiskies. In the morning you take the short drive to the west of the island, where you visit the Kilchoman Distillery, the newest and smallest on the island.
After lunch in the distillery, we continue to the scenic Rhins of Islay to visit Bruichladdich for another chance to taste delicious single malt whisky.
You head back to Bowmore where you have the chance to visit the distillery or relax and explore the village.
Day 3 - Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg
Savor some of the boldest tasting whiskies in Scotland. Today you explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg.
You first visit Ardbeg for a tour, tasting, and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy local produce.
You then visit Laphroaig, and if there’s time you can take a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin.
On most tours it’s also possible to visit to the ruins of Kildalton church and see its famous 8th Century Celtic cross.
Day 4 - Kilmartin Glen and Oban
This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland and travel the short distance to Kilmartin Glen where we will have lunch.
There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin and you will have the chance to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum.
From here the tour continues round the coast to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. Here you’ll join a new bus for the continuation of your tour to Oban.
Your guides will help you transfer your luggage and introduce you to your new travelling companions.
Once we arrive in Oban you’ll have a free afternoon to enjoy this bustling and busy highland town. For those who are partial to some retail therapy, there are numerous shopping possibilities, or for those who wish to continue their thirst for Scottish whisky, Oban distillery is nicely situated in the heart of the town.
A hike uphill will bring its own rewards with stunning views from the most photographed structure in the west, McCaig’s folly. The folly built on instruction by a local banker in 1897 resembles the coliseum in Rome, and provides magnificent vistas over the distant Firth of Lorne.
You will stay in this glorious highland town for 2 nights.
Day 5 - Mull, Iona and Staffa
Is an early start crossing on the ferry to Mull and enjoying an island adventure exploring her dramatic coastlines and wild beauty, before taking the small ferry to the peace and tranquillity of Iona – birthplace of Celtic Christianity and ancient burial ground of Scottish Kings.
Here you can visit the historic abbey with its intricate carved crosses in the churchyard or explore the rocky headlands and sandy coves of this island gem
There is also an opportunity to take a small boat out to the island of Staffa and view the dramatic basalt columns immortalised by Mendelssohn in his Hebridean Overture “Fingal’s Cave”.
You then return on the ferry to Oban for your second night.
Day 6 - Ben Nevis and Plockton
We take you north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker, and Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692.
You then pass through Fort William nestling in the shadow of Ben Nevis which at 1344 meters is the highest mountain in the British Isles.
We continue through the Great Glen a natural fault in the earth’s crust that runs through Scotland and on through Ireland.
From here you travel north to the picturesque fishing village of Plockton.
You are then dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening.
Day 7 - Skye
Today is a very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and your driver/guide will use his/her local knowledge to decide on the best day out for the group.
For example: heading west towards the 13th century home of the Clan Macleod – Dunvegan Castle, the emerald green valley of Glendale or the dramatic sea-cliffs and lonely lighthouse at Neist Point.
In the afternoon the tour may concentrate on the south of the island. Spend time heading down to Elgol for seascapes and views of the Cuillin, or Talisker and its beautiful bay or indeed Glenbrittle and its famed waterfalls.
We return you to your accommodation in Plockton in the late afternoon for you to enjoy a free evening in the village.
Day 8 - Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness and Perthshire
You will be collected from your accommodation for the short drive to the famous stronghold of Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film “Highlander”, set at the junction of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders.
Then you travel east taking in the stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail.
We continue on to Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting “Nessie”. Heading south now through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, made famous now as “Monarch of the Glen Country” before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland’s highest whisky Distillery, and onwards into Perthshire where we stop for refreshments before heading back to Edinburgh past Perth and over the Forth Road Bridge.