Day 01, U.S. - Edinburgh
Depart the U.S. on overnight flight to Scotland.
Day 02, Edinburgh
Arrive Edinburgh; Transfer to your hotel is included, however. You are free to enjoy this beautiful city on your own. (Please note: hotel check-in is generally between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. If you are arriving into Edinburgh early the hotel will be happy to hold your luggage until your room is ready).
Day 03, Edinburgh - Touring Begins - Islay
Make your way to the Edinburgh departure point (see departure point information below) for 8:15 am (If you booked a departure point transfer at time of booking, your driver will collect you as noted on your voucher). Depart Edinburgh at 8:30 am. Leaving Edinburgh, we will head west through Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, along Loch Lomond then through the mountains to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. Time to explore before traveling through Argyll and into the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. We stop in Kilmartin, to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From here it is a short drive to Kennacraig where we catch the early evening ferry to Islay. Ferry just over 2 hours where we can look out for wildlife such as dolphins and whales. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for our three (3) night stay.
Day 04, Touring - A full day exploring Islay
A flexible day with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, short walks and of course the famous Islay whiskies renowned for their strong peaty flavors. We will take the short drive to the west of the island via Saligo Bay for a visit to Kilchoman Distillery, with the option of a coastal walk to Machair Bay for any non-whiskey lovers. Later, we will explore the tiny harbor village of Portnahaven before taking the back roads along the west coast with its lovely sandy bays, on the way back to Bowmore. Optionally visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village.
Day 05, Touring - Another day in paradise!
We explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies - Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We visit Ardbeg for a tour, tasting and lunch (on your own). We follow that up with a visit to Laphroaig or a visit to the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic cross. Return to Bowmore for overnight.
Day 06, Touring - Oban
This morning we take the ferry back to the mainland and travel through Argyll along the coast to Oban. We have a free afternoon and evening in Oban to enjoy this bustling and busy highland town. There are numerous shopping possibilities or perhaps a visit to the Oban distillery, nicely situated in the heart of the town. Overnight in Oban for two (2) nights.
Day 07, Touring - Oban
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 tranquility of Iona birthplace of Celtic Christianity and ancient burial ground of Scottish Kings. We return on the ferry to Oban for our second night.
Day 08, Touring - Plockton
We travel north along the west coast around Appin, passing Castle Stalker and Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. We pass through Fort William and take the historic road to the Isles to catch the ferry to Skye. We travel through Glenfinnan. Glenfinnan is home to a 100-year-old viaduct, which was made famous when the Hogwarts Express steamed across it on the way to school in the Harry Potter films. From Glenfinnan the road crosses mountains and glens before reaching Arisaig and on through a spectacularly scenic stretch of coast with fantastic views of the islands of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Skye. From here we travel to the picturesque fishing village of Plockton, where we are dropped off at our B&B or hotel this early evening.
Day 09, A Day on Skye!
Is a very flexible day to enjoy the splendors of Skye today. Our driver/guide will bring his/her knowledge to the foreground and bring us the best of touring today. We return to our accommodation in Plockton in the late afternoon. Enjoy a free evening in the village.
Day 10, Touring - Edinburgh
We are collected from our accommodation and travel south through the Cuillin Hills and back over to the mainland. We stop to visit the famous stronghold Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film “Highlander”, before traveling east for stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Onto Loch Ness for a possible spotting of “Nessie”. Heading south now through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, 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. Arriving Edinburgh at 7:15 pm. Our tour ends at Waverly Bridge in Edinburgh, where you will make your own way back to your pre-booked hotel.
Day 11, Edinburgh - Home
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the Airport for your return flight to the U.S.