Day 01, U.S. - Edinburgh
Depart the U.S. on overnight flight to Edinburgh.
Day 02, Edinburgh
Arrive Edinburgh. Transfer to your hotel is included. 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 - Ullapool
Make your own way to the tour departure point for 8:45 am. This tour departs promptly at 9:00 am. If you had purchased a departure point transfer, your driver will collect you at the time noted on your transfer voucher. See departure point locations below. Our tour starts traveling north into the Highlands. First stop will be the historic village of Dunkeld where we will take a short walk through the forest to some waterfalls. Continuing north the route passes through the Grampian Mountains to the Spey Valley where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the world famous Loch Ness. There will be time for a visit to the impressive waterfalls at Corrieshalloch Gorge before we arrive in the West Coast fishing port of Ullapool for our overnight stay.
Day 04, Touring - Stornoway
We catch the morning ferry from Ullapool for the 2 hour sail along Loch Broom, past the Summer Isles then out across the Minch to Stornoway - the main town on Lewis and capital of the Outer Hebrides. Look out for dolphins, whales and seabirds during the crossing. In the afternoon explore the North West coast from Arnol with its historic old “blackhouse”, through traditional crofting townships to Port of Ness and the very north tip of the island - the Butt of Lewis. From the lighthouse here there is nothing between you and the Americas! Overnight in Stornoway.
Day 05, Touring - Stornoway
Today will be spent exploring some of the prehistoric remains on the island as well as its finest beaches. The fascinating circular stone fort, or Broch, at Carloway will be our first stop followed by more traditional crofting communities such as Gearrannan and Shawbost. Then it's on to Callanish with its mysterious ancient stone circle. In the afternoon we head for the remote district of Uig with its fine, sandy beaches at Bhaltos, dramatic sea cliffs and rugged hills. This is the wilderness of the Western Isles at its finest. Overnight again in Stornoway.
Day 06, Touring - Portree
Traveling south today from the wild moorlands of Lewis to the more mountainous Harris - almost but not quite an island on its own. Famous for the locally produced cloth, Harris Tweed, it is also home to the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and the stunning white sands of Luskentyre. After a morning of exploring South Harris you will stop for lunch in the small port of Tarbet. Here you will catch the late afternoon ferry to Skye and continue on to your overnight stay in the harbor town of Portree.
Day 07, Touring - Portree
Is a very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and our driver/guide's knowledge will come to the fore in developing the best day out for us. For example we might travel north to the stunning Quiraing mountain pass and enjoy a spectacular walk through some of Skye's extraordinary geological scenery or visit the Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns (reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt) with its waterfall cascading over the cliffs and down into the sea below. Or, after lunch you could travel to Neist Point for a walk out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on Skye. Alternatively a visit to Dunvegan Castle, ancient ancestral seat of the Clan McLeod, may be possible. Whatever the day holds, it will be a breathtaking day on Skye! We return to Portree for overnight.
Day 08, Touring - Edinburgh
Departing Portree, we embark on the return journey to Edinburgh, which has many highlights. A visit to Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William and the dramatic scenery and dark history of Glencoe. Traveling back south through the Central Highland the last stop of the day will be in Killin beside the Falls of Dochart before returning to Edinburgh, arriving at approx. 7:00 pm. Your tour ends at Rabbies Cafe at 6 Waterloo Place in Edinburgh, where you will make your own way back to your pre-booked hotel.
Day 09, Edinburgh - Home
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the Airport for your return flight to the U.S.