WEST COAST EXPLORER

11-day/9-nts with 8-day of touring featuring the featuring Islay, the Whisky Coast, Iona, Mull & the Isle of Skye, plus 2 independent nts Edinburgh


Highlights

West Coast Explorer

Two (2) independent days in Edinburgh (pre/post) with eight (8) days to days to immerse yourself on the world famous isle of Islay, a whiskey connoisseurs dream, before enjoying a four island fest including the rolling mountains of gentle Mull, the spiritual and ever peaceful island of Iona, the extraordinary and inspiring island of Staffa and the dramatics and majesty of the island of Skye.

Tour Highlights

  • Small intimate coaches.
  • Scenic views of beautiful Scotland.
  • Visits to: Oban, Islay and the Whisky Coast, Skye, Mull and Iona.

West Coast Explorer Tour Includes

  • Nine (9) nights accommodations; two (2) nights in Edinburgh (pre/post) at pre-booked mid-ranged 3-4 * hotel in Edinburgh City. To be advised at time of booking.
  • Three (3) nights at the Bowmore Distillery Cottage.
  • Two (2) nights at your choice of B&B or Hotel in Oban.
  • Two (2) nights at your choice of B&B or Hotel in Plockton.
  • Breakfast daily (except for morning of arrival, continental self-serve at the Bowmore Cottages).
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Edinburgh.
  • Eight (8) days of custom touring.
  • All service charges and hotel taxes.

Additional Notes

Part of this tour has a number of rooms in the beautiful Bowmore Distillery Cottages. These are self catering cottages in the grounds of the distillery itself and offer a unique accommodation experience. The cottages have between 3 and 6 bedrooms and these are all en-suite but are NOT serviced during your stay. The kitchen and lounge facilities are shared and self-service continental breakfast ingredients will be provided. PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE SHARED NATURE OF THE ACCOMMODATION INDIVIDUAL BEDROOMS DO NOT HAVE LOCKABLE DOORS. When these rooms are full we will use nearby B&Bs.

Itinerary

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.

Optionals

Rates & Hotels

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* All Prices are in USD
2017Land Only
Sep 13; 20 (Sold Out)   2299

Pricing

Your tour land price is per person based on two (2) people sharing a twin or double room. When a single room is booked, a single supplement will apply. There are no triple rooms for this tour.

Children under 18 years are not allowed on this tour.

This tour does not include:

  • Items not noted on itinerary
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Tips to driver/guide
  • Visitor attractions

Airfare

Airfare is additional. Once you select your date, you will be given the opportunity to search our system for the best available airfare from your home city. The dates shown will be the start / end date of your tour. However, you can alter these dates to arrive earlier or extend your stay as needed.

Our system will search for the best possible airfare during your booking process. Note: airfare cannot be booked sooner than eleven (11) month from date of departure.

Departures & Transfers

Departure date is the date one would depart from the US. Tour begins in UK one day later.

 
Hotels featured on this tour
West Coast Explorer 8-day tour - Based on B&B, plus 2 nights Edinburgh Hotel - [details] 
West Coast Explorer 8-day tour - Based on Hotels, plus 2 nights Edinburgh Hotel - [details] 

 

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