This comprehensive five day tour will give you real insight into the history, landscape, legends and people that make the spectacular Highlands of Scotland such a destinctive and romantic place.
Edinburgh/Glasgow to Inverness (4 nights)
From Edinburgh and Glasgow we will make our way via lonely Rannoch Moor to the beauty of Glen Coe. There is a stop in the heart of the Glen before heading for Fort William. Drive through the Great Glen to Loch Ness, where we can visit Urquhart Castle and take a monster spotting cruise (optional). Our tour is based in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands for the next four nights.
The stay in Inverness is unescorted.
The Magical Isle
Today we enjoy a full day excursion to the beautiful island of Skye. From Inverness we travel through Glen Shiel where we will see the "Five Sisters" mountain range. A real highlight is our stop at Eilean Donan Castle, perched on its island at the head of Loch Duich. Here you have the option of visiting this most picturesque of castles (optional).
Next it's "over the sea to Skye” by way of the road bridge. After a stop for lunch we take the stunningly beautiful road through Glen Suardal which provides breathtaking views of the Red Cuillin Hills. We’ll have an extended stop in Elgol where there are superb views of the Black Cuillin Hills and, if the weather is kind to us, to Rum and the Small Isles.
We return to the mainland and the village of Kyle of Lochalsh the last part of our journey will take us through pretty Glen Carron to Achnasheen from where it is a short drive to Inverness.
Caithness and John O'Groats
We leave Inverness and head across the Black Isle to the Cromarty Firth where, depending on tide conditions, we may see our first seals. We will make a stop in the town of Golspie. High above the town is an astonishing statue, 27m (90') high. This is of the First Duke of Sutherland, whose agents were involved in the most notorious of the Clearances in the Highlands during the 19th century. We’ll hear more about this sad episode in the history of Scotland as we head North. There will be a stop in John O’ Groats for that "I was there” photograph before making our way to stunning Duncansby Head where, after a stroll along the cliff-top path, there are views of the dramatic sea stacks and seascapes to enjoy. Duncansby is rich in birdlife including Guillemot, Kittiwakes and, the most famous residents, Puffins (until late July). There are binoculars available on-board our mini-coach so you can get a "close up” view.
After our visit to Duncansby we turn southwards for home. Our journey will take us through Wick and there will be a comfort stop along the way before we make journey’s end in Inverness.
Scenic Applecross and Loch Carron
A day of scenic beauty as we travel to one of the remotest areas of Scotland—the Applecross Peninsula. Our journey commences with a drive across the Black Isle to the village of Achnasheen. Then the dramatic climb over the Bealach nam Ba, which means the Pass of the Cattle, in Gaelic. The Pass is the third highest road in the United Kingdom and climbs to over 2,000 feet! On our arrival in Applecross we can spend some quality time enjoying the spectacular seascapes or discovering the sad tale of the highland clearances at the local heritage centre. In this area wildlife abounds—nature lovers look out for red deer, pine marten (one of the rarest of British mammals) and otters.
Inverness to Edinburgh/Glasgow
A fascinating day of discovery lies ahead of us today. First we travel to the scenic Black Isle and the attractive fishing village of Cromarty. Next we stop at Chanonry Point to, hopefully, see some of the dolphins who live in the Moray Firth. Beauly, with it's Valliscaulian Priory is our next stop before touring through Glen Convinth to reach Drumnadrochit where you can visit the award-winning Exhibition (optional).
Our route southwards will take us to the gentle Spey Valley and the picturesque Cairngorm National Park then through the dramatic scenery of the Drumochter Pass. There’s a stop for afternoon tea in the heart of scenic Perthshire. The rolling Perthshire countryside will guide us to Perth then we head homewards to journey’s end in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
The order in which excursions are operated may vary