Road to the Isles Small Group Tour
5 day/4 night tour
This enjoyable 5 day tour will let you explore the picturesque sea-lochs of Argyll and ancient Kilmartin Glen, the birthplace of the Scottish Nation. A relaxing two night stay on Skye will let you discover the natural wonders of the Magical Isle. Experience a journey on the famed Jacobite Steam Train or enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness and visit to Urquhart Castle. This popular tour will provide the ideal introduction to the history and beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Price range: £520 - £800
Small group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Oban - discover this bustling coastal town celebrated as the Scottish seafood Capital
Isle of Skye - explore the lunar landscape of Trotternish and the attractive scenery of the Sleat Peninsula
Jacobite Steam Train - experience a trip on the famous West Highland Railway or a cruise on Loch Ness and visit to Urquhart Castle
Culloden Moor - discover the story behind Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army
Movie locations - Loch Ness, Highlander and Harry Potter
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade available at extra cost
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh/Glasgow - Inveraray - Oban
We leave Edinburgh and make our westwards to Glasgow, Scotland's largest City. With a song in our heart we travel along the "bonnie, bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond before making the dramatic ascent of the "Rest and be Thankful” Pass to reach Glen Kinglas.
Picturesque Inveraray sits overlooking the sparkling waters of Loch Fyne. This handsome town is famed for its whitewashed houses and elegant castle, the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Clan Chiefs of the Campbells.
We spend time exploring Kilmartin Glen, which has a wealth of prehistoric sites. Then visit Dalriada, the cradle of the Scottish nation founded in the 6th century by settlers from Ireland. Our first night is spent is the picturesque town of Oban.
Day 2 - Oban - Glen Coe - Isle of Skye
From Oban we make the short drive to scenic Loch Etive. Look out for the Falls of Lora as we travel over the Connel Bridge and make our way into Benderloch and Appin.
We take time to enjoy the haunting beauty of Glen Coe, probably Scotland's most famous glen. It was here in 1692 that 40 of the resident MacDonald clan were murdered by Government troops.
Fort William is next. "The Fort”, as its known locally, makes the most of its stunning location on the banks of Loch Linnhe and is a popular spot with outdoor sports enthusiasts.
More breathtaking views await as we board the famous Jacobite Steam Train (the real Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies). Our journey on the West Highland Line is claimed to be one of the World’s best rail journeys, but we’ll let you be the judge! Be first to spot Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain, as we leave Fort William then travel over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. Enjoy great views of Loch Eilt before the beautiful sands of Morar stretch out ahead of us as we make our way into Mallaig. There’s free time to enjoy an early dinner before catching the ferry "Over the sea to Skye”.
Note: Departures from 13 May to 26 August, 2019 will travel on the Jacobite Steam Train. All other departures will feature a cruise on Loch Ness and admission to Urquhart Castle.
Overnight: Isle of Skye (2 nights)
Day 3 - Exploring the Magical Isle of Skye
The magical island of Skye offers a charm and beauty all of its own. Our full-day tour of the island starts with a coastal drive to Broadford. The landscape becomes more rugged as the impressive Cuillin Hills come into view, greeting us with some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland.
We take time out to visit ancient Dun Beag Broch, a stone tower that dates from the Iron Age. It has a striking location overlooking Loch Bracadale and the Cuillin Hills. Portree, the main town on Skye, sits attractively around a natural harbour. You'll have time to discover Portree's many fine shops, or breathe in the sea air on a stroll around the harbour.
The magnificent rock scenery and breathtaking views of the extraordinary Trotternish Peninsula make it a must-see on our tour. We'll explore the Quiraing, an area of weird and mysterious rock formations, including the best-known one, Kilt Rock, which resembles the pleats of Scotland's famous garment.
Day 4 - Isle of Skye - Eilean Donan Castle - Loch Ness
After breakfast we say farewell to the Isle of Skye and drive across the road bridge to the mainland.
Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland's best known icons. It has appeared as the backdrop to many popular movies and is one of the most unmistakeably Scottish of scenes. The castle stands on an islet in Loch Duich connected by a little bridge to the shore.
As we travel through remote Glen Shiel look out for the towering mountain range known as “The Five Sisters of Kintail.
We tour along the banks of Loch Ness to reach the pleasant village of Drumnadrochit, where we’ll stop for lunch. This afternoon you’ll have the chance to take to the deep and dark waters of Loch Ness on a monster-spotting cruise?
We’ll spend tonight in Fort Augustus. A relaxing end to the day allows you to discover our home by the banks of Loch Ness. Why not take time out to marvel at the ingenuity of Thomas Telford, the famous engineer who designed the Caledonian Canal. In the heart of Fort Augustus you will find a staircase of locks that lifts boats 13 metres from Loch Ness to the canal. It makes a fascinating visit.
Overnight: Fort Augustus
Day 5 - Inverness - Culloden Moor - Edinburgh/Glasgow
This morning learn more about the area's most famous ‘resident' as we make our way along the banks of Loch Ness to visit majestic Urquhart Castle or join a monster-spotting cruise on the loch itself.
A short drive takes us to Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands'.
On the outskirts of Inverness we reach Culloden Moor, where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was routed by the British army in the last battle ever fought on British soil. The battle's tragic outcome changed life in the Highlands of Scotland forever.
The Cairngorms National Park is Britain's largest and home to five of its tallest mountains. Then our coach descends the dramatic Pass of Drumochter through the sprawling Grampian Mountains.
We make a stop in Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian tourist resort, where you can browse the many shops or discover how Scotch Whisky is made at a nearby distillery. After your behind the scenes tour there’s a taste of the end product!
Our journey continues southwards to Perth and the final part of our journey through ancient Fife back to Edinburgh.
If the starting point of your tour was Glasgow the coach will make a stop at Edinburgh Waverley Station. Here you’ll board an express train for the 50 minute journey back to Glasgow. The ticket price is included in the cost of the tour fare.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Small Group Tour?
With an average of just 16 passengers (and never more than 20) a Small Group Tour will provide a more intimate and flexible travelling experience. These tours are carefully planned to travel off the highways so you’ll discover quaint villages and picturesque vistas that other tours just can’t access. All the small group tours that we feature are operated by purpose built luxury minicoaches that feature air-conditioning, panoramic windows, wifi, usb charging points and comfortable seating. Each group is led by an experienced driver/guide who will entertain and inform you with stories of our history, nature and folklore. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours. You can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. A delicious Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay. If you’ve got more time to spare a series of extraordinary itineraries has been created by combining one or more shorter tours. Seamless in operation these unique holidays allow you to discover even more of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. A feature of these tours is that you will travel with a different driver/guide and fellow travellers for each portion of the itinerary.
Can you tell me more about the optional extras on this tour?
The tour fare includes transportation by luxury mini or midicoach and the services of a professional driver/guide. Admission to the attractions featured on this tour is optional so you can choose to visit or not depending on your interests. The tour itinerary will allow time for you to enjoy visits to:Eilean Donan Castle
Loch Ness Cruise
Culloden Moor Visitor Centre
Dalwhinnie Malt Whisky Distillery
The links above will give you more information on these attractions as well as current prices. On some tours discounted prices are available to tour passengers - your driver/guide will provide more information if this applies. Not all attractions accept payment by credit or debit card so you should carry sufficient cash should you be planning a visit.
Tell me about my accommodation and which type of room should I choose?
The cost of accommodation is included in the price of your tour. On this tour you can choose between Guesthouse/B&B or Hotel accommodation: Guesthouse and B&B. The guesthouses and B&Bs are family run and offer comfortable accommodation in bedrooms that have en-suite bathrooms, tv, tea/coffee making facilities and other facilities. Bedding, towels and basic toiletries are provided. Some guesthouses and B&B’s offer enhanced facilities such as a resident’s lounge where you can relax with other guests. Hotel. We select comfortable hotels that are a minimum of 3 stars with bedrooms featuring en-suite bathrooms, television, tea and coffee making facilities and other amenities. Most have restaurants offering a selection of Scottish and international dishes as well as comfortable bars where you can relax and un-wind. Accommodation is spread throughout the communities that we stay in and are seldom more than a 10/15 minute walk from the town or village centre.
What is the journey on the Jacobite Steam Train like?
Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis! The train will cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. The train may pause on the viaduct, time permitting, to allow you to take in the magnificent view. On some tours the route may be reversed.
What meals are included ?
A full Scottish breakfast is included from day 2 onwards. This hearty meal consists of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and, maybe, a taste of haggis! plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and lighter Continental options are always available. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Your driver/guide will be happy to suggest a conveniently located restaurant where you can enjoy good food for dinner.
- 4 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Oban (1); Isle of Skye (2) and Fort Augustus (1)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (4)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- One way Jacobite Steam Train trip on the West Highland Railway Line (13 May to 26 August departures only)
- Admission to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Cruise (all other departure dates)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach with wifi and usb charging points
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From Parish Hall Coach Tour Stop
266 George Street
Glasgow G1 1QX
Check-in: 09:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 09:45 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:00 hrs
From 1 Parliament Square
Royal Mile/High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Check-in: 08:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 19:00 hrs
Concession discount applies to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom. You can up-grade to hotel accommodation at extra cost during the booking process.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
This tour departs from Edinburgh and Glasgow. You can choose to return to either city at no extra charge! Please make your selection during the booking process.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.