Skye and the Western Isles Small Group Tour
7 day/6 night tour
This amazing tour features the perfect union of three Hebridean islands - Skye, Harris and Lewis. On the mainland see the attractions of Glen Coe, Loch Ness and stately Dunrobin Castle. Head over the sea to Skye to see the raw beauty of the Cuillin Hills and the famed Trotternish Peninsula. On the very edge of Europe lie Harris and Lewis home to pre-historic monuments, inspiring landscapes and the thriving Gaelic language.
Price range: £870 - £1,175
Small Group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Isle of Skye - see the peaks of the Cuillin Hills and the lunar landscape of Trotternish
Loch Ness - explore the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle and enjoy a cruise on the Loch
Dunrobin Castle - visit this fairy-tale castle and explore the magical gardens
Isle of Lewis - discover the Callanish Standing Stones, built over 4,500 years ago
Isle of Harris - walk along the golden sands of a deserted beach to admire the Sound of Taransay
Movie locations – Transformers: The Last Knight, The Rocket Post and Barry Lyndon
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade option available
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Eilean Donan Castle - Isle of Skye
It's time for a magical drive to the famed Scottish Highlands. Our route takes us first to Glasgow, where our travelling companions will join us. It’s onwards through the Vale of Leven to Loch Lomond where we’ll stop in the pretty village of Luss so you can enjoy the views over the loch to Ben Lomond.
Remote Rannoch Moor provides a unique landscape of heather, lochans and bog that stretches for nearly 50 square miles. This is, however, just the warm-up for the main event, spectacular Glen Coe which will be our next highlight. As we make our way through the glorious scenery listen carefully as our driver/guide tells the sad story of the massacre that took place in 1692. We’ll make a stop in the heart of the Glen so you can capture the wonderful views.
Fort William is our gateway to the Great Glen, an impressive valley comprising of lochs and mountains that extends all the way to Inverness. A real highlight is picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Here you have the chance to take photographs and explore the castle that featured in the film Highlander. Then it's time to cross the bridge “Over the sea to Skye”.
Overnight: Isle of Skye (2 nights)
Day 2 - Exploring the Isle of Skye
Today we discover the magical Isle of Skye. It's a nice and easy day of touring, but you'll still see all the key sights. First we set off to discover the outstandingly beautiful Trotternish Peninsula where we will experience the impressive Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock with its cascading waterfall plummeting to the sea below.
Later we’ll spend time in Portree, the island main town. Here we can enjoy lunch and spend time enjoying the views of its picturesque harbour.
This afternoon we skirt the base of the impressive Cuillin Hills before visiting ancient Dun Beag Fort which sits overlooking a little loch. We end our day in the Sleat Peninsula, the Garden of Skye enjoying a wee taste of Gaelic Whisky, uniquely distilled in the traditional way.
Day 3 - Isle of Skye - Loch Ness - Fort Augustus
We bid farewell to the Isle of Skye and make our way back to the mainland. Enjoy a scenic drive through Glen Shiel where we’ll get amazing views of the towering peaks of the "Five Sisters of Kintail" mountain range. On arrival in Fort Augustus enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing by the banks of Loch Ness.
Why not take the opportunity to go for a monster-spotting cruise? Please note you will leave the first part of your tour on arrival in Fort Augustus. You will join a new group of travelling companions and meet your new driver-guide tomorrow (day four).
Overnight: Fort Augustus, Loch Ness
Day 4 - Fort Augustus - Dunrobin Castle - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
The next part of our Hebridean experience starts with a tour along the mysterious banks of Loch Ness. We’ll travel through Inverness then make our way across the Kessock Bridge and through the Black Isle.
Stately Dunrobin Castle rises above the North Sea like a storybook creation. It’s one of the oldest inhabited homes in Scotland and is the seat of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland. We’ll make a stop so you can explore the castle and enjoy a walk through the beautiful formal gardens.
Awe-inspiring scenery surrounds us as we travel though the North West Highlands, the last great European wilderness. This part of Scotland forms part of the Assynt Geopark, a land of stunning mountain ranges, deep lochs and ancient communities that can trace their roots to the beginning of time. We can learn more when we visit the Knockan Crag Visitor Centre.
Later we make our way to Ullapool where we board our modern CruiseFerry for the 150 minute crossing of The Minch to Stornoway our base for the next two nights.
Overnight: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (2 nights)
Day 5 - Exploring the Isle of Lewis
After breakfast there’s free time to explore your new island surroundings. Stornoway is a bustling port built around a natural harbour and it has a character all of its own. Why not enjoy the views over the town from the grounds of Lews Castle or discover more about the Gaelic culture of the islands at the An Lanntair Arts Centre.
Later we travel westwards to see the Butt of Lewis lighthouse and to experience amazing cliff top views over the Atlantic Ocean. This remote location has the record for the windiest place in Britain and due west from here there is nothing but wild sea until next landfall in North America!
Next we step back in time when we visit Dun Carloway, a remarkably well preserved iron-age roundhouse which has a stunning location overlooking Loch Roag. Close by are The Callanais Standing Stones, believed to have been constructed around 5,000 years ago, and one of the finest prehistoric sites in Britain.
These islands are famed for the production of Harris Tweed, a luxury fabric that is handwoven by islanders using local wool. Our last stop of the day will be to a local weaver who will demonstrate the process using a traditional hand loom.
Day 6 - Exploring the Isle of Harris - Ullapool - Inverness
Today we explore the neighbouring island of Harris. Leaving Stornoway behind we travel along the banks of Loch Seaforth then our coach climbs over the Harris Mountains, offering wonderful vistas, to reach the little ferry port of Tarbert, the main community on Harris. We’ll make a stop here to explore this pleasant little village - it’s a great place to pick up a souvenir of your Hebridean travels!
Our scenic tour continues as we drive to the west coast of the island to savour the views over to the picturesque island of Taransay, the location of the BBC TV series “Castaway”. Harris is home to some breathtaking beaches. The most famous is Luskentyre whose white sands appear never-ending - it’s the perfect place for some beach-combing!
Later we make our way back to Stornoway where the MV Loch Seaforth awaits to return us to the mainland. On arrival in Ullapool we’ll make our way to Inverness.
Day 7 - Inverness - Culloden Moor - Edinburgh
After breakfast we’ll make the short drive to Culloden Moor on the outskirts of Inverness. In April, 1746 this was the site of last battle fought in Scotland, between the Jacobite Army of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Duke of Cumberland’s Government Troops. During our time here you can take a walk on the battlefield which has been restored to how it looked that fateful day.
The wonderful mountain peaks of the Cairngorm National Park will guide us through the Spey Valley then we descend through the Grampian Mountains to reach Highland Perthshire. We’ll make a stop in the attractive town of Pitlochry before continuing our journey towards Perth then onwards to Edinburgh.
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?
To give you complete choice admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour. The tour itinerary has been carefully designed to provide sufficient time for you to visit these attractions:
If you click on the links above they will provide you with more information on each attraction including current admission prices. In some cases a special discount is offered to tour passengers, your driver/guide will provide details if this applies.
Please note that credit/debit cards are not always accepted so it is recommended that you carry sufficient cash with you should you want to make a visit.
What type of room should I choose?
There are different bedrooms types to choose from, here is what you can expect: Single room - one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - two people sharing one large bed. Family room - three people sharing a room sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room can be a standard double room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
Tell me more about the optional Loch Ness Cruise?
Mount your very own Nessie adventure by taking a one hour cruise to explore the deep, dark and mysterious waters of Loch Ness. The cruise boat is equipped with on-board sonar, comfortable seating inside and out as well as toilets. Refreshments are available for purchase or you can bring packed food. You can purchase a ticket from your driver/guide on the day of the tour and payment is in cash only.
What can I expect on the ferry crossing to Stornoway?
The crossing between Ullapool and Stornoway will take 2 hours and 30 minutes. The MV Loch Seaforth is a new CruiseFerry which is equipped to a very high standard with an observation lounge, shops, restaurant and comfortable seating inside and out.
- 6 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Isle of Skye (2); Inverness (1); Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (2) and Inverness (1)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (6)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach with wifi and usb charging points
- Ferry to Isle of Lewis
- 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 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.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.