Hebridean Island Adventure - 8 day tour
Hebridean Island Adventure
8 day/7 night
An unspoilt paradise awaits in the enchanting Hebrides, rich in 6,000 years of folklore. Our journey takes in the corridors of Dunvegan Castle, the streets of Portree and the ancient wonders of Carloway Broch, St Clement’s Church and the Standing Stones of Callanish. Discover for yourself why Skye, the Uists and Harris and Lewis have bewitched travellers for centuries.
Isle of Skye - explore this scenic island and learn its turbulent history
South Uist - discover picturesque beaches and their colourful machair
Isle of Harris – visit St Clement’s Church, the finest medieval building in the Western Isles
Standing Stones of Callanish - step back 5,000 years to marvel at this mysterious monument
Butt of Lewis - be blown away by a visit to the very tip of the island
Movie locations - Call the Midwife, Brave and 2001, A Space Odyssey
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh/Inverness - Eilean Donan Castle - Skye
Arriving in Edinburgh or Inverness Airport, we turn our eyes westward in anticipation of the journey to the Isle of Skye.
Passing through rolling glens and sweeping mountain landscapes, the unique variety of the Scottish countryside offers us a sumptuous taster of the breath-taking scenery that awaits us on the largest island in the Inner Hebrides.
If time is on our side, we will make a stop at one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks – stunning Eilean Donan Castle. Perched on a tiny island at the junction of three great sea lochs, this 13th century fort is an iconic image that sums up the mystery and magnificence of the Highlands.
Standing guard over the surrounding lands of Kintail for more than eight centuries, the castle has been rebuilt at least four times due to the ravages of numerous feuds and uprisings.
After lying in ruins for nearly 200 years, the current fortress was reopened in 1932 after a 20-year restoration project by Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap.
Wander the grounds and admire its ancient stones while gazing across the peaceful surface of Loch Duich before we continue on our journey and make the ferry crossing to our new Hebridean home.
Overnight: Kings Arms Hotel, Isle of Skye (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 2 - Discovering the Isle of Skye
A hearty breakfast is the first order of the day as we prepare to explore the many treasures dotted around this fascinating island.
Watching over us on our travels are the mist-covered Cullin Hills, whose steep and jagged peaks were thrown together by volcanic activity more than 61 million years ago.
Turning our eyes towards the sea, we soon reach our first stop of the day and the impressive turrets of Dunvegan Castle. This mighty stronghold is home to the MacLeod clan and is the only Highland fortress continuously occupied by the same family for eight centuries.
History echoes in every footstep as we tour its five separate buildings, each decorated with fascinating artefacts charting 800 years of antiquity.
Further culture awaits in our afternoon excursion as we arrive in the fishing village of Portree, or “port on the slope” in Gaelic. With its colourful cottages sheltering snugly around the bay, Skye’s largest settlement has plenty to discover.
Work up an appetite by wandering its streets and admiring the views of Ben Chrachaig and Suidh Fhinn – also known as Fingal’s Seat – or gaze across the water to the conical hill sitting atop the Island of Raasay.
Day 3 - Isle of Skye - Lochmaddy - Benbecula
Today brings a bright start as we enjoy our breakfast and jump aboard the ferry to the Outer Hebrides, where the captivating island of North Uist awaits.
During our leisurely two-hour crossing, keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that inhabits this beautiful stretch of water.
After docking in the port of Lochmaddy, we’ll continue our odyssey to the tranquil isle of Benbecula or “mountain of the ford”. After checking into our comfortable why not take a stroll on the beach before dinner?
Overnight: The Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 4 - Touring South Uist and Eriskay
A local guide joins us today as we meander across to South Uist, the second largest of the Western Isles famed for its gently undulating moors and series of crystal-clear lochs.
History and tradition surround us on this important seat of Gaelic culture, where ancient crofting skills like seaweed-gathering are still a vital part of island life. The Kildonan Museum is the perfect place to find out more about this captivating corner of Scotland.
Later, we travel across the causeway to reach the little island of Eriskay, where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed from France at the start of the ill-fated 1745 Jacobite Uprising. As you gaze out to sea, imagine the scene in 1941 when the SS Politician foundered and the islanders mounted a rescue to liberate her cargo of whisky. Sir Compton MacKenzie immortalised the tale in his novel “Whisky Galore”.
Hopefully, we’ll see one of the indigenous ponies, a very hardy breed of which around 400 are left in the World.
Day 5 - Benbecula - Leverburgh - Stornoway
After a relaxed breakfast we bid farewell to Benbecula and head northwards to the little island of Beneray, where a ferry awaits to take us across the Sound of Harris.
Landfall is the port of Leverburgh on the Isle of Harris. Once known as Obbe, the village was renamed in honour of Lord Leverhulme who planned a mighty fishing centre here in the 1920s. The project was abandoned after Leverhulme died in 1925 and today little remains of his dream.
We continue through the mountains of Harris to reach its northern neighbour, known as Lewis, and fall gratefully into the welcoming charms of the Caberfeidh Hotel, where we can relax and compare notes on the many gems unearthed on today’s travels.
Overnight: Caberfeidh Hotel, Stornoway (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 6 - Exploring Harris and Lewis
As dawn breaks across this stunning island, we embark on today’s adventure – travelling back through the centuries and exploring the dramatic history of Harris and Lewis.
Our first port of call is the medieval wonder of St Clement’s Church in Rodel, where we pay our respects at the tomb of its founder, Alasdair’ Crotach’ MacLeod, 8th chief of Clan MacLeod.
After moving on through the sleepy loch-side village of Tarbert, prepare your cameras as we arrive at the dramatic Standing Stones of Callanish. Arranged in a cruciform shape, these ancient slabs have withstood the elements and looked out impassively over Loch Rog an Ear for 5,000 years.
Further venerable delights await us just a short walk away at the Carloway Broch, a fortified stone tower that dates back 2,000 years to the Iron Age.
Our final glimpse into the past comes at the Blackhouse at Arnol. This traditional dwelling has been beautifully preserved to show how a crofting family once lived, with people and animals under one roof.
After exploring its nooks and crannies, suffused with the centuries-old aroma of peat smoke, we return to our own cosy homestead, where a choice of delicious local fare awaits for dinner.
Day 7 - Stornoway - Butt of Lewis - Newtonmore
Our final day in the Hebrides begins with another delicious traditional Scottish breakfast before we reluctantly bid farewell to our hotel and set off on a new adventure.
Crossing this contrasting island landscape, we marvel once again at the sandy beaches along the west and rocky coasts in the east as we wind our way gently to the Butt of Lewis.
Situated at the northernmost point of Lewis, this commanding headland has been shaped by the Atlantic storms that have lashed its rugged heights down the centuries.
After admiring the sweeping views, we board our modern ferry and take to the waves for the crossing to Ullapool, which nestles on the shore of Loch Broom. With the echo of gulls mingling with the gentle chug of the engine, our journey takes around two hours and 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the voyage.
Once on dry land, we continue south, taking the scenic route through the secluded mountainous splendour of Wester Ross. Our day ends in the traditional village of Newtonmore, where another warm and homely welcome awaits in the final hotel of our grand Scottish tour.
Overnight: Highlander Hotel, Newtonmore (or similar)
Day 8 - Newtonmore - Grampian Mountains - Edinburgh
After breakfast, transfer to Inverness Airport for your flight home.
If your return flight departs from Edinburgh Airport our journey back to the nation’s capital is just as enchanting as the rest of our trip, crossing sparkling rivers and streams and driving through lush glens as we head southwards towards the majestic Grampian Mountains.
We descend through heather-covered mountains into the ‘Big Tree Country’ of Perthshire.
The last part of our journey brings us to Perth, then through the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Look out for Loch Leven, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in its castle.
There are stunning views of the incredible Forth Bridge as we head across the Forth Estuary. We finally arrive back at Edinburgh Airport and the end of our island adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Air-Inclusive Escorted Tour?
These holidays are the perfect blend of value and convenience. Fly directly from many regional airports to your highland gateway, where your tour director is waiting to greet you.
Everything is taken care of so you can sit back and relax in the knowledge that your tour has been expertly planned and that nothing has been left to chance. Each package includes return flights to Scotland, quality accommodation, many meals, luxury coach transport and the services of an experienced tour director.
You'll find these tours to be well-paced with the perfect balance of organised sightseeing and free time so you can do your own thing. Not sure where to go? Your friendly tour director will be on hand to give you guidance.
A comprehensive tour itinerary will be issued as part of your tour documents which you'll receive around three weeks prior to travel.
If you prefer, you can purchase this tour on a land only basis making your own transport arrangements. Land only customers should make their own way to the first night's hotel.
What airports can I fly from?
The departure airports vary by tour departure and itinerary. Here is a list of the airports used in the tour programme: Belfast City George Best (BHD), Birmingham (BHX), Bristol (BRS), Exeter (EXT), London Gatwick (LGW), London Heathrow (LHR), London Luton (LTN), London Stansted (STN), Manchester (MAN) and Southampton (SOU).
Please contact us for air-inclusive prices
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.
Will I hear Gaelic being spoken?
The Outer Hebrides is the heartland of Gaelic culture and the majority of islanders will speak the Gaelic language, as well as English.
Of course, there is no need to learn Gaelic to enjoy your time in the Outer Hebrides, but if you would like to learn a few words why not try:
Hello - Halò
Goodbye - Mar sin leibh
My name is - Is mise
How are you? - Ciamar a tha sibh?
I’m fine thank you - Tha gu math tapadh leibh
Excuse me - Gabh mo leisgeul
Cheers! - Slàinte!
What should I wear?
Wear layers as the temperature on the water can vary. We recommend bringing a rain jacket, just in case!
- 7 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Isle of Skye (2), Benbecula (2), Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (2) and Newtonmore (1)
- Cooked/Continental breakfast (7)
- Table d’ hote dinners (7)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Visit to Dunvegan Castle, Kildonan Museum, St Clement’s Church, Standing Stones of Callanish and the Arnol Blackhouse
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats
- All ferry fares and reservations
- All baggage handling and hotel tips are included
- Services throughout the tour of a professional Tour Director
- Service charges and taxes
Belfast City George Best/Birmingham/Bristol/London Gatwick/London Heathrow/London Luton Airports
Check-in: TBC hrs
Tour Departs: TBC hrs
Tour Returns: TBC hrs
Please contact us for information on child prices.
The price of this tour includes hotel accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
Return economy flights to either Edinburgh or Inverness Airports from Belfast City George Best, Birmingham, Bristol, London Gatwick, London Heathrow or London Luton Airports are available.
The prices quoted are based on land only. Please contact us for air-inclusive prices
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.