A spectacular adventure through the Highlands and magical Isle of Skye with stunning scenery, incredible history and some unique and unforgettable experiences. Go monster hunting on Loch Ness, hike in one of the last great wildernesses of Europe, ride the train which inspired Harry Potter's 'Hogwarts Express', hear tales of Scotland’s bloody history and soak up the culture with a wee dram after a day’s exploring. There’s also the chance to get into some traditional Scottish music and dance at a genuine Ceilidh to make this a proper Highland Fling!
* Summer route
(see 'tour options' tab for more info...)
Departs 8.30am. From Edinburgh, we pass the famous Forth Bridge and explore the forests and salmon packed rivers of Perthshire. We visit the heart of Macbeth country with the mighty Dunkeld cathedral and then take a hike into the beautiful woodlands and waterfalls of the Hermitage. From the Lowlands we enter the Highlands into the Great Glen with views of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. Morag’s Lodge on the shores of Loch Ness is our home for the night.
We start the day with monster spotting as our journey north takes us to Loch Ness and past the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Then the eerie moor of lonely Culloden Battlefield (scene of the last major battle on British soil) awaits as we hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the tragedy of his defeat. This afternoon we get the chance to taste a drop of the 'water of life' at a whisky distillery.
Stay Wild and visit HAGGiS Grove (weather permitting) to plant a tree and help restore our native Caledonian forest before passing beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. Then on to explore the Isle of Skye, also known as the ‘winged isle’ or ‘Isle of Mist’, famous for its ruined castles, awesome scenery and legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans. You will be immersed in Celtic myths and Viking legends, hear tales abound with faeries and fights, and explore the windswept mountain terrain and rugged coastline.
We return to the mainland to either travel on the famous Jacobite Steam train or take the 'Road to the Isles' and view and Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie began his claim for the throne of Scotland back in 1745 . From Fort William we pass under the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain and on to Oban. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ because of its spectacular views over to Mull, Oban is home for the night and this is your chance for a proper Highland Fling with some traditional dancing at a ceilidh! (summer route)
We head for eerie Glencoe, home to some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery and the setting of the infamous 1692 massacre, but more recently used as a backdrop in the movie ‘Skyfall’. Further south we enter Rob Roy country where the landscape changes from the Highlands to the Lowlands. Our journey back to Edinburgh takes in views of magnificent Stirling Castle and the mighty Wallace Monument. Returns approximately 5.00pm.
We know you’re travelling on a budget so you should spend your cash how you want to. Pay for your accommodation with our ‘Pay Now’ service or just ‘Pay As You Go’ directly to suppliers on arrival, subject to availability. The choice is yours.
Pre-Pay Bundle –Pay for your accommodation at the time of booking. Faster check in, easier to budget on tour and exclusive tour t-shirt.
Pay As You Go – Pay for your accommodation directly to the establishments on arrival each day. Dorm accommodation is guaranteed.
No stress, your accommodation is booked in the best hostels available!
Whether you chose to ‘Pre-Pay’ or ‘Pay As You Go’, we book hostel multi-share accommodation in small dorms (generally 4 to 6 bed dorms).
Private Room Upgrades can be selected under our ‘Pay Now’ service, and are subject to availability. The majority of private rooms are of the same standard as the hostel dorms. Some private rooms have en-suite facilities, whilst others have shared bathrooms.
Private rooms are generally accommodated within the same building as the rest of the group. Where this is not possible, you may be required to make your own way to your accommodation, which is normally located a short walk away from the main drop off point
Featured in a number of the Harry Potter movies as ‘The Hogwarts Express’, the Jacobite Steam Train is a spectacular journey through some of Scotland’s most dramatic coastal scenery. Voted as the best train journey in the world by Wanderlust magazine readers for several years, the 42 mile trip is certainly worth considering as a trip add-on!
Reserve separately at time of booking, not available locally
* The Jacobite Steam Train has limited availability and operates seasonally from late May to September. Outside the Train operating season the route off Skye will vary and may not include the ferry or Road to the Isles