11 Day Scottish Isles & Glens Tour Itinerary
Day 1 : Glasgow Arrival & City
Your tour starts at Glasgow Airport with group transfers to
your hotel at 8:00 am, 10:00 am or 12:00 noon. Passengers arriving later will
transfer to the hotel at their own expense. At 2:30 pm take a coach tour to see
Glasgow's main attractions including red sandstone Victorian buildings,
delightful parks and the River Clyde. Visit Glasgow Cathedral, dating from the
12th century. Chat with your tour director and travel companions about your
itinerary over a welcome drink before dinner.
Day 2 : Loch Lomond & Glen
Travel into the Highlands as you drive alongside the lovely
shores of Loch Lomond. Continue across the bleak Rannoch Moor and through the
spectacular peaks of Glen Coe, made famous by the Campbells' massacre of the
Clan Macdonald in 1692. Continue through Fort William and shop at the Ben Nevis
Highland Centre. Take the scenic “Road to the Isles” passing Loch Shiel and the
Glenfinnan Monument to cross by ferry to the Isle of Skye. Drive through part of
the “Misty Isle” and cross back to the mainland by bridge to your charming
family-owned hotel near Kyle of Lochalsh.
Day 3 : Isle of Skye Tour &
Today discover the lovely scenery of the Isle of
Skye and its associations with Bonnie Prince Charlie. Pass the majestic Cuillin
Mountains on the way to Dunvegan Castle, stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for
nearly 800 years, making it the oldest continuously inhabited castle in
Scotland. View priceless family heirlooms around the Castle's stately halls.
Stroll through formal and woodland gardens before driving through more island
scenery. Stop in Portree, the capital, where brightly-painted houses cluster
around a large sheltered bay. Return to your hotel for free time before dinner.
Day 4 : Inverewe Gardens &
Stop for photos at the romantic Eilean Donan Castle
before enjoying more Highland scenery as you drive past Loch Maree. Visit
Inverewe Gardens, where in 1862 Osgood Mackenzie converted 50 acres of bleak
headland into a haven of trees and shrubs. The varied and exotic plantings
thrive due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. Travel past lochs and
Gruinard Bay to Ullapool, an active fishing and ferry port that was built in
1788 by the British Fisheries Society. Drive through Ullapool and check in to
Day 5 : Highland Scenery &
Today explore one of Scotland's most remote Highland areas,
where the landscape varies from huge tracts of bogland to rugged rocky mountains
and coastline. Pass freshwater and sea lochs and stop in Durness, one of
Scotland's most remote hamlets. Learn about the 18th and 19th century Highland
Clearances which left these areas devoid of people. Stop in Bettyhill, a village
built in 1814 to replace crofts destroyed by the Clearances and continue to
Thurso. Visit Caithness Horizons Museum and check in to your hotel.
Day 6 : Isle of Orkney & Skara
Take a ferry ride from the mainland to explore the largest
island of Orkney. Visit Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old village, to see the layout
of houses, some with hearths and cupboards. View the Ring of Brodgar, a circle
of prehistoric standing stones and stop in Kirkwall to see the 12th century St.
Magnus Cathedral. Drive across the Churchill Barriers, created during World War
II to prevent German submarines from sheltering in Scapa Flow. See the Italian
Chapel, built from two Nissan huts with elaborate trompe l'oeil paintings before
driving to Stromness for the return ferry ride.
Day 7 : John o' Groats &
Drive along the coast to John o' Groats, the most
northerly village on the British mainland. Near Golspie visit Dunrobin Castle,
seat of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland and the largest mansion in northern
Scotland with 189 rooms. Walk through some of the impressive chambers of the
castle, which date to 1275 but were completely renovated in the mid-1800's.
Watch a demonstration of falconry in the castle gardens to see trained birds of
prey. Continue south to your hotel in Nairn, located on the Moray Firth.
Day 8 : Urquhart Castle &
Battle of Culloden
Drive along the shores of Loch Ness to visit
Urquhart Castle, once the largest structure of its type but now reduced to
picturesque ruins. Stop at the Culloden Visitor Centre for a walk around the
moor where the Battle of Culloden took place in 1746, ending Bonnie Prince
Charlie's political aspirations and many Highland traditions. Visit the vast
ramparts at Fort George, located on the North Sea. Planned in 1747 as an English
army base, it has been in use ever since. See reconstructed barrack rooms and a
display of muskets and pikes. A Scottish Highland evening in your hotel will
feature haggis and other traditional foods and experience lively bagpipe music
Day 9 : Speyside Distillery &
Drive through Speyside where many distilleries are
located. Tour one of them to learn how whisky is distilled and sample a “wee
dram.” Continue past the majestic peaks of the Grampian Mountains and stop in
the town of Pitlochry for a look around before heading to your hotel in
Edinburgh. Head to the Ghillie Dhu Pub and then join a local guide for a fun
walking tour to discover the haunts of Edinburgh's many interesting
Day 10 : Edinburgh Castle &
This morning discover Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. See
the wide streets and elegant mansions of the 200-year-old Georgian “New Town”
and walk along part of the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. To view
narrow lanes and medieval townhouses. Finish your tour at the imposing Edinburgh
Castle to see historic buildings and enjoy a splendid view of Edinburgh. The
afternoon and evening are free for independent activities. On July 28 to August
13 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.
Day 11 : Tour Ends Edinburgh
Your trip ends with a group transfer to arrive at Edinburgh
Airport by 6:30 am or 9:00 am.
B: Breakfast; D: Dinner