Scottish Isles & Glens 2019 12 days/11 nights / 19 meals
Tour begins 3:00 PM at your Glasgow hotel. Take a tour around the city. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dinner.
Ferry to the Isle of Bute for stunning island scenery and a guided tour of the 19th-century Mount Stuart House. Spend some time in Rothesay, the main town on the island. Enjoy free time before dinner.
Travel along the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty. Journey through Glencoe, often considered one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions. Travel through Fort William and stop at a woollen mill for refreshments and shop for Scottish goods. Visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle before heading to your hotel.
Explore the Isle of Skye and its associations with Bonnie Prince Charlie. Tour Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and former stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod. Stop in picturesque Portree with its brightly painted houses clustered around the bay. Later, enjoy a photo opportunity or two, featuring the spectacular Kilt Rock. Enjoy free time before dinner.
Take in the Highland scenery as you head to Inverewe Gardens, where a haven of tropical trees and shrubs has been created. Continue to Ullapool, an active fishing and ferry port. Check in to your hotel near the harbor.
Admire the rugged mountains, coastline, and vast areas of open land of the sparsely populated northernmost section of the Highlands. Learn about the Highland Clearances, a tragic period of history when many peasants were forced off the land and emigrated to the United States, Australia, and other countries. Take advantage of the many photo opportunities at Kylesku. Continue to Scrabster on the northern coast of Scotland and take a ferry to the Orkney, enjoying dinner on board.
Discover Orkney, starting with a drive across the Churchill Barriers, created during World War II to deter German submarines. Next, explore the tiny Italian Chapel, with its elaborate paintings. Travel on to the Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic henge and stone circle that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Skara Brae to see the well-preserved 5,000-year-old village dwellings and return to Kirkwall to see St. Magnus Cathedral. Enjoy free time in the afternoon and evening to browse around the town and dine independently.
Board a ferry back to the mainland and head to Dunrobin Castle, dating to 1275 and renovated in the mid-1800s. With 189 rooms, this is the largest castle in northern Scotland. Stop for photo opportunities amidst its scenic hills. Continue south to Inverness, the principal town in the Highlands.
Keep your camera handy as you visit the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle and cruise on Loch Ness. Stop at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre to learn about the conflict that led to the end of the clan system in Scotland. Walk around the moor and see monuments to the various regiments who lost men. Stop at Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial place with a circle of standing stones that inspired the “Outlander” books. Return to Inverness with time to relax, shop, or walk alongside the river.
Immerse yourself in farm life and watch as skilled dogs round up sheep. Enjoy lunch on your own in the Victorian town of Pitlochry. Visit Blair Athol Distillery to see how whisky is produced and enjoy a tasting. Enjoy the evening at your leisure in Edinburgh.
Discover Edinburgh’s highlights including the wide streets and elegant mansions of the 200-year-old Georgian “New Town” and the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle to see the Stone of Scone and the Scottish Crown Jewels. Enjoy a festive Scottish dinner with lively, traditional entertainment to follow. The July 27 to August 12 departures watch the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
All components of this tour (hotels, visits and attractions) for 2019 itineraries are subject to change until finalized in September 2018.