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Scotland: Highlands and Islands
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Scotland: Highlands and Islands

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 9 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 14 people
Destination(s): Scotland  
Specialty Categories: Archeology/History   Walking Tours  
Season: May - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2950 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3300 US Dollar (USD)

Walk the moors ablaze with purple heather, cross island-studded sea lochs by steamboat and travel to the mystical islands the Inner Hebrides. Take the Road to the Isles and watch Border Collies in action. Our walks take us through an irresistible mix of highlands and lowlands, rugged seascapes and tranquil lochs, mountain passes and gentle glens. Charming hotels, superb seafood, lively Scottish music and a marvelous naturalist guide provide the perfect combination of walking and culture.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Rendezvous in Edinburgh and then transfer by bus to the little town of Aberfeldy, in central Perthshire. We start our Scottish adventure by taking a walk up the Birks' of Aberfeldy made famous by Robert Burns' poem. We continue by foot to Castle Menzies, (pronounced “mingies”) where we visit the 16th century castle. We then walk onto Farleyer House, the original dower house of the castle, now a charming hotel and set in 34 acres of grounds. Tonight we take dinner in the formal dining room. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 2: After breakfast we transfer by minibus to Pitlochry, a resort town made popular by Queen Victoria Our walk takes us along the Pass of Killiecrankie, where the British were almost annihilated by the Highlanders during the Jacobite uprisings. Lunch today is taken in the great outdoors, by the side of a silvery loch. In the afternoon we visit Blair Atholl distillery, to find out how they make the water of life, and of course indulge in a dram or two. Dinner tonight is a relaxed affair in the hotel bistro.
Includes: (B), (D).

Day 3: After a hearty Scottish breakfast we transfer by minibus to Dunkeld,an old cathedral town on the banks of the Tay. We take a walk through Birnam woods, made famous by Shakespeare's Macbeth, and some of the trees are thought to date from the original forest. We have lunch at the local pub and at the end of the day transfer back to the hotel having seen some Border Collies in action at a local hill farm. This evening we venture into Kenmore for dinner at a local restaurant overlooking the river. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 4: We start our day with a walk along the River Tay and a visit to a crannog, a small man-made island dating from the Iron Age. From here we travel on to legendary Glen Coe, one of Scotland's most dramatic passes. It is the site of one history's most infamous massacres; the Massacre of Glen Coe in 1692. After lunch at the Bridge of Orchy hotel we take the Devil's Staircase over the hills to Kinlochleven, once the centre of the aluminium industry. We then transfer to the sleepy fishing village of Arisaig. Our hotel for the next 2 nights is the Old Library Lodge, a comfortable inn overlooking the dramatic island seascape of Eigg, Rhum and Muck. After dinner we can wander next door to the local pub and we may be lucky and hear some traditional music. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 5: We leave the mainland this morning to travel by boat to the island of Eigg. Until recently it was privately owned when the inhabitants were able to buy the island. It is shaped like an upturned boat or lion, surrounded by sparkling water. From a distance it is dominated by a large sharp rock-the Sgurr of Eigg. We will take a walk to the ancient burial ground at Kildonnan church, which is the resting place of the MacDonalds who once owned the island. We continue on to the Bay of Laig and the singing sands from where there are exceptional views across to Skye and Rhum. We pick up the boat and return to Arisaig and another fine dinner in the hotel's excellent restaurant. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6: After breakfast we take a short transfer to the silvery shores of Loch Morar, Scotland's deepest loch at 600 meters. This area recently featured prominently in the film Rob Roy and Local Hero. Having walked along the shore of the lake through shady beach woods we head over the hill to Tarbet, a tiny hamlet, on the shores of Loch Nevis a sea loch. We pick up the post boat back to Mallaig, a traditional port from where boats leave for Skye. From here we take a 30 minute ferry trip to Armadale, the most southerly harbor on Skye. Our base for the next 3 nights is Isle Ornsay also known as Eilean Iarmain, owned by Sir Iain and Lady Noble. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 7: Skye is shaped like a distorted lobster claw and the skyline is dominated by the Cullins, one of Scotland's most impressive mountain range. Gaelic is no longer the first language although there is a strong Gaelic revival in progress. Today we walk in the southerly part of the island; The Sleat Peninsula also called the Garden of Skye. After lunch at the Ardvasar pub we visit the Clan Donald Visitor centre based around Armadale Castle. The original castle was destroyed and what remains dates from 1815 here you can stroll in the mature gardens, visit the Museum of the Isles exhibition, telling the story of the Lord of the Isles and the Clan Donald or trace your Scottish ancestors at the genealogy centre. This evening we eat in the local pub. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 8: Transfer to the small village of Elgol, one of Bonnie Prince Charlie's hiding spots. Here we pick up our boat across Loch Scavaig to Loch Curuisk. This picturesque loch was a popular spot with Victorian tourists and painted by Turner. The setting of the loch is magnificent surrounded by the brooding Cuillin mountains. We take lunch by the side of a loch before returning over the hills. In the afternoon we visit the Gaelic whisky company, Praban na Linne, set up by Sir Iain to supply the Gaelic speaking islands off the north west coast of Scotland. Final night dinner overlooking the lighthouse and the Sound of Sleat. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 9: Transfer to Fort William. Includes: (B).

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- 8 night's accommodation in comfortable three-star hotels
- All breakfasts and meals as specified in the itinerary
- All transfers, tips and gratuities
- The services of a professional tour guide.

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