Journey through the Highlands to the magical and misty island of Skye, famous for its wild coastal scenery and the spectacular Cuillin mountain range. The itinerary includes stops at Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Coe, Loch Ness and a full day tour around Skye, with two nights in the picturesque harbour town of Portree.
Our first stop is Dunkeld, a delightful Highland village with a history stretching back to the 8th century. Time for morning coffee and a visit to the ancient cathedral grounds, beautifully situated in mature woodlands beside the mighty River Tay.
Eilean Donan Castle
We continue north through the Cairngorms National Park and alongside Loch Laggan before stopping for lunch.
Following the Great Glen we stop for photos of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. Travelling through spectacular mountain scenery, we stop at Loch Garry for a famous photo opportunity before continuing through stunning Glen Shiel to reach Eilean Donan Castle.
Perhaps the most iconic image of Highland Scotland, the castle has been used as the backdrop for countless famous movies. It is perfectly situated on a small island, surrounded by water and fabulous scenery - a ‘must-see’ Scottish castle. From here we drive across the Skye Bridge and under the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains to Portree, the island’s tiny capital where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. (Occasionally we will base the tour elsewhere on Skye if accommodation in Portree is scarce. You will be informed if this is necessary).
Today is spent touring the Isle of Skye and, depending on weather conditions, the itinerary is flexible and at the discretion of your driver/guide. We enjoy a half-day scenic drive along the dramatic Trotternish Ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Stops can include Lealt Waterfall, Kilt Rock sea cliffs, the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle and a walk at the Quiraing mountain pass.
The Cuillin mountains and Skye
One of our favourite stops is the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the 'wee people'! Other highlights of the island include a drive to the most westerly point on Skye and a walk to Neist Point lighthouse for spectacular views to the Western Isles. Another popular stop is the emerald green valley of Glen Brittle, nestled under the mighty Cuillin Mountains.
Here you can enjoy a walk to the enchanting Fairy Pools or stroll on the beautiful sandy beach. The 13th century home of the Clan McLeod, Dunvegan Castle, is also a popular attraction and Talisker malt whisky distillery offers tours and a chance to taste the famous ‘water of life’. Both Dunvegan and Talisker are primarily wet-weather options, useful because of Skye's famously changeable weather!
After returning to the mainland we drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail, a high mountain ridge rising steeply from sea level. The five distinctly pointed summits are a well known landmark. Next stop is famous Loch Ness - Scotland’s legendary lake and home to the elusive monster!
At the picturesque village of Fort Augustus you will have time to take a stroll at Loch Ness and along the canal and lock system built by Thomas Telford in the early 1800s.
The Wee Red Bus at Strathfillan
We continue through Fort William to perhaps the most famous of all Scotland’s glens, Glen Coe. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the MacDonalds took place in 1692, one of the most notorious acts in Scotland’s long and violent history.
There’ll be time for photos of the wild scenery before continuing to Tyndrum for a break. As we approach the Lowlands we drive past the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle where you’ll hear about Scotland’s great patriots William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Their names have resounded through British history for 700 years - a fitting conclusion to a wonderful trip!