Kilchurn Castle - Private 4 Day Tour Isle of Mull, Iona and the Highlands
Private 4 Day Tour - Isle of Mull, Iona and the Highlands
Journey through ancient Celtic lands to discover sacred sites and iconic landscapes that have shaped Scotland’s fascinating story. From standing stones and Hebridean shores to stately castles and Speyside whisky, this 4-day odyssey has something for everyone.
Day 1 Our first stop is the charming village of Luss on the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond. Time for coffee and photographs, including Ben Lomond the famous mountain overlooking the loch. From here our scenic drive takes us through the Arrochar Alps and over the mountain pass known as the Rest and Be Thankful. There is a wonderful photo opportunity at the summit.
We stop for lunch in Inveraray, a picture-postcard village on the shores of Loch Fyne. You can visit romantic Inveraray Castle, ancestral home of the Dukes of Argyll, and stroll through the pretty whitewashed town where attractions include the Inveraray Jail.
Over 5000 years of human history can be traced in Kilmartin Glen including standing stone circles and Dunadd Hill Fort, home to the earliest Gaelic kings
Our final stops of the day are in fascinating and spiritual Kilmartin Glen, mainland Scotland’s most important archaeological landscape. Over 5000 years of human history can be traced here. Of particular interest are the prehistoric monuments such as the standing stone circles, burial chambers and Dunadd Hill Fort, home to the earliest Gaelic kings.
Our base for 2 nights is the picturesque harbour town of Oban, ‘Gateway to the Isles’. You will be dropped off at your accommodation and have free time to explore the many restaurants and enjoy the magnificent view from McCaigs Tower, a prominent landmark overlooking Oban and the Isle of Mull.
Day 2 We take the morning ferry (50 mins) to the stunning Hebridean island of Mull and spend the rest of the day soaking in all the wonders this unique and diverse island has to offer, including a short ferry trip to the Isle of Iona and its world-famous Abbey.
Our first stop is 13th century Duart Castle. From its shoreline location the castle boasts fabulous views across the Sound of Mull. This is the ancestral seat of the Clan Maclean who have lived here for over 700 years.
We travel to the small coastal hamlet of Fionnphort and take a short ferry ride to the island of Iona. Surrounded by glorious turquoise waters and golden beaches, Iona is the cradle of Celtic Christianity because of the arrival of St Columba in 563AD. It is still one of the most important religious centres in Western Europe.
Surrounded by glorious turquoise waters and golden beaches, Iona is the cradle of Celtic Christianity
There is plenty of time to explore the island where you can visit the internationally renowned Abbey (including Museum of history and Celtic heritage) with its magnificent Celtic crosses and headstones. Alternatively, you can enjoy a stroll along the golden beaches.
There are some fantastic photo opportunities on our return to Craignure from where the iconic black and red Caledonian MacBrayne ferry takes us back to Oban and mainland Scotland. There are also wildlife spotting opportunities en route including seals, sea birds and the occasional whale, dolphin or otter.
Day 3 Our day begins with a ‘Highland cow safari’ through Glen Lonan and a face-to-face meeting with our hairy friends, everyone’s favourite photo stop!
We continue to Kilchurn Castle, one of Scotland’s most photographed fortresses. Situated on a rocky peninsula it is spectacularly surrounded by the waters of Loch Awe. A short walk leads us to this evocative and picturesque ruin, one of Clan Campbell’s greatest castles.
The mountains and lochs of Rannoch Moor provide a dramatic backdrop for our journey to Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous of all Scotland’s glens and our stop for lunch. This stunning valley is where the bloody massacre of the MacDonalds took place in 1692. You may even recognise this part of the Highlands, used as a backdrop for many movies including Skyfall.
We drive through Fort William and stop for a photo of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Continuing along the Great Glen we arrive at the picturesque village of Fort Augustus at Loch Ness. Here on the banks of the world's most mysterious stretch of water you will have time to monster hunt by boat or from the shores of the loch itself. We continue along the full length of the loch for a photo of famous Urquhart Castle.
Continuing along the Great Glen we arrive at picturesque Loch Ness. There's time to monster hunt by boat or from the shores of the loch itself
Our overnight stay is in the northernmost city of the UK and pretty capital of the Highlands, Inverness. There are numerous pubs, cafés and restaurants for evening entertainment.
Day 4 After being collected from your accommodation it's only a short drive to Culloden Moor where the Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in 1746, the last battle to be fought on British soil. You will have time to walk on the battlefield and learn more about this tragedy, including the action that killed 700 Highland clansmen in three minutes.
More than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries are in Speyside and our journey to the world’s most famous whisky-making region takes us through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park to Glenlivet Distillery. You will be guided through this internationally acclaimed whisky distillery and have the opportunity to taste its famous ‘water of life’, crafted in this remote and beautiful setting.
Our journey to Speyside takes us through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park to Glenlivet Malt Whisky Distillery
Our journey continues to the picturesque Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, a superb open-air living museum and fantastic insight into Highland heritage and life over the last 300 years. An Outlander filming location, the thatched-roof croft houses and displays provide an authentic village setting in the heart of the Highlands.
Our 4-day adventure finishes at The Hermitage near Dunkeld. This lovely riverside walk takes us past one of the tallest trees in Britain to a spectacular waterfall and viewpoint where salmon can often be seen leaping the falls. A lovely way to finish the tour.