Kyleakin, Isle of Skye
Eilean Donan Castle
Five Sisters of Kintail
Departing from Edinburgh this memorable three-day tour to the the Isle of Skye-National Geographic’s 4th best island in the world-departs from the City of Edinburgh.
After an early start in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, we go west to Glasgow and then north to our first stop at the picturesque highland village of Luss. It sits on the banks of Loch Lomond and is the perfect place to stretch the legs, breathe pristine highland air and take in the beautiful views across the Loch to Ben Lomond.
We then head north to Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes and scene of perhaps the most brutal episode in Scottish history, The Glencoe Massacre of 1692. From the beauty of Loch Lomond to the wilds of Rannoch Moor, the journey is a spectacular one, but it’s the scale of the Glen that never fails to take the breath away.
Next on the agenda is lunch at Fort William, which sits in the shadow of Britain’s highest peak: Ben Nevis. Then we head north past the Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge, enjoying the stunning views afforded by Glens; Garry, Clunie & Shiel.
Our next stop is at possibly Scotland’s most photographed castle. Eilean Donan Castle is perched on an island at the meeting of three great sea lochs and its location has inspired movie makers the world over. Classic films like Highlander, The World is Not Enough and the Bollywood blockbuster Kutch Kutch Hota Hai have all used Eilean Donan as a dramatic backdrop.
From here it’s a short journey for an early evening arrival in Kyleakin – a beautiful coastal town not far from the controversial Skye Bridge. There’s plenty time for a stroll and a meal before settling down for a good night’s rest.
After a hearty Scottish breakfast we’re ready for a full, day-long tour of this beautiful island.
The vagaries of the Scottish weather mean day two is flexible. Your expert Tour Leader will ensure you see the sights and attractions best suited to the prevailing conditions.
And there really is so much to see on Skye.
There’s the azure blue of the River Brittle’s fairy pools. Some brave souls are even tempted in to the clear, cold water for some wild swimming! The Trotternish peninsula and its unique geological features is another popular choice and this option can include a stop at the Faerie Glen – 365 almost inexplicable grassy, cone-shaped hills. In a leap year, they say you’ll find 366!
There is also the Skye Museum of Island Life. Although closed in the winter months it is still possible to see the traditional preserved cottages and to get a fascinating insight into how life was on the island over 100 years ago.
We’ll head to the Quiraing and its incredible rock formations, none more spectacular than Kilt Rock – a 90-metre-tall column of basalt with ‘pleats’ resembling a kilt – before we go south past the Old Man of Storr and on to Portree, the largest town on the island.
There’s time to explore this bustling port and the cultural centre of Skye before we return to Kyleakin and enjoy a relaxing evening on the coast.
As we leave Skye, once again passing over the Skye Bridge, we get off the beaten track to the Glenelg Viewpoint and the breath-taking views over Loch Duich and the Five Sisters of Kintail.
We then travel towards Urquhart Castle (ruins), following the shoreline of Loch Ness. A perfect spot for those wishing to try their hand at spotting the elusive Loch Ness Monster; the castle sits close to the deepest parts of the loch. Here there is the option for you to explore Urquhart Castle & Visitor Centre and/or take the superb Loch Ness by Jacobite Cruise.
From Loch Ness we will travel to Inverness, the Highland capital. There, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and a relaxing stroll along the River Ness.
A couple of miles south of Inverness lies the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Balnuaran of Clava. The burial cairns were built 4000 years ago and are beautifully preserved. It’s a wonderful setting that is well worth a look, so we stop in order to give you the opportunity to explore.
The journey continues down through the Cairngorms National Park and Grampian mountains. We go past the pristine Blair Castle (home to the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s last remaining private army) and on to the Victorian town of Pitlochry. This busy little town is the perfect place to stop for refreshments and possibly even some retail therapy.
Edinburgh is our next and final stop but this is not the time for a quick nap. Just a few miles out from the city we cross the mighty Firth of Forth where you can marvel at the engineering masterpiece that is the Forth Rail Bridge before enjoying your evening in Scotland’s Capital.