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4 Day tours from Edinburgh

Isle of Skye, The Highlands & Loch Ness 4 Day Tour from Edinburgh

Our four day tour to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh gives you the time and space to sit back and fully absorb the colours and textures of the Highlands and the wonder of Scotland’s most romantic island. Declared 4th best island destination by National Geographic, the Isle of Skye has spectacular natural beauty and vistas that will live up to its world-wide reputation as an island that must be visited. You’ll tick off lochs, glens, mountains, castles and wildernesses. You can choose to take a one-way trip on the Jacobite Steam Train over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous in Harry Potter films as the route to Hogwarts and one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys.

Important: Please check the “Details and FAQs” tab for the precise days/dates when the Jacobite Steam Train is operating.

Main Departure Point
Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh

Costs:
Adults 16-59: £179.00 – £249.00
Seniors 60+, Students: £169.00 – £239.00
Children 5-15: £169.00 – £239.00

Please note we are unable to take children under 5.

See the Details & FAQ tab for optional extra costs and further information.

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Guaranteed departures & hotel pickups*

Certificate of Excellence Winner 2011- 2018

Day 1

Departing from Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, we call into Glasgow before heading for the idyllic Highland village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. In summer the villagers deck their gardens and streets with fantastic floral displays but the colour and scents of the conservation village today belie its brutal past when the Vikings raided this area. Evidence of their lawless legacy can be seen in the 11th century ‘hogback’ Viking grave, a striking stone-carved sculpture.

From Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park our Highland road trip continues to Fort William via Glencoe, Scotland’s most infamous glen. As the mountains seem to close in on the road it’s not difficult to imagine the sights and sounds of a shameful episode in Scottish history, the massacre of the MacDonalds by the Campbells in 1692.

Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest peak at an eye-watering 4413 feet, heralds our arrival in Fort William where we’ll have lunch. This is where you can jump aboard the Jacobite Steam Train to our next destination of Mallaig. The route takes in the Glenfinnan Viaduct, now better known as the ‘Harry Potter bridge’ as it’s the route to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This two-hour, one-way journey is often described as one of the world’s most beautiful.

There are magical sights to enjoy from the train. The Glenfinnan Monument at the head of stunning Loch Shiel is a breath-taking view loved by painters, film-makers and photographers for over 200 years. And it’s the location of a famous chapter in Scottish history as it marks the spot where, in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie gathered his supporters in a vain attempt to reinstate the exiled Stuarts as Great Britain and Ireland’s monarchs. The monument was erected in 1815 as a poignant reminder of the clansmen who lost their lives to the Jacobite cause.

Another poignant location to take in is Loch Eilt, often a backdrop in the Harry Potter movies. Its island was chosen as the final resting place for Dumbeldore and its waters are where a sad Hagrid is seen skimming stones in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

For those of you opting not to take the train, why not enjoy Fort William for a spell before continuing to Mallaig in our luxury mini coach where we’ll all meet up. There, we board the ferry that transports us to the Isle of Skye and after a 30-minute drive we arrive in the small fishing village of Kyleakin where we’ll spend the next three nights.

Please note: Subject to it operating, we take the ferry to the Isle of Skye from Easter onwards.

Days 2 & 3

We offer a flexible itinerary for your two full days on the romantic Isle of Skye so that you can enjoy the best of this stunning island while taking the weather into account. But whatever the conditions, you’ll be enchanted by the natural wonders, wildlife and culture of Scotland’s most famous isle. Skye never disappoints.

One of Skye’s defining vistas is its mountain range the Black Cuillins and at nearby Glenbrittle you can trek to the bright blue waters of the Fairy Pools. These sparkling ponds offer magical photographs and you can even swim in them if you’re brave enough! In good weather we’ll try to get to Elgol where you can take a leisurely boat trip or a more exhilarating, wind-in-your-hair ride on a RIB. Either way, this is one of the best ways to see the Cuillins up close. You might even spot basking sharks, minke whales and dolphins.

You’ll have time to explore Skye’s largest town Portree, a busy port and cultural centre.

While the south of Skye is lush and fertile, the north is defined by a peculiar geological landscape that’s on the wish-list of travellers and explorers the world over. We’ll stop at another magical location, the Faerie Glen, a curious collection of little grassy hills. Try counting them and see if the legend is correct – it’s said there are 365 but 366 in a leap year!

As we head into the craggy landscape of the Trotternish Peninsula we’ll stop at the Quiraing, a natural wonder created by a geological landslip. Your friendly driver-guide will point out Kilt Rock, a basalt column 90 metres high that looks like our national dress! You can also capture stunning photographs of Mealt waterfall and the Old Man of Storr, a rocky pinnacle also created by a massive landslide.

Skye is the location of one of Scotland’s most celebrated lighthouses and it’s worth the drive along narrow, winding roads to reach Neist Point where you’ll feel like you’re teetering on the edge of the world.

We may visit one of Skye’s distilleries for a dram of Scotch whisky or call in at Dunvegan Castle or Armadale Castle Gardens & Museum.

Day 4

Our Scottish road trip continues over the Skye Bridge which controversially replaced the more traditional ferry crossings in 1995. Our first stop is at Eilean Donan Castle and it’s easy to see why it adorns paintings, photographs and calendars as it sits atop its own little island where three sea lochs meet. This is also an iconic film location from movies such as Highlander, James Bond favourite The World is Not Enough and the Bollywood blockbuster Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

For breath-taking views of Loch Duich and the mountain ridge known as the Five Sisters of Kintail, we’ll take you off the regular tourist route and visit Glenelg viewpoint. From there our road trip continues to Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal and lunch.

You can have a stroll and learn more about the construction of the Canal, said to be one of the great waterways of the world. Or, if you didn’t go boating on Skye, you might fancy hunting for the legendary ‘monster’ Nessie on a one-hour cruise on Loch Ness.

From there we traverse the Grampian Mountains and Laggan, countryside made famous by TV’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’, to land in Scotland’s ‘Big Tree Country of Perthshire’.

Our final break is in Dunkeld where we’ll take a closer look at the ancient Cathedral that’s part picturesque ruin and part functioning church. In the 9th century the first King of Scots, Kenneth MacAlpin, built a church here and made Dunkeld head of the Celtic Church and capital of Scotland. The present church dates from 1318 and was partly destroyed during the 16th century Reformation.

Our journey back to Edinburgh sees us crossing the Firth of Forth and taking in three of its famous bridges. We’ll drive over the £1.3 billion Queensferry Crossing which opened in August 2017. It’s the longest bridge of its type anywhere in the world at 2.7km and Britain’s highest at 210m. Next door is the former main road, the Forth Road Bridge, and just left is the iconic Forth Bridge, a UNESCO world heritage site. Its three red cantilevers are monument to a major achievement in modern railway engineering and the bridge still holds the record as the longest cantilever bridge on earth.

Image of  Loch Duich and the 5 sisters of Kintail © Visit Scotland

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Departure & Return Information
Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place (opposite the Apex Hotel)
Edinburgh
At the end of this tour you can return to Edinburgh or Glasgow. All you need to do is email us (include your booking reference number) at tours@discoverscotlandtours.com and we will arrange this with your tour driver-guide.

Operates
Every Friday from 19th Apr  - 27th Sept 2019
Check in 07.45
Departs  08.00
Returns  19.30

Important
Please note if you are late in arriving at your departure point and as a consequence miss your tour you will not be entitled to a refund.

Tour Inclusions
Costs are for transportation by air-conditioned 16 seat mini-coach and the services of an English speaking driver-guide.
The ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye.

Tour Exclusions
Accommodation, lunch, refreshments and entry fees to visitor attractions.

Children
We regret that we do not carry children under the age of 5 on our scheduled tours.

Luggage Limits
Luggage is restricted to one medium sized suitcase/ bag (maximum weight 15 kg) and one small carry-on bag per person.

Jacobite Steam Train
Jacobite Steam Train tickets are available for this tour on the following dates only.
Friday's from 17th May - 13th Sept.
Unfortunately we are unable to upgrade standard tickets to first class.

Mallaig to Isle of Skye Ferry
Between 19th Apr and 27th Sept 2019, we travel by ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye.

Hotel Departures
Unfortunately we do not offer a hotel pick up service on our multi-day tours.

Tour Highlights

Day 1
Glasgow, Luss, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Ben Nevis, Fort William, Glenfinnan, Jacobite Steam Train (specific dates), Mallaig ferry to Skye & Kyleakin.

Days 2 & 3
The Fairy Pools, The Faerie Glen, The Cuillin Mountains, Elgol, Neist Point, The Quiraing, Kilt Rock, The Old Man of Storr, Portree, Dunvegan Castle and a whisky distillery tour. Your driver-guide will ensure you experience the best that Skye has to offer based on the prevailing conditions.

Day 4
Eilean Donan Castle, Five Sisters of Kintail, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Cairngorms National Park, Grampian Mountains, Blair Castle, Dunkeld & the Queensferry Crossing.

Optional Extras

Jacobite Steam Train (17th May to 13th Sept only)
Adults £31.75
Seniors £31.75
Students £31.75
Children £18.75 (5-15)

Elgol Boat Cruise
Adults £20.00
Seniors £18.00
Students £18.00
Children £14.00 (5-15)

Elgol Rib Ride (limited availability)
Adults £30.00
Seniors 28.00
Students £28.00
Children  £20.00 (5-15)

Eilean Donan Castle
Adults £7.00
Seniors £7.00
Students £7.00
Children £6.00

Loch Ness Boat Cruise
Adults £15.00
Seniors £14.00
Students £15.00
Children £9.00

Distillery Tours
The cost varies slightly from distillery to distillery but as a rough guide it is around £10.00 per person to participate in a tour of the distillery which includes a wee dram.

All attractions are payable in cash on the day.

FAQs

Where does the tour stay overnight?

We stay in the village of Kyleakin for all 3 nights of our tour (please note during peak season some of our passengers may be allocated accommodation in the villages nearby to Kyleakin).

The village has some restaurants for evening dining and a shop should you require any necessities.

Can you reserve my accommodation?

Yes, we can reserve both B&B & hostel accommodation for you. There is an option to request your preferred accommodation when booking. You will then receive a confirmation email containing details of your accommodation provider & the exact cost of your stay.

Payment is made directly to the accommodation provider in Skye.

What is the price for accommodation?

The guide price for accommodation is as follows:

B&B double/twin room: £90.00 - £110.00 per room per night based on 2 people sharing.
B&B single occupancy: £80.00 - £90.00 per room per night
Hostel: £17.50 - £24.00 for a mixed dorm bed.
We provide a guide price as each establishment has their own pricing structure. Our accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis so an exact cost will not be known until you have booked and we can confirm what is available.

Can I book my own accommodation?

You can self-book your accommodation should you wish to. The accommodation must be in the village of Kyleakin and we ask that you let the accommodation provider know that you are travelling with us.

If you choose to book your own accommodation, please inform us where you are staying as soon as possible.

How much luggage can we bring?

Our luggage allowance is medium suitcase weighing no more than 15kg per person plus a small handbag/laptop bag which can be brought on to the coach. This allowance is set based on the overall weight limit of the coach and therefore can not be altered.

There are left luggage facilities in both Glasgow and Edinburgh Train Stations and Edinburgh Bus Station if you require to store luggage while you are on tour.

Will we be dropped off and picked up at our accommodation on Skye?

Yes while on Skye, your Tour Leader will drop you off each evening and collect you at a designated time each morning.

Please ensure you are ready in plenty of time each morning.

What can we do if we don’t want to participate in an optional extra?

All attractions are optional. Should you wish not to visit an attraction then your driver-guide will provide you with information of any alternative options in the area, this may be local walks or the location of a nearby coffee shop.

Will I be able to pay by credit card while on tour?

In the Scottish Highlands many businesses do not accept card, particularly in rural areas where mobile signals are not very strong. Optional extras are also paid in cash to your driver. Therefore, it is best to bring cash with you.

There are cash machines on route should you require to take out money while on tour.

Are we guaranteed a seat on the Jacobite Steam Train?

We have standard class tickets for each seat on our tours on Friday’s from 17th May – 13th Sept. Unfortunately we are unable to upgrade standard tickets to First Class as the Jacobite Steam Train does not offer one way First Class tickets.

Does the 4-day tour visit a Whisky Distillery?

Yes, on our 4 day tour your driver-guide will arrange a whisky distillery tour.

Check in 07.45: Departs 08.00 - Returns 19.30

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