Scottish Isles & Glens Tour

B= Breakfast; L= Lunch, D= Dinner

Day 1: Glasgow Arrival & City Tour

Your Scottish trip starts at 2:30 pm when you meet your tour director at your Glasgow hotel and set out on an introductory tour of central Glasgow. This is a city that flourished in Victorian times due to the shipbuilding industry and international trade. Drive around George Square with its ornate City Chambers and visit Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house built in 1471. The house was originally part of a hospital and has been extensively restored and furnished. Join your tour director and travel companions for a welcome drink before dinner. (D)

Day 2: Loch Lomond & Oban Distillery

Travel into the Highlands as you drive alongside the lovely shores of Loch Lomond and embark on a short cruise to admire the scenery all around, including views of Ben Lomond. Drive to the town of Inveraray, a planned Georgian town with wide streets and fine stone houses. Spend some time there to look at the elegant buildings set along the shoreline. Continue your drive to Oban, a bustling town on the west coast, and visit Oban Distillery to see how whisky is distilled and sample some at the end of the tour. (B, D)

Day 3: Isles of Mull & Iona

Take a ferry ride from Oban to the Isle of Mull, which is one of the most beautiful of the Inner Hebrides. After a scenic drive across the mountains of Mull, take another short ferry ride to the tiny, peaceful Isle of Iona. Visit Iona Abbey, Scotland’s first Christian settlement, which was founded by the Irish missionary Saint Columba during the 6th century. It was an important ecclesiastical center throughout the Middle Ages and was the burial place of many Scottish kings. Today it forms a vibrant and active ecumenical community. Enjoy some free time to take a stroll around the Abbey buildings and island before returning to Mull and onwards to Oban by coach and ferry. (B, D)

Day 4: Clan Donald Centre & Eilean Donan Castle

Travel the scenic “Road to the Isles” and pause at the Glenfinnan Monument, which marks the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard, thus beginning the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Cross by ferry to the Isle of Skye, often called the “Misty Isle” due to the showers that drift across the mountains. Visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to discover the history of the clans of the region. Cross back to the mainland by bridge to visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle. The first fortified castle was built in the 13th century and partially ruined in 1719. Check in to your charming family-owned hotel near Kyle of Lochalsh. (B, D)

Day 5: Isle of Skye & Dunvegan Castle

Today explore more of the Isle of Skye and its strong Bonnie Prince Charlie associations. He fled to the island after his defeat at Culloden Moor. Travel to Dunvegan Castle, stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years, making it the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. View priceless family heirlooms and stroll through formal gardens. Stop in Portree for a look at brightly-painted houses around a large bay. Return to your hotel in time for dinner. (B, D)

Day 6: Inverewe Gardens & Ullapool

Enjoy Highland scenery as you drive north along the west coast to visit Inverewe Gardens, where a haven of trees and shrubs was created from 50 acres of bleak headland in 1862. Continue to Ullapool, an active fishing and ferry port that was built in 1788 to provide a living for the people in this region. Take a brief drive around the town and check in to your hotel. (B, D)

Day 7: Highland Scenery & Durness

Travel through one of Scotland’s most sparselypopulated regions. Stop in Durness, a remote hamlet and also in Bettyhill, a village built in 1814 to replace crofts destroyed by the Highland Clearances. Learn about this historic period when peasants were forced off the land. Continue to Thurso to visit the Caithness Horizons Museum and then check in to your hotel. (B, D)

Day 8: Isle of Orkney & Skara Brae

Take a ferry ride from the mainland to explore the largest island of Orkney. Visit Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old village, to see remains of dwellings. View the Ring of Brodgar, a circle of prehistoric standing stones and see 12th century St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Drive across the Churchill Barriers, created during World War II and see the Italian Chapel, built from two Nissen huts. Return to the mainland by ferry. (B, D)

Day 9: John o’ Groats & Dunrobin Castle

Drive along the coast to John o’ Groats, the most northerly village on the British mainland. Visit Dunrobin Castle, dating to 1275, to see the dining room, music room and library with over 10,000 volumes. Watch a demonstration of falconry in the castle gardens to see trained birds of prey. Continue south to your hotel in Strathpeffer, a charming Victorian spa town. (B, D)

Day 10: Urquhart Castle & Culloden

Drive along the shores of Loch Ness to visit the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle, destroyed in Jacobite wars. Stop at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre to learn about the conflict where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in 1746. Walk around the moor and see monuments to the various regiments who lost men during the battle. Visit the vast ramparts at Fort George, planned in 1747 as an English army base. Return to Strathpeffer in time to relax before dinner. (B, D)

Day 11: Sheepdog Trials & Scone Palace

Drive past the majestic Cairngorm Mountains to Leault Farm where skilled dogs herd sheep through various obstacles. Continue south to visit Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish kings. It has been associated with many royal figures including King Charles II, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary, Queen of Scots. Travel south to Edinburgh and dine at a Scottish Evening featuring local specialties and enjoy a fun show with bagpipes and music. (B, D)

Day 12: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour

This morning discover Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. See the wide streets and elegant mansions of the 200-year-old Georgian “New Town” and walk along part of the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city where some houses reach 11 stories tall. Finish your tour at the imposing Edinburgh Castle to see historic buildings, the Stone of Scone and the Scottish Crown Jewels. Also appreciate great panoramic views over the city from the ramparts. The afternoon and evening are free. On July 31 to August 16 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. (B)

Day 13: Tour Ends or Extend your Stay

For clients on our 13-day tour, your program ends after breakfast. If you have booked our 14 day tour, spend the day on an independent hop-on hop-off bus tour of Edinburgh; there are different routes that you may choose. (B)

Day 14: Depart Edinburgh for Home

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)