A tour to tease the palette - 8 days to immerse yourself on the world famous isle of Islay, a whisky connoisseurs dream, before enjoying a four island fest including the rolling mountains of gentle Mull, the spiritual and ever peaceful island of Iona, the extraordinary and inspiring island of Staffa and the dramatics and majesty of the island of Skye.
DAY 1: EDINBURGH - OBAN- KILMARTIN - KENNACRAIG - BOWMORE
Leaving Edinburgh at 08.30 you will head west to Stirling and into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments. After travelling through the mountainous northern part of the Loch Lomond National Park you will arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. You will have a couple of hours here with the chance to visit the Oban Distillery and sample some local seafood for lunch. You will then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey to Kennacraig to catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over 2 hours and you should look out for wildlife such as dolphins, whales and seabirds. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your 3 night stay
DAY 2: BOWMORE - EXPLORE ISLAY
A full day exploring Islay. The itinerary today is quite flexible with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, short walks and of course the famous Islay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavours and nurtured by the salty sea air. In the morning we will take the short drive to the west of the island via Saligo Bay for a visit to Kilchoman Distillery (the newest and smallest on the island) with the option of a coastal walk to Machair Bay for any non-whisky lovers. After lunch here you will travel to the tiny harbour village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) then take the back roads along the west coast with its lovely sandy bays, on the way back to Bowmore. You will have the chance to visit Bowmore Distillery or just relax and explore the village.
DAY 3: BOWMORE - EXPLORE ISLAY
Another day in paradise! Today you will explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies – Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We will make photo stops at the first two then visit Ardbeg for a tour, tasting and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy local produce as well as some unique whisky. We follow this up with a visit to Laphroaig and if time allows a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin. It should also be possible to visit to the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic Cross. Alternatively we may stop in Bridgend where you could visit the community craft producers at Islay House Square or take a walk through the woods along the nearby River Sorn.
DAY 4: BOWMORE - OBAN
This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland and travel the short distance to Kilmartin Glen where we will have lunch. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin and you will have the chance to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From here the tour continues round the coast to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne.
You will say goodbye to this group here, and will be collected by your new guide and group on the morning of day 5.
You will have a free afternoon in Oban to enjoy this bustling and busy highland town. For those who are partial to some retail therapy, there are numerous shopping possibilities, or for those who wish to continue their thirst for Scottish whisky, Oban distillery is nicely situated in the heart of the town. A hike uphill will bring its own rewards with stunning views from the most photographed structure in the west, McCaig’s folly. The folly built on instruction by a local banker in 1897 resembles the coliseum in Rome, and provides magnificent vistas over the distant Firth of Lorne. You will stay in this glorious highland town for 2 nights.
DAY 5: OBAN - MULL - IONA - STAFFA - OBAN
An early start crossing on the ferry to Mull and enjoying an island adventure exploring her dramatic coastlines and wild beauty, before taking the small ferry to the peace and tranquility of Iona - birthplace of Celtic Christianity and ancient burial ground of Scottish Kings. Here you can visit the historic abbey with its intricate carved crosses in the churchyard or explore the rocky headlands and sandy coves of this island gem. There is also an opportunity to take a small boat out to the island of Staffa (except Saturday departures in September) and view the dramatic basalt columns immortalised by Mendelssohn in his Hebridean Overture "Fingal's Cave". You then return on the ferry to Oban for your second night.
DAY 6: OBAN - GLENCOE - FORT WILLIAM - EILEAN DONAN CASTLE - POTREE (SKYE)
We go north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker, and Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. You then pass through Fort William nestling in the shadow of Ben Nevis which at 1344 meters is the highest mountain in the British Isles. We continue through the Great Glen a natural fault in the earth’s crust that runs through Scotland and on through Ireland. From here you travel north to the picturesque fishing village of Plockton. You are then dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening
DAY 7: A DAY TRAVELLING AROUND SKYE
A very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and we take passengers preferences into account. For example: heading west towards the 13th century home of the Clan Macleod - Dunvegan Castle, the emerald green valley of Glendale or the dramatic seacliffs and lonely lighthouse at Neist Point. In the afternoon the tour may concentrate on the south of the island. Spend time heading down to Elgol for seascapes and views of the Cuillin, or Talisker and its beautiful bay or perhaps Glenbrittle and its famed waterfalls. We return you to your accommodation in Plockton in the late afternoon for you to enjoy a free evening in the village.
DAY 8: POTREE - LOCH NESS - EDINBURGH
You will be collected from your accommodation and travel south through the Cuillin Hills and back over to the mainland for stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Onto Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting "Nessie". There is a boat trip (Summer only) available here that will get you that bit closer! Heading south now through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, made famous now as "Monarch of the Glen Country" before passing Dawhinnie, home to Scotland's highest whisky Distillery, and onwards into Perthshire where we stop for refreshments before heading back to Edinburgh past Perth and over the Forth Road Bridge. Arriving at 19.00 approx.
For departure details refer to the "Prices, Dates, and What's Included" Section...
ISLAY, MULL AND SKYE 8 DAY TOUR
Prices, Dates & What's Included:
Departs: 08:30 | Returns: 20:00 approx
Departure Point: Tour departs from Gate J & Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh
Departs: Friday - April 06 to October 26 (except May 25 and June 1)
Prices Per Person (including accommodation)
B&B Double/Twin Room Price From £942 to £1,052 (GBP)
B&B Single Room Price £1,188 to £1,298 (GBP)
Hotel Double/Twin Room Price £1,078 to £1,188 (GBP)
Hotel Single Room Price £1,408 to £1,518 (GBP)
Click Book This Tour to find pricing on specific dates
**children are not accepted. See below for more price notes