This 10-day escorted tour of Scotland’s highlands starts with two nights and sightseeing in Edinburgh before crossing Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews—the home of golf. Then it’s off to the highlands through the grand Grampian Mountains to Culloden, where Scottish clans met their fate in the famous battle there. Spend the night in the Highland capital, Inverness, and take a guided tour of a whiskey distillery before heading on to the majestic Dunrobin Castle. Board a ferry from John o’Groats at Britain’s mainland most northerly tip for an excursion to the Orkney Islands. Cross the historic Churchill Barriers at Scapa Flow, then taste the local ale at the famed Orkney Brewery. Visit Skara Brae’s 5,000-year-old ruins of a Neolithic village, and the mystical stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar, regarded as the Orkneys’ “Stonehenge”. Travel along the rugged scenery of the North Coast 500 route, and pass through Durness and Scourie to enjoy traditional fish & chips in the old fishing port of Ullapool. Explore the beautiful Isle of Skye, then ferry across the Sound of Sleat back to the mainland. See the Jacobite monument in Glenfinnan and the viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. Travel through Fort William beneath Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in British Isles), and beautiful Glen Coe. Stay the night in Oban—gateway to Scotland’s Hebridean Islands, including the isles of Mull and Iona on today’s excursion. Travel through the Trossachs’ stunning landscapes, and stop at Loch Lomond en route to Glasgow to conclude your spectacular guided vacation in Scotland.
| EDINBURGH||Welcome dinner; guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle|
| ST. ANDREWS||Visit the home of golf|
| PITLOCHRY||Visit the Victorian mountain resort|
| CULLODEN MOOR||Visit the battle site’s visitor center|
| INVERNESS||Visit the Highland capital|
| ROSS-SHIRE||[LF] Guided tour of the whisky distillery|
| DUNROBIN||Visit the castle and gardens|
| JOHN O’GROATS||Take the ferry to and from the Orkney Islands|
| ORKNEY ISLANDS||Board a local coach for a driver-guide commentary and visits to the Churchill Barriers, Skara Brae and Skaill House, and Kirkwall; visit the [LF] Orkney Brewery and enjoy lunch at the Tasting Hall café|
| ULLAPOOL||[LF] Fish & chips lunch|
| ISLE OF SKYE||Drive across the Inner Hebridean island|
| ARMADALE–MALLAIG||Cross the Sound of Sleat by ferry|
| GLENFINNAN||Take pictures of the monument and the Harry Potter viaduct|
| FORT WILLIAM|
| OBAN||visit the port town in the West Highlands|
| OBAN–CRAIGNURE||Take the return ferry to the Isle of Mull|
| ISLES OF MULL AND IONA||Visit|
| LOCH LOMOND||Take photographs of this stunning spot|
| GLASGOW||Orientation drive, farewell dinner|
Headsets throughout the tour.Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
- Hotels listed may occasionally be substituted with alternate hotels of equivalent standard.
- August 6 through August 27 Departures–Edinburgh Military Tattoo ticket included.
Motorcoach; ferries to/from the Orkney Islands, the Isles of Skye, Mull, and Iona.
Full Scottish breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 6 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus, including a welcome dinner in Edinburgh and a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Glasgow
Day 1 ARRIVE IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
Welcome to Edinburgh! Check into your hotel with the rest of the day to discover the Scottish capital at your own pace. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel Dinner
Day 2 EDINBURGH.
Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and the famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the “Old Town,” visit EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. The afternoon is free. Tonight, don’t miss our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. For departure numbers August 6 through August 27, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle Breakfast
Day 3 EDINBURGH–ST. ANDREWS–PITLOCHRY–INVERNESS.
Travel over the elegant Forth Road Bridge and through Fife to St. Andrews, home of golf and famous university town. Cross the Firth of Tay and from Dundee, head into the Highlands for a visit of the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Drive through the Grampian Mountains and Cairngorms National Park to CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE, that reveals the story of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish clans. Spend the next night in Inverness, the Highland capital.
Today’s Distance: 201 mi / 323 km Breakfast
Day 4 INVERNESS–THURSO.
Continue an unforgettable journey with a guided tour of a [LF] WHISKY DISTILLERY. Then, follow the coast road to majestic DUNROBIN CASTLE, perched on a high terrace above walled gardens and for centuries the seat of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. Overnight in Thurso, the most northerly town on Britain’s mainland. Before dinner, you may choose to join an optional excursion to a local pub.
Today’s Distance: 110 mi / 177 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 5 THURSO. EXCURSION TO THE ORKNEY ISLANDS.
A fascinating day full of adventure. At John o’Groats, board a FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to South Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands, where a local coach and driver-guide await you. Cross the four Churchill Barriers and overlook Scapa Flow, where the German fleet scuttled itself in World War I. After a light LUNCH at the Tasting Hall café, take a guided tour of the award-winning [LF] ORKNEY BREWERY and sample the local ale. Then, head for SKARA BRAE, where you’ll see the fascinating remains of a 5,000-year-old Neolithic village and visit SKAILL HOUSE. Yet more highlights: the Ring of Brodgar, the Orkneys’ Stonehenge, and Kirkwall, the small and picturesque island capital. Return to the mainland by FERRY in the late afternoon.
Today’s Distance: 90 mi / 145 km BreakfastLunch
Day 6 THURSO–DURNESS–ULLAPOOL–GAIRLOCH.
A day to sit back and enjoy The North Coast 500 route. Admire the breathtakingly wild and unspoiled scenery: rugged beaches, convoluted passes, and ghostly ruins. Drive via Durness and Scourie to Ullapool. Visit this pretty fishing port and enjoy a traditional [LF] FISH & CHIPS lunch at a local restaurant. Overnight in Gairloch in the North-West Highlands.
Today’s Distance: 194 mi / 312 km BreakfastLunch Dinner
Day 7 GAIRLOCH–ISLE OF SKYE–FORT WILLIAM–OBAN
Striking landscapes, unusual rock formations, and dramatic waterfalls will capture your attention on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Return to the mainland by FERRY across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig. Pause at Glenfinnan to see the monument to fallen Jacobite clansmen and the famous viaduct well known to Harry Potter fans before reaching Fort William beneath Ben Nevis. Travel through intensely dramatic and scenic Glen Coe, before arriving at Oban, a lively port town on the western coast and gateway to Scotland’s Hebridean islands.
Today’s Distance: 234 / 376 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 8 OBAN. THE ISLES OF MULL AND IONA EXCURSION.
Take the ferry to the Isle of Mull. Land at Craignure and enjoy the scenic drive to the departure point of the passenger ferry across to the beautiful and fascinating Isle of Iona. This is the burial place of many Scottish kings and chiefs, including Macbeth. And it is here that in 563 A.D. St. Columba established one of the first Christian monasteries in the British Isles. Time to visit the cathedral and explore the religious settlement before returning to Oban. (B,D)
Today’s Distance: 94 mi / 151 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 9 OBAN–LOCH LOMOND-GLASGOW.
After time in Oban, travel through The Trossachs with its serene glens, lush forests, and rushing rivers. Admire the stunning scenery of Scotland’s first national park. Enjoy the breathtaking views at the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond on your way to Glasgow for an orientation drive to see the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares built by wealthy tobacco barons. Enjoy free time this afternoon before a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Today’s Distance: 91 mi / 147 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 10 GLASGOW.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.