Orkney, the Outer Hebrides & the Isle of Skye

10 DAYS

Trip Info


Adult
from$1775
Concession
from$1745

Experience Scotland beyond the classic tourist trail on this incredible adventure through the Highlands, Orkney Islands, Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye. We embark on a journey across wild landscapes, over the sea, and along the coast. Discover natural wonders, Neolithic monuments, and castles which have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Learn about Vikings, national heroes, famous royals and mythical creatures. 

Highlights

  • Glencoe
  • Loch Ness
  • Highland Capital Inverness
  • Dunrobin Castle
  • Ferry from Gills Bay to St Margaret’s Hope
  • Skara Brae village
  • Ring of Brodgar standing stones
  • Tomb of the Eagles
  • Callanish Standing Stones
  • Whisky Distillery tour
  • Ullapool fishing village
  • Dunkeld village and cathedral
  • Sections of legendary North Coast 500 route
  • Dun Carloway, Iron Age Broch

Inclusions

  • Local Scottish Guide
  • 9 nights Bed and Breakfast
  • Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
  • Tomb of the Eagles
  • Skara Brae
  • Highland Park Whisky Distillery visit
  • All ferry crossings
  • Souvenir Map

Explore more

  • Jacobite Steam Train (add at the time of booking)
  • The Battle of Bannockburn Experience
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum to the Isles
  • Island Whisky Distillery visit
Tour Map

Select a date to book!


Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

Available
Full

Limited Seats

Itinerary


DAY 1: Edinburgh to Inverness

We depart Edinburgh at 08.30am and journey north towards Bannockburn; site of the famous battle won by ‘Outlaw King’ Robert the Bruce. Learn about William Wallace as we pass Stirling Castle, and look out for Doune Castle, which appears in Outlander, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, and Game of Thrones. Soak up the dramatic scenery in Glencoe and catch a glimpse of the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis – on our journey towards Loch Ness. Learn about the legend of the ‘Nessie’, the Loch Ness monster, on our visit to the loch, before we continue onto Inverness. We arrive in Inverness, where we will be spending the night. Free time in Inverness; enjoy a walk along the River Ness or to Inverness Castle for views of the city, then a wander round the various bars and restaurants.

Day 2: Inverness to Orkney

Today we follow the popular North Coast 500 road-trip route to the town of Golspie, where we visit the impressive Dunrobin Castle. Keep an eye out for the local seal colony along the way! Our destination is the very top of Scotland, where we experience the Caithness coastline, before catching the ferry to the Orkney Islands, over the powerful Pentland Firth. After disembarking, a short drive sees us arrive in to our accommodation for the night.

DAY 3: Orkney

After some free time to explore after breakfast, prepare for an exciting day touring the cultural attractions on South Ronaldsay, the bottom island of the archipelago. Visit the mysterious Tomb of the Eagles, an ancient burial tomb, and revel in the artefacts gathered by the team of archaeologists who uncovered its story. From there, we cross the Churchill Barriers and drive alongside Scapa Flow to visit the Italian Chapel; former military huts converted into a stunning place of worship by Italian Prisoners of War in the 1940s, and an example of breathtaking artistic abilities. Finish the day with a tour of one of Scotland’s most famous distilleries, Highland Park. 

DAY 4: Orkney

Our second full day on Orkney begins with a journey back through time to the Neolithic period, on our visit to the Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones, and then the mind-blowing Skara Brae; a well-preserved village hidden for thousands of years by the sand dunes. Next, we explore the north end of Orkney mainland, for the chance to see impressive sea cliffs, famed for their puffin colonies. Learn about wartime mariners and old Norse myths, before returning to Kirkwall for the evening.

DAY 5: Orkney to Ullapool

This morning we board the ferry, crossing back over the Pentland Firth. Keep your eyes peeled for marine life such as seals and dolphins - it’s not unheard of to spot Orcas in this part of the world! Gaze at the abandoned Isle of Stroma after your guide has regaled you with the island’s amazing story. After arriving in Caithness, we continue the North Coast 500 road-trip route. This coastal area is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and your guide will make the most of your day amidst the natural beauty – where you can explore stunning beaches, sea caves and ancient ruins. Our overnight stop is in the pretty fishing port of Ullapool, where you can now tick off the North Coast 500 from your bucket list!

DAY 6: Ullapool to Stornoway

We depart Ullapool on the stunning ferry crossing to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Grasp the chance to head out on deck once again and see dolphins jumping in your wake. Once we arrive in the Outer Hebrides, we journey south to the Isle of Harris. You’ll be blown away at the beauty of the flawless white sand beaches with turquoise sea, and a backdrop of mountains. Dip your toes in the ocean or simply bask in tranquillity. We have time to explore the island and view beautiful seal colonies before indulging in some of the best local produce when we dine in Isle of Harris before returning to the main town of Stornoway for the night.

DAY 7:  Isle of Lewis 

Prepare for an exciting day touring the cultural attractions on the Isle of Lewis. First, go back to the Neolithic period at mysterious 5000-year old Callanish Standing Stones, and then fast-forward to the Iron Age at the broch of Dun Carloway. Experience 17th century island life at the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, and then explore the remote and rugged Atlantic coastline. Visit the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point on the island, to see the isolated lighthouse and powerful force of the sea against the cliffs. Free time back in Stornoway; wander around the harbour and go in search of fresh seafood in the local restaurants.

DAY 8: Isle of Lewis & Harris to Isle of Skye

Depart Stornoway and drive back south towards the picturesque Isle of Harris. Unwind with a wee dram of whisky at a local Island distillery, then enjoy free time to shop for Harris Tweed before we board the ferry and go over the sea to the Isle of Skye. Spend the afternoon exploring the Trotternish peninsula, learning about the island’s myths and legends, while gazing at the enchanting scenery. We arrive at our final stop in the main town of Portree in time to enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants.  

DAY 9: Isle of Skye

Enjoy a magical day of island adventure on the Isle of Skye. Hear about the resident fairies on our stop at one of the legendary Fairy Bridges. Visit the spellbinding waters of the Sligachan River and take in the views of the old bridge and the striking Cuillin mountains. Experience the drive across the Skye bridge to the famous Eilean Donan Castle; used in the filming of Highlander and James Bond, The World is Not Enough. Free time back in Portree; visit the shops, restaurants, and picturesque harbour with its colourful facades. 

DAY 10: Isle of Skye to Edinburgh 

Wander through Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum; the spiritual home of Clan Donald and our final stop on the Isle of Skye. We take the ferry back to the mainland, arriving at the fishing village of Mallaig on the west coast. Experience one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world and travel on the Jacobite Steam Train over the Glenfinnan Viaduct; made famous by Harry Potter. We travel back to the city through the Cairngorms National Park and arrive into Edinburgh at around 8.30pm.  

EXPLORE MORE

World-famous Jacobite Steam Train (only available at the time of booking)

Starting in Mallaig, the train travels on the west coast where you can see the ‘Small Isles’ of Rum, Eigg, Muck and the stunning white beaches used in films such as Local Hero and Highlander. The Jacobite then passes through Glenfinnan where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his Standard to begin his ill-fated claim to the throne in 1745. We then cross over 21 arches of the impressive Viaduct with amazing views down Loch Sheil before heading to Fort William in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. The steam train was featured in a number of Harry Potter movies as the ‘Hogwarts Express’ and is an outstanding way to take in the beautiful scenery of the Scottish west coast.

The Battle of Bannockburn Experience

This fully immersive 3D experience brings Scottish history to life. Watch as Robert the Bruce raised his standard and amassed the Scottish Army in preparation for one of Scotland’s most famous and bloody battles. 

Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum of the Isles

Explore magnificent historic gardens and woodland trails around the romantic ruins of Armadale Castle. Discover 1500 years of island history in the Museum of the Isles. The ‘spiritual home’ of Clan Donald, Armadale Castle was formerly the seat of the Macdonalds of Sleat.

 

Tour Map

Select a date to book!


Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

Available
Full

Limited Seats

Departure


Highland Explorer Tours Office

60 High Street (The Royal Mile)
Edinburgh
Scotland
EH1 1TB

See Map

Departure Time

Please check in at 08.15am for tour departure at 08.30am

Return Time

Tour returns at 08.30pm.

Accommodation


Accommodation Included

We book your accommodation and drop you off at the door to your 3* Bed & Breakfast (B&B) / Guest House.

In most cases you are staying with a family who let out rooms in their home to visitors. B&B's are renowned for being warm and friendly and many people feel that they offer a more authentic way to experience Scotland. These are generally located within one mile of the centre of town, although during peak season, this distance may be slightly further. Most offer a traditional Scottish cooked breakfast.

ROOM TYPES

Twin Room
One room with two separate beds suitable for one adult in each bed.

Double Room
One room with one bed suitable for two adults.

Family 3
One room with two separate beds. One bed suitable for two adults and one bed suitable for one adult/child.

Single
One room with one bed suitable for one adult.

Accessibility and Facilities

For more information, see our Accessibility Statement.

See you there!

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