This very popular 8 day car tour of Scotland provides visitors with the best of Scotland with visits to the west coast islands of Mull, Iona and Skye, plus the stunning Highlands of Scotland. Now available all year!
Day 1 Arrival - Edinburgh
Arrive Edinburgh and collect your car. Travel into Edinburgh enjoying a visit of Edinburgh Castle (A) or take a panoramic city tour by bus. Overnight in the Edinburgh area.
Day 2 Edinburgh - Loch Lomond - Oban
Day 2 sees us cross the central belt of Scotland as we head towards Oban. You have two options on your route. The BLUE route takes you past Stirling Castle (C) and then on through the Trossach Hills. Fans of Monty Python and Outlander might want to stop off at Doune Castle on the way (D). The orange route takes you up the West bank of Loch Lomond.
Head north along Loch Lomond stopping off at Luss to visit this pretty little village on the loch banks. At the top of the loch you can cut across the Arrochar Alps along Glen Croe on the Rest & Be Thankful Pass (2), so named by the poor soldiers who had to engineer it. Continue west with the option of stopping for lunch at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar (3) to enjoy some of the fresh produce before heading through Inveraray visiting the castle and jail(4).Either turn north at Inveraray (PURPLE ROUTE) or continue down the loch towards Oban spending time in Kilmartin Glen (6) experiencing the Neolithic and Bronze Age chambered and round cairns, stone circles and rock carvings. Visit Dunadd Fort - the ancient capital of Scotland then known as Dalriada (5). If you take the northerly route, stop Loch Awe Castle (E)
Overnight Oban area.
Day 3 Isles of Mull, Iona and Staffa
Today spend the day exploring Mull and Iona either by car or enjoy the sites from the sea and take a day boat trip to Mull, Iona and Staffa (please note boat trips may not run during the winter months, but the ferries do continue running).
The tour leaves from Oban Harbour and is renowned as one of the best day tours in the UK, providing a scenic route through the beautiful island of Mull and a visit to the Isle of Iona (7) where Columba landed in 563 brought Christianity to Scotland from Ireland. You can also visit the famous abbey founded by St Columbus before you continue on to the uninhabited Island of Staffa (8), which is famous for its basaltic formations, the best know of which is Fingals Cave, immortalised in Mendelssohns Hebridean Overture.
(*Please note during the winter months or bad weather conditions it may not be possible to get boat trips to Staffa).
Return to your ovenight in Oban area.
Day 4 Glencoe - Isle of Skye
Today, on our route to Skye, you have two possible routes: one is to retrace your steps on the blue route and then drive up Rannoch Moor (F) and Glencoe (RED), alternatively follow the coast (ORANGE) to Ballachulish . If you follow the coast don't foreget to stop for a view of Castle Stalker (9)
Today continue north from Oban through Glencoe with its spectacular landscape and onto Fort William set in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. Take the road to Mallaig stopping in Glenfinnan for the famous railway viaduct of Harry Potter Fame ands the monument that recalls the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. (G) to enjoy the short ferry over to Skye or continue on the road to Kyle and take the bridge to explore Skye, the largest and most scenic of the Hebridean Islands.
Overnight on Skye.
Day 5 Isle of Skye
Enjoy a full day on the Isle of Skye. There is so much to do on Skye that it is hard to propose a single route for you. We offer some ideas for but you will want to research yourself: Head south towards the Cuillin Hills, the island's best-known feature. Though their tops are places only for experienced climbers, there are many viewpoints and island locations where excellent panoramas can be enjoyed. Head back to your accommodation via Glenbrittle and the famous Fairy Pools (H)- beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle, these make for some fabulous photos. As you return north from the Cuillins you can stop at the Talisker Distillery in Carbost (J). To the North of the Island is the Quirang and its most famous feature "The Old Man of Storr" and the Trotternish Ridge (I). Asl take in the Fair Glen (J) near Uig and as you drive around the Trotternish Peninsula, stop to visit Flora MacDonald's grave and the Museum of Island Life (K)
Overnight Skye (Portree).
Day 6 Loch Ness – Inverness
We leave Skye for Inverness, and as always there are two great routes you can take. Both will stop at Eilean Donan Castle (L). The longer route (PURPLE) takes you north before you cut west to Applecross climbing the vertiginous Pass of the Cattle (M).
The standard route is to head along Loch Shiel past the the 5 mountain peaks known as the Sisters of Kintail (N) before meandering gently along shores of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness via Urquhart Castle, (O) which dates back to the 12 century and was originally built to guard the route through the glen! If you dare, take a cruise on Loch Ness, most famous for the illusive monster.
Overnight in the Inverness area.
Day 7 Speyside - Perthshire
Today travel east of Inverness where you can visit the Battlefield of Culloden (P) and Clava Cairns, which date back to the 3rd millennium BC. These are burial chambers that are made up of 3 impressive round chambered cairns surrounded by a ring of stones. Taking the Speyside route explore some of the Malt Whisky Trail. The Speyside area is home to more than half of all the country's distilleries plus the coopers who repair the oak casks each year. Continue towards Perthshire through Braemar and Royal Deeside passing by Balmoral Castle (Q) and Crathie Church, the Queen Elizabeth’s highland residence and church before heading through the ski area of Glenshee. Continue south towards Perth/Fife where you will overnight.
Day 8 Fife – St Andrews
Today if time permits visit St Andrews, named after Scotland's patron saint. Visit the impressive ruins of the cathedral, once the most magnificent in the country and St Andrews Castle (R) where visitors can wander through damp, mossy tunnels to the dungeons. St Andrew's is also the famous home of golf, played on the Old Course since the 15th century. Continue along the coast via the small fishing villages of Elie and Pittenweem. (S)
Cross the Forth Road Bridge (T) with its spectacular views of the Firth of Forth before returning your car to Edinburgh/Glasgow and joining your flight home.