Day 1 Depart Edinburgh at 09.00 heading west towards Stirling, passing Stirling Castle and the
Wallace Monument. You also pass Doune Castle (set of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”) before
stopping in the small town of Callander for a refreshment stop.
You now cross over the fault line into the magnificent Highlands taking in the splendour
of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle and Glen Dochart, as you travel north over
the wild and remote Rannoch Moor into Glencoe. The stunning views and spectacular
landscapes of our own super (extinct) volcano and scene of the infamous massacre of
the Clan Macdonald in 1692, where many of the Clan Macdonald were slaughtered. You
stop in this imposing mountain Glen so you can enjoy the spectacular views.
You continue north up the Great Glen to the mysterious beauty of Loch Ness, travelling the whole
23 miles of the famous Loch - plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie!” You arrive at your destination
of Inverness at approx 18.30 where you will be dropped off at your booked accommodation. The
evening is free for you to explore the ‘Capital of the Highlands’.
Day 2 Is an early start, leaving behind the ‘Capital of the Highlands’, crossing over the Black Isle, and
past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here you drive through the northeast Highland
coastline, travelling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery, and enjoy amazing views
of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes and the chance to see wildlife such as Golden Eagles
and red deer. Onwards through Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John o’ Groats,
and then to Gills Bay, where you board the ferry, crossing the Pentland Firth into the Orkney
Archipelago. From here you have a short drive to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, Capital of
Orkney, where you can visit Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking Cathedral, and where you shall stay
for 2 nights.
Day 3 Is your chance to explore this fantastic, ancient island; a land of contrasts where fertile
green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North
Sea and Atlantic Ocean. You will visit the 5000 year old village of Skara Brae (older than
the Pyramids of Egypt!), the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar and the Druidic
standing stones of Stenness. We stop in Stromness - one of Scotland’s most picturesque
seaboard villages and then travel onto Maeshowe, where in the 12th century the Vikings
left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions. Then its back to Kirkwall for
our 2nd night after what is sure to be a memorable day.
Day 4 Is a relaxed start to the day, as you leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the
mainland. From here you travel the old road right across the very top of Scotland, driving
past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains following the rocky cliffs and stunning
golden sand beaches of our northern coastline. We then visit the far northwest highlands
and the grandeur, expanse and wilderness of the mountains of Assynt before stopping to
view the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. From here we travel to Ullapool, situated at
the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where we spend the night.
You will leave the first leg of your tour at this point and rejoin your new group on day
6, with whom you will remain for the duration of the tour.
Day 5 Gives you a free day in Ullapool to do as you please before joining up with your new crew
the next day. There are many possibilities available in this lovely town: You might like to
simply relax and absorb the highland tranquil pace of life whilst browsing the small craft
boutiques nestling through the streets of the town. Or why not take the local boat, the
‘Summer Queen’ from the pier for an idyllic ‘summer Isles’ cruise. Alternatively you could
head up Claypool hill for an easy two-hour walk offering wonderful views over Loch Broom
reaching a maximum height of 900ft. Or for the even more adventurous add to this walk
by completing a three-hour circuit returning to the town via Rhiddoroch estate. (Full details
of all local walks can be found at the local tourist information centre). There is also a local
swimming pool, and a small museum giving an informative narrative about the natural and
social history of the area. You will overnight in Ullapool again tonight.
Day 6 Your new driver will collect you from your accommodation and together you will head for
the morning ferry from Ullapool, for the 2 hour sail along Loch Broom, past the Summer
Isles then out across the Minch to Stornoway – the main town on Lewis and capital of
the Outer Hebrides. Look out for dolphins, whales and seabirds during the crossing. In
the afternoon explore the North West coast from Arnol with its historic old “blackhouse”,
through traditional crofting townships to Port of Ness and the very north tip of the island
– the Butt of Lewis. From the lighthouse here there is nothing between you and the
Americas! Overnight in Stornoway.
Day 7 Today will be spent exploring some of the prehistoric remains on the island as well as its
finest beaches. The fascinating circular stone fort, or Broch, at Carloway will be our first
stop followed by more traditional crofting communities such as Gearrannan and Shawbost.
Then its on to Callanish with its mysterious ancient stone circle. In the afternoon you will
head for the remote district of Uig with its fine, sandy beaches at Bhaltos, dramatic sea cliffs
and rugged hills. This is the wilderness of the Western Isles at its finest. Overnight again in
Day 8 Travelling south today from the wild moorlands of Lewis to the more mountainous Harris
– almost but not quite an island on its own. Famous for the locally produced cloth, Harris
Tweed, it is also home to the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and the stunning
white sands of Luskentyre. After a morning of exploring South Harris you will stop for lunch
in the small port of Tarbet from where you will catch the late afternoon ferry to Skye. Once
on Skye it is less than hour to Portree, the island’s main town, and our overnight stay.
Day 9 Is a very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather
and your driver/guide’s knowledge will come to the fore in developing the best day out
for you. For example: heading west we might venture towards the 13th century home
of the Clan Macleod - Dunvegan Castle, the emerald green valley of Glendale and the
dramatic sea-cliffs and lonely lighthouse at Neist Point. Here on the most westerly point
on the island, you could be lucky enough to spot some whales or basking sharks. North
of Portree is the Trotternish ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations, such
as the famous Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing. The weather often adds to
the atmosphere of this amazing natural scenery. We return to Portree for the evening.
Day 10 Departing from Portree the return journey to Edinburgh has many highlights – the Cuillin
Mountains, a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William and the dramatic scenery and dark
history of Glencoe. Travelling back south through the Central Highland the last stop of the
day will be in Killin beside the Falls of Dochart before returning to Edinburgh.
207 High St, Edinburgh. Click here to see map.
Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour.
We believe a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers really does make a big difference to your trip. It allows us to give you a more personal service and remain the only 5 Star operator to offer this personal guarantee. Touring with a maximum of 16 passengers you get more for your money, more personal attention, more time with the locals, more time off the bus, more time on the back-roads and just more of an authentic, friendly experience. The smaller groups allow you to meet people from all over the world and make friends for life.
Forced air ventilation as standard.
Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide
All ferry and bridge crossings.
Rabbie's Discount Card - money off restaurants, shopping and attractions.
Lunch, Dinner and refreshments.
Entrances to all Visitor Attractions.
The tour price does not include accommodation but this gives you an opportunity to choose your budget and the type of accommodation you wish to stay in and we will book it for you - Hostel, B&B or Hotel - please refer to the booking form on this web site for prices.
Please note that in the case of late bookings accommodation availability and choice may be restricted and we cannot guarantee to find your first choice. There is usually a supplement for single rooms. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to choose your budget, stay in smaller places and get closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain their communities in the long term.
For more information click here
*NB On occasions, when villages we stay in have events on, accommodation can be scarce and expensive so we may use other locations for your accommodation on the tour. We will always inform you of this when this is necessary.
Students, Seniors over 60 and Children between 5 and 16
We regret we do not carry children under 5 years.
Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!!
Photography Credits: VisitScotland, Geoff Wong (Stromness).