Iona, Mull, Skye & Orkney
9 day tour

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Explore the "photographer's dream" of Skye, Orkney, Iona, and Mull on this tour from Edinburgh.

Tour map

Highlights

UNESCO Heritage Sites
Ferry
Prehistoric Sites
Lochs
Mountains
Gaelic Culture
Castles
Boat Cruises

Places you explore


Loch Lomond National Park - One of Scotland’s largest lochs. Admire the views and take postcard-perfect photos to share with your friends and family.

Oban - This Victorian harbour town offers excellent seafood and a charming intimacy.

Iona - Visit the tiny Island of Iona inhabited with around 120 people.

Fingal's Cave - The cave is compiled of natural hexagonal pillars and has inspired many musicians and writers.

Isle of Skye - Traverse one of the world’s most stunning islands, with beautiful views around every corner.

Eilean Donan Castle - An iconic and gorgeous 13th-century castle that once warded off Viking invasions.

Orkney Isles - These beautiful islands are full of ancient history and wildlife.

Glencoe and Rannoch Moor - Be moved by the sheer beauty and tragic tales of one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes.

Loch Ness - This loch holds more fresh water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. But does it also hold the Loch Ness Monster?

Skara Brae and Ring of Brodgar - Learn how people used to live in ancient times at these prehistoric monuments.

North Coast 500 - A rollercoaster road of ruined castles, pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, and charming villages


Your journey


Experience Scotland’s iconic landmarks and offbeat charms on this nine day tour.

You’ll see the famed beauty of Skye, you’ll hear about the infamous tragedy of Glencoe, and you’ll get to know the legends of Loch Ness and Loch Lomond.

And there’s more. Because you’ll also venture far from the well-trodden paths to the northern wilds of Orkney, and the peaceful shores of Iona and Mull.

It’s a tour that's perfect if you want an unforgettable experience of both Scotland’s local secrets and world class highlights.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08.45 (tour departs at 09:00) - Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
19:00
Luggage
You’re restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • This tour combines two of our trips. This means you swap your bus and guide during the journey
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • All ferry fares except the optional trip to Staffa
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Stare into mountainous horizons in the West Highlands
  • Stroll through the handsome harbour town of Oban

Travel north past Stirling Castle and to the region of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

You venture through the impressive mountains of the West Highlands and the magnificent whitewashed 18th-century town of Inveraray, home to the Campbell Clan and the Duke of Argyll.

The afternoon will be spent in the heart of Argyll before arriving in the bustling town of Oban for your two-night stay.

Day 2

  • Discover the history of Celtic Christianity
  • See one of Scotland’s most unique geological wonders at Fingal’s Cave

Today you have an early start, beginning the day crossing on the ferry to Mull for a chance to explore dramatic coastlines and wild beauty.

You take the small ferry to Iona, the 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 rocky headlands and sandy coves.

There’s an opportunity to take a small boat for an optional trip to the island of Staffa 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 3

  • Be awestruck by the majestic slopes of Glencoe
  • Arrive in the most ‘tropical’ town in Scotland, Plockton

You ramble north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker. Next, you head to the gorgeous Glencoe, one of the most famous natural landmarks in all of Scotland. This beautiful area boasts steep slopes and photogenic peaks. Your driver-guide may reveal to you the tragic tale that’s haunted this valley for over 300 years.

You then venture through Fort William and under the shadow of Ben Nevis, which at 1,344 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. From here, you travel north to the picturesque fishing village of Plockton. You’re dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening.


*Please note that if your tour departs on a Friday, you stay in Portree instead of Plockton. Also, during busy periods, the same change may take place.


Day 4

  • Traverse the legendary landscapes of Skye
  • Learn about the tales and battles that shaped the island's culture

Today is a very flexible day on Skye; and your driver-guide ensures you take a unique route that suits the weather, the local events, and your group's interests.

You may ascend the Quiraing along Trotternish Ridge and be rewarded with spectacular views. Alternatively, you could drink in the scenery at Loch Corruisk or drive through the dramatic Red Cuillin to the little hamlet of Elgol.

We return you to your accommodation in Plockton* in the late afternoon for you to enjoy a free evening in the village.


*Please note that if your tour departs on a Friday, you stay in Portree instead of Plockton. Also, during busy periods, the same change may take place.

Day 5

  • Snap a few photos at the gorgeous Eilean Donan Castle
  • Try and spot the Loch Ness Monster

You’re collected from your accommodation for the short drive to the famous stronghold of Eilean Donan Castle.

Then, you travel east taking in the stunning views over Loch Duich and the Five Sisters of Kintail. You continue to Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting "Nessie’.

Half an hour south of Loch Ness you will stop in the village of Spean Bridge and join a new bus for the continuation of your tour to Orkney. Your guides will help you transfer your luggage and introduce you to your new travelling companions.

With your new crew you continue north following the Great Glen travelling along the famous loch and passing by Urquhart Castle.

You arrive in Inverness, the Highland Capital, in the early evening.


Day 6

  • Explore mainland Scotland’s most northern scenery
  • Arrive in the Capital of Orkney, Kirkwall

It’s an early start, leaving behind the 'Capital of the Highlands', crossing over the Black Isle, and continuing past Dunrobin Castle.

From here, you drive along the northeast Highland coastline, travelling into some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery. Onwards through Scotland's most northerly mainland village, John o' Groats, and then to Gills Bay, where you board the ferry, and cross the Pentland Firth into the Orkney Archipelago.

It’s a short drive to the famous Italian Chapel where you stop for a visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, Capital of Orkney. Here you can visit Kirkwall's magnificent Viking Cathedral and its historic winding streets.

Day 7

  • Go to a site as ancient as the pyramids, Skara Brae
  • See the wild ocean clash with redstone cliffs

Today is your chance to explore this archipelago’s fertile green pastures fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

You visit the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar and the Druidic standing stones of Stenness.

You stop in Stromness and then travel onto Maeshowe, where in the 12th century the Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions.

Then it’s back to Kirkwall for your second night after what is sure to be a memorable day.

Day 8

  • Take a look at the stunningly located ruins of Ardvreck Castle
  • Stroll around the beautiful harbour town of Ullapool

After a relaxed start, 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.

You then visit the far northwest Highlands and the wilderness of the mountains of Assynt before stopping to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle.

From here, you travel to Ullapool, situated at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you spend your last night's stay on tour.

Day 9

  • See the ancient standing stones made famous by Outlander, Clava Cairns
  • Learn about one of the most brutal events in British history at Culloden

Leaving Ullapool behind, you take in the drama of the River Droma as it plunges 60m down into Corrieshalloch Gorge. You then admire the beautiful Loch Glascarnoch, on the way past the 'Capital of the Highlands', Inverness.

You can visit Culloden Moor, the site of The Battle of Culloden in 1746, one of the bloodiest events in our history and the last battle to have been fought on the British mainland. Next, you take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns, made famous by Diana Gabaldon in the ‘Outlander’ books.

From here, you travel through the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest, hugging the Cairngorm mountain range. You enjoy lunch in these beautiful surroundings before travelling through The Big Tree country of Perthshire, the Kingdom of Fife, and back to Edinburgh.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Oban, two nights in Plockton*, one night in Inverness, two nights in Orkney, and one night in Ullapool.


*Please note that if your tour departs on a Friday, you stay in Portree instead of Plockton. Also, during busy periods, the same change may take place..


How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.


I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.


What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact rooms@rabbies.com if you have any questions.


I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

You may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.


What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £40 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is £40 - £60 per night.

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £60 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £70 - £85 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £85 - £130 per night.

Hostels

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £27 per person per night.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

BTA_2018.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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