Islay, Iona, Mull & Skye
8 day tour

  • Dunvegan Castle tours from edinburgh
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Roam the majestic Skye and explore the north’s rolling mountains on this tour from Edinburgh.

Tour map

Highlights

Ferry
Abbeys
Gaelic Culture
Lochs
Mountains
Distilleries
Ferry
Gaelic Culture

Places you'll explore


Oban - This town is blessed with two lovely nicknames, ‘the Gateway to the Isles’, and ‘the Seafood Capital of Scotland’.

The Islay Single Malt Whiskies - On an island known as ‘The Queen of the Hebrides’, there’s a regal quality to the peaty style of its single malt whiskies.

Sandy beaches of Islay - Stroll some of the most beautiful and rugged beaches in the UK along Islay’s West Atlantic coast.

Iona - You’ll visit the tiny Island of Iona inhabited with just around 120 people.

Fingal's Cave on Staffa - The cave is made of naturally formed 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.


Your journey


Travel to the tune of Scottish traditions on this wide-ranging tour of Scotland.

You start off with a symphony of smoky whiskies on the famous isle of Islay. There’s time here to enjoy four distilleries as you venture through neolithic sites and sweeping coastlines.

You then visit the harmoniously peaceful islands of Mull and Iona. Here you have a chance to spot some of Scotland’s most elusive wildlife.

And the final movement is a crescendo of the monumental mountains and sights of the Isle of Skye. It’s an unforgettable ending before you make your way back to the city of Edinburgh.


Tour Details

Departs
08.30 - Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Returns
19.00
Discounts

Students, and seniors over 60

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person
  • Unfortunately we don't carry anyone under 18 years old on this tour
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Explore the delightful harbour town of Oban
  • Venture through the sights and stories of the Loch Lomond National Park
  • Try and spot dolphins and whales as you travel by ferry to Islay

Leaving Edinburgh, you head into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments. After travelling through the mountainous part of the Loch Lomond National Park, you arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban.

You have a couple of hours here, where you can visit the Oban Distillery and sample some local seafood for lunch. You then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey through Kilmartin Glen to the port of Kennacraig where you catch the evening ferry to Islay.

The sail is just over two hours, and you should look out for dolphins, whales, and seabirds. On arrival it’s a short drive to Bowmore for your three night stay.

Day 2

  • Sample Scotland’s peatiest whiskies
  • Discover the modern distillery of Kilchoman

Today you explore Islay’s beautiful viewpoints, white sand beaches, and famous whiskies.

In the morning you take the short drive to the west of the island, where you visit the Kilchoman Distillery, the newest and smallest on the island. After lunch in the distillery, we continue to the scenic Rhins of Islay to visit Bruichladdich for another chance to taste delicious single malt whisky.

You head back to Bowmore where you have the chance to visit the distillery or relax and explore the village.

Day 3

  • Savor some of the boldest tasting whiskies in Scotland

Today you explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg.

You first visit Ardbeg for a tour, tasting, and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy local produce.

You then visit Laphroaig, and if there’s time you can take a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin. On most tours it’s also possible to visit to the ruins of Kildalton church and see its famous 8th Century Celtic cross.

Day 4

This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland and travel the short distance to Kilmartin Glen where we will have lunch. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin and you will have the chance to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From here the tour continues round the coast to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne.

Here you’ll join a new bus for the continuation of your tour to Oban. Your guides will help you transfer your luggage and introduce you to your new travelling companions.

Once we arrive in Oban you'll have a free afternoon to enjoy this bustling and busy highland town. For those who are partial to some retail therapy, there are numerous shopping possibilities, or for those who wish to continue their thirst for Scottish whisky, Oban distillery is nicely situated in the heart of the town. A hike uphill will bring its own rewards with stunning views from the most photographed structure in the west, McCaig’s folly. The folly built on instruction by a local banker in 1897 resembles the coliseum in Rome, and provides magnificent vistas over the distant Firth of Lorne. You will stay in this glorious highland town for 2 nights.

Day 5

Is an early start crossing on the ferry to Mull and enjoying an island adventure exploring her dramatic coastlines and wild beauty, before taking the small ferry to the peace and tranquility of Iona - 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 the rocky headlands and sandy coves of this island gem. There is also an opportunity to take a small boat out 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 6

Takes you north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker, and Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. You then pass through Fort William nestling in the shadow of Ben Nevis which at 1344 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 and on through Ireland. From here you travel north to the picturesque fishing village of Plockton. You are then dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening.

Day 7

Today is a very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and your driver/guide will use his/her local knowledge to decide on the best day out for the group. For example: heading west towards the 13th century home of the Clan Macleod - Dunvegan Castle, the emerald green valley of Glendale or the dramatic sea-cliffs and lonely lighthouse at Neist Point. In the afternoon the tour may concentrate on the south of the island. Spend time heading down to Elgol for seascapes and views of the Cuillin, or Talisker and its beautiful bay or indeed Glenbrittle and its famed waterfalls. We return you to your accommodation in Plockton in the late afternoon for you to enjoy a free evening in the village.

Day 8

You will be collected from your accommodation for the short drive to the famous stronghold of Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film "Highlander", set at the junction of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders. Then you travel east taking in the stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Continue on to Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting "Nessie". Heading south now through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, made famous now as "Monarch of the Glen Country" before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland's highest whisky Distillery, and onwards into Perthshire where we stop for refreshments before heading back to Edinburgh past Perth and over the Forth Road Bridge.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay three nights in Islay**, two nights in Oban, and two nights in Plockton.


**On this part of the tour we reserve you rooms in the beautiful Bowmore Distillery Cottages.

The cottages have between three and six twin bedrooms. Due to the shared nature of the accommodation, individual bedrooms don't have lockable doors.

The kitchen and lounge facilities are shared with other passengers, and basic self-service breakfast ingredients are provided. Full Scottish breakfasts are available at the nearby hotels if you prefer, payable locally.

Prices are £42.50 per person per night twin/double share or £75 per night for a single. For this option, please select 'B&B en-suite' as your first choice when booking the tour online. When these rooms are full, we book you into a nearby B&B. Rooms at the cottages are limited and are reserved on a first come first served basis. Local B&B charges are £50 per person per night.

There's also a limited number of 3* hotel rooms available on this tour. For this option, please select three star hotel as your first choice when booking.

We contact you afterwards to arrange payment for the accommodation.


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?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum amendment charge of £5.00 will apply.


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. You can find a selection of hotels at hotels.rabbies.com.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

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


What are the accommodation types and what do they cost?

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 between £30.00 - £35.00 per person per night. A single standard is between £35.00 - £60.00 per night.



B&B En/suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost for a room, based on two people sharing, will be between £40.00 – £50.00 per person per night.

The expected cost for a single room will be between *£55.00 - £80.00 per night.


Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel 3* is between £65.00 - £85.00 per person per night. Hotel 4* is approximately £75.00 - £120.00 per person 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 is between £15.00- £25.00 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.

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. You can click here for excellent rates.

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 less

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

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Internationally recognised for our award winning experiences

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Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Green Tourism Award

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