Highland Explorer - Skye & Far North 5 Day Tour
~ Cairngorm National Park
~ Loch Ness
~ Ullapool and Assynt
~ Applecross & Torridon
~ Eilean Donan Castle
~ Isle of Skye
~ Five Sisters of Kintail
Five days of Scotland’s breathtaking best, including the dramatic mountain scenery of Assynt. Experience the remote white sandy beaches of the Northern Highlands,walk through the ancient pine forests of the Cairngorm National Park and soak up the romantic beauty of the Isle of Skye.
Stay 2 nights in the fishing village of Ullapool* and 2 nights in the harbour town of Portree, on the Isle of Skye (*some tours may stay in Inverness instead of Ullapool)
If the date you’d like to travel isn’t available, please call us to discuss alternative options.
Concession Prices: £199.00 - £255.00
Returns: 19.00 approx
Departing: Saturdays (Feb to Dec 2016, March to Nov 2017), Tuesdays (Apr to Oct 2016, Apr to Sep 2017) and Thursdays (May to Sep)
Important Information about your Accommodation on TourYour tour does not include accommodation in the price. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to manage your budget. We stay in smaller places where you will feel closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain the communities you visit in the long term. Choose from either a hotel, B&B or a hostel and we will book it for you. We will always do our very best to satisfy your personal requirements and have an amazing track record for providing our customers with the best quality accommodation available. We do advise that single supplements usually apply, particularly during peak season when double/twin room rates are charged for sole occupancy .Please note that whilst Rabbie’s will try and place single travellers into the same accommodation, this may not be possible due to availability and the time of each individual reservation.
The accommodation we use will be dispersed around various towns and villages, usually not more than a 10-15 minute walk from the centre. There are occasions however when this can be increased to 20-30 minutes. Taxis are available for a small fee if necessary. If you have access needs or specific requirements please let us know when booking. Late bookings and/or peak season may limit the choice and location of available accommodation.
Whilst on tour your driver/guide will drop you off at your pre booked accommodation* and pick you up each morning.
*Please note that if your accommodation has already been booked by Rabbie’s, as per your initial request, there will be a surcharge for any amendments, and are entirely at our discretion. Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum of £5.00 will apply increasing to a maximum of £20.00 dependent on the length of the tour.
Please be prepared to pay cash. Most bed and breakfast, hostels and guest houses do not accept credit cards. In most large towns automatic cash point machines are readily available.
Customers are able to book their own accommodation as long as we have been informed that you intend to do this, and that it is within our drivers’ drop off’ area. If you are at all unsure please contact the office for guidance.
We are unable to supply a list of providers that we use due to availability at the time of booking. We do visit our providers regularly and are proud of the long standing relationships we have with them and positive feedback from previous customers.
Day 1 takes you north to Dunkeld, on the banks of the River Tay, before exploring the grandeur of Cairngorm National Park and its ancient pine forests. Following the afternoon here your tour will take you onto the back-roads overlooking mysterious Loch Ness before staying in Ullapool*, your base for 2 nights. (* some tours may stay in Inverness instead of Ullapool during particularly busy times of the year when Ullapool's accommodation is scarce)
Day 2 takes you into the far northern wilderness of Assynt with its mixture of cliffs, rocky inlets and unspoilt beaches. In the afternoon you will visit the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle, the stunning white sand beach at Achmelvich Bay, and the traditional fishing village of Lochinver.
Day 3 takes you south to Corrieshalloch Gorge and west to the dramatic nature reserve of Torridon, and along the wild coastline to the remote community of Applecross, before travelling along Britain’s highest road to the “tropical” palm tree lined village of Plockton. Then it’s over the sea to Skye, where your base is the picturesque harbour town of Portee for 2 nights.
Day 4 is a flexible day exploring Skye with options to visit the wild north of the island, the Old Man of Storr, the mountain pass of the Quiraing, Skye’s most westerly point at Neist or the Talisker Distillery.
Day 5 returns you to the mainland to visit Eilean Donan Castle (set of “Highlander”), before travelling through the rugged scenery of the 5 Sisters of Kintail and Ben Nevis. Your afternoon highlight will be the wilderness of Glencoe before returning to Edinburgh.
Departure Point on or after 1 April 2017
Gate J & Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square. Click here to see map.
Return to Waterloo Place
~Transportation by a top of the range 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach.
~Air Conditioning as standard.
~Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide
~All ferry and bridge crossings.
~Meals and refreshments.
~Entrance fees to all Visitor Attractions.
Your tour does not include accommodation in the price. 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 the communities you visit in the long term. Choose a hotel, B&B or a hostel and we will book it for you.
For more information on accommodation and prices 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 15 (we regret we do not carry children under the age of 5)
We like to give you plenty of opportunities to go on nature walks, so we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!! Accommodation on this tour is dispersed around Inverness and Portree which are small but hilly! If you have mobility problems or special requirements please let us know when booking. Unless otherwise notified passengers are restricted to one medium sized suitcase/bag (maximum 15 kilos) and one carry-on bag per person.
I have been to many Rabbies tours during the last few years, but only one of my earlier trips was (only a tiny little bit) better than this current one.
Our very young guide Grant did a brilliant, phantastic job as a driver and guide and took care of the group in an unbelievably dedicated way. I was deeply impressed.
The group itself was the best I ever had. Wonderful guys, all of them.
Scotland is so amazingly beautiful, that I cannot stop spending all my summer holidays there.
And I can only recommend everyone to use Rabbies for touring Scotland.
Sabine - 25/07/2016
We have just returned from this amazing tour- Skye and North West 5 Day Tour and we want to thank Rabbies for the best possible first visit to Scotland that we could have! The coach was so comfortable and the lovely places we visited were a dream come true. The accommodation was perfect for our needs and the small group(6) of us travelling together got on so well. A major reason why this trip exceeded all expectations was our driver and guide, Dan Young. His knowledge of the geography and history of the area was fantastic. He was a brilliant driver and he was so kind and friendly.
The whole trip was a delightful experience and we cant wait for the next time!!
Maralyn and Bill Becher - 20/03/2016
My wife and I took our 5 year old daughter on the 5 day tour of the highlands with our guide, Alan Oliver. We had such an incredible time! not only was the scenery unbelievable the weather was almost perfect. Additionally, our guide Alan was the best. Simply put, weve been on lots of different tours in lots of different places but Alan was, by far, the best. He was friendly and welcoming and and always had a smile. He was very knowledgeable and could make the history of Scotland come alive. He knew when to play some music and knew when to talk to us. He was able to read the group very well and could make suggestions for us that were very helpful. His sense of humor was also very good. At the end of the 5 days we really felt that we had a friend in Alan and were quite disappointed that the tour was over. If anyone is looking at the 5 day tour of the Highlands I would definitely book it and if Alan is any indication of the kind of guides that Rabbies employs, you absolutely cannot go wrong. The next time we are in Scotland we are definitely booking a Rabbies tour!
Pete Kruppenbacher - 06/09/2015
On May 13/15 we set off from Edinburgh to tour the Highlands with a group of 9 other people. With the help of our terrific driver and guide Duncan, we quickly bonded and enjoyed our time together exploring the history and gorgeous scenery of the Highland area!
The small Rabbies bus, expertly manoeuvred by Duncan allowed us to travel to out of the way places, into small villages and up winding roads to summits with always spectacular views!
All the while we were treated with the outmost courtesy by Duncan and constantly entertained and educated by his prodigious knowledge of history and great storytelling ability. We felt very fortunate to have been part of his tour.
The tour was definitely a highlight of our 3 week trip to the U.K. and we would happily recommend this company to anyone!
Wendy and Peter Marrs, Peterborough Ontario, Canada
Wendy L - 28/06/2015
Been on a tour with Rabbie's for the first time and it was awesome. Emily our guide was the best, she gives so much information and know a lot of lovely stories. Had the best time ever in the heart of the Highlands, so many beautiful landscapes on the way it was mindblowing ! Love Scotland even more ! Hope to come back soon. Thank you Rabbie's ! Greatings from Belgium
Ingele De Potter - 30/09/2014
Thank you for this unforgettable tour! It was perfect organized. Special thanks to RUTH for the Scottish tales, legends and music. She is an extremely nice guide. Highland and the Isle of Skye are beautiful. We recommend this tour for everybody. :-)
Gabriella and Attila from Hungary (Budapest)
Attila Szabo - 17/07/2014
... there were sixteen merry men and woman who had the privilege to be guided through the mystical land far far away from our homes. Pete is a stand-up comedian mostly sitting down in the driversseat in a Rabbies bus. He told us numerous great animating stories about how women didn't settle for living in draughty castles, about rugged Scottish men, the clans, his own legendary history. My imagination was overfed. If we had a question, he had the answer. If we had to go, he already dropped us of before we could spell the word 'toilet'. If we wanted Annie Lennox, we got to sing along. Pete was the Holy Grail of our tour, the Allseeing Eye, the Sum of All That is Merry and Witty... (who needs a bucket already?) I have to say, the group was very nice too and that made the trip really nice! On saturday we went caleigh dancing and met local folks... from upclose in fact, since we didn't know that we had to change direction all the time... so that was great fun and good exercise! Let's just say... if you like various landscapes, rocks, idyllic mountain rivers, rough coastlines, friendly people and sheep. If you don't mind rain and like to be entertained... book the 5 Day Highland Explorer Tour with Rabbies.
Nicole - 03/06/2014
Would just like to say on behalf of all of the guys on our tour our driver Jamie you were absolutely amazing and the stories were fantastic thanks again and we may be seeing you again sometime
Claire Bailey - 02/06/2014
Fantastic 5-day tour of the Scottish Highlands with 'Wee Peter' or 'Pete the Pirate.' Peter was simply wonderful! His organization, sensitivity to the needs and wants of the sixteen people on his tour, his knowledge of the history of Scotland, and most importantly his ability to add colour, form and life to all the stories he told - weather fictional or historical - was simply magical. Peter has a true gift in his storytelling, and he adds lovely music to enhance the experience. I highly recommend Wee Pete and Rabbies Tours - this is an experience that you will take back with you when you return home.
Heather Anne Lambert-MacKay - 27/05/2014
Pete, our tour guide, provided myself and the other tour members a fantastic and memorable 5 days in Northern Scotland. I've taken many tours in my 62 years and Pete was one of the very best tour guides I've ever encountered. He entertained us with dramatically engaging stories and well selected music from the various regions we encountered, shared an astounding knowledge of the history and culture of Scotland and let us know in advance what to expect. He stayed on schedule, and went out of his way to try and meet individual needs. AND, he did all this with cheerfulness and a wonderful sense of humor. Thank you for going way above and beyond what was expected to make this an outstanding experience for us all. Oh, and the tour itself was amazing...the scenery was stunning.
Terry - 25/05/2014
Here are the latest customer photographs from this tour - click an image for enlargement and slideshow.
Full Itinerary (English)
A grand round-tour of breathtaking views and fascinating places throughout the Highlands of Scotland, from the ancient forests of the Cairngorms, vibrant Inverness - capital of the Highlands, to the majestic splendour of the mountains of Assynt, the romantic beauty of the Isle of Skye and the awe inspiring Glen Coe.
Day 1 takes you north over the Forth Road Bridge to the charming highland village of Dunkeld on the banks of the river Tay. From here you head into the Cairngorm national park and the ancient pine forests of the Rothiemurchus estate. Lunchtime will be spent on the beautiful shores of Loch Insh before a short forest walk takes you to the ruins of Loch an Eilein castle. Panoramic views of Loch Ness follow as you travel down to the banks of the famous loch and the village of Dores where you can do some “Nessie” spotting! Then it’s on to the shores of Loch Broom where you spend two nights at Ullapool. (*on some tours it may be necessary to stay in Inverness in which case the itinerary will be subject to slight changes)
Day 2 visits the far northwest highlands and the grandeur, expanse and wildness of the mountains of Assynt with its abundance of wildlife. This area is historically famous as being the first crofting area to be bought by the local crofters, the Assynt Crofters’ Trust. You will be immersed in the history of the area and visit the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle, once the stronghold of the MacLeods of Assynt. The day is full of amazing views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes from the stunning white sand beach at Achmelvich Bay to the traditional fishing village of Lochinver. With the chance of seeing wildlife such as whales and red deer as well, this is sure to be a memorable day.
Day 3 leaves Ullapool heading south to take in the drama of the River Droma as it plunges 60m down into the Corrieshalloch Gorge. From here you travel past the mountains of the Beinn Eighe national nature reserve and along the picturesque coastline of Loch Torridon. The tranquil setting of Applecross is your destination for lunch before taking one of the highest roads in Scotland, Bealach na B (meaning the Cattle Pass), with its jaw-dropping views, hairpin bends and precipitous cliffs. In the afternoon you stop in “tropical” Plockton where you can see palm trees growing alongside Loch Carron and take time to enjoy its sheltered serenity. Then it’s over the sea to Skye and the delightful harbour town of Portree with its friendly welcome.
Day 4 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 you might travel north to the stunning Quiraing mountain pass and enjoy a spectacular walk through some of Skye's extraordinary geological scenery or visit the Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns (reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt) with its waterfall cascading over the cliffs and down into the sea below. After lunch you can travel to Neist Point for a walk out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on Skye. Alternatively a visit to Dunvegan Castle, ancient ancestral seat of the Clan McLeod, may be possible. Talisker Distillery is also on Skye, as are the famous Cuillin Hills. We return you to your accommodation in Portree in the late afternoon for you to enjoy a free evening in the village.
Day 5 takes us south from Skye stopping first at the famous stronghold Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film “Highlander”, set at the head of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders. Continuing east through the rugged mountains of Kintail including the splendour of the Five Sisters, you drive down through Glen Garry past Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then onto Fort William for lunch. In the afternoon you will explore spectacular Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692, before stopping in Killin for refreshments beside the Falls of Dochart, arriving into Edinburgh at 1900 approx.
Photography Credits: Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Britainonview, Mike Hasted, Luke Sheppard, Ingrid Rasmussen, Pawel Libera, Tony Pleavin, Craig Easton, David Angel, Martin Brent, Bob Berry, Paul Watts, Dorcas Sinclair (Lochinver), Wojsyl (Plockton).