Grand Tour of Scotland: Island Odyssey to the Hebridean Islands and Orkney | 12 Days

This Grand Tour of Scotland will showcase the dramatic beauty of the West coast and it’s Isles.

Tour the Isle of Skye and the Neolithic magnificence of Orkney.

Visit historic castles, pretty towns & villages. Enjoy the best of Scotland’s hospitality along the way.

Tour Highlights

  • Oban
  • Iona
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct
  • Isle of Skye
  • Beaches of Harris
  • Orkney

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This Scottish Highlands and Islands tour is available from Glasgow and Edinburgh

Stirling Castle - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Stirling Castle

Day 1- Stirling Castle, Trossachs & Oban

We begin our Grand Tour of Scotland by visiting the magnificent Stirling Castle. Here in Stirling, you’ll also get to see the Wallace Monument.

We then travel through the beautiful Trossachs (Scotland’s Lakeland). As we travel, we’ll make a stop to visit Rob Roy’s Grave and the pretty village of Killin.

We then continue our journey to the fishing port ‘Oban’, where you will spend the next two nights. Oban has a great selection of specialty shops, seafood restaurants, and bars.

Iona - part of our Grand Tour of Scotland
Isle of Iona

Day 2- Isle of Mull & Isle of Iona Tour

We begin day two of your grand Scotland tour with a morning ferry trip to the Isle of Mull.

Once on the island, we take a scenic 1-hour drive south of the island to Fionnphort. Here, we catch a short 10 min ferry crossing to the beautiful island of Iona.

On the Isle of Iona, you’ll get to visit it’s stunning Abbey, which has been a place of pilgrimage for over 1400 years!

Optional – Why not add a boat trip to the spectacular uninhabited island of Staffa? On the island, you can explore the remarkable basalt columns of Fingal’s cave. And even get up close and personal with the local Puffin colony.

We return to Oban, for the evening.

Glencoe - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland

Day 3 – Glencoe, Fort William & Your trip to Skye

Setting off again from Oban, you will next visit the iconic Castle Stalker. Shortly after, we will reach the spectacular mountains of Glencoe.

From Glencoe, we travel on to Fort William and the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct. This is where we have a chance to see the Jacobite Steam train (The Harry Potter Train) as it travels to Mallaig.

We then have a beautiful journey, following the ‘Road to the Isles’ taking in the beaches at Morar and Arisaig. From these beaches, you’ll have unrivaled views of the small Isles of Muck, Eigg, Rum, and Canna.

We will eventually reach Mallaig, where you will catch the short ferry across the sea to the Isle of Skye!

Arriving on the Isle of Skye, the first stop is the Talisker Distillery for a tour and a wee dram. Or, alternatively, you can visit the Fairy Pools at Glen Brittle.

We will end day three of your Grand Scotland tour by heading to Skye’s capital Portree. Here at Portree’s attractive harbor is where you will spend the next two nights.

Isle of Skye - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Isle of Skye

Day 4 – Tour of the Isle of Skye

On today’s tour of Skye, you’ll see the imposing Cuillin Mountain Range – visible from most parts of the island.

We’ll visit the spectacular Trotternish Peninsula. Here we have wonderful views of dramatic pinnacles at the ‘Old Man of Storr’.

You’ll then visit Kilt Rock and see the incredible Mealt falls. From here, we’ll then go on visit what is perhaps the most famous photo stop in Scotland – The Quirang.

Following the views at the Quirang, we’ll make a stop at the Museum of Highland Life. We then make a stop at Flora MacDonald’s Monument, before heading on the mysterious Fairy Glen.

Before we return to Portree for the evening, you’ll see the impressive Dunvegan Castle. As well as, a fascinating 2000-year-old Broch, Dun Beag’.

Golden Sandy Beaches - Isle of Harris. Visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Golden Sandy Beaches – Isle of Harris

Day 5 – The Outer Hebrides, Tour of the Isle of Harris

Your journey now continues on to the Outer Hebrides, and the islands of Harris and Lewis. These islands share the same land mass, but, as you will see today, are dramatically different.

The island of Harris has a dramatic “lunar” landscape that’s truly fascinating. Harris also has some of the finest unspoiled golden beaches in the world.

You’ll also have an opportunity to learn about, and, if you want, purchase some beautiful Harris Tweed.

Our last stop on Harris will be the visit the magnificent 16th-century Church of St Clement’s.

Traveling north you will then head to the flatter and larger island of Lewis. Here on Lewis, the main town of Stornoway will be your base for the next two evenings.

Be sure to visit Digby Chick, one of the best restaurants in the Outer Hebrides while you’re here. Booking is advised.

Callanish Isle of Lewis - part of our Grand Tour of Scotland
Callanish Isle of Lewis

Day 6 – The Outer Hebrides, Tour of the Isle of Lewis

Exploring Lewis, you’ll visit the 2,000-year-old Carloway Broch.

The 4,000-year-old Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones – a real highlight of the tour.

The Blackhouse village at Gearrannan.

The Lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis, on the most northerly point of the island.

Ullapool - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Crails at Ullapool

Day 7 – Ullapool & the North Coast 500

Leaving Stornoway, we board the morning ferry. The crossing to the picturesque harbor town of Ullapool will around take 2hrs 45min.

Here in Ullapool, you will have time for a relaxed lunch, (perhaps the local fish & chips).

Following lunch, we’ll be traveling north/west. This journey takes us through one of Scotland’s most spectacular rugged landscapes.

The famous route we follow is well known as the North Coast 500.

As we travel, we visit some of the beautiful fishing villages along the Assynt landscape. We’ll then arrive at the lovely village of Durness.

Durness is the most north-westerly village on the British mainland. While here, you will visit the impressive Smoo Caves.

Italian Chapel - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Italian Chapel

Day 8 – Orkney, The Tomb of the Eagles

Your grand tour of Scotland, continues along the far north of Scotland, to St Gills bay.

Here, we board the afternoon ferry (1 hr crossing) to the beautiful island of Orkney.

Orkney is an island steeped in history. It is also home to the greatest concentration of Neolithic sites in Europe!

Once on Orkney, we visit the Tomb of the Eagles, a chambered tomb located high on remote sea cliffs.

You’ll also see the iconic Churchill barriers. Originally constructed as naval defenses by Italian POWs during the second world war. These barriers served to protect the British fleet from attack from German u-boats.

We then drive to your accommodation and your base for the next two evenings.

The Stones of Stenness - Visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
The Stones of Stenness

Day 9 – Tour of Orkney

Today we have a full day exploring the ancient sites around Orkney’s mainland.

Firstly, we visit Maeshow, one of the largest Neolithic tombs in Europe.

The Stones of Stenness, consisting of four ancient 6m standing stones.

The Ring of Brodger, Europe’s finest Neolithic bronze age stone circles.

After a relaxed lunch break, we continue our journey to Scara Brae.
A magnificent 5000-year-old Neolithic village. Scara Brae was first uncovered after a storm hit the island in 1850.

We then visit The Broch of Gurness, one of the most impressive Iron Age settlements in Europe.

The Brough of Birsay, a spectacular tidal island connected by a causeway. This uninhabited island was once a Pictish stronghold.

In the late afternoon, we return to your accommodation for the evening.

Urquhart Castle,Loch Ness - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Day 10 – John O’ Groats & Inverness

Today we return to St Gills on the mainland where we visit John o Groats. The most north/easterly village on the tip of Scotland.

We’ll then journey south through the scenic coastal route of Sutherland. We will visit historic sites along the way including the impressive Whaligoe steps. One of the most remarkable harbors you’ll find anywhere in Scotland.

Continuing on, we travel through the lovely fishing towns of Brora & Goldspie.

We finally reach the highland town of Inverness, your base for this evening.

Culloden Memorial - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
The Culloden Memorial

Day 11 – Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Dalwhinnie Distillery

As we continue south, we’ll visit the Culloden Battlefield. Here, you have time to explore its fascinating story.

We will then make a stop at the impressive Clava Cairns, built around 2,000 BC.

From here, we travel south through the Cairngorm National Park. Along the way, we will stop in at Dalwhinnie whisky distillery. Here, you will have for an in-depth tour of the distillery and a tasting of Dalwhinnie’s single malt.

Continuing on, we travel into the beautiful rolling hills of Perthshire.

We shall visit the impressive 13th century Blair castle, home of the Dukes of Atholl.

From here we make our way to the picturesque Victorian town of Pitlochry, for the evening.

Hermitage Waterfall, Perthshire - visit on our Grand Tour of Scotland
Hermitage Waterfall

Day 12 – The Hermitage & Dunkeld Cathedral

On your final day, you will have the option to visit the smallest whisky distillery Scotland. Edradour.

From here, we then travel to the Hermitage. Here, you can have a lovely woodland walk to the impressive salmon leap waterfall.

As we come to the end your 12-day grand tour of Scotland we’ll make our last stop at the 12th century, Dunkeld Cathedral.

We now make our way to your accommodation. where we sadly say our farewells

Please note – This tour can be extended to include a tour of the World Famous Whisky Trail, on Speyside. Read more.

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