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  • Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Duration:  7 days (approx.)
Enjoy an ultimate 7-day Scotland tour from Edinburgh, and discover the beauty of the Scottish Highlands as well as whisky, wildlife and history aplenty! Ride on the famous 'Jacobite Steam Train' — made famous as Harry Potter’s 'Hogwarts Express' — then travel by ferry to the Isle of Skye for two days of exploration. Then, admire the delights of mainland Scotland, visiting Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle, the Scottish Dolphin Center at Moray Firth, the Cairngorms National Park, St Andrews and more. Three-star guesthouse or hotel accommodation with breakfast is included.

Highlights

  • 7-day tour from Edinburgh including the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness and Isle of Skye
  • Visit the Wallace Monument, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe and a top whisky distillery
  • Follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter with a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, better known as Hogwarts Express
  • Explore the Isle of Skye and visit the country estate of Clan Donald Skye as well as the Trotternish peninsula
  • See impressive Scottish ruins including Eilean Donan Castle and Urquhart Castle
  • Look out for Nessie on a Loch Ness cruise, learn about battles at Culloden and see dolphins at Moray Firth
  • Enjoy 3-star guesthouse or hotel accommodation in Oban, the Isle of Skye, Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

7-Day Scotland Tour from Edinburgh: Highlands, Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and 'Jacobite Steam Train'

Ride the famous 'Jacobite Steam Train' used in the filming of the Harry Potter movies!

Your 7-day Scotland tour introduces you to several of the country’s highlights, including cities, national parks, castles and lochs. Discover it all and enjoy overnight stays in Oban, the Isle of Skye, Inverness and Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park.

Breakfasts are included daily (with the exception of Day 1) and ample free time is allocated for other meals as they are not included. Stays in 3-star guesthouse or hotel accommodation are part of the package, and each accommodation is centrally located so you can explore the towns with ease. Some entrance fees to attractions mentioned in the Itinerary are payable at your own expense.

Itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh – Wallace Monument – Rannoch Moor – Glencoe – Oban
Leave Edinburgh by coach, and travel north to Scotland’s ancient capital of Stirling. Stretch your legs on a stroll around and admire views of Stirling Castle and the towering Wallace Monument that pays tribute to William Wallace, a pivotal leader during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

After enjoying some free time to take photos and look around, continue into the rugged Scottish Highlands — an area embodied by mist-shrouded mountains and wild, heather-clad hills. Pass through Rannoch Moor with its peak bogs and granite stone walls, and then stop at Glencoe, site of the brutal 1692 Massacre of Glencoe when members of the MacDonald clan were persecuted. Travel onward through more beautiful Scottish countryside to Oban, a charming fishing village on Scotland’s west coast. Check in to your accommodation, and then relax overnight.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in central Oban

Day 2: Oban –Jacobite Steam Train – Clan Donald Skye – North Isle of Skye (B)
Enjoy breakfast, and then hop aboard the Jacobite Steam Train, a mode of transport made famous as Hogwarts Express in many a Harry Potter film. Relax on the ride and take in the scenery; the route is cited as one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys.

Depart the train at 10:15am, and then travel with your guide to the ferry port for your half-hour crossing to the gorgeous Isle of Skye — an island popular for its rugged mountains, coastline, wildlife and whisky. Soak up the views as you cruise into port, and travel by coach to Clan Donald Skye, a historical country estate that’s home to Armadale Castle.

Pay your entrance fee, and then head inside to explore the sprawling 20,000-acre (8,094-hectacre) estate with your guide. Besides Armadale Castle, highlights of the estate include the gardens with their elegant lawns, terraced walkways and herbaceous borders. From Clan Donald Skye, travel to the north of the island where your overnight accommodation awaits.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in the north Isle of Skye

Day 3: North Isle of Skye – Trotternish – Eilean Donan Castle – Loch Ness – Inverness (B)
Leave your Isle of Skye accommodation after breakfast, and travel to Trotternish at the northernmost tip of the island’s peninsula. A popular walking spot, Trotternish boasts some magnificent natural landmarks that your guide will introduce to you to on a stroll. See Kilt Rock, a sea cliff that’s said to resemble a kilt, and make your way around the Quiraing, an area of striking rock formations, escarpments and views.

Return to the ferry port in the early afternoon to cross the sea back to mainland Scotland. Your afternoon continues with your visit to Eilean Donan Castle, the romantic ruins sat on a small tidal island in Loch Duich. Take photos of the iconic Scottish site before resuming your journey the bonnie banks of Loch Ness. After looping around the famous expanse of water, looking out for the fabled Loch Ness Monster, travel to nearby Inverness and check in to your accommodation.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in central Inverness

Day 4: Inverness – Loch Ness – Urquhart Castle – Ullapool – Inverness (B)
Enjoy breakfast, and then travel back to Loch Ness for a cruise around the water. Hunt for the elusive Nessie on the open loch and feast your eyes on the dreamy Scottish landscape, too. The ruins of Urquhart Castle sit on the banks of Loch Ness, and your cruise passes in front of the castle for a perfect photo opportunity. The majestic landmark was once a medieval stronghold that played a pivotal role in the Scottish struggle for independence.

Hop back onto dry land, and then leave the stretch of water behind as you travel deep into the northwest Highlands. Ogle views of Loch Broom, a scenic sea loch just outside Ullapool, and continue into Ullapool itself. The coastal village is home to several cafes and shops selling local produce, so use your free time to explore and perhaps enjoy a bite to eat.

In the late afternoon, return to Inverness and make the most of your evening at leisure.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in central Inverness

Day 5: Inverness – Culloden Battlefield – Cairngorms National Park – Grantown-on-Spey (B)
Leave Inverness and travel east with your guide to Culloden: site of the third and final Jacobite uprising. The gruesome Battle of Culloden, in which some 2,000 men were killed, was the last pitched battle (preplanned fight) to be waged on British soil. Explore the battlefield with your guide, imagining what it was like to be at the center of the action in 1746. Then, enjoy some free time to explore the visitor center and perhaps have lunch before returning to your coach.

Spend your afternoon exploring the Cairngorms National Park, enjoying stops for walks and to take photos of the scenery. One of the UK’s largest national parks, the Cairngorms is also home to five towering mountains that dominate the green landscape. Admire its lochs, glens, open moorland and pine-lined rocky paths as you explore with your guide. Continue to the bustling town of Aviemore for food and a look around, and then travel to Grantown-on-Spey, nestled in the heart of the park, to check in to your accommodation.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in central Grantown-on-Spey

Day 6: Grantown-on-Spey – Spey Bay – Scottish Dolphin Centre – Whisky Distillery (B)
After breakfast, pay a visit to nearby Spey Bay, on the eastern side of the River Spey. The bay frames the coastline near Moray Firth, a glorious hideaway that’s known for its large community of dolphins; it’s estimated that some 130 bottleneck dolphins have the made the area their home. Spend some time at the Scottish Dolphin Centre and look out for dolphins as well as other examples of Scottish wildlife such as ospreys and seals.

Leave the coast in the afternoon to discover another famous Scottish heritage: whisky! The country is home to countless whisky distilleries that produce the distinctive warm and peaty Scotch whisky. Visit a world-famous whisky distillery and see first-hand how the malts are dried and matured to produce Scotland’s ‘nectar of the gods.’ Return to your accommodation in Grantown-on-Spey and spend your evening doing whatever you wish.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in central Grantown-on-Spey

Day 7: Grantown-on-Spey– Crathie Kirk – Dunnottar Castle – St Andrews – Forth Bridge – Edinburgh (B)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast, and head out to explore the pretty parish of Crathie Kirk, where the British Royal Family worship when vacationing in the Highlands. Stretch your legs on a stroll around, and learn about nearby Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside, and then continue to Dunnottar Castle. Perched atop a rocky cliff, the medieval fortress ruins make for a beautiful photo, set against the blue waters of Old Hall Bay.

After taking photos, relax as your journey south continues by coach. Stop at St Andrews, the capital of Fife, and hop out for a look around town. Home to Scotland’s oldest university — where Prince William studied and met Kate Middleton — the city is also known for its golfing associations and elegant Scottish architecture. Hear of St Andrews’ renown as a world-class golfing destination and explore some of the must-visit sites with your guide. Examples of attractions you may visit include St Andrews Castle or the city’s Greek Orthodox cathedral.

In the mid-afternoon, continue south to Edinburgh, pass by the Forth Bridge, one of Scotland’s most impressive man-made landmarks. A marvel of innovative 19th-century engineering, the bridge was designed to support two railway tracks a jaw-dropping 150 feet (46 meters) above the Firth of Forth estuary. Your 7-day tour then finishes with a drop-off at the start point in central Edinburgh in the early evening.
From USD $ 1,267.10

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Tour code: 5211SKYE7D

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