A classic coach tour, join us as we explore Skye and the north of Scotland – with nothing more demanding than sitting back and enjoying one scenic delight after another unfold before you.
As we travel north into the Cairngorms, north west to Gairloch and further north still to the wilds of Assynt and the glorious beach at Achmelvich. We enjoy a full day on the Isle of Skye, passing the Cuillin Mountains, more often than not wreathed in ethereal mist, to Portree, the epitome of a colourful hebridean harbour – with some of the best fish ‘n’ chips in the country!
From our second hotel in Fort William, which sits at the foot of the impressive bulk of Ben Nevis, we head west to Mallaig, stopping for a unique photo opportunity at the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. Our homeward journey takes us via the haunting beauty of Glen Coe and tranquil Loch Earn.
Highland Explorer: Skye and the Far North Tour Highlights
- The ancient Caledonian pine forests of the Cairngorms
- Beautiful beach at Achmelvich
- Glimpses of the mist-covered Cuillin Hills as we drive across Skye
- Loch Ness and the Great Glen
- See the Jacobite steam train puff across Glenfinnan Viaduct
- Comfortable coach travel throughout – with pick-ups available from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Kinross or Perth
- 5 nights’ hotel accommodation with dinner, bed and breakfast – 3 nights at the Gairloch Hotel, Gairloch and 2 nights at a hotel in the Fort William area
- Services of a professional tour manager
Single supplements apply – £250. Offer is subject to availability.
Highland Explorer: Skye and the Far North Tour Itinerary
We depart from our designated pick-up points and head north, for the Cairngorms National Park and the ancient pine forest of the Rothiemurchus estate.
A gentle walk takes us to Loch an Eilein, where a picturesque ruined castle is perched on an island in the small loch.
We continue via Strathbran and Loch Maree through some spectacular mountain scenery to our comfortable hotel in Gairloch, which enjoys splendid views towards the north end of Skye with the hills of Harris and Lewis low on the horizon.
After breakfast this morning we travel nortth on a full day scenic tour that takes us by Loch Broom to Ullapool and on into Assynt, an extraordinary landscape of vast, undulating moorland and beautiful, deserted beaches such as the one we visit at Achmelvich Bay.
Following breakfast this morning we head off in the opposite direction for a full day excursion to the Isle of Skye, travelling via the pretty village of Plockton, notable for the palm trees that line the main street.
We cross the elegant Skye Bridge that replaced the ferry at Kyle of Lochalsh and drive across Skye.
Look out for the distinctively shaped island of Raasay to the right and to the left the dramatic peaks of the Cuillin Mountains, more often than not wreathed in ethereal mist, hence Skye’s nickname of ‘The Misty Isle’.
We arrive in the principal town of Portree, the epitome of a Hebridean port with colourful houses lining the harbour side.
We have free time here to browse the craft shops and have lunch (not included) – the fish ‘n’ chip shop down by the harbour is particularly recommended, as long as you’re prepared to share a chip or two with the local gulls! We return to our hotel in the afternoon with a brief stop in Lochcarron.
This morning following breakfast we check out of our hotel and head for Fort William, following a leisurely and highly scenic route that takes us via Beauly, Strathglass and Glen Urquhart to Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness.
Of course, the loch is forever associated with its rather kitsch mythical monster but it is an undeniably beautiful stretch of water in its own right.
After a break here we continue through the Great Glen that cleaves through the Highlands to Fort Augustus, a bustling town at the south end of Loch Ness, bisected by Thomas Telford’s engineering marvel, the Caledonian Canal.
We continue by Loch Oich and Loch Lochy to our hotel in the Fort William area, close to the fjord-like Loch Linnhe and the massive bulk of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak.
This morning after breakfast we will travel west to Mallaig, mostly running parallel with the railway line, with the opportunity to drink in the stunning views of this wild and historic part of Scotland.
We will pass rugged mountains, sea and inland lochs and on to the shores of the Atlantic.
The road also takes us past the massive Glenfinnan Viaduct overlooking Loch Shiel, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745, and our journey will be timed to allow us to view the ‘Jacobite’ steam train as it puffs slowly across the viaduct, providing a unique photo opportunity.
There is time to enjoy lunch (not included) in Mallaig, whether you choose fish and chips, crab sandwiches or freshly landed lobster.
We enjoy some free time in Fort William in the afternoon.
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and begin our homeward journey travelling through the hauntingly beautiful Glen Coe, a glacial valley that was carved out by the last ice age, flanked by towering mountains, and by tranquil Loch Earn to Crieff, where we will stop for lunch (not included). We then return to our original departure points.