6 Day Clan Macdonald Tour (Isle of Islay, Skye and Highlands)

6 Day Clan Macdonald Private Tour

(Isle of Islay, Isle of Skye and Highlands)
6 Day Clan Macdonald Tour (Isle of Islay, Skye and Highlands)

Discover the history of one of Scotland's greatest clans - the Macdonalds - with a six day private tour from Inverness that includes the Isle of Skye, the West Highlands and the ancient heartland of the Macdonald Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan on the Isle of Islay. Throughout the tour we explore the historic lands of the Macdonalds of Sleat, Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch, Glencoe and Dunnyveg.

Day 1 – Begins at Inverness where we visit Culloden Battlefield to explore the bloody history surrounding Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite supporters (which included the Macdonalds of Keppoch, Clanranald, Glengarry and Glencoe). We then follow the Great Glen down the banks of Loch Ness before turning west to Glen Shiel and the Five Sisters of Kintail mountains. Arriving at Eilean Donan Castle (which was involved in a 'less than successful' Macdonald uprising in the 1530s) we enjoy viewpoint break before we cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye on our journey north to Portree for our overnight stop.

Day 2 – A full day on the Isle of Skye begins with a tour to the Trotternish Peninsula (clan Macdonald lands) including the Old Man of Storr and to Kilt Rock. Continuing north we pass the ruins of Duntulm Castle, a former clan stronghold, before arriving at the Museum of Island Life. Nearby is the grave of one of the clan's most celebrated figures - Flora Macdonald. The afternoon takes us south to the Sleat Peninsula to explore the Museum of the Isles (which tells the history of the Macdonalds) along with the ruins of Armadale Castle, the last ancestral home of the Macdonalds of Sleat before our return to Portree for our overnight stop.

Day 3 – Leaving Portree we return to the Sleat Peninsula to explore more of the clan lands by its western coastline. We catch the late morning ferry (40 minute sailing) across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig and follow the 'road to the Isles' through the lands of the Macdonalds of Clanranald to Glenfinnan where the many Macdonalds stood with Bonnie Prince Charlie as the Standard was raised in 1745. After a visit to the Jacobite monument and museum, we tour south towards Oban for our overnight stop.

Culloden Battlefield, Scottish Highlands Flora Macdonald Grave, Isle of Skye Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye Glencoe, Scottish Highlands Inverlochy Castle, Scottish Highlands Finlaggan, Isle of Islay

Day 4 – Departs from Oban as we head south through the stunning historical landscapes of Kilmartin Glen, where we explore the traditional West Highland grave slabs that were prominent during the height of the Lordship of the Isles. We continue on a scenic drive that takes us past the ancient Dunadd hill fort from where the early Gaels ruled the lands of Dalriada, before we arrive at Kennacraig where we board the afternoon ferry for a 2¼ hour sailing across to the Isle of Islay.

Day 5 – A full day on the Isle of Islay begins with a visit to Finlaggan, the ancestral heartland of the Lords of the Isles. From Loch Finlaggan the descendants of Somerled, the chiefs of Clan Donald, ruled a lordship that at its height in the mid-fifteenth century encompassed most of the Hebrides and a large swathe of the Highlands. The afternoon takes us south to explore the ruins of Dunnyveg Castle the ancient stronghold of the Macdonalds of Dunnyveg. Before returning to our overnight accommodation there is the option to enjoy one of Islay's most famous export - whisky!

Day 6 – Departs from Islay as we take the early morning sailing back to the mainland. It is then a scenic drive back toward to Oban. After a late lunch stop we continue north through Fort William and visit the nearly 800 years old ruins of Inverlochy Castle, location of two famous Macdonald battle victories. The late afternoon takes us through the lands of the Macdonalds of Keppoch before reaching the ancestral lands of the Macdonalds (Macdonells) of Glengarry where we stop at the ruins of Invergarry Castle before our return to Inverness.

Private Tour Price (per tour)

May to September:    £4500

Tour Information

Depart Inverness
Return Inverness
(6 Days)

Tours are exclusively for your private group only (up to 3 persons) and prices are per tour. We only offer private tours and do not combine individuals or separate groups – if your group size is less than 3 the advertised tour price still applies. Prices include all taxes and a driver/guide (John Alasdair Macdonald) but exclude your accommodation costs, entrance fees and meals.

Accommodation Options
We recommend that you book accommodation in the Portree (Day 1 and 2), Oban (Day 3) and Isle of Islay (Day 4 and 5) to make the most of your trip. Whilst we do not book accommodation for you, accommodation suggestions for the most popular local hotels and guest houses used by previous clients for our tour locations are listed here.

Should you wish to stay around Macdonald ancestral lands in Armadale or Isleornsay for the first two nights of the tour (rather than Portree), please request this option through the 'Extra Information' section when completing a Tour Enquiry Form. There is an additional surcharge of £80 per tour for this option (due to higher tour guide accommodation costs).

Tour Notes
To allow for a full day on the Isle of Islay we have a slightly longer final day with a little more travelling – around 5 hours driving and a 2¼ hour ferry sailing – and we would expect to arrive back in Inverness by 7.30pm.

Tour Itineraries
Tour itineraries are based on experience, previous clients feedback and timings. However, we have a little flexibility and the tour itineraries can be adapted (in advance) to suit specific requests if possible. Please let us know any requests through the 'Extra Information' section when completing a Tour Enquiry Form.

Ferry Sailings
Ferry sailings are generally reliable in the summer months, but delays can occasionally occur. While we cannot be responsible for any extra accommodation, food or other costs that clients may incur due to ferry delays and cancellations, we will make every effort to adapt the tour to minimise disruption. Please note that no refunds will be given for tour and itinerary changes due to ferry changes and cancellations.