9 Day Grand Hebrides Tour from Inverness

9 Day Grand Hebrides Tour

inc. Isle of Lewis, Harris, Skye, Mull, Iona and Islay
from Inverness
9 Day Grand Hebridean Explorer Tour from Inverness

A Grand 9 day Outer and Inner Hebrides tour that includes the Isle of Lewis, Harris, Skye, Mull, Iona and Islay along with a return to Inverness along the Great Glen.

Day 1 – An early start from Inverness to the coastal village of Ullapool where we board the ferry for a 2½ hour journey across the Minch to the Isle of Lewis and its main town of Stornoway (my native town). From there we spend the afternoon exploring the magnificent Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones, the 2000 year old Dun Carloway Broch and a traditional Hebridean blackhouse. We end the day at the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point in the Outer Hebrides before our return to Stornoway for our overnight stay.

Day 2 – After time in Stornoway visiting the Lewis Chessmen, Museum nan Eilean and Lews Castle, we journey south to the Isle of Harris. The tour along the Atlantic coastline of Harris includes the stunning beaches at Luskentyre, Seilebost and Nisabost. We visit Rodel to explore the beautiful medieval St Clement’s church, home to one of Scotland's most remarkable 16th century tombs. The late afternoon takes us back to Tarbert (home of Harris Tweed and Isle of Harris distillery) before we return north to Stornoway for our overnight stay.

Day 3 – Departing from Stornoway we travel south to Tarbert where we take a 1¾ hour late morning ferry across the Little Minch to Uig on the Isle of Skye. The afternoon take us around the stunning Trotternish peninsula including the Museum of Island Life, the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the magnificent views from the Quiraing before our arrival in Portree for our overnight stay.

Day 4 – A full day on Isle of Skye includes Dunvegan Castle, home of the Clan MacLeod, one of the Hebrides most powerful clans. The afternoon takes us to the Sleat Peninsula, a less explored areas of Skye, and home to a stunning coastline, heather-clad hills and plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten path and away from the crowds. Along with Isleornsay – where you can enjoy some Hebridean whisky tasting – we explore the remote western side before our return Portree for our overnight stay.

Day 5 – Leaving from Portree we head south to Armadale where we take a 40 minute ferry journey across the Sound of Sleat to the West Highlands. We then travel south through Moidart with a visit to the ancient ruins of the fourteenth-century Castle Tioram. Located on a tidal island, it is possible to walk around the island at low tide. The afternoon takes us west into the Ardnamurchan Peninsula from where we take a 30 minute ferry across to the Isle of Mull and Tobermory for our overnight stop.

Day 6 – Departing from Tobermory we have a scenic two hour drive through the Isle of Mull to catch the ferry (15 minutes - pedestrian only) across to the beautiful Isle of Iona. We have around four hours on Iona where you can explore Iona Abbey, the museum and the ancient churchyard, along with time to enjoy the stunning scenery and coastline of this wonderful Hebridean island before we return on the afternoon ferry across to the Isle of Mull and back to Tobermory for our overnight stay.

Day 7 – Departing from Tobermory we spend the morning on the Isle of Mull exploring the imposing Duart Castle, ancestral home of the Clan Maclean. After an early afternoon ferry across the Sound of Mull to Oban we have a few hours to enjoy this coastal town. We then take the early evening ferry to the Isle of Islay – a beautiful Hebridean coastal sailing that takes about 4 hours –  with a late arrival around 9pm at our overnight stop in Islay.

Day 8 – A full day on the Isle of Islay begins with a visit to Finlaggan, the ancestral heartland of the Lords of the Isles, the chiefs of Clan Donald, whose lordship at one point encompassed most of the Hebrides and a large swathe of the Highlands. The early afternoon takes us to the southern end of Islay including a visit to the stunning Kildalton Cross. We end the day exploring the island's most famous export - whisky – before our overnight stop in Islay.

Day 9 – Departing from Islay as we take the early morning sailing back to the mainland. It is then a scenic drive north to Oban. After a late lunch stop we head for Fort William where we visit the ruins of Inverlochy Castle. The late afternoon takes us north-east through the Great Glen including the Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus and a final drive along the banks of Loch Ness before our arrival in Inverness.

Private Tour Price (per tour)

May to September:    £5000

(Off-season tours from October to April)

Tour Information

Depart Inverness
Return Inverness
(9 Days)

The tour is available on Thursday start days from Inverness.

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 ferry tickets, all taxes and a driver/guide (John Alasdair Macdonald) but exclude your accommodation costs, entrance fees and meals.

Tour Notes
To allow for a full day on the Isle of Islay we have a slightly longer final day (up to 12 hours) with a little more travelling – around 4½ hours driving and a 2¼ hour ferry sailing – and we would expect to arrive back in Inverness by 8pm.

Accommodation Options
We recommend that you book accommodation in Stornoway (Day 1 and 2), Portree (Day 3 and 4) and Tobermory (Day 5 and 6) and Islay (Day 7 and 8) to make the most of your trip. Whilst we do not book accommodation for you we are happy to help with advice on where to stay and eat. The tour quote will include a list of accommodation recommendations and suggestions for overnight locations.

Tour Options

Reduced visit to the Isle of Skye (1 less day)
If you have previously visited the Isle of Skye, or wish to shorten the tour slightly, we can reduce Skye to one overnight stop. With this option we would not be visiting Dunvegan Castle, Isleornsay or exploring the Sleat Peninsula. Tour option discount – £500 per tour.

Return to Edinburgh instead of Inverness
On our last day after a brief late lunch stop in Oban we journey back to Edinburgh via the Trossachs National Park with a late afternoon visit to Callander. With this option we would not visit Inverlochy Castle or Fort Augustus. Tour option surcharge – £200 per tour.

Please request one (or more) of these options through the 'Extra Information' section when completing a Tour Enquiry Form for the standard tour.

Tour Itinerary
The tour itinerary is based on experience, previous clients feedback and timings. However, we have some flexibility and the tour itinerary 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.

Advance Booking
As this tour requires nine consecutive tour days we recommend you book this tour as far in advance as possible to ensure the widest choice of tour availability.