9 Day Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye, Orkney and Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

9 Day Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye, Orkney & Highlands Tour

from Edinburgh
9 Day Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye, Orkney and Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

A stunning nine day Highlands and Islands adventure from Edinburgh through the Highlands to Orkney, the Outer Hebrides (Isle of Lewis and Harris) and the Isle of Skye.

Day 1 - Departing from Edinburgh we travel north over the Firth of Forth towards the Central Highlands. We explore the beautiful village of Dunkeld and its historic ruined cathedral before our drive northwards takes us to the Cairngorms National Park. Arriving near Inverness by the mid-afternoon, we can either visit Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns or Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness before our overnight stop.

Day 2 - Departing Inverness with a morning drive to the far North of Scotland and our ferry port of Scrabster, near Thurso. The drive north covers wonderful coastal scenery and normally takes around 3-4 hours including photo stops and a brief visit to the historic town of Dornoch. Our 1½ hour ferry journey includes a great view of the Old Man of Hoy before our arrival in Orkney. The late afternoon includes a visit Skara Brae, a 5000 year old Neolithic village settlement before we end the day in Kirkwall for our overnight stop.

Day 3 - A full day on the Orkney mainland that includes a visit to Maeshowe, the standing stones of Stenness, the stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar and the 2000 year old Broch of Gurness. After visiting the Italian Chapel, the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow, the late afternoon is spent in Kirkwall enjoying the 12th century St Magnus Cathedral along with the ruins of the Earl’s palace before our overnight stop.

Day 4 - Leaving Kirkwall we visit Stromness where we have a little time to explore this picturesque fishing town before our mid-morning ferry across the Pentland Firth to Scrabster on the Scottish mainland. The afternoon takes us on a breath-taking coastal tour around the North West Highlands including Durness and Smoo Cave, before our arrival in Ullapool for our overnight stay.

Day 5 - Departing from Ullapool 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 6 - 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 and Tarbert (home of Harris Tweed and Isle of Harris distillery) before returning north to Stornoway for our overnight stay.

Day 7 - 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 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 8 - Departing from Portree we spend the morning exploring Dunvegan Castle, home of the Clan MacLeod. The afternoon takes us south past the dramatic Black Cuillin mountain ridge and across the Isle of Skye bridge to the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. A stunning late afternoon drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range takes us to Fort William in the West Highlands for our overnight stay.

Day 9 - Departing from Fort William we travel south to explore the dramatic scenery (and dark history) of Glencoe. After a short detour down the breath-taking Glen Etive, the afternoon takes us through the haunting landscape of Rannoch Moor. A beautiful journey by the Trossachs leads us to our final stop at the imposing Stirling Castle where we take time to explore its fascinating history before our return to Edinburgh.

Private Tour Price (per tour)

May to September:    £4900

Tour Information

Depart Edinburgh
Return Edinburgh
(9 Days)

This tour is only available on Friday or Sunday start days from Edinburgh.

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, ferry tickets 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 Inverness (Day 1), Kirkwall (Day 2 and 3), Ullapool (Day 4), Stornoway (Day 5 and 6), Portree (Day 7) and Fort Willam (Day 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 Itinerary
The tour itinerary is based on experience, previous clients feedback and ferry timings. However, there is some flexibility with the itinerary over the nine days 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 or email directly to info@thehebrideanexplorer.com.

Ferry Sailings
Ferry sailings are generally very reliable in the summer months, but delays can very 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.