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

10 Day Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye, Orkney, Shetland & Highlands Tour

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

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

Day 1 - Departing from Edinburgh we travel north west towards the imposing Stirling Castle where we take time to explore its fascinating history. We continue by the Trossachs and through the dramatic landscape of Rannoch Moor before exploring the haunting scenery (and dark history) of Glencoe in the afternoon. We end the day at Fort William for our overnight stay.

Day 2 - Departing from Fort William we journey past the Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range before arriving at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. We cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye where our tour takes us to the base of the Red Hills and the dramatic Black Cuillin mountain ridge. The afternoon includes a visit to Dunvegan Castle before our arrival in Portree for our overnight stay.

Day 3 - Departing from Portree the morning takes us around the stunning Trotternish peninsula including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the magnificent views from the Quiraing. In the early afternoon we take a 1¾ hour mid-afternoon ferry from Uig across the Little Minch to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris. We then enjoy a late afternoon drive north towards Stornoway for our overnight stay.

Day 4 - With a full day in the Outer Hebrides, in the morning we explore the Isle of Lewis including the Calanais Neolithic Standing Stones, Dun Carloway Broch and a Lewis Blackhouse. The afternoon takes us south to the Atlantic coastline of the Isle of Harris includes the stunning beaches at Luskentyre, Seilebost and Nisabost. We also visit St Clement’s church in Rodel before we return north to Stornoway for our overnight stay.

Day 5 - We spend the morning on the Isle of Lewis where we head north towards the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point in the Outer Hebrides. We then return back to Stornoway for a brief visit to the Lewis Chessmen before boarding the ferry for the sailing across to Ullapool (late lunch on board). We end the day with a late afternoon drive to Inverness for our overnight stay.

Day 6 - 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 where we visit Skara Brae, a 5000 year old Neolithic village settlement. This is one of the highlights of the tour before our arrival in Kirkwall for our overnight stop.

Day 7 - A full day on the Orkney mainland that includes a visit to Maeshowe one of the best Neolithic chambered tombs in Europe. We then explore the Neolithic standing stones of Stenness, the magnificent stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar and the 2000 year old Broch of Gurness, along with lunch at the Orkney Brewery. After visiting the Italian Chapel, the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow, the late afternoon is spent in Kirkwall enjoying the stunning 12th century St Magnus Cathedral along with the ruins of the Bishop’s and Earl’s palaces. After an evening meal in Kirkwall we catch the late ferry (11pm) from Kirkwall for an overnight sailing to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.

Day 8 - After a leisurely breakfast on the ferry we depart Lerwick to spend the day exploring the south mainland of Shetland. Sumburgh Head is our first stop - a stunning viewpoint and a haven for seabirds. Next is Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlement which spans over four thousand years. After lunch at the Sumburgh Hotel, the afternoon takes us on a beautiful coastal drive to the breath-taking St Ninian's Isle where you can hike across the sands to the island. Returning north we end the day at the two thousand year old Clickimin Broch before our overnight stay in Lerwick.

Day 9 - Departing from Lerwick we head towards the north Shetland mainland. Arriving at Eshaness we take time to savour the dramatic cliffs and sea stacks that the fantastic coastal landscape of Shetland presents to us from this headland. After lunch at Busta House Hotel, the afternoon takes us to the ruins of Scalloway Castle before we return to Lerwick. Here we explore the Shetland Museum and Fort Charlotte before ending our time in Shetland with a meander through the Lerwick town and harbour. In the late afternoon we board the ferry from Lerwick for an overnight sailing to Aberdeen on the Scottish mainland.

Day 10 - Arriving into Aberdeen harbour in the early morning, we enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the ferry before heading south to explore the ancient ruins of Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven. The early afternoon takes us south to the Kingdom of Fife where we explore the historic town of St Andrews before our arrival into Edinburgh in the late afternoon and the end of our ten day adventure!

Private Tour Price (per tour)

Mid-May to Mid-September:    £5800

Tour Information

Depart Edinburgh
Return Edinburgh
(10 Days)

This tour is only available on a Monday start day 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 Fort William (Day 1), Portree (Day 2), Stornoway (Day 3 and 4), Inverness (Day 5), Kirkwall (Day 6) and Lerwick (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.

At the end of Day 7 and 9 we will board overnight ferries where you can book overnight en-suite cabins. Prices depend on your cabin choice (for example, a twin outer cabin is between £115 and £145 per cabin - depending on class). The tour quote will include full details of the cabin options and their current prices. More information about the cabin choices can be found on the Northlink Ferries Website.

Please note that your overnight ferry cabin costs will be added to the tour price and booked by The Hebridean Explorer in advance when booking the ferries tickets.

We recommend booking this tour as early as possible as the limited ferry cabins and vehicle spaces fill up quickly in advance for travel to Shetland over the summer months.

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 ten 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.