3 Day Clan Macdonald Tour (Isle of Skye and Highlands)
Discover the history and traditions of one of Scotland's greatest clans - the Macdonalds - with a three day tour from Inverness to the Isle of Skye and the West Highlands where we explore the lands of the Macdonalds of Sleat, Clanranald, Glencoe, Keppoch and Glengarry.
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 discover its historic past before we cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye to explore the lands of the Macdonalds of Sleat (the most powerful Macdonald branch of Clan Donald). Our late afternoon journey through the Isle of Skye takes us to Portree for our overnight stop.
Day 2 begins with a tour to the Trotternish Peninsula (ancient Clan Donald lands) including the Old Man of Storr and to Kilt Rock. Continuing north, we pass the ruins of Duntulm Castle, 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. We then take the late afternoon ferry across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig (or Arisaig) for our overnight stop.
Day 3 departs from Mallaig/Arisaig through the lands of the Macdonalds of Clanranald to Glenfinnan where the Clanranald stood with Bonnie Prince Charlie as the Standard was raised in 1745. After a visit to the Jacobite monument and museum we take a breath-taking drive through the magnificent Glencoe, home to the Macdonalds of Glencoe and location of the infamous massacre of 1692. Leaving Glencoe we head back 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 of Glengarry where we stop at the ruins of Invergarry Castle before our return to 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.
We recommend that you book accommodation in Portree (Day 1) and Mallaig or Arisaig (Day 2) 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.
Itinerary Option - Visit Castle Tioram
On the morning of Day 3 we can detour south into the remote lands of Moidart and visit the wonderful ruins of the fourteenth-century Castle Tioram, the ancestral castle of Macdonalds of Clanranald. This is a viewpoint visit only as the castle is unsafe inside and is located on a tidal island, although it may be possible to walk around the island if it is low tide. With this option we would add a further two hours on to the last touring day and would return later in the evening to Inverness. Itinerary option surcharge – £50 per tour.
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 (standard tour)
In the event of a ferry cancellation from Armadale to Mallaig on Day 1 we would have an extended road journey (approx. 3 hours) to our overnight accommodation in Mallaig or Arisaig with a later arrival around 7-8pm.
Ferry Sailings (extended tour)
Hebridean Islands 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.
** Off Season Touring
The Highlands are renowned for changeable weather, even over the summer months. However, from mid-October to early-April, poor weather conditions (wind and rain) are more common. Further, daylight hours are reduced (particularly from November to February). For tours during the off-season, we may offer a modified itinerary (as number of attractions close over the winter months) with slightly shorter touring days and the itinerary and timings may be changed at short notice to adapt to weather conditions. Please note that Armadale Castle is only open weekdays in March and November.