Scotland & The Hebrides
12 DAYS, 11 NIGHTS | Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Scottish Highlands,Loch Ness, Isle of Skye & Isles of Lewis and Harris
PRIVATE TOUR ITINERARY
See the best of Scotland in 12 days on this private tour that includes a visit to the Hebridean Islands of Lewis, Harris and Skye. From spectacular beaches, the mysterious stones from Scotland's ancient past and distinctive seabirds to heritage fabrics and traditional smokehouses, the islands of the Hebrides offer an epic taste of adventure, culture and exploration. This beautifully-guided private tour starts in Edinburgh where you will visit the Castle and explore the medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile. You'll also enjoy visits to Stirling Castle, the Highlands, the Culloden Battlefield, Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Enjoy private-guided walking tours, experience the spectacular mountain landscape of Glencoe, learn how whisky is made and sample a wee dram, and much more! This private tour visits Scotland’s must-see historical sites, charming towns, gourmet restaurants, spectacular mountain scenery, and beautiful isles. Discover Scotland!
Day 1) Arrive in Edinburgh & Royal Britannia
Arrive at Edinburgh airport where you will be met by your driver-guide. On your way into Edinburgh, visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former yacht of the Royal family. From the elegant State Apartments to the gleaming Engine Room, see where the Royal family spent their summer holidays. You may enjoy refreshments or a light lunch at the Royal Deck Tea Room. Next, arrive at your hotel for a three-night stay. Enjoy a welcome dinner and whisky tastings at a local restaurant with your driver-guide.
Day 2) Edinburgh
Today, your local kilt-wearing guide will take you on a whole-day private tour of Edinburgh. Learn all about Edinburgh’s long history—see how the medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile contrast with the fine Georgian architecture of the 200-year-old New Town and learn about the many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors, and writers for whom Edinburgh is famous. Visit the majestic Edinburgh Castle to tour this historic military stronghold, the birthplace of the city, and soak up the dramatic views. This afternoon, wind your way through the medieval streets of the Royal Mile. Visit the impressive Palace of Holyrood, home to many kings and queens and where, recently, Queen Elizabeth II lay in state before being transferred to Westminster Abbey in London. David I founded the impressive palace as an Augustinian monastery in 1128. In 1501, James IV built a Palace for himself and his bride, Margaret Tudor— the sister of Henry VIII. Mary, Queen of Scots spent most of her turbulent life in the Palace.
Day 3) Stirling Castle & Blackness Castle
This morning, visit Stirling Castle, just an hour away. The last stronghold of Scotland, Stirling Castle was besieged by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and residence to the Stewart monarchs including Mary Queen of Scots and King James. You’ll tour the castle, including the newly restored Renaissance Palace. This afternoon, on your return to Edinburgh, visit Blackness Castle on the south shores of the Firth of Forth. The castle was built in the 15th century, and massively strengthened in the 16th century as an artillery fortress.
Day 4) St. Andrews
Depart Edinburgh for the beautiful medieval city of St. Andrews, set on the stunning north coast of the Kingdom of Fife. St. Andrews is an important Scottish city, packed with history and charm. Enjoy a private-guided walking tour of historic St. Andrews. You’ll visit the university (founded in 1413), the ruins of the 12th-century cathedral and castle, and for those interested in golf, see the Old Course and learn about some of the city’s golfing history. This afternoon, depart St. Andrews for the Scottish Highlands, where you’ll arrive at your hotel in Inverness for a two-night stay. Dinner is included this evening at a local restaurant.
Day 5) Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle & Whisky Tastings
Visit the Culloden Battlefield—the powerfully emotive and atmospheric battlefield where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end. You’ll discover the true story of the 1745 Rising, from both the Jacobite and Government perspectives. Walk the battlefield and explore the key areas of action on Culloden Moor. Next, discover one of Scotland’s most evocative prehistoric sites—Clava Cairns, an ancient burial ground said to have inspired Outlander. Continue to Cawdor Castle & Gardens for lunch, a traditional Scottish Castle built and privately owned by the Cawdor family for over 600 years featuring beautiful gardens. This afternoon, take a tour of Glenfarclas Distillery where you’ll learn about how whisky is made and sample a “wee dram” of single malt. Tonight, dinner is included in Inverness.
Day 6) Isle of Lewis
Depart Inverness for Ullapool where you will board the ferry for a 2½ hour journey across the Minch to the Isle of Lewis and its main town of Stornoway. You’ll spend the afternoon exploring the magnificent Neolithic Calanais Standing Stones, the 2000-year-old Dun Carloway Broch and a traditional Hebridean Blackhouse. You will end the day at the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point in the Outer Hebrides before your return to Stornoway for a two-night stay.
Day 7) Stornoway & Isle of Harris
This morning, explore Stornoway and visit the Museum Nan Eilean where you’ll uncover the island’s past. Exhibits include six of the medieval Lewis Chessman. You’ll then depart Lewis, for the Isle of Harris (they may sound like two separate islands, but Lewis and Harris are two areas of one island, Lewis in the north and Harris in the south). You’ll tour along the Atlantic coastline, marveling at the stunning beaches. Harris Tweed is the only fabric in the world governed by law and must be woven the traditional way, in loom sheds in the homes of islanders. You will have an opportunity to see some tweed woven. In Tarbert, visit the award-winning Isle of Harris Gin Distillery, where you will learn how the famous gin is made, using Sugar Kelp seaweed, gathered sustainably by hand from local sea-lochs. Dinner is included this evening in Stornoway.
Day 8) By ferry to the Isle of Skye
Today, leave by ferry across the Little Minch to Uig on the Isle of Skye (1¾ hours). This afternoon, visit Dunvegan Castle, seat of Clan MacDonald. After touring the castle, drive along the scenic west coast to Carbost and then to the Sligachan, with views to the Black Cuillin mountains. Arrive at a former hunting lodge for Clan MacDonald and now a delightful family-run inn where you are assured a comfortable, relaxing stay with loch views. Enjoy dinner at the lodge serving delicious home cooking and relax in the lounge or in the bar and living room, all with a waterfront view.
Day 9) Isle of Skye
Today, set out to explore the Isle of Skye beginning with Neist Point, the most westerly point of Skye, with dramatic sea and cliff views. This afternoon tour around the stunning Trotternish peninsula with visits to include the Museum of Island Life, the Old Man of Storr, and Kilt Rock, with its magnificent views from Quiraing. Return to your hotel through Portree, the largest town and capital of the Isle of Skye. It is here at Portree that Flora MacDonald aided Charles Edward Stuart’s (Bonnie Prince Charles’) escape after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden. Dinner is included this evening at the inn.
Day 10) Glenfinnan, Glencoe & Oban
Depart for Armadale where you will board the ferry to Mallaig on the mainland. Continue by the silver sands of Morar, the Glenfinnan Tower Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charles rallied support for the Jacobite Rising of 1746, and the shores of Loch Linnhe to Glencoe. This afternoon, visit Glencoe, where you will learn about the Glencoe Massacre and see a replica 17th century turf and creel house, before arriving in Oban, known as the seafood capital of Scotland, for a one-night stay at a superb Georgian House built in 1780 by the 5th Duke of Argyll, offering spectacular views over Oban Bay and the neighboring isles. Dinner tonight is included.
Day 11) Inveraray Castle & Loch Fyne
Journey to Glasgow or Edinburgh, visiting Inveraray Castle—home to the Duke of Argyll, the chief of the Campbells—enroute. Enjoy the castle’s impressive interiors, considered the most richly decorated in Scotland. Enjoy lunch in the delightful town of Inveraray by Loch Fyne. This afternoon, view the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lamond as you continue through the Trossachs National Park on your way to Edinburgh for your final night of the tour.
Day 12) Edinburgh Airport
This morning you will be collected from your hotel for your departure to Edinburgh Airport for your return flight.
Included with this private tour:
11 nights of hotel accommodation
11 breakfasts daily
8 three-course gourmet dinners
Your very own professional
Airport meet and greet
Whisky distillery tour with tastings
All entrance fees
Private-guided walking tours
Loch Ness cruise
Ferry fares, tolls & taxes
Just a few tour highlights:
Isles of Lewis and Harris
Standing Stones on Isle of Lewis
Traditional weavers on the Isle of Harris
Edinburgh's Royal Mile & Castle
Stirling and Urquhart Castles
Isle of Skye
Loch Ness cruise
Choose Your ACCOMMODATION
In this category we have hand-picked five-star guest houses or smaller luxury hotels. These lodgings are often family owned and offer a truly unique, authentic and welcome atmosphere where you are more likely to engage with local people than in a higher-end hotel. Some tours involve a mixture of both Superior and Luxury Boutique.
Through years of experience we have hand-picked luxury boutique hotels which are not only very comfortable in the traditional sense, but as importantly offer gourmet food, and an ambience of lasting memory. All our hotel choices are of unique character, range from 4-star to 5-star, and are either downtown, or enjoy a spectacular rural or village setting. Our detailed offer to you will specify the hotels recommended.
Subject to availability, you may chooseyour own dates. Price is determined by season, accommodation, and the number of people in your group.
$6,890 per person (group of 6 people)
$7,490 per person (group of 4 people)
$10,890 per person (group of 2 people)
All prices are in US dollars and for Superior Boutique Lodgings, except in Edinburgh which is Luxury Boutique lodging. Prices are guidelines based on sharing a room for double occupancy,
For a full itinerary with details of all lodgings, and everything included in the tour price, please enquire.
This tour can be customized to your wishes or offered with 5-Star Luxury hotels. Simply call, or email us with your specifics and we'll plan a program that's right for you.
Scotland & Ireland
Great trip...can't say enough about Wanderlust. Their professionalism and service is top notch. Highly recommend them.
John A. - Massachusetts
Heart of Scotland
The scenery of Scotland was breathtaking! Your attention to detail and service made our trip even better. Loved it!
Bob. S - Florida
Scotland & The Hebrides, 2023
Hi Hugh, Second day here. Everyone loves everything. Great guide, Cameron. Great hotel. Kudos to you!
Carolyn S., Vermont