5. From Edinburgh: Orkney, Skye and the Far North 8 Day Tour
On day 1, travel through the Trossachs to Oban. This wide-ranging Highland and Islands tour starts by heading west through the beautiful scenery of Loch, Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to Kilmartin Glen. Here, you’ll be able to explore Scotland’s ancient past. With over 5,000 years of history laid out before you, you’ll be able to walk in the footsteps of the first Scots at Dunadd Hill Fort and the Temple Wood Stone Circle. Then stay overnight in Oban.
On day 2, enjoy a day of high hills and history. It takes you through the haunting landscape of Glen Coe, past Ben Nevis - Britain’s tallest peak, and and stop Fort William. Taste the best seafood at Mallaig and cross over the sea to the Isle of Skye on the ferry for your second night. Stay overnight in Kyleakin.
On day 3, enjoy a whole day to explore Skye’s beautiful landscape. Here the mountains and beaches beckon, so lose yourself amongst the spectacular scenery of the Cuillin Mountains, the slanting hills of Quiraing and the incredible Trotternish peninsula. Stay overnight in Kyleakin.
On day 4, discover castles and mountains and then head to Loch Ness. Once you leave Skye the first stop is a visit to the idyllic Eilean Donan Castle. You then drive past the spectacular Torridon Mountains and through the stunning scenery of Glen Affric. Here you can stroll up to a beautiful waterfall, surrounded by ancient Caledonian forest. Then it’s on to your bed, near the fabled shores of Loch Ness. Enjoy an overnight stay in Drumnadrochit.
On day 5, head over the sea to the Orkney Isles. Travel north via Inverness and the spectacular coastal scenery of the Moray and Cromarty Firths. Then board the ferry for the memorable trip to the mysterious and magical Orkney Isles. Once you arrive, you can take in the stunning scenery and start exploring. Visit the beautiful Italian Chapel, which was built by Italian prisoners of war. You’ll also see the famous Churchill Barriers – causeways that were constructed to protect the British naval fleet from submarines. Stay overnight in Kirkwall.
On day 6, explore the ancient history of the Isles. From your base in Kirkwall, which boasts many craft and gift shops to enjoy, you’ll spend the whole of day six exploring the islands. This is a land full of ancient history and you’ll be able to take in prehistoric marvels such as the Maeshowe chambered cairn, the world-famous Neolithic village of Skara Brae and the brooding stone circles of Stenness and the Ring o’Brodgar. The day will finish with a visit to the beautiful St Magnus Cathedral. Stay overnight in Kirkwall.
On day 7, head home via Inverness, Culloden and the Cairngorms. The last day starts with a ferry ride back to the mainland. Then you’ll get the chance to take in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands before staying overnight in Inverness.
On day 8, as you head home, you’ll be able to visit the battlefield of Culloden, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. You’ll also pass the stunning Cairngorm mountains and explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry.