Tour of the western highlands & Islands
Highlights include Loch Lomond, Inveraray, The whisky Isle of Islay, Isle of Colonsay, Isle of Jura, Oban, Fort William, Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Inverness, Cairngorm National Park (this tour needs to start on a Monday to be able to do ferry connections - can start on other days but will miss out ferry trip to Colonsay).

Day 1: Monday: Pick up in Edinburgh or Glasgow. We would head firstly north west and up to Loch Lomond, with the pretty village of Luss being a nice stopping point for great views of the Loch. We continue north along the Loch to Tarbet before heading into the mountains of the Arrochar Alps and the stunning pass of "Rest and be Thankful". We arrive in the small, handsome town of Inveraray on Loch Fyne, with Inveraray Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, and the old Jail well worth a visit. Spend the night in Inveraray.

Day 2: Tuesday: We head south along Loch Fyne and through Tarbert to Kennacraig to catch the ferry 09:45 to Isle of Islay. Arrive in Port Ellen at 12:05 with the whisky distillery's of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg all nearby. Perhaps drive out to the blue stone of Kildalton Cross, a 1200 year old Celtic Cross. If you are feeling fit I can take you on a guided walk out to the huge American Monument perched on the wild cliff edge. We then head to the center of the island, with Bowmore being an option to visit before arriving in the pretty village of Port Charlotte to spend the night. Perhaps take a walk and explore the many beaches and cliffs of the island.

Day 3: Wednesday: Leave the island by Port Askaig at 10:15am for one of the main highlights of the trip. The ferry journey sails through the sound of Jura to the Isle of Colonsay before passing the Isle of Mull into the Firth of Lorne and arriving in the bustling town of Oban at 14:00 (which has the Oban distillery). It's a nice town to explore and wander around and has great views of the surrounding area. We then head east by Dunstaffenage Castle and through the Pass of Brander to the mighty Loch Awe and the ruins of Kilchurn Castle. Head through Glen Orchy to the stunning wilderness of Rannoch Moor and enter Glen Coe, Scotland most dramatic glen. We then head to the lively town of Fort William for the night.

Day 4: Thursday. Take the stunning Glenfinnan road to see the amazing Glenfinnan monument and viaduct (which was used in the Harry Potter films).This road continues along the same route as the West Highland Railway line, arriving in the small port of Mallaig. We then take the spectacular ferry journey through the Sound of Sleat and arrive on the Isle of Skye at Armadale. We head north and see the wild mountains that dominate the island before heading to the capital of Skye, Portree and seeing the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock (a spectacular rock formation). Night in Portree.

Day 5: Friday: We leave Portree and travel by the Isle of Raasay and over the Skye Bridge to visit Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland. We travel through Glen Moriston arriving at the famous Loch Ness, with Castle Urquhart being a good spot to perhaps spot the monster! We then head to Inverness for a tour around this small city and a trip out to 1746 Culloden Battlefield. Spend the night in Inverness.

Day 6: Saturday: Leave Inverness and travel south through the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park to Dunkeld for a wander around this picturesque conservation village with a medieval cathedral and Georgian Bridge on the River Tay. Britain's tallest tree is nearby in a gorge which is delightful walk. Continuing south we could perhaps stop at Loch Leven and take the small boat journey to the island prison in the middle of the loch who's last inmate was Mary Queen of Scots. Then back to Edinburgh or wherever you are based.

 
Casks at the Glen Nevis Distillery
Cill Chrisosd church on Skye
Lagavulin distillery on Islay
Port Charlotte, Isle of Islay
Bruichladdich distillery on Islay
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