- A great way to see these islands, pity the weather was not better. Excellent scenery.
Published on: 24 October 2016
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The extraordinary Outer Hebrides
Explore eight different islands - almost the entire length and breadth of the Western Isles - on this wonderful holiday. You'll discover the charm of remote and beautiful places with diverse and captivating scenery, as well as their very different pace and way of life.
Single rooms are available for a supplement
Fly to Edinburgh to meet our Tour Manager and board our coach for the long but beautiful journey north-west to the Isle of Skye. We'll break our journey en route - stopping in Pitlochry and at Eilean Donan Castle, beside Loch Duich - and should arrive at our hotel with enough time for you to relax before dinner this evening.
After breakfast, today, we'll head past the Cullin Mountains to Dunvegan Castle - stronghold of the chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years, and said to be the oldest continuously occupied 'family home' in Scotland. Discover its fascinating history, and wander the beautiful formal gardens that lie hidden amid the surrounding moorland and mountains.
This afternoon, explore Portree. Admire the dramatic scenery and delightful white and colour-washed buildings around the harbour, browse the shops, and find out about the local environment at the town's exhibition.
Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before we head to Uig for our crossing to Lochmaddy on North Uist. On arrival, we head over a series of causeways - looking out for otters - to our hotel on Benbecula, where the scenery is studded with glittering fresh- and seawater lochs.
After checking in to our hotel, you may like a stroll down to the beach, about 350 metres away, before dinner is served.
This morning we'll join our local guide and cross the causeway to South Uist, the Western Isles' second largest island. Stunningly beautiful, the island is a stronghold of the Gaelic language. Here, the crofting industries of peat cutting and seaweed gathering are still an important part of everyday life.
We'll visit the Kildonan Museum, which introduces the island's archaeology and history, and includes a collection of South Uist artefacts. We'll also cross the 1650m-long causeway to the idyllic island of Eriskay (just three miles by two), immortalised in Compton Mackenzie's bestselling novel 'Whisky Galore'.
An hour-long ferry crossing takes us from the Island of Beneray to Leverburgh on the Isle of Harris. From here we'll drive to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and check into our hotel.
This morning, we'll explore the Isle of Harris. Discover the island's rare and diverse flora and fauna, and marvel at its beautiful scenery - from the high mountains and rocky coastline in the east to its western shoreline of unspoilt beaches, washed by the Atlantic waves.
Back on Lewis we'll visit the standing stones of Callanish - 50 ancient stones arranging in rays around a central ring and easily the most mysterious sight in the islands, stop at Carloway Broch, a 2,000-year-old fortified dry-stone tower, and visit the reconstructed Black House at Arnol, inhabited until 1965 - for a fascinating insight into the lives of the islands' past inhabitants.
On our final morning in the Western Isles we'll head to the Butt of Lewis at the island's northern tip to take in the vast views of the remote landscape before we say our farewells. In the early afternoon, we'll begin the two-hour 45-minute crossing to Ullapool before a wonderfully scenic journey through Wester Ross to our final hotel in Newtonmore.
Today we head back to Edinburgh to catch the flight home. Depending on your flight time there may be a little time to explore the Scottish capital before we head to the airport.
As the flights arrive in Edinburgh during the afternoon for 2017 departures, dinner on your first night in Dunollie will be soup and sandwiches rather than a full meal.
The transfer time from the airport to your first hotel is approximately five hours. The transfer time from your hotel to the airport on the last day is approximately three hours.
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Please note that the Broch is a short walk over fairly rough ground from the road.
Please note that disabled access to this ancient building is limited. There are two shallow steps into the reception area, followed by approximately 20 steps up to the main rooms. Thereafter the route is level. Many of the garden paths are suitable for wheelchairs.
Please note that most local businesses in the Outer Hebrides will be closed on Sundays.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.