Enjoy some of Scotland's celebrated island scenery
Escape the crowds, and journey along the west coast of Scotland, from Glasgow to Inverness, and explore four enchanting Scottish Islands. Discover a land of sparkling lochs, white-sand beaches, soaring mountains and heather-clad moors, and a pace of life most of us have forgotten ever existed, as you visit the Isle of Arran, Bute, Mull and ancient Iona.
Fly to Glasgow airport. Our Tour Manager will meet you at the airport, and a coach will be waiting to transfer you to your first hotel. Check in, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing.
Day One: Fly to Scotland
Today, we head to Ardrossan for the 55-minute ferry crossing to Brodick on the Isle of Arran. Visit historic Brodick Castle, the ancient seat of the Duke of Hamilton, which houses a superb collection of silver, porcelain and paintings, and stroll the castle's gardens.
Day Two: Included Isle of Arran tour
Alternatively, stay on the coach and enjoy a tour of the island's lovely, ever-varying landscape of mountains and lochs, rolling hills and meadows. Look out for seal colonies and birdlife as we head north along the coast road to the ruins of Lochranza Castle and follow Arran's western coast, past scenic villages and stunning views across to the Mull of Kintyre, to the southernmost tip of the island.
This morning we'll head to Wemyss Bay where we'll board the ferry for the 35-minute crossing to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. Our destination here will be Mount Stuart House. The first Scottish home to be built with electric lighting, central heating, a telephone and a lift - and quite possibly the first house in the world to have a heated indoor swimming pool - Mount Stuart shot to fame in April 2016 when a new copy of Shakespeare's First Folio was found tucked away in the house's library.
Day Three: Included Isle of Bute tour
In the afternoon we'll head north to Inveraray. After a short ferry crossing, we'll follow the Argyll coast along the Kyles of Bute and past the rocky slopes of the Arrochar Alps, over Rest And Be Thankful Pass and on, to the shores of Loch Fyne.
Spend a leisurely day exploring Inveraray, or making the most of the hotel's facilities.
Day Four: Day at leisure
One of the oldest planned towns in Scotland, Inveraray was rebuilt in the mid-1700s by the 3rd Duke of Argyll (after the original village was demolished to make more space for his castle). Why not visit its famous Jail, the Maritime Museum housed in the Arctic Penguin, a 1911 iron schooner, or Inverary Castle, ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell?
This morning, we head to the bustling resort of Oban, gateway to the islands of the Inner Hebrides. Stroll along the esplanade or, if you've got the energy, climb up Battery Hill to McCraig's Tower. On a clear day, the views of the Islands of Kerrera and Mull are well worth it.
Day Five: Included tour of Oban
Later, we'll board the ferry for the 40-minute crossing to Mull and make our way to the Isle of Mull Hotel, our base for the next two nights.
Today we'll head west, along the Ross of Mull, to Fionnphort for the ferry crossing (as foot passengers) to the sacred Isle of Iona. A holy site since St Columba landed there in A.D.56, the island's monastery is still a place of pilgrimage, and is also the burial place of many early Scottish kings. Follow the pilgrim path up the slight rise, through the pretty cottages and ruined nunnery, to the Abbey itself. After time to explore, we'll return to Mull.
Day Six: Included Isle of Mull and Iona tours
After breakfast, we'll head to Mull's principle town, Tobermory. Wander along the waterfront, past its distinctive, colourful buildings, and explore the town's little arts and crafts shops.
Day Seven: From Tobermory to Fort William and Newtonmore
Leaving Tobermory by ferry, we'll cross to Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. We'll follow the main road (actually a winding singletrack for much of its length) through the remote, unspoilt landscape where life seems little-changed by the passage of time.
Our route takes us across the bottom of Loch Linnhe on another short ferry ride, up to Fort William and on to Newtonmore, in the Spey Valley, for our final night's stay.
Bid farewell to Scotland, today, as we transfer you to Inverness for your flight home.
Day Eight: Fly home from Scotland
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour (or one hour 15 minutes for autumn departures with reversed itineraries).
Hotel transfer times
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.
Combining hotel transfers
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.
Please note that autumn departures of this tour will operate in reverse, flying into Inverness and returning from Glasgow. You will stay at the Hallmark Hotel, Irvine, on Days Six and Seven.
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.
To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you book any spa treatments prior to travelling.
Hotel spa treatments
*Low deposit of £79pp applies to new bookings made between 28th December 2017 and 31st March 2018 (inclusive) only. This offer applies to flight-inclusive holidays only and excludes Lapland, Andre Rieu in Maastricht, Andre Rieu in Vienna, Deep South Rhythms, New Orleans & Caribbean Cruise, Five-Star Alaska Cruise & the Canadian Rockies, Canada's Rocky Mountaineer(TM), the Seychelles Island Cruise, Darjeeling & Bhutan - The Last Himalayan Kingdom, Classic South Africa, Under African Skies, Cape Town, the Garden Route & Big Five Safaris, Peru - Lake Titicaca to Machu Picchu, and fly-cruises on board Magellan and Columbus. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.