Tour the extraordinary Outer Hebrides
Explore eight different islands - almost the entire length and breadth of the Western Isles - on this wonderful Scottish 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.
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.
Day One: Fly to Scotland
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.
Day Two: Included Dunvegan Castle and Portree coach trip
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.
Day Three: Included cruise to North Uist and Benbecula
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.
Day Four: Included tour of South Uist
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.
Day Five: Included cruise to the Isle of Harris
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.
Day Six: Included tour of the Western Isles
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.
Day Seven: Included cruise from Lewis to Ullapool
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.
Day Eight: Fly home from Scotland
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.
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
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.
Access to Carloway Broch
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.
Access to Dunvegan Castle
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.
Airport development fees
*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.