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Hiking Wild Scotland

From $4,695

  • Experience the raw wildness of the Outer Hebrides and the gorgeous, windswept terrain of Cairngorms National Park
  • A photographer’s dream world—vibrantly changing colors in one of the most naturally beautiful areas in the world
  • Settle in at charming inns and receive an insider’s welcome (from distilleries to traditional weavers) thanks to our resident Scottish guides

To visit Scotland is to step back in time. Its rolling highlands, isolated beaches, dramatic crags, pristine lochs and brooding skies make it one of the most dramatic landscapes in Europe. Our exclusive itinerary covers the best of the country’s wildest, most beautiful and most far-flung corners. You’ll traverse the Highlands and Outer Hebrides along varied terrain, enjoying a perfect balance of heart-pumping hikes, sightseeing excursions, and time to relax. Along the way, you’ll visit Cairngorms National Park, see the Callanish standing stones, pay homage to the famous Loch Ness, enjoy a tasting at a famous whisky distillery and watch a Harris Tweed weaver at work. So sip on a wee dram and watch your magical adventure unfold!

Day 1: Arrive in Scotland, Welcome Briefing & Dinner

Meet in Inverness. In the afternoon, we have a short transfer to Loch Ness. We then transfer to the hotel where, after checking into our rooms, we have a welcome orientation to discuss the trip. An opening night dinner then provides the opportunity to meet the other travelers and discuss the trip further.

  • Dinner
  • Accomodation:Kingsmills Hotel

Day 2: Travel to the Outer Hebrides

After an early breakfast, we leave the hotel at 8:15 a.m. and transfer to Ullapool (1 hour). We then take the ferry to Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the incredible historic sites of west Lewis: Callanish Standing Stones, the broch and the Blackhouse Village. A lovely coastal walk links some of these sites making this a great way to ease ourselves into the trip. Transfer to Harris, and stay overnight. (Easy Hike:  6.5 miles, minimal ascent, mainly good trails.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Hebrides

Day 3: North Harris Hiking – Sron Ulladale & Huisnish

We explore the stunning scenery of North Harris and visit some amazing beaches. We begin with a hike to the overhanging cliff of Sron Ulladale, a magnet for extreme rock climbers and golden eagles alike! Great mountain and sea views are all around. Returning from the hike, we relax on beautiful Huishnish beach before returning to the hotel.  (Moderate Hike: 6.5 miles, 328’ ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Hebrides

Day 4: Toe Head & the Golden Road

We begin with a walk at beautiful Luskintyre beach, perhaps visiting the local Harris Tweed weaver, Donald John, to see him at work. We continue south to Toe Head, a wonderful wee peak with unbeatable coastal views from its summit (1,197'). We then complete a circuit of Harris by travelling back north via the ‘Golden Road’ on the east coast. This is a stunning road with amazing views at every turn.  (Moderate Hike: 7 miles, 1,312’ ascent, some rough ground.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Hebrides

Day 5: Travel to Loch Ness via the Isle of Skye

We take the late morning ferry from Harris to the Isle of Skye. On Skye, we explore the Trotternish Peninsula with hikes at the Quiraing rock pinnacles and possibly to see the Old Man of Storr as well. We then transfer south, passing the spectacular Black Cuillin mountains before crossing the bridge onto the mainland and continuing, past Eilean Donan Castle, to our accommodation in Fort Augustus, located at the southern end of Loch Ness.  (Moderate Hike: 5 miles, 490’ ascent, reasonable trails, some rough ground.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Lovat Arms Hotel

Day 6: Cairngorms: Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie Hike

We'll transfer south just over an hour to the Tomatin whisky distillery for a tour and tasting of the Highland malt. This is, after all, Scotland’s prime whisky making center. We'll then continue on to the Cairngorms National Park and take a hike to beautiful Loch Garten. Here we'll visit a nature reserve where it is common to see red squirrels and ospreys nesting. We'll then continue our hike through the pine forests around Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie (Easy Hike: 5 miles, minimal ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Cairngorm Hotel

Day 7: Aviemore to Uath Lochans Hike

We'll enjoy a relaxing morning in the village – choose to stroll through town or simply relax back at the hotel. Late morning, we'll hike through Scots Pine forests to reach peaceful Loch an Eilean, which is named after the island on the loch. We pass the loch and continue on quiet forest trails with regular mountain views to the Uath Lochans. These beautiful lochans form part of the Inshriach Nature Reserve and are a wonderful place to end the hike with a celebratory local dram by the shoreline. We return to our hotel in Aviemore and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.  (Easy Hike: 6.5 miles, minimal ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Cairngorm Hotel

Day 8: Hiking to the Cairngorm High Plateau

We like to end our hiking trips on a high so today we’ll venture onto the high plateau of the Cairngorms. Home to 4 of the 5 highest mountains in Scotland, the rolling plateau is split by several deep valleys with the results of the last ice age clear to see. Starting from a high elevation road, we still have a further 1,950 feet of elevation gain before we reach the high plateau. Once gained however, we hike through a sea of mountain tops with outstanding views in all directions. We return to our hotel then venture out for a memorable final night dinner in a local restaurant.  (Moderate Hike:  7 miles, 1,950’ ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Cairngorm Hotel

Day 9: Transfer to Inverness, Depart

After breakfast, we transfer back to Inverness for onward air or rail transfers. Those who are travelling to Edinburgh or Glasgow by rail will be transfered to the Aviemore Railway station.

PLEASE NOTE - The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the guides having regard to weather conditions and other factors. This itinerary is graded “Moderate.” It has been designed to be enjoyed by people with reasonable hiking fitness although no previous experience of hiking is required. The hikes are mostly towards the more gentle end of the moderate grade, although there are some hikes in the Outer Hebrides where we will be hiking ’off-trail’ for a while - this is all part of the Scottish hiking experience. However, all hikes are conducted at a leisurely pace. The underfoot terrain will vary from good trails to open moorland and mountain tops. Consequently, it can be muddy or rocky underfoot at times but no scrambling is involved.

 

  • Breakfast

Sep 04 - 12, 2015

Jun 24, 2016 - Jul 02, 2016

Jul 29, 2016 - Aug 06, 2016

Sep 02 - 10, 2016

pricing

2015 Prices
$4,695 (5-16 members)
$700 single supplement

2016 Prices
$4,695 (5-16 members)
$700 single supplement

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Hotel Hebrides — Isle of Harris

Boutique style Hotel on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides offering quality accommodation. Peace, tranquility, sublime comfort, exceptional food, and some of the most beautiful landscapes and sightseeing in Scotland.

Kingsmills Hotel — Inverness

Kingsmills Hotel and Spa is a luxury four star resort, with heritage dating back to the 18th century. Complete with spa and conference facilities; Kingsmills hotel is a world-class destination not only for leisure, but for corporate events too.

Lovat Arms Hotel — Fort Augustus

The Lovat is an award-winning eco-conscious hotel, situated on the southern tip of Loch Ness. Our beautiful Victorian building is located in the loch-side village of Fort Augustus, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

The Cairngorm Hotel — Aviemore

  • Experience the raw wildness of the Outer Hebrides and the gorgeous, windswept terrain of Cairngorms National Park
  • A photographer’s dream world—vibrantly changing colors in one of the most naturally beautiful areas in the world
  • Settle in at charming inns and receive an insider’s welcome (from distilleries to traditional weavers) thanks to our resident Scottish guides

To visit Scotland is to step back in time. Its rolling highlands, isolated beaches, dramatic crags, pristine lochs and brooding skies make it one of the most dramatic landscapes in Europe. Our exclusive itinerary covers the best of the country’s wildest, most beautiful and most far-flung corners. You’ll traverse the Highlands and Outer Hebrides along varied terrain, enjoying a perfect balance of heart-pumping hikes, sightseeing excursions, and time to relax. Along the way, you’ll visit Cairngorms National Park, see the Callanish standing stones, pay homage to the famous Loch Ness, enjoy a tasting at a famous whisky distillery and watch a Harris Tweed weaver at work. So sip on a wee dram and watch your magical adventure unfold!

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Scotland, Welcome Briefing & Dinner

Meet in Inverness. In the afternoon, we have a short transfer to Loch Ness. We then transfer to the hotel where, after checking into our rooms, we have a welcome orientation to discuss the trip. An opening night dinner then provides the opportunity to meet the other travelers and discuss the trip further.

  • Dinner
  • Accomodation:Kingsmills Hotel

Day 2: Travel to the Outer Hebrides

After an early breakfast, we leave the hotel at 8:15 a.m. and transfer to Ullapool (1 hour). We then take the ferry to Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the incredible historic sites of west Lewis: Callanish Standing Stones, the broch and the Blackhouse Village. A lovely coastal walk links some of these sites making this a great way to ease ourselves into the trip. Transfer to Harris, and stay overnight. (Easy Hike:  6.5 miles, minimal ascent, mainly good trails.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Hebrides

Day 3: North Harris Hiking – Sron Ulladale & Huisnish

We explore the stunning scenery of North Harris and visit some amazing beaches. We begin with a hike to the overhanging cliff of Sron Ulladale, a magnet for extreme rock climbers and golden eagles alike! Great mountain and sea views are all around. Returning from the hike, we relax on beautiful Huishnish beach before returning to the hotel.  (Moderate Hike: 6.5 miles, 328’ ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Hebrides

Day 4: Toe Head & the Golden Road

We begin with a walk at beautiful Luskintyre beach, perhaps visiting the local Harris Tweed weaver, Donald John, to see him at work. We continue south to Toe Head, a wonderful wee peak with unbeatable coastal views from its summit (1,197'). We then complete a circuit of Harris by travelling back north via the ‘Golden Road’ on the east coast. This is a stunning road with amazing views at every turn.  (Moderate Hike: 7 miles, 1,312’ ascent, some rough ground.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Hotel Hebrides

Day 5: Travel to Loch Ness via the Isle of Skye

We take the late morning ferry from Harris to the Isle of Skye. On Skye, we explore the Trotternish Peninsula with hikes at the Quiraing rock pinnacles and possibly to see the Old Man of Storr as well. We then transfer south, passing the spectacular Black Cuillin mountains before crossing the bridge onto the mainland and continuing, past Eilean Donan Castle, to our accommodation in Fort Augustus, located at the southern end of Loch Ness.  (Moderate Hike: 5 miles, 490’ ascent, reasonable trails, some rough ground.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:Lovat Arms Hotel

Day 6: Cairngorms: Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie Hike

We'll transfer south just over an hour to the Tomatin whisky distillery for a tour and tasting of the Highland malt. This is, after all, Scotland’s prime whisky making center. We'll then continue on to the Cairngorms National Park and take a hike to beautiful Loch Garten. Here we'll visit a nature reserve where it is common to see red squirrels and ospreys nesting. We'll then continue our hike through the pine forests around Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie (Easy Hike: 5 miles, minimal ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Cairngorm Hotel

Day 7: Aviemore to Uath Lochans Hike

We'll enjoy a relaxing morning in the village – choose to stroll through town or simply relax back at the hotel. Late morning, we'll hike through Scots Pine forests to reach peaceful Loch an Eilean, which is named after the island on the loch. We pass the loch and continue on quiet forest trails with regular mountain views to the Uath Lochans. These beautiful lochans form part of the Inshriach Nature Reserve and are a wonderful place to end the hike with a celebratory local dram by the shoreline. We return to our hotel in Aviemore and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.  (Easy Hike: 6.5 miles, minimal ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Cairngorm Hotel

Day 8: Hiking to the Cairngorm High Plateau

We like to end our hiking trips on a high so today we’ll venture onto the high plateau of the Cairngorms. Home to 4 of the 5 highest mountains in Scotland, the rolling plateau is split by several deep valleys with the results of the last ice age clear to see. Starting from a high elevation road, we still have a further 1,950 feet of elevation gain before we reach the high plateau. Once gained however, we hike through a sea of mountain tops with outstanding views in all directions. We return to our hotel then venture out for a memorable final night dinner in a local restaurant.  (Moderate Hike:  7 miles, 1,950’ ascent, good trails throughout.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accomodation:The Cairngorm Hotel

Day 9: Transfer to Inverness, Depart

After breakfast, we transfer back to Inverness for onward air or rail transfers. Those who are travelling to Edinburgh or Glasgow by rail will be transfered to the Aviemore Railway station.

PLEASE NOTE - The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the guides having regard to weather conditions and other factors. This itinerary is graded “Moderate.” It has been designed to be enjoyed by people with reasonable hiking fitness although no previous experience of hiking is required. The hikes are mostly towards the more gentle end of the moderate grade, although there are some hikes in the Outer Hebrides where we will be hiking ’off-trail’ for a while - this is all part of the Scottish hiking experience. However, all hikes are conducted at a leisurely pace. The underfoot terrain will vary from good trails to open moorland and mountain tops. Consequently, it can be muddy or rocky underfoot at times but no scrambling is involved.

 

  • Breakfast

Hotel Hebrides — Isle of Harris

Boutique style Hotel on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides offering quality accommodation. Peace, tranquility, sublime comfort, exceptional food, and some of the most beautiful landscapes and sightseeing in Scotland.

Kingsmills Hotel — Inverness

Kingsmills Hotel and Spa is a luxury four star resort, with heritage dating back to the 18th century. Complete with spa and conference facilities; Kingsmills hotel is a world-class destination not only for leisure, but for corporate events too.

Lovat Arms Hotel — Fort Augustus

The Lovat is an award-winning eco-conscious hotel, situated on the southern tip of Loch Ness. Our beautiful Victorian building is located in the loch-side village of Fort Augustus, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

The Cairngorm Hotel — Aviemore

Dates and Pricing

Sep 04 - 12, 2015

Jun 24, 2016 - Jul 02, 2016

Jul 29, 2016 - Aug 06, 2016

Sep 02 - 10, 2016

pricing

2015 Prices
$4,695 (5-16 members)
$700 single supplement

2016 Prices
$4,695 (5-16 members)
$700 single supplement

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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure