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Scotland Western Isles Hiking Tour

Dramatic Landscapes, Stunning Lochs & Whisky Tasting


Discover wild and beautiful Scotland, a land of glimmering lochs, sweeping valleys, and dramatic cliffs on this perfect Highlands and Islands hiking experience. Warm up with drinks at Tomatin Whisky Distillery, then head for a hike through the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest, home to red deer and osprey. At Cairngorms National Park, look out for Scotland's only free-ranging herd of reindeer. Visit Loch Ness, famed for the mythical Nessie, then it's off to the Hebrides for hikes on the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Lewis. Mount the Storr, a rocky hill offering majestic panoramas, and stroll along Luskentyre beach as you near the edge of the continent. Wrap up your magical Scottish journey with a stop at the 5,000-year-old Callanish Standing Stones.

9 Days

From: $6,195

Discover wild and beautiful Scotland, a land of glimmering lochs, sweeping valleys, and dramatic cliffs on this perfect Highlands and Islands hiking experience. Warm up with drinks at Tomatin Whisky Distillery, then head for a hike through the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest, home to red deer and osprey. At Cairngorms National Park, look out for Scotland's only free-ranging herd of reindeer. Visit Loch Ness, famed for the mythical Nessie, then it's off to the Hebrides for hikes on the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Lewis. Mount the Storr, a rocky hill offering majestic panoramas, and stroll along Luskentyre beach as you near the edge of the continent. Wrap up your magical Scottish journey with a stop at the 5,000-year-old Callanish Standing Stones.

Hear from Craig McDonald one of our expert guides on Scotland Western Isles Hiking! Join us for this spectacular adventure from the rugged Cairngorms to the stunning islands of the Hebrides in 2024.

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Join us for this spectacular adventure from the rugged Cairngorms to the stunning islands of the Hebrides in 2024. [Description] => Hear from Craig McDonald one of our expert guides on Scotland Western Isles Hiking! Join us for this spectacular adventure from the rugged Cairngorms to the stunning islands of the Hebrides in 2024. [Image] => https://mts-wp-uploads.s3.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/trips/CraigMcDonald2.png [VideoLink] => ) )

Highlights


  • Explore the spectacular Cairngorms, visit Loch Ness and see the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle
  • Hike the magnificent Isle of Skye, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides
  • Enjoy warm Scottish hospitality, go whisky tasting, learn about Harris tweed, and rest up in charming hotels

Scotland Western Isles Hiking Tour

Start: Inverness, Scotland  End: Inverness, Scotland

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Visit the Tomatin Whisky Distillery & Journey to the Cairngorms

    Day 1

    Arrive in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands and take a mid-morning transfer to the Tomatin Whisky Distillery, for a tour and a whisky tasting. Have lunch in a café in the village of Carrbridge before a leg-stretching hike at the Loch Garten Nature Reserve, looking out for ospreys and smaller birds found in the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest. A short transfer then leads to the lively village of Aviemore, home for the next three nights. Get to know your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner tonight.

    Accommodation: Cairngorm Hotel- Aviemore, Scotland

    Activity: 1.5 hours/2.5 miles hiking

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Cairngorms National Park

    Day 2

    Today hike to an often-overlooked summit in Cairngorms National Park which offers incredible views for less effort than you might imagine. From the trailhead, cross a bridge over a bubbling burn and then climb up onto the lower plateau, where you may encounter Scotland's only herd of reindeer. Follow a good trail which cuts across the heather-clad slopes before a short climb leads to a summit with superb views of some of the highest peaks in Scotland.

    Accommodation: Cairngorm Hotel- Aviemore, Scotland

    Activity: 4-5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,310' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to the Cairngorm High Plateau

    Day 3

    After a hearty breakfast, venture out to tackle the Cairngorm high plateau. Home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland, the rolling plateau is split by several deep valleys where the results of the last Ice Age are very visible. Starting from a high elevation trailhead, there is still a further 1,950 feet of elevation gain before reaching the high plateau. Once gained, hike through a sea of mountain tops with outstanding views in all directions. Return to the hotel, with time to relax before dinner. Dinner tonight is on your own in town.

    Accommodation: Cairngorm Hotel- Aviemore, Scotland

    Activity: 4-5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,950' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Journey to the Isle of Skye

    Day 4

    Head west today to the Isle of Skye, the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. En route, take a brief stop to enjoy the views over Loch Ness and another to visit the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle, dating from the 13th century. Arriving on Skye in the early afternoon, take a short hike in the iconic Glen Sligachan, a deep glacial valley which separates the Red Cuillins from the craggier Black Cuillins. After the hike, have a pint of ale in a mountaineers' inn before arriving at the hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel Eilean Iarmain

    Activity: 2-3 hours/5 miles hiking with 490' elevation gain

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Isle of Skye

    Day 5

    Explore the magnificent Isle of Skye on one of many hikes available on the island. Depending on the weather and the group's mood, the guide selects the best route to take today. A great option is an ascent of the Storr - a craggy peak which gives impressive views of the famous 'Old Man of Storr' rock spire, as well as wide-ranging panoramas across the island and across the sea to the mainland.

    Accommodation: Hotel Eilean Iarmain

    Activity: 4-5 hours/5 miles hiking with 2,300' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover the Quiraing & Ride to the Outer Hebrides

    Day 6

    Today head north onto the resplendent Trotternish Peninsula, to enjoy a short hike amidst the otherworldly pinnacles, spires and cliffs of the Quiraing. Then jump on a ferry across the Minch to the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Check into the hotel, located in the sleepy village of Tarbert, before enjoying dinner this evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel Hebrides-Isle of Harris, Scotland

    Activity: 2-3 hours/3 miles hiking with 650' elevation gain

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer & 1.5-hour ferry ride

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Enjoy Views from Toe Head & Explore the Golden Road

    Day 7

    Begin today with a lovely walk along beautiful Luskentyre beach. Continue south to Toe Head, a wonderful wee peak with unbeatable coastal views from its summit (1,300'). Then complete a circuit of Harris by traveling back north via the 'Golden Road' on the east coast, a picturesque road with dazzling views at every turn.

    Accommodation: Hotel Hebrides-Isle of Harris, Scotland

    Activity: 4-5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,300' elevation gain

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Venture to the Isle of Lewis & Visit the Callanish Standing Stones

    Day 8

    Head north to the Isle of Lewis, to take in the Callanish Standing Stones which date back to 2,900 B.C. Then continue to explore the west coast of Lewis, visiting historic sites and enjoying a short but astounding coastal hike from a blackhouse village. Afterwards, continue to the town of Stornoway, and from there catch the late afternoon ferry back to the mainland. A short transfer takes you to the hotel, located in a sleepy Highland village.

    Accommodation: Coul House Hotel-Contin by Strathpeffer, Scotland

    Activity: 1 hour/1 mile hiking with 200' elevation gain

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer & 2.5-hour ferry ride

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tackle a Final Summit & Return to Inverness

    Day 9

    After breakfast, set out for one last hike. It's a short but rewarding walk up a superb little hill called Knockfarrel. At the summit, see a vitrified fort which dates back to the Iron Age (around 100 B.C.) and take in the expansive views which stretch across the Highlands in every direction — a fine place to reflect upon the journey. Then descend back to the trailhead and make the short transfer to Inverness, where the trip ends at 1pm.

    Activity: 2-3 hours/4.5 miles hiking with approximately 820' elevation gain

    Transportation: 40 minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

Why Travel With Us?


  • MT Sobek has been operating in the Scottish Highlands for decades, working closely with expert local guides to ensure an immersive and memorable adventure.

  • This well-paced and incredibly scenic 9-day adventure is perfect for those who want to pair exciting days on wilderness trails with enriching historical and cultural experiences.

  • Explore the Cairngorms, visit Loch Ness, hike the Inner Hebrides, and stay at specially selected comfortable hotels at every leg of the journey. We make it easy!

Dates & Prices


  • 2024
  • 2025
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2024

Scheduled Dates


Price is per person, double occupancy in USD.

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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View 2025 Departure Dates

2025

Scheduled Dates


Price is per person, double occupancy in USD.

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.


Looking for a private family adventure?


This trip can accommodate guests with a
minimum age of 16.

Private Trip Pricing: 2024


4 guests from $6,995 per person double occupancy

5 to 7 guests from $6,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $6,295 per person double occupancy

Private Trip Pricing: 2025


4 guests from $6,995 per person double occupancy

5 to 7 guests from $6,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $6,295 per person double occupancy

*Seasonal rates may apply.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Craig M.

Craig M.

Craig's love of Scottish history, mountains and glens has brought him further north into the Highlands from his birthplace in the Central belt. He embarked on a career working in this stunning environment and loves hillwalking, mountaineering, and biking all over Scotland—all year round. His passion for exploring the history of these areas is infectious and he loves sharing these experiences with other people. His idea of heaven is a cracking long day on foot or on bike exploring Scotland’s stunning scenery and history, followed by a good hearty dinner and some mirth and laughter by a roaring fire with a wee dram in the evening!

Dave P.

Dave P.

Dave has traveled throughout the world on foot, on skis, and by boat! He now regularly leads adventure expeditions in Scotland. Dave previously worked for Scotland's leading wild lands charity and he inspires travelers with his wealth of knowledge and experience of Scotland's wild places. Meet Dave on MT Sobek's Scotland adventures.

Alistair J.

Alistair J.

Life for Alistair began as a skinny lad with a curious nature. He spent time roaming the countryside and “playing” along the cliffs of East Yorkshire. Later in life, after 23 years of service at Her Majesty’s pleasure and traveling the world, Alistair and his wife returned to Scotland and opened a B&B. Currently he is the President of the Moray Mountaineering Club and a Munro Completer (having reached the summit of all Scottish 3000’ summits). Alistair now enjoys sharing his love for Scotland with visitors new to the area and visiting its many malt whisky distilleries.

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Arrive in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands and take a mid-morning transfer to the Tomatin Whisky Distillery, for a tour and a whisky tasting. Have lunch in a café in the village of Carrbridge before a leg-stretching hike at the Loch Garten Nature Reserve, looking out for ospreys and smaller birds found in the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest. A short transfer then leads to the lively village of Aviemore, home for the next three nights. Get to know your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner tonight.

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Today hike to an often-overlooked summit in Cairngorms National Park which offers incredible views for less effort than you might imagine. From the trailhead, cross a bridge over a bubbling burn and then climb up onto the lower plateau, where you may encounter Scotland\'s only herd of reindeer. Follow a good trail which cuts across the heather-clad slopes before a short climb leads to a summit with superb views of some of the highest peaks in Scotland.

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After a hearty breakfast, venture out to tackle the Cairngorm high plateau. Home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland, the rolling plateau is split by several deep valleys where the results of the last Ice Age are very visible. Starting from a high elevation trailhead, there is still a further 1,950 feet of elevation gain before reaching the high plateau. Once gained, hike through a sea of mountain tops with outstanding views in all directions. Return to the hotel, with time to relax before dinner. Dinner tonight is on your own in town.

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Head west today to the Isle of Skye, the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. En route, take a brief stop to enjoy the views over Loch Ness and another to visit the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle, dating from the 13th century. Arriving on Skye in the early afternoon, take a short hike in the iconic Glen Sligachan, a deep glacial valley which separates the Red Cuillins from the craggier Black Cuillins. After the hike, have a pint of ale in a mountaineers\' inn before arriving at the hotel.

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Explore the magnificent Isle of Skye on one of many hikes available on the island. Depending on the weather and the group\'s mood, the guide selects the best route to take today. A great option is an ascent of the Storr - a craggy peak which gives impressive views of the famous \'Old Man of Storr\' rock spire, as well as wide-ranging panoramas across the island and across the sea to the mainland.

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Today head north onto the resplendent Trotternish Peninsula, to enjoy a short hike amidst the otherworldly pinnacles, spires and cliffs of the Quiraing. Then jump on a ferry across the Minch to the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Check into the hotel, located in the sleepy village of Tarbert, before enjoying dinner this evening.

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Begin today with a lovely walk along beautiful Luskentyre beach. Continue south to Toe Head, a wonderful wee peak with unbeatable coastal views from its summit (1,300\'). Then complete a circuit of Harris by traveling back north via the \'Golden Road\' on the east coast, a picturesque road with dazzling views at every turn.

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Head north to the Isle of Lewis, to take in the Callanish Standing Stones which date back to 2,900 B.C. Then continue to explore the west coast of Lewis, visiting historic sites and enjoying a short but astounding coastal hike from a blackhouse village. Afterwards, continue to the town of Stornoway, and from there catch the late afternoon ferry back to the mainland. A short transfer takes you to the hotel, located in a sleepy Highland village.

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After breakfast, set out for one last hike. It\'s a short but rewarding walk up a superb little hill called Knockfarrel. At the summit, see a vitrified fort which dates back to the Iron Age (around 100 B.C.) and take in the expansive views which stretch across the Highlands in every direction — a fine place to reflect upon the journey. Then descend back to the trailhead and make the short transfer to Inverness, where the trip ends at 1pm.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 3. This trip is for those who exercise regularly and who can hike 6-7 miles per day, for a week or more. The days are active, and you will be on your feet throughout each day. The terrain is a mixture of paths, village roads, pastures, fields and rocky terrain on some days.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 1

1.5 hours/2.5 miles hiking

Day 2

4-5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,310' elevation gain

Day 3

4-5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,950' elevation gain

Day 4

2-3 hours/5 miles hiking with 490' elevation gain

Day 5

4-5 hours/5 miles hiking with 2,300' elevation gain

Day 6

2-3 hours/3 miles hiking with 650' elevation gain

Day 7

4-5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,300' elevation gain

Day 8

1 hour/1 mile hiking with 200' elevation gain

Day 9

2-3 hours/4.5 miles hiking with approximately 820' elevation gain

Accommodations


Charming hotels with lovely countryside and loch views, excellent dining, and heaps of character.

Cairngorm Hotel- Aviemore, Scotland
Cairngorm Hotel- Aviemore, Scotland

Situated in the heart of Aviemore, a year-round resort town in Cairngorms National Park, Cairngorm Hotel is a delightful base for exploring the Scottish Highlands. The 32 en-suite rooms come complete with a full spectrum of amenities and feature lovely views over the Cairngorm Mountains or Craigellachie. The vibrant bar and restaurant is a great spot to swap travel tales.

Hotel Hebrides-Isle of Harris, Scotland
Hotel Hebrides-Isle of Harris, Scotland

A boutique hideaway on the charming Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, this delightful hotel showcases stylish, contemporary guest rooms equipped with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities. Many of the rooms offer loch and harbor views. Food served at the Pierhouse Restaurant is a definite highlight — locally sourced and deliciously prepared.

Coul House Hotel-Contin by Strathpeffer, Scotland
Coul House Hotel-Contin by Strathpeffer, Scotland

Housed inside a lovingly restored 1820's mansion, this delightful hotel showcases magnificent fireplaces, ornate ceilings, and great views from the public areas. The guest rooms ooze character, the cuisine served at the restaurant is creative, and the location stellar — just 25 minutes north of Inverness on the door step of the North Coast 500 route leading to the Highland wilderness.

Hotel Eilean Iarmain
Hotel Eilean Iarmain

Nestled in a picturesque bay in southern Skye, Hotel Eileen Iarmain offers a truly enchanting Scottish escape! All of its 16 bedrooms come with modern amenities and panoramic views of the sea! Sip on gin or whisky at the bar, or enjoy a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant before cosying up by the roaring fire in the sitting room.

Weather


Weather in Scotland and in the Highlands is constantly changing. Be prepared for rain, wind and sun. It is often cool and wet.

 
May
Jun
Aug
Aviemore 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Aviemore
58
38
62
44
64
46
Hebrides 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Hebrides
54
45
56
48
65
53
Isle of Skye 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Isle of Skye
55
41
58
46
61
49

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

Plan to arrive at Scotland's Inverness Airport (INV) by 9:30AM on Day 1. Your guide will meet you and the rest of the group at the Arrivals Hall at 10:00AM.

What is the best type of shoe/boot for this trip?

The perfect footwear for this trip is a medium-weight, waterproof hiking boot.

Do I need hiking poles for this trip?

Hiking poles are good for this trip. The terrain is often wet and uneven, so hiking poles will assist with balance.

Can I skip any of the hikes if I need a rest day?

Yes. We stay in some hotels for multiple nights affording you the opportunity to take a leisurely day off to explore the village or simply relax at the hotel and enjoy a good book.

Can a vegetarian diet be accommodated in Scotland?

Yes, we can accommodate almost any diet in Scotland. While the food of Scotland tends to be heavy on meat, there are many alternate options to choose from.

Will I need to bring nice clothing with me?

You do not need to bring formal clothing, but it is also not customary in the U.K. to wear your outdoor clothing and shoes to dinners. We recommend that you bring a few 'smart casual' items for dinners.

Does this trip contribute to any local conservation efforts?

Yes! This trip helps reduce the effect of tourism on the fragile landscapes on the Isle of Skye by supporting the John Muir Trust. Commercialized wildlife planting has been restored to native plants and over 40 miles of trails are maintained.

What is the minimum age for this trip?
The standard minimum age for this trip is 18, but check out our private trip options for families and groups with younger guests.
What is the best time to hike in Scotland?
The best time to hike in Scotland is typically in late spring to early autumn when the weather is milder, and the landscapes are beautifully adorned with blooming flora or autumnal colors. MT Sobek's Scotland tour runs from May to August, with private options also available in September.
How do you prepare for hiking in Scotland?
To prepare for hiking in Scotland, ensure you have proper waterproof gear, sturdy hiking boots, adequate layers for changing weather, and a good understanding of your chosen trail's difficulty level. Mountain Travel Sobek's Scotland adventure is a Level 3 trip, led by local expert guides who know the terrain.
What is the Old Man of Storr?
The Old Man of Storr is a distinctive rock pinnacle on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, rising dramatically from the landscape. It's a popular and iconic hiking destination offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.
How scenic are Scotland's Western Isles?
Scotland's Western Isles are exceptionally scenic, characterized by rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and picturesque landscapes. These islands, including the Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye, are renowned for their natural beauty and offer a unique and unforgettable hiking experience.

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