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Scotland Western Isles Hiking

Dramatic Landscapes, Stunning Lochs & Whisky Tasting

 

Traverse wild and beautiful Scotland, a land of glimmering lochs, sweeping valleys, and dramatic cliffs. 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 mythical Nessie, and mount the Storr, a rocky hill offering majestic panoramas. Wrap up the magical Scottish journey with a stop at the 5,000-year-old Callanish Standing Stones.

  • Explore the world-famous Loch Ness and visit the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle

  • Summit the Cairngorms high plateau, home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland

  • Hike the magnificent Isle of Skye, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides

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Arrive:

Inverness, Scotland

Depart:

Inverness, Scotland

Price: from $5,695

Duration:

9 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

5-16 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

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 here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed 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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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 mostly 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: Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree-Skye, Scotland

    Spectacularly located within 15 acres of private grounds a 10-minute walk from the charming town of Portree, this upscale hotel showcases some of Scotland's best vistas - over Portree Bay towards the majestic Cuillin mountain range. The 34 bespoke guest rooms are individually styled but all equipped with plush perks of four-star variety. The View restaurant serves classic dishes with a modern twist.

    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: Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree-Skye, Scotland

    Spectacularly located within 15 acres of private grounds a 10-minute walk from the charming town of Portree, this upscale hotel showcases some of Scotland's best vistas - over Portree Bay towards the majestic Cuillin mountain range. The 34 bespoke guest rooms are individually styled but all equipped with plush perks of four-star variety. The View restaurant serves classic dishes with a modern twist.

    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

    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.

    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 Luskintyre 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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

Scotland Western Isles Hiking Tour

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been operating in the Scottish Highlands for decades, working closely with expert local guides.

Reason #02

This custom-designed adventure is perfect for those who want to combine an immersive cultural experience with days on the trail in Scotland's wilderness.

Reason #03

We visit over 50 global national parks, including Cairngorms National Park, and adhere to strict Leave No Trace policies on all of our hikes.

Meet your guides

Craig McDonald

Craig McDonald

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!

Eilid Ormiston

Eilid Ormiston

Eilid, born and raised on Scotland's west coast, describes herself as a wilderness stravaiger. Reveling in micro-adventures on her Argyll doorstep or month-long expeditions across the globe, her joy is being out there and sharing her experiences with like-minded folks. Working both in the outdoor education and adventure tourism industry, her mantras are deeper values and place based connections, enjoying and respecting the landscape of which we are part. Introducing people to her country, sharing her love and knowledge of its unique natural and cultural heritage gives her a chance to share those connections by having a "richt gud blether."

Dave Picken

Dave Picken

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

Activities

Guided hikes through Scotland's rolling highlands, dramatic crags and storybook islands, visits to local craftsmen, touring ancient landmarks, and relaxing at delightful inns.

Lodging

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

Climate

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

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

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

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.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • May 13 - 21, 2022
    $4,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,000 single supplement
    Available
  • Jul 08 - 16, 2022
    $4,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,000 single supplement
    Going Fast
  • Sep 02 - 10, 2022
    $4,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,000 single supplement
    Available

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.

Go Private

Go Private

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

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $6,995 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $6,595 per person double occupancy

8 to 16 guests from $6,195 per person double occupancy

2022 Pricing

4 guests from $5,595 per person double occupancy

5 to 7 guests from $5,195 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,095 per person double occupancy

	

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

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.

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.