Scotland is also known for its interesting and often bloody history, and you'll have an opportunity to visit some of its historical sights.
DAY 1 - Arrive in Edinburgh with overnight at The Apex Waterloo Hotel
Arrive to Edinburgh and pick up your rental car at Edinburgh Airport. Spend a day to relax and to acclimatize. Have this day at your leisure.
DAY 2 - Tour Edinburgh with overnight at The Apex Waterloo Hotel
Meet your walking guide for a mid-afternoon walk along the Royal Mile. Step back in time as we wind our way down from Edinburgh Castle past sharp church spires, cobbled alleyways, and Holyrood Palace to Holyrood Park. A short hike brings us up the knoll of Arthur’s Seat, where we’ll have outstanding views of the city.
DAY 3 - Travel west towards the town of Oban with overnight at the Isle of Eriska
Head west after breakfast, stopping for a warm-up hike in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park—Scotland’s first national park, established in 2002. Your trail takes you along the shores of of Loch Katrine, a stunning lake that inspired Sir Walter Scott to write The Lady of the Lake. Or take a vigorous hike up to the pointed summit of Ben A’an for sweeping views or the lake. After lunch, continue to the port town of Oban, the gateway to the wild islands that stretch along Scotland’s west coast. Wander the lively harbor. (2-3 miles hiking, 3 hours)
DAY 4 - Visit the Isle of Kerrera with overnight at the Isle of Eriska
Directly across from Oban lies the isle of Kerrera. Here, you’ll set off on an intriguing hike through history. Pass Horseshoe Bay, where King Alexander II of Scotland died in 1249 while preparing to drive the Norwegian army out of western Scotland. Explore Gylen Castle, perched dramatically on the cliff’s edge. Built as a stronghold of the MacDougall clan in 1582, the castle was besieged and burned in 1647. Head up into the hills to take in spectacular views of the Island of Mull. Return to Oban by ferry this afternoon, and visit the local whisky distillery for a guided tour. (6-7 miles hiking, 4-5 hours)
DAY 5 - Tour around the Island of Mull with overnight at the Isle of Eriska
Board the morning ferry to the Island of Mull, the second largest of the Inner Hebrides. Cross to the west coast and take a boat to the uninhabited isle of Staffa to visit Fingal’s Cave. Float into the cave to see its spectacular hexagonal basalt shafts and listen to the evocative sounds that inspired Mendelssohn to write his overture “The Hebrides.” End the day on Iona, a tiny island off the tip of Mull that has drawn pilgrims since St. Columba established a monastery here in the sixth century. Explore the stunning abbey, which dates from late medieval times. (3 miles hiking, 1-2 hours)
DAY 6 - Take a scenic route to Fort William & Hike Ben Navis with overnight at Kinloch Lodge – Isle of Skye
Head north, tracing the eastern shores of Loch Linnhe into a mystical landscape of sweeping slopes and rocky peaks. Pass the western end of Glen Coe, scene of a historic massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692, before continuing to Fort William. Enjoy a guided hike beneath the hulking summit of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the United Kingdom. Later this afternoon, follow the “road to the isles” and cross over the sea to Skye. (3-4 miles hiking, 3 hours)
DAY 7 - Hike the Cuillin Mountains with overnight at Kinloch Lodge – Isle of Skye
Along Skye’s southern edge, the Cuillin mountains, often called the Black Cuillin, rise abruptly in rocky crests formed from dark volcanic gabbro. You’ll take the less-traveled route into the Cuillins, approaching from the south by boat to the inaccessible Loch Coruisk. You'll enjoy an incredible hike among these fabled slopes including a circumnavigation of the loch, taking in magnificent views of the peaks that tower over its shores. (6-7 miles hiking, 4-5 hours)
DAY 8 - Journey towards Glasgow with overnight at Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens
After breakfast, start our journey to Glasgow, stopping along the way for early lunch and a short hike in Cairngorms National Park. Arrive in Glasgow in the late afternoon and have an evening at your leisure.
DAY 9 - Depart Glasgow & return home
Drive to Glasgow airport and return your self-drive car (one way fee will apply).
Depart from Glasgow Airport