“We are a unique land.” Unique landscapes, history, culture, unique communities… but all countries can say the same thing. In Scotland, being unique means something else. It is the land of experiences whose memory endures all your life, of implausible stories, of flavors that you will never taste again (unless you return!). And the weather isn’t the only thing that’s constantly changing. Scotland is such an active and vibrant country that Scotland will never be the same twice. On this dream trip you will have unique experiences throughout the tour. Starting in the city of Edinburgh, you’ll find rustic villages, charming towns and an immense coastline. You will also have an abundant history to discover like in the Highlands that are emblematic but occupy a much larger and more interesting area than most assume. In addition to the world-famous Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, and the North Coast 500, it’s going to be possible to enjoy malt whiskey, delicious cuisine and paradisiacal places you’ve ever seen in a movie.
Inverness is the capital of the Highlands, located in the north of the country, a small-town offering history, heritage, and a wide range of food establishments. It is the ideal base for exploring the rest of the Highlands, including Loch Ness. Skye with stunning scenery, Eilean Donan Castle, the grandiose Stirling Castle near Loch Lomond, the Kelpies and other whisky distilleries, are some of the attractions we present to you on this tour. The whole set of excursions and visits we offer you on this trip to Scotland will last in your memory for a long time and you will surely want to return once again.
Departure from your home country to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Old Town and New Town. Upon arrival at the airport, our representative will be waiting for you and will welcome you in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. After registration, you will have free time to discover some of the wonders that this city offers you. I comment you that Edinburgh is a great place to shop! Even if the idea of shopping does not seduce you (and if you enjoy it’s your lucky day!) you will probably agree that the downtown shopping areas of other cities have no point of comparison with the grandeur of Princes Street and George Street. If you like art, I recommend the National Gallery of Scotland and many other highlights of the city skyline.
As night begins, we start to get to know the city in the company of our guide in a tour of ghosts, mysteries, and witches. Since Edinburgh has witnessed throughout its history of bloody events, murders and burnings of witches, the echoes of these events have survived over time and have been permeated in its alleys and cemeteries, which we will visit on this tour. Then we will take you to a local restaurant to enjoy typical Scottish food, accompanied by its music and dances. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the Novotel Edinburgh Centre. (D)
Breakfast at the hotel. There may not be many city trips that start climbing an extinct volcano, but we think more adventurous visitors will love it, especially if the day is clear. First, we head to Holyrood Park, near the end of the Royal Mile to enjoy the best views of the city from the top of Arthur’s Seat. You will see an impressive panorama of Edinburgh. We continue with the tour of the Royal Mile to admire the juxtaposition of the medieval architecture of the Old City and the Georgian style of the New City. We’ll continue down the High Street and enter St Giles Cathedral for a moment, founded in 1120. Now it’s time to go underground and enter the authentic Mary King Alley to discover the stories of the people who lived here more than 400 years ago. After a break, in the afternoon we visit Edinburgh Castle. Simply as you approach the esplanade you will notice that you are about to enter one of Scotland’s most special historic buildings.
Return to the hotel for a short break. At the agreed time we head back to the city center. If the day has been intense, why not recover with a glass of whiskey? Today we will live our first Experience of Scotch Whisky, in which you can discover how this amber liqueur is made and identify which whiskies feel best to your palate. Learn how to taste and appreciate the national drink in the room that houses the largest collection of whiskey in the world. Really very impressive! Return to the hotel to rest. Overnight at the Novotel Edinburgh Centre 4**** (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we leave Edinburgh and start our circuit through Scotland. We crossed the Forth estuary to head to a well-known distillery. There are many fantastic Scotch whisky tours to enjoy, each offering opportunities to learn about how this spirit drink is made. On a tour of the distillery, wait to listen to the people behind the whisky, discover the art of building the barrel and discover how master distillers make the flavor to absolute perfection. And of course, you’ll have the opportunity to try a dram or two of Scotland’s most famous drink.
Then we head to the seaside village of St Andrews, birthplace of golf and home to Scotland’s oldest university. We will take a walk accompanied by our guide around the ruins of the castle and the cathedral, and we will have time for lunch. The castle of St. Andrews was a bishopric palace, a fortress, and a state prison during its 450-year history. We will explore later the remains of Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church. Even in its ruinous state, the cathedral remains a prominent reference point very visible from the sea. We will discover together how the cathedral dominated the Scottish religion until 1560, as the seat of the medieval Scottish Church and the main bishops of Scotland; we will approach the most complete and imposing perimeter walls of Scotland, surrounding the cathedral enclosure.
After lunch and in our continuation to the north, we will stop at Dunnottar Castle, on the edge of a spectacular cliff about 50 meters above the North Sea. This dramatic and suggestive ruined fortress was used as the setting in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1991 film “Hamlet”. Continue to our hotel in Aberdeen. Enriched by 8000 years of history, its lustrous traditional architecture built with local granite makes the city radiate a silvery glow and have been named after the “City of Granite”. Free time to discover the city at your own pace until dinner. Overnight at the Park Inn Radisson Aberdeen Hotel 4****. (B) (L) (D)
Breakfast. We leave the hotel to head to one of the most important medieval-era cathedrals in the Highlands: Elgin Cathedral. We will also take advantage of this stop to regain strength and have lunch in this charming village. See for yourself why Elgin Cathedral earned the name “Northern Lantern”. Even as a ruin, the cathedral shines as one of Scotland’s most ambitious and beautiful medieval buildings. Beginning in 1224, Elgin was the main church of the Bishops of Moray. It lost its roof shortly after the Protestant Reformation of 1560, and later its central tower fell. But the fortunes of the cathedral began to change when it became a visitor attraction in the early 1800s.
At the next stop we will enjoy Cawdor Castle dating from the late fourteenth century and built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. It is related with the famous Campbell clan and still inhabited today. It is also linked very closely to William Shakespeare’s novel “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. There we can appreciate its construction, its historical tapestries, and its beautiful gardens, among others. After walking among his remains and transporting us to another era, we will approach Fort George, a seaside fortress created against the Jacobites after defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and one of the most outstanding fortifications in Europe. Finally, we will head to our accommodation in Inverness. Dinner and Overnight at the Royal Highland Hotel or similar. (B) (L) (D)
Breakfast. Today we will enter the mythical Loch Ness, where we will take a cruise. The lake is world famous for the Loch Ness Monster, the supposed cryptozoological beast that inhabits it and is also called “Nessie” name that was assigned to it around 1940. According to a legend it is a big unknown animal similar to a plesiosaurus, although its description varies by sources. Popular interest and belief in the existence of the animal have made the lake known since it was presented in photography (classified as false) for the first time to the world in 2019. We will finish the cruise by visiting the ruins of Urquhart Castle, an important medieval fortress that has privileged views of the lake and has seen some of the most dramatic chapters in Scotland’s history. Later we head to the fascinating isle of Skye, previously stopping at one of Scotland’s most romantic and photographed castles: Eilean Donan Castle, scene of numerous historical events and dozens of films, including “Braveheart” with Mel Gibson.
Then we will reach the capital of the island for lunch: Portree. After enjoying its colorful houses by the port and its tranquility, we will head to Kilt Rock, a 90-metre cliff whose folds resemble a “kilt”, the typical Scottish skirt). From the viewpoint you can also get a pleasant look of Mealt Falls, a waterfall that collapses 100 m over Kilt Rock to the rock-laden coast. Finally, we will see Old Man of Storr, a 48-meter-high tertiary basalt rock pinon on the island, part of the Inner Hebrides. After enjoying this scenery, we will continue to Fort William. Dinner and overnight at the Ben Nevis Hotel Fort William 3***. (B) (L) (D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will have the morning free. During these hours, you can enjoy the best scotish region for outdoor activities. Interested in riding, kayaking, hiking, eye fishing or biking? Just let us know what you have in mind, and we will organize your optional activity with pleasure. Other optional activities you can do: Visit the Commando Memorial, a war memorial that was inaugurated in 1952 by the Queen Mother in honor of the British Commandos of World War II. With its location over the Spean Bridge on the edge of the Great Glen, it offers good views of Mount Ben Nevis and the surrounding mountains. We ca also organize for you a tour to the Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct, famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter saga where, hopefully, we can see crossing the steam train. After lunch in Fort William, small core at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain, the Ben Nevis at 1345 m.s.n.m, we will continue on our way south across the spectacular Glencoe Valley, one of Scotland’s most beautiful and extraordinary places. It has even appeared in James Bond films, such as Skyfall, as well as in several of the Harry Potter films where this region is seen outside the famous Hogwarts sorcery school. We continue to Luss, a beautiful village considered a historic conservation area located on the shores of Loch Lomond, a lake of glacial origin in the highlands.
Finally, we will arrive in Glasgow, in time to enjoy the night in the great city of Scotland. After Edinburgh, Glasgow is Scotland’s most important city, offering anyone who is encouraged to visit its streets a great architectural variety well marked by a Victorian style in its monuments, a vibrant cultural and intellectual life in the presence of one of the UK’s most important universities, as well as numerous leisure activities both outdoors. Accommodation at the Glasgow Argyle Hotel. (B) (L)
Breakfast at the hotel. We continue our tour of Scotland by visiting the city of Stirling and its castle, one of the most majestic and important in all of Scotland. Stirling is one of Scotland’s largest stone castles, which reached its importance in the 1500s. We will explore its three main venues and then admire the renovated Royal Palace, home to the childhood of Mary Queen of Scotland.
At the end of the visit in Stirling, you can discover one of the symbols of contemporary Scotland: the majestic Kelpies, 30-metre-high horse-headed sculptures depicting kelpies (shape-changing water spirits), located in Falkirk. We continue south and our next visit will be the Glengoyne Distillery, founded in the early 19th century in Glasgow, unique in the Scottish whisky production mode of the Scottish Highlands. The Glengoyne Distillery’s facilities are located in a very particular enclave, in a wooded valley and close to a small river that flows into the famous Lomond Lake. For many it is considered the most beautiful distillery in all of Scotland.
Glengoyne Distillery is one of the few distilleries still producing Malted whisky in this area of Scotland for more than 200 years. Therefore, your visit is a must stop in this region where you will have the possibility to participate in some activities for 60 minutes by the main facilities of the distillery, showing the typical enclave of the Scottish countryside where it is located. Plus, you’ll enjoy a 12-year-old Malted whiskey tasting and an 18-year-old Malted whisky tasting. At the end of the visit, you will receive a discount ticket of 5 euros for the purchase of any of their whiskies.
Finally, we will return to Glasgow for a panoramic tour of the most populous and lively city in the country. Here we will have time to enjoy the rest of the day to tour its populous streets, do the latest shopping to enjoy later on the evening, a pleasant farewell dinner in a typical local restaurant. Accommodation in Glasgow at the Glasgow Argyle Hotel. (B) D)
Breakfast at the hotel. You will be able to enjoy the city and do your last purchases before departure at the agreed time towards the airport in Edinburgh for your return flight or connection to your next destination in Europe. End of our services. (B)