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Iona, Mull & the Isle of Skye 5-Day Tour

Highlights / General details Day 1: Takes you north past Stirling castle, and then west to Scotland’s first National Park around Loch Lomond, and the bonny banks”. You will travel through the impressive mountains of the West Highlands through the magnificent white-washed 18th Century town of Inveraray, home to the Campbell Clan and the Duke of Argyll. The afternoon will be spent in the heart of Argyll exploring the area close to the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada before arriving in bustling town of Oban, the gateway to the islands, for your 2 night stay. Day 2: Is an early start crossing on the ferry to Mull and enjoying an island adventure exploring her dramatic coastlines and wild beauty, before taking the small ferry to the peace and tranquility of Iona - birthplace of Celtic Christianity and ancient burial ground of Scottish Kings. Here you can visit the historic abbey with its intricate carved crosses in the churchyard or explore the rocky headlands and sandy coves of this island gem. There is also an opportunity to take a small boat out to the island of Staffa (except Saturday departures in September) and view the dramatic basalt columns immortalized by Mendelssohn in his Hebridean Overture “Fingal’s Cave”. You then return on the ferry to Oban for your second night. Day 3: Takes you north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker, and Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. You then pass through Fort William and take the historic road to the Isles to catch the ferry to Skye. You will travel through Glenfinnan, at the head of Loch Shiel, where the standard was raised to start the Jacobite rebellion. Glenfinnan is also home to a 100year old viaduct, which was made famous when the Hogwarts Express steamed across it on the way to school in the Harry Potter films. From Glenfinnan the road crosses mountains and glens before reaching Arisaig and on through a spectacularly scenic stretch of coast with fantastic views of the islands of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Skye. This beautiful coastline is formed by a series of bays where the turquoise sea is backed by the white sands of Morar. The road ends at Mallaig where you take the short ferry crossing ‘over the sea to Skye’ where you arrive on the Sleat Peninsula, commonly referred to the ‘Garden of Skye’ with great views of the Cuillin mountains. From here you travel north to the picturesque harbour town of Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening. Day 4: Is a very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and your driver/guide will use his/her local knowledge to decide on the best day out for the group. For example you might travel north to the stunning Quiraing mountain pass and enjoy a spectacular walk through some of Skye’s extraordinary geological scenery or visit the Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns (reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt) with its waterfall cascading over the cliffs and down into the sea below. After lunch you may travel to Neist Point for a walk out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on Skye. Alternatively a visit to Dunvegan Castle, ancient ancestral seat of the Clan McLeod, may be possible. We return you to your accommodation in Portree in the late afternoon for you to enjoy a free evening in the village. Day 5: You will be collected from your accommodation and travel south through the Cuillin Hills and back over to the mainland. You stop to visit the famous stronghold Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film “Highlander”, set at the junction of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders, before travelling east where you will take in the stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Onto Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting “Nessie”. Heading south now through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, made famous as “Monarch of the Glen Country” before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland’s highest whisky Distillery, and onwards into Perthshire where we stop for refreshments before heading back to Edinburgh past Perth and over the Forth Road Bridge. Arriving at 7:00pm approx. Inclusion Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. Air Conditioning as standard. Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide. All ferry fares except the optional trip to Staffa. Rabbie's Discount Card - money off restaurants, shopping and attractions. Exclusion Gratuities, Meals and refreshments, Entrances to all Visitor Attractions. Hours of operation Mondays: March – October. Wednesdays and Saturdays: May - September. Tour Departs 9:00am; Returns 7:00pm. Location Tours depart 6 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG. Additional Information Clothing: because we believe in time off the bus and give clients the opportunities to take nature walks, we recommend to bring suitable clothing and footwear on the tours. Participant restrictions Child rate applies to children aged 5-15, based on 1 child sharing a room with parent(s) or 2 children in a twin room. Policies Winter can be a spectacular time to travel around the Highlands. Sometimes the routes we take are altered a little depending on the conditions and tours may return about half an hour earlier. In winter (November to March), some castles are not open but can be viewed from outside. If you are reserving for a single passenger, you must reserve a Single room. Double room can be booked ONLY if you are reserving for 2 or more. **All information requested must be supplied or booking is subject to automatic cancellation**