Available early May to late October, and with two main variations -
Option 1 gives an opportunity to ride the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train during the tour. Option 2 follows the same route, but by road.
Day One -
You are collected from your Inverness Hotel, B&B, the airport or station and we head along the side of Loch Ness and down the Great Glen. We will enjoy the scenery enroute but will only pause at exceptional photostops like Urquhart Castle. This is to ensure that we will get to Fort William by 10am.
If you choose to take the "West Highland Line" to Mallaig then you board the steam train in Fort William.
You will enjoy over two hours travelling what is described as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world (2017 prices - Adult £30, Child £18) - http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/dates-times-prices-jacobite-steam-train.cfm
Alternatively, if you have chosen to continue along the same route by road then we head west on the A830 (called the Road to the Isles) and there will be time for a stop at Glenfinnan along the way.
Lunch will be in the fishing port of Mallaig - (a great location for those who like their seafood fresh) - and then it is "over the sea to Skye" by ferry at 14.00
First visit of the afternoon is the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale on Skye. As well as an impressive ruined castle and sumptuous gardens through which to take a walk, there is also the thought-provoking and well-appointed Museum of the Isles. If you want to more fully understand Celtic culture or the Clan system then this is the place to visit.
The final visit of the day will be to the charming old harbour and township at Eilean Iarman, where your interests could take you to tweed shop, gallery or whisky tasting.
Then we will stay overnight in the south end of Skye; on the Sleat Peninsula or in Broadford.
Day Two -
Our second morning will comprise a drive through the centre of Skye, with a stop for photographs of the Black Cuillin Mountains at Sligachan. There will also be time for either the early morning cruise on the Bella Jane to Loch Coruisk in the heart of the Cuillin Mountains, or a walk to the Fairy Pools.
Whichever activity you choose, you can reward yourself later with a visit to the famous Talisker distillery.
Lunch can be taken in the Old Inn in Carbost.
The afternoon will see a visit to Dunvegan Castle (the 800 year old clan seat of the Clan MacLeod of MacLeod), and a walk to Neist Point. Finally we make our way to the island capital - Portree, perhaps stopping at Dun Beag on the way, if time still permits.
We will overnight in Portree.
Day Three -
We begin the day by heading north around the Trotternish Peninsula. You will see the Storr Lochs, and the amazing rock pinnacles around the Old Man of Storr. Then we travel on, to Kilt Rock; amazing coastal cliffs reminiscent of tartan - the horizontal bands being checked by the vertical basalt columns of the volcanic rock.
Just beyond Kilt Rock lies the charming village of Staffin. The name means pillars - this being the view that the Vikings would have had of the coast hereabouts, from seawards. Staffin is also where we turn inland, threading our way up the Trotternish Ridge, by the amazing rock formations known as the Quiraing. Dropping down the Atlantic side of the ridge brings us to Uig, and a short visit to the Fairy Glen - after which it is back to Portree and southwards through the island.
We recross to the mainland via the Skye Bridge and stop at Eilean Donan Castle. This castle is often described as the most romantic castle in Scotland.
It is certainly one of the most iconic castles in the country and has featured in many movies, includer Highlander and James Bond.
Some parts of the castle date all the way back to Viking times, while other portions were remodelled in the early 20th century.
There is time here for both a visit and light lunch.
In the afternoon we will make our way back across country, passing the mountain range known as the Five Sisters of Kintail. Eventually we will join the Great Glen, at Invermoriston on Loch Ness side. A few miles north-east up the shoreline will bring us to one of the other great iconic castles of the Highlands:Urquhart Castle. There is time here too for a visit - the last visit of the day!
Then it is back to Inverness, and the end of our great adventure!
Total price: £990 for guide and vehicle - check top of calendar for how many passengers each guide can carry. (+ £150 total subsistence, to guide on tour day one).
Ferries, lodgings & admissions not included. Tour price subject to normal booking discounts.