Hebrides – Two Day Tour – Isles of Lewis, Harris and Skye with Callanish Stones and Luskentyre Beach – Itinerary
We drive to Ullapool and take a ferry, to begin our Hebrides – Two Day tour through the Isles of Lewis, Harris and Skye.
- Day One we arrive on Lewis at lunchtime giving the afternoon to visit Callanish Stones, Dun Carloway Broch and other places. We overnight in Stornoway.
- Day Two we drive to the Isle of Harris and Luskentyre Beach then sail to the Isle of Skye. We enjoy the Skye scenery during our return to Inverness.
The Isles of Lewis, Harris and Skye give you an experience of both the Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides. We describe the locations we visit more fully below.
Day One – Inverness to Stornoway – Hebrides – Two Day Tour
Stornoway is an attractive port town and ferry terminal. It is the main town in the Outer Hebrides and the capital of the Isle of Lewis. As a result, we can find a wide range of hotels, restaurants and a great range of fine shops (including the Harris Tweed Shop). The Lewis Loom centre also offers guided tours.
The stone circles at Callanish have always been one of the most impressive and mysterious places on the Isle of Lewis. There are several stone circles in the vicinity, but Callanish I is the oldest, largest and most unique in terms of layout. Callanish I was probably laid out as an astronomical temple and is older than Stonehenge. These stones are also very popular because they are the inspiration for the stones in Outlander, and also the movie “Brave”.
Dun Carloway Broch
Dun Carloway Broch is one of about 500 brochs in Scotland and one of only a handful still standing to near its original height. It is the best-preserved Iron Age building in Lewis. These Brochs are round towers unique to Scotland. Dun Carloway is a fine example, where it is easy to see this tower in cross-section. The double-skinned wall with internal galleries is clearly visible. Although dating from around 200 BC, stories suggest that clan Morrison were still using it as a stronghold in the 1500’s.
An Gearrannan Village
Gearrannan was a living community until the 1970’s, when it was abandoned. Since 1989 a local trust has been restoring this thatched village to recreate an authentic settlement for visitors to see. As well as cafe and shop there are a number of other activities here. We can watch tweed being woven, take a walk to the bay, or just enjoy the information available in the film and displays.
Dalbeg Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in Lewis. It is a perfect crescent of sand, and looking seaward we can see a rock stac standing to the left of the entrance. A small freshwater loch lies just to landward, and the bay itself looks northwest; perfect for sunset photography.
Arnol Blackhouse Museum
As at An Gearannan, the Arnol Blackhouse Museum offers visitors the chance to see and understand how the islanders lived, in this case until 1965. Smell the peat fire, which was the heart of every home and never allowed to go out. “Smooring” the fire preserved it through the night. Every Blackhouse provided shelter for people and their animals, and the lack of windows or chimneys kept the building cosy, although undoubtedly smoky!
Day Two Stornoway to Inverness – Hebrides – Two Day Tour
We journey south first, through Leurbost, the parish of Lochs and the mountains of Harris. The mountain road climbs spectacularly and as a result we enjoy great views all around. Our route passes very close to Clisham, tallest mountain in the Outer Hebrides, and then we descend steeply towards the old fishing station of and West Loch Tarbert in the Isle of Harris.
Isle of Harris Distillery
This distillery is found on the harbourfront, in Tarbert, which is the main community on the Isle of Harris. The distillery was founded in 2015, and is widely known as “the social distillery” partly in reference to the open, generous and hospitable nature of the island and its people. Isle of Harris Gin has become a much sought-after bottle, and the first whisky is on its way. Meantime, the distillery staff are delighted to offer tours or have folks stop by the cafe, bar and shop.
Luskentyre Beach is truly magical. It has won many awards, and is lauded as one of the best beaches in the world by TripAdvisor. The Caribbean colours of the water and the miles of perfect sand make it a wonderful stop. The water temperature can be a little sharp, but that is not always enough to get in the way of a dip!
The Golden Road
The rock below our wheels on the east coast road is Lewisian Gneiss. This is the oldest rock in the world, and as a result, is very hard and contorted. The landscape looks almost lunar because the ice sheets in the last ice age have scoured the Gneiss back to bedrock. All of this makes road building difficult and expensive. It is no surprise, therefore that the communities here had to wait until 1847 for a road. And no surprise either, that they called it the Golden Road, due to the cost. The scenery is rewarding though, as the road wends its way past lily-covered ponds and round sea bays. Artists, crafters andweavers are also found along this route.
The chief of the MacLeods built Rodel (or more properly St Clements) Church in the early 1500’s. It found fame recently by starring in the 2019 Christmas Special of “Call the Midwife” The church is the finest medieval building in the Outer Hebrides, and contains a large collection of impressive stone sculptures and carvings. The exterior of the church carries a number of well-preserved carvings too.
Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides. It is known the world over for breathtaking scenery and its rich body of myth and legend. Because we arrive by ferry from the Outer Hebrides we make landfall at the north end of the island. This gives us the chance to enjoy the most scenic of Skye’s attractions on our way through.
The Trotternish Peninsula
The Trotternish Peninsula is rich in mountain and coastal scenery. As we travel you will see the Quiraing, an amazing landslip resulting in fabulous landscapes beloved by filmakers. For a landscape, this location has an impressive back catalogue; The BFG, Macbeth, Stardust, The Land That Time Forgot, Snow White and the Huntsman, 47 Ronin, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Transformers: The Last Knight!.Farther on you can enjoy the famous Kilt Rock, Lealt – the largest waterfall on Skye, and the fantastic rock pinnacles at the Old Man of Storr which featured in the Wicker Man and Prometheus..
Portree, (meaning the King’s harbour) is the capital of the Isle of Skye. It has attracted an interesting range of people over the centuries – including Bonnie Prince Charlie, Turner, Tennyson and R. L. Stevenson. It is a very pretty town, popular with our visitors because it has a great range of shops and eating places, and has many brightly coloured houses along its harbour side.
The Black Cuillins
Bucket list books often list the Black Cuillins as Scotland’s entry. We think that is due to the long, spectacular ridge of black, jagged peaks that, frankly, would be more at home in a fantasy novel. More so once you know they are the cold dead heart of an ancient super-volcano! Tales of myth and legend wreath round these peaks like mist.
Hebrides – Two Day Tour – Lewis, Harris and Skye – Price
£840 for the tour. Ferry tickets are separate online purchases for you. The ferry tickets price may vary slightly as a result of the number of people in your party, and there will be a guide lodgings supplement of £105 for 2021.
Hebrides – Two Day Tour – Lewis, Harris and Skye – Departure
The tour departs from your Inverness accommodation, or any transport hub, such as bus station, train station or airport. You tell us, and we’ll be there.