- Get up close and personal with local wildlife.
- Explore ancient castles.
- Visit locations used in Harry Potter and Outlander.
- Seek out the Loch Ness Monster.
- Visit the mystical Isle of Skye.
- Explore a wide range of outdoor activities, led by expert guides.
Day 1: Over the Sea to Skye
Meet your guide in Inverness this morning, and together you will start your journey west. The journey takes you along the scenic northern side of Loch Ness and through the steep mountains of Kintail with no shortage of views to admire. Along the way you can choose to stop at either Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness, or the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, elegantly apart on its own island. Then continue over the bridge to the Isle of Skye itself and onwards to your welcoming hotel to settle in for your first night on the island.
Day 2: Skye by Land and Sea
A short stroll from your hotel takes you down to Portree harbour this morning, where you board a boat to explore the picturesque Sound of Raasay. Admire the mountain vistas, sea cliffs and caves, which are home to a wide variety of seabirds and other wildlife. Look out for sea eagles, dolphins, seals and even whales, as well as the lively seabird communities.
Later, explore northern Skye with your guide, with its stunning scenery and fascinating cultural sites. A recommended option is a short hike into the magical landscape of the Fairy Glen – your guide will share intriguing local legends and history as you hike. Returning to Portree, choose from the many restaurants and inns, perhaps taking advice from your guide to find the one that’s perfect for you.
Day 3: Harry Potter’s Steam Train
Leaving Portree, head south to the imposing ruin of Armadale Castle. This once-grand structure used to be home to the powerful Clan Donald, who ruled the western coastline of Scotland for hundreds of years. Learn about their history as you explore the vibrant gardens with your guide or take a short hike further into the rolling moorland hills surrounding them.
Afterwards, a short ferry ride takes you back to the mainland, ready for the next stage of your adventure. Step aboard the famous Harry Potter steam train for a memorable journey through beautiful scenery and over the famous viaduct. Wizard costumes optional but encouraged! Arriving into Fort William, your guide meets you off the train and transfers you to your canal-side hotel.
Day 4: Scotland’s Adventure Capital
Fort William is known as Scotland’s adventure capital, and today you will find out why. Choose your favorite from the following options, which can all be tailored to your preferred level of challenge and personal interests.
- Guided hiking with your private trip guide. Anything from a gentle scenic stroll to aiming for the summit of Ben Nevis. For an easier hike with great views, we can even take a gondola to give us a boost up the mountain.
- Watersports – Try sea kayaking on a nearby bay, or open canoeing on the Caledonian Canal. On these guided activities, you will enjoy a new perspective of the landscape, and may enjoy close encounters with the local wildlife. These activities are available as half or full days
- Day trip to Glencoe. Enjoy an easy hike and then settle in to hear tales and legends of the glen from a storyteller with bagpipes.
Day 5: Across the Highlands
Ravenscraig Guest House
We head east to the heart of the Highlands, the Cairngorms National Park. We’ll stop at the Highland Folk Museum, a fascinating outdoor site which was used in the filming of Outlander and other historic dramas. As well as the old crofts, this is a wonderful place to spot red squirrels in the pine forest. After lunch, take your pick from these activities – you can choose one or two activities to enjoy this afternoon:
- Guided afternoon hike with your guide. This could be anything from a hike up a wee summit to an easy valley or lochside stroll.
- Hand-feed the local red deer with a knowledgeable ranger.
- Try your hand at an archery session against the backdrop of the Cairngorm Mountains.
- Take on a thrilling zip-line course which sees you zooming high above waterfalls and trees.
In the late afternoon, arrive in the lively village of Aviemore and settle into your friendly guest house, before heading out for dinner.
Day 6: Exploring Cairngorms National Park
Ravenscraig Guest House
The Cairngorms National Park is a perfect outdoor playground for so many different activities. We recommend choosing two or three of the activities below, depending on your interests, to create the perfect day.
- Explore the mountains, glens or forests on a hike led by your private guide. This can be a half or full day experience.
- Off-road biking. Choose from easy rides on traffic-free gravel trails (suitable for all the family) or take on some of the local single-track by mountain bike, led by your guide. This can be a half or full day experience.
- Meet the local reindeer herd and enjoy a scenic walk to their mountainside home. These cheeky characters will make you laugh as they nudge their way in for food. This is a half day experience.
- Discover Loch Morlich’s beautiful freshwater beach. Venture onto the water by canoe or SUP at this local’s favorite spot, or enjoy a walk through the beautiful forests which surround it. This is a half day experience.
- Landrover Safari with a local ranger. See behind the scenes on a working Highland estate and hear its history as you discover fabulous views and meet red deer. This is a half day experience.
As an extra option, we recommend an evening trip to a wildlife hide. Keep your eyes peeled for pine martens, badgers, and other nocturnal wildlife who are regular visitors at the hide. Alternatively, settle into your favorite family restaurant and share laughs as you reflect on your Scottish adventure holiday.
Day 7: Depart
After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy some free time in Aviemore before your guide transfers you back to Inverness for the end of the trip.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a trip to Scotland? Get in touch with a private travel designer!