walking tour takes you through the the most scenic areas of the Western Isles
and the West Coast of Scotland. You discover the romantic wildness and peace of
the islands and the open spaces of the Western Highlands on foot; and stay in
small, quality hotels with personal service and good food. Experience the fascinating
monuments of Scotland's eventful past and round off your holiday with a coach
or minibus trip through the mountains and past the lochs of Scotland's western
mainland. It includes idyllic island walks through wild glens, past picturesque
lochs and empty white beaches. You discover fishing villages and walk along cliffs
with magical views of the Hebridean island seascapes. Enjoy many boat trips and
picnics at deserted beaches.
1: Arrival in Glasgow
Arrive in Glasgow, journey by coach or minibus
through spectacular Highland scenery through the Western Highlands, taking in
Loch Lomond, Loch Awe, Kilchurn Castle and Loch Etive, to Oban. One hour ferry
trip to the Isle of Mull and transfer to your hotel for the first four nights.
Getting to know each other, free drink, and dinner.
2: Walk Mull
The first walking day starts with a beautiful coast-to-coast
walk through both forested and open country with wonderful views. Small and gentle
ascents and descents ensure an easy start to the
walking holiday on this five-hour
exploration. With a little luck on this first day you will see seals, eagles and
rare seabirds. Individual participants can extend the walk: for example to prehistoric
sites or to the summit of Beinn Bhuidhe. (5 hours, 6 miles, total ascent 300 meters).
Walk Iona and Coach or Minibus Trip to Mull
First by tour bus and then by small
passenger ferry over clear blue water we go to Iona, the cradle of Christianity
in Scotland. We walk around the island and experience the spiritual tranquility
of the island, with magical views of the Hebridean islands. Our walk takes us
along empty white beaches, through dramatic rock scenery and over smooth green
hillocks. We see impressively carved Celtic crosses and romantically situated
ruins and visit historic Iona Abbey. From here St Columba sent out his missionaries
and warriors to convert the natives. In the oldest graveyard in Scotland, Scottish,
Irish and Norwegian royalty are buried - amongst others, Macbeth and Duncan. Alternatively
on this day you can take a boat trip to Staffa, famous for its spectacular rock
formations and Fingal's Cave. The eventful day's program is made complete with
a wonderful bus tour of south-eastern Mull. We stop at Duart Castle, ancient seat
of the Macleans. Depending on the time left, you can visit Duart Castle or the
nearby Torosay castle. (5 hours, 6 miles, total ascent 300 - 350 meters).
4: Walk Ben More
Ascent of the highest mountain in Mull, Ben More.
During the ascent and especially on the summit you will be rewarded with breathtaking
panoramic views. In good conditions you can see the Western Highlands and virtually
all the Hebrides. (5-6 hours, 4-5 miles, 966 meters). Less demanding alternatives
for this day are walks along the coast, or through the beautiful Salen forest,
or a visit to the little island capital, Tobermory. The colorfully painted fishermen's
homes lining the harbour and the friendly inhabitants give Tobermory a welcoming
character. Here islanders and visitors alike have time to enjoy the relaxed pace
of Hebridean life. You might take a guided tour of the Tobermory Distillery with
a tasting of Scotland's 'water of life', eat lunch in a traditional pub, or you
might prefer to enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea. Small shops sell Celtic
jewelry and the work of local artists and craftsmen. Also available are interesting
tours of the Tobermory chocolate factory or of the cheese farm at Sgriob-Ruadh.
Both chocolate and cheese are excellent. A walk round the harbour or in the beautiful
Aros park ends a rewarding day.
5: Walk Loch Moidart
We leave Mull on a small ferry, and embark
on a coach or minibus which takes us north through marvelous scenery to Morvern.
Here we go for a short walk through one of the last great wildernesses in Europe.
Our round trip starts from the picturesque ruin of Castle Tioram and
us among graceful pines along the craggy hillside of tranquil Loch Moidart and
then continues through open country to Beinn Brach from where there are wonderful
views. (3-31/2 hours, 4 miles, total ascent 250-300 meters) Continuing our journey
along what is said to be Britain's most beautiful road, we approach our hotel
for the next two nights in the Mallaig/Arisaig
area and, for those who wish,
there is the chance of another walk. On the way, we enjoy views over the famous
white beaches of Arisaig to the Inner Hebridean islands of Muck, Eigg and Rhum.
We pass Loch Morar, Europe's deepest freshwater lake, home of the monster, Morag.
Finally we see the jagged outline of the Cuillin Mountains of Skye.
6: Walk Skye
the morning we sail 'over the sea to Skye'. The final walk of the holiday will
be tailored to the interests and abilities of the group. Usually we visit the
Quiraing in North Skye, with its fantastic rock pinnacles and cliffs and views
over the Outer Hebrides. ( 3 hours, 4 miles, total ascent 150 meters). Lonely
lochs in fairytale glens, and the breathtaking Cuillin range - which is reckoned
to be the most beautiful in Britain - make this day the climax of our Scottish
journey. The headquarters of the Macdonald clan, Armadale Castle, with its beautiful
gardens is another attraction which well repays a visit.
7: Coach Trip to Glasgow
We drive south along the Road to the Isles
past historic Glenfinnan to reach Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, and then
along the banks of Loch Linnhe to the superb mountain scenery of the 'Glen of
Weeping', Glencoe. The journey continues across the western end of Rannoch Moor
below the Black Mount and reveals unforgettable views. Numerous photo-stops and
strolls take in Kilchurn Castle and, briefly, the eighteenth century town of Inveraray
where you may visit the castle or the museum in the old jail. After a stop at
a fish smokery we go on to experience the beauty of Loch Lomond, celebrated in
the famous song. The last night is spent in the city of Glasgow which offers many
choices of entertainment for the last evening - from ghost tours to pub crawls.
Glasgow and Departure or Transfer to the Second Week's Tour
This tour can
ideally be booked in combination with our walking and sightseeing tour in the
Western Highlands - In the Footsteps of Rob Roy.
"Spring walks" May 17-24; June 7-14
July 26 - Aug 2; Aug 23-30
"Autumn walks" Oct 4-11
All sightseeing visits, entry fees, guides,
ferry crossings, railway journeys and transfers described in the program; experienced
walking and tour guide; seven nights in good small hotels with en suite rooms
and full Scottish breakfast, four dinners, airport transfers, luggage transfer,
maps as needed and a welcoming drink
$1323 in double room, $1323 in triple room, $1544 in single