A Week and A Half In Scotland's Best Trails, Seascapes, and Cities
A Week and A Half In Scotland's Best Trails, Seascapes, and Cities
IRELAND AND SCOTLAND
Spend 12 days exploring Scotland’s finest regions like Cairngorms National Park and Glencoe with the help of expert guides who know just which trails, costlines, and cityscapes will be the perfect match for you and your traveling companions.
from $9,450 pp 12 Days/11 Nights $788/Day
A WEEK AND A HALF IN SCOTLAND’S BEST TRAILS, SEASCAPES, AND CITIES
CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK | GLENCOE | EDINBURGH
Scotland might be a small country, but it gives more celebrated adventure capitals like New Zealand a run for their money.
Scotland is easy to get to, everyone speaks English (accents notwithstanding), and many tourists haven’t yet figured out that it features some of the best hiking and biking trails anywhere on earth. Spend 12 days exploring Scotland’s finest regions like Cairngorms National Park and Glencoe with the help of expert guides who know just which trails, coastlines, and cityscapes will be the perfect match for you and your traveling companions. You’ll hike to hidden lochs, wander along riversides to remote waterfalls, and climb to breathtaking vistas. When you’re not on the trail, you’re captaining your own sea kayak with porpoises and puffins on the horizon, or zipping along the coast in a private Zodiac. Treat yourself and all your efforts to private whisky tastings, library tours, and a guided history lesson in Edinburgh for the perfect cultural supplement on this 12-day adventure through Scotland’s best.
Please note that due to weather some of the activities in this inspiration itinerary are liable to change, as are the properties listed based on availability. All hiking and biking trail difficulty levels can be suited to your personal needs.
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HIKE AND MOUNTAIN BIKE THE CAPITAL OF THE HIGHLANDS
On your first day, you’ll fly into Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Your guide will take you directly to Cairngorms National Park, where if there’s time (depending on when you landed), you can take a short hike into Glen Feshie to get familiar with the forest regeneration efforts in the area. That evening, settle into your accommodations for the next three nights. We love Killiehuntly Farmhouse, a cozy lodge property, but there are other great lodging options in the area as well.
The next morning, break in your hiking boots on the trails of the Cairngorms. Perhaps you’ll remain at a lower elevation along the forest floor, discovering hidden lochs along the way, or opt for a high level ascent to take in the surrounding views. Your guide will plan the day to suit the hiking level and ability of you and your traveling companions. Lunch will be picnic style and the evening can be spent at the lodge at your leisure.
The next day, speed up the pace with your own set of wheels. Your guide will take you on a rip-roaring tour of the Caledonian pine forest by mountain bike. Don’t worry—those who aren’t as familiar with trail riding will embark on a beginner-friendly path. That afternoon, reward your efforts with an exclusive closed-door whisky tasting. You’ll get to see up close and personal how the whisky is created before tasting straight out of several different drams.
HIKE GLEN NEVIS AND GO SEA KAYAKING IN ARISAIG SOUND
INVERLOCHY CASTLE HOTEL
On the fourth day of your Scotland adventure, head west to the town of Fort William. Here, you’ll get to stay in a luxurious castle for the next two nights. (Inverlochy Castle Hotel is one of our favorites.) After checking in you’ll head out for a guided afternoon hike on one of Scotland’s best trails—Glen Nevis. Scramble along the rocky banks of a river until reaching a glaciated valley, complete with a waterfall at its end.
Not that you could ever tire of exploring Scotland’s endless hiking and biking trails, but the fifth day offers excitement in the form of a new activity—sea kayaking. Dig your paddles into Arisaig Sound with a private guide who will point out the pristine white sand beaches, rock skerries, and curious resident seal colony. One of the best parts of the entire week just might be stopping for lunch on a deserted beach before paddling back into Arisaig and returning to your castle for the evening.
HIKE THROUGH THE LOST VALLEY AND VISIT THE HEBRIDEAN ISLANDS
PRIVATE COUNTRY HOUSE
On day six, you'll transfer south to Glencoe, a region home to some of the most dramatic scenery Scotland has to offer. Depending on how much energy you have at this point in the week, you might opt for a rocky ascent up a river bank to access a hidden glen elevated high between the surrounding peaks. That afternoon you’ll carry on to your new accommodation, a special country house hotel located on its own private island near the harbor town of Oban.
The following day is brimming with excitement. You’ll be met with a private Zodiac skipper in the morning who will take you directly from your lodging to explore the surrounding lochs, islands, and beaches. Keep an eye out for dolphins, porpoises, mike whales, basking sharks, and white-tailed eagles as you explore the Inner Hebridean Islands from the boat. Depending on the weather and your group’s desires, you might pass through the Sound of Mull (and famous Duart Castle) before landing in the town of Tobermory for lunch, take a trip to dramatic Loch a’Choire for a walk around a grand estate followed by lunch at Port Appin, or maybe even journey as far as the Treshnish Isles to the West of Mull where you can clamor ashore and see nesting puffins (only applicable from May to early August).
FALCONRY, SHOOTING, AND FOUR-WHEEL ADVENTURES IN PERTHSHIRE
On the eighth day of your trip, you’ll head to Perthshire to the iconic Gleneagles Hotel. On the way stop by a historic library in rural Perthshire where you can have a tour with the Keeper of the Books and learn more about the history of the area, including a little Scottish poetry if you’re so inclined. That afternoon is yours to enjoy at the fantastic Gleneagles property.
The next day, you have the liberty of designing your own perfect day in Scotland. Relax in the spa, experience falconry first hand, go clay pigeon shooting, or embark on a four-wheel drive adventure. (Just keep in mind you’ll need to book these activities ahead and they are not included in the cost provided.)
EXPLORE THE SIGHTS OF EDINBURGH WITH A LOCAL
Take a cultural twist on day 10 as you transfer to the historic capital of Edinburgh. You’ll spend the afternoon with a local city guide who knows the perfect walking routes through the cobbled streets and alleyways of Old Town, all the famous sights, and some lesser-known gems that only a local would know. Your final two nights will be spent at Balmoral Castle.
The last full day of your itinerary is once again yours to spend at your leisure. Enjoy a treatment at the hotel spa or explore more of the popular sights and local tricks that you picked up from your guide the day before. The final day, depart home after spending a fulfilling and active week and a half exploring some of Scotland’s best!
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP
Hike through the highlands in Cairngorms National Park
Mountain bike through Caledonian pine forests
Tour a whisky distillery and have a tasting, straight from the barrel
Go sea kayaking in Arisaig Sound with a private guide
Hike along a riverbed in Glencoe and explore the Lost Valley
Learn falconry, go skeet shooting, or take a 4WD through the landscape at Gleneagles
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Spend a Week and a Half in Scotland's Best
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