XSCI SCOTTISH ISLANDS WALKER TOUR

Western Highlands, Lewis, Skye, Mull & Iona

XSCI SCOTTISH ISLANDS WALKER TOUR
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Trail Walking in the Outer & Inner Hebrides; Edinburgh Touring; Stunning Highlands Walking; Castles, Lochs, Coastal Scenery; Charming hotels & inns; Fascinating human & natural history

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR
  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices


Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


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How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?

The easiest way to make a reservation is online via our website; you can also call us at 1800 665 3998, Monday-Friday 9-5 Pacific Time.

A non-refundable $500 deposit is payable at the time of booking (some tours require a higher deposit); if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required immediately. Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require considerable preparation time.

Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and provide a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and online forms for you to complete and submit to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be provided approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.

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What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?

Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing (e-mail preferred) immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% non-refundable/non-transferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, non-transferable. Name changes are not permitted. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated.

We may cancel departures if forced to do so by unforeseen circumstances such as war, civil unrest, pandemics/disease outbreaks (ie Ebola, Zika, Covid-19 etc), catastrophic events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, etc -- things beyond our control that are commonly referred to as “force majeure.” In these instances we will offer 100% credits for all deposits if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. Such credits can be applied to any future scheduled or custom tour (time limits may apply).

If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date and your full payment on the postponed tour will remain non-refundable.

Regardless of the timing of cancellation (outside or inside 60 days), we will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline policies pertaining to cancellation/change fees, any trip component/s that may be non-refundable from our suppliers, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage for the above listed circumstances and other perils.

If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you, either the same tour on a different date or another tour of your choice. If this is not acceptable, your deposit/s will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given no later than 60 days prior to trip start date.

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Do you have a shared accommodation program?

Yes! Most tours have a single-share program in which we match you with another single traveller of the same gender. If we are unable to pair you, we will usually absorb the cost of a single room. On some tours a "forced single" will apply; please enquire at time of booking. You will normally be informed of this charge 60 days prior to departure; however, we reserve the right to charge this fee up to your departure and, in rare cases, once you have departed. Upgrading to single room once the tour has begun is subject to availability in each overnight point, and payment must be made immediately to our office or locally to the Tour Leader. If you want to guarantee your own room, a single supplement applies. Payment of single supplement does not, however, guarantee that you will receive a twin size, twin-bedded room.

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I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?

All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location.

This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement.

The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible.

On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available.

Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Sun 12 Jun 2022Mon 27 Jun 2022 $6690 USD

Optional Single Supplement: $1367 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $1367 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.


Tour Overview


Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Scotland


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What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?

Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.

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Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?

Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.

Full Itinerary


Day 1 Arrival in Edinburgh
Welcome to Scotland!

Today we arrive in Edinburgh, where the buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region. Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world; with Scotland's most famous castle dominating the city skyline, there is plenty to see and do with the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary.

Overnight in Edinburgh.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Edinburgh: City Touring
Today we depart on a full day Edinburgh tour to visit Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood House and Rosslyn Chapel Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

We start our sojourn in Scotland’s capital with a tour of one of Europe’s foremost attractions; the dramatic Edinburgh Castle. Standing aloof and massive on its hill, Edinburgh Castle both dominates and adds majesty to the deep historical ambiance of the city. Within the castle itself we view the Honors of Scotland Exhibition and display of Scottish crown jewels, visit St. Margaret’s Chapel, see the famous 500-year-old cannon “Mons Meg”, then stroll through the Great Hall. We take lunch in a local café then next visit Holyrood House Palace, long the residence of the Scottish Royal family, now HRH the (English) Queen’s official residence in Scotland. We view the 17th century state rooms, the historic apartments where Mary Queen of Scots lived, and the ruined abbey of Holy Rood.

Our final visit today is to Rosslyn Chapel. Rosslyn Chapel was founded as a Roman Catholic collegiate church in the mid-15th century CE by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness. After the Scottish Reformation in 1560 CE Roman Catholic worship in the Chapel ended, although the Sinclair family continued to be Roman Catholics until the early 18th century. Now the Chapel belongs to the Scottish Episcopal Church. More recently, the Chapel has featured in speculative theories regarding Freemasonry and the Knights Templar, including the Dan Brown book, The De Vinci Code.

After our visit we return to our hotel with the evening is at leisure (we include lunch instead of dinner today owing to our full day, an early start tomorrow, and the lingering effects of jetlag).

Overnight in Edinburgh.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 Edinburgh - Ullapool via Inverness & Corrieshalloch Gorge
This morning we depart our Edinburgh hotel, and drive up into the Scottish Highlands to the West Coast fishing port of Ullapool.

En route, we stop at Queen's View, most iconic viewpoint at the heart of Highland Perthshire. When Queen Victoria visited in 1866 CE, she assumed that the sweeping view west along Loch Tummel was named after her – but she was wrong. We think the view was really named after Isabella, the first wife of Robert the Bruce, who lived more than 500 years earlier. We then continue our journey, stopping in Inverness with a break for lunch.

We continue to Ullapool through breathtakingly beautiful scenery, and visit the fantastic Corrieshalloch Gorge with its stunning views, en route. Ullapool is the main town in the Northwest Highlands and seems to float on the surface of lovely Loch Broom. It is a gateway for highland walking and the lush scenery immediately around Loch Broom contrasts with the dramatic mountain ranges just to the south through which we drive on todays’ journey. The Fannichs are a range of nine ‘Munros’ that sit like sentinels along a fine ridge, crowned by shapely Sgurr Mor. On the opposite side of the main road is the Beinn Dearg range, a craggier, steeper group of peaks with fine views. West of Loch Broom, reached via the Destitution Road, is the peaceful haven of Dundonnell. This area has a great variety of scenery, from the beautiful woodlands of Corrie Hallie to the lonely coastline of the Scoraig Peninsula and the great wilderness of the Fisherfield peaks. Towering over all is An Teallach, perhaps the most magnificent mountain in all of Scotland. On arrival in Ullapool, we check into our hotel.

Overnight in Ullapool.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 From Ullapool: Half-day Highlands Walk - Bone Caves, Traligill Caves & Inchnadampf
This morning we depart Ullapool on a half-day Highlands walk to visit the Bone Caves, Traligill Caves and Inchnadampf. Our walk today is along the beautiful limestone valley of the Allt nan Uamh (Burn of the Caves) to the famous Bone Caves. Here the bones of bears, reindeer and wolves have been discovered. In past times, these majestic animals roamed in this part of the country. From the Bone Caves, we make our way up towards the foot of Breabag, from here we turn north walking pathless towards Inchnadampfh. Another stunning limestone landscape opens up in front of us. The Traligill Valley, named by Norsemen, translates as ‘the Valley of the Trolls’, which we explore, and make our way to the impressive entrances of the largest cave system in Scotland. The entire area is surrounded by excellent mountain views. We finish this superb walk at the walker’s car park in Inchnadamph. After our walk, we return to the hotel.

Walk Summary: About 4.5 hours of moderately-easy walking with about 400m (1,312 feet) elevation gain/loss; distance of about 10 km (6.4 mi) today; terrain is mildly undulating on crushed gravel and natural path with some stairs, some unmarked path through open fields, rocks, and undulating ground.

Overnight in Ullapool.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Ullapool - Ferry to Stornoway: Half-day Lewis Tour
This morning we transfer to the dock to catch the morning ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway on the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides). The two-hour sail first follows Loch Broom passing the Summer Isles, then strikes out across the Minch to Stornoway, the main town on the Isle of Lewis and capital of the Outer Hebrides. During the crossing, it is possible to see dolphins, whales and many species of seabirds. One arrival, we are met off the ferry and transfer to our hotel for check-in. There is some time to settle in and arrange our own lunch.

In the afternoon, we depart on a half-day tour of Lewis to explore the northwest coast, from Arnol with its historic old “blackhouse”, through the traditional crofting townships, to Port of Ness and the very northern tip of the island – the Butt of Lewis. From the Lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis there is nothing but sea all the way to Canada!

Overnight in Stornoway.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 From Stornoway: Full-day Walking - West Coast of Lewis
This morning we depart on a full-day of moderate walking on one of Lewis Island’s finest walks (the biggest of our trip!) following the clifftops, stacks and bays of the coastline, between An Gearrannan and Bragar on the Great Bernera Trail (we walk a section of this route as determined by the weather and our guide). The trail follows the coastline but is infrequently waymarked, so much of the route is pathless and we are led through some areas of boggy ground. This is a rewarding and bracing walk with wonderful long views, plus dramatic cliff, coastal and seascapes.

Walk Summary: About 5 hours of moderate cliff-top walking with insignificant elevation gain/loss (mostly flat) on an undulating route; distance of about 14km (9.4 mi), terrain undulates on natural path unmarked path through open fields, rocks, and undulating ground.

Overnight in Stornoway (box lunch included today, dinner on your own).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 From Stornoway: Full-day Tour - Stone Fort, Gearrannan, Shawbost
On our final day in the Outer Hebrides, we depart on a full-day tour of Stornoway to explore some of the prehistoric remains on the island and view the island’s finest beaches. Our first visit is the circular stone fort, or Broch, at Carloway, followed by a visit to the more traditional crofting communities such as Gearrannan and Shawbost. Then it’s on to the ancient stone circle at Callanish. In the afternoon, we drive to the remote district of Uig to explore the fine sandy beaches and dramatic sea cliffs of Bhaltos. This is the wilderness of the Western Isles at its finest. We spend much of the day afoot, walking the monuments and scenes natural beauty. After our tour we return to the hotel.

Overnight in Stornoway.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Stornoway - Harris - Tarbet - Ferry to Portree (Isle of Skye)
Today we drive south, through the wild moorlands of the Isle of Lewis to the smaller and more mountainous Isle of Harris – almost but not quite an island on its own. Famous for the locally-produced cloth, Harris Tweed, Harris is also home to the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and the stunning white sands of Luskentyre. We spend a couple of hours exploring the natural beauty of South Harris, then have free time to arrange our own lunch in the small port of Tarbet, followed by free time to wander the town. In the late afternoon, we take the ferry from Tarbet to Portree on the Isle of Skye (Inner Hebrides). On arrival, we transfer to our hotel for check-in.

Overnight in Portree.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Skye: Full-day tour - Dunvegan, Kilmuir Croft Museum, Clan Donald Center
Today we depart on a full-day tour to visit Castle Dunvegan, Kilmuir Croft Museum and the Clan Donald Center. Castle Dunvegan is the seat of the clan MacLeod, and contains state rooms, video presentation, dungeons and ghostly legend. Situated on the shore of the major inlet to the north west of the Island, Dunvegan’s picturesque gardens overlook the beach, and wind-swept fields where herds of distinctive Angus cattle graze.

We now drive south, the sharp teeth of the Cuillin hills always in view, to visit the Kilmuir croft Museum, which portrays the life style, often harsh, of the crofters. We also pause at the Flora McDonald Monument, erected to honor the famous woman for the assistance (and rumoured love affair) she gave to Bonnie Prince Charlie during his attempt to wrest the throne of Scotland and England from the Hanoverian monarch in London in 1745 CE. We then drive to the south of the Island to visit the Clan Donald Center, an impressive award-winning museum set in 40 acres of castle and gardens. An audio-visual presentation compliments the armory and artifacts displays.

In the late afternoon we return to our hotel in Portree (today we include lunch instead of dinner).

Overnight in Portree.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 Skye: Full-day Walking tour - Trotternish, Old Man of Storr
Today we depart, taking packed lunches with us, on a full-day leisurely Isle of Skye walking tour to the Trotternish Peninsula, which is about 20 miles long and 8 miles wide, with a ridge running along most of its length and containing some unusual rock formations, one of which is the Old Man of Storr, the highest mountain in north Skye at 2,358 ft. The Old Man of Storr is a column of rock 165 ft high, and one of the most photographed features on the Isle of Skye. This entire area is festooned with strange and wonderful rock formations caused by a massive landslide after the last ice age. Lava solidified over sedimentary rock which then collapsed under the immense weight and slid towards the sea, leaving behind this otherworldly landscape. Routes and regions in which we conduct our walking will be determined by the local guide, and may be influenced by the weather and local conditions. The classification for walks we will consider will be easy to moderate (walking times and distances may vary from the below summary at the guide’s discretion).

Walk Summary: About 4 hours of moderate hill walking with perhaps 100m elevation gain/loss on an undulating route; distance of about 9km (6 mi) today; terrain undulates on natural paths and unmarked paths through open fields, rocks, and undulating ground.

Overnight in Portree.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 Skye: Full-day Leisurely Walking - The Cuillins
Today we depart, taking packed lunches with us, on a full day leisurely Isle of Sky walking tour to the Cuillin Ridge area, which is composed of ‘Gabbro’, a rough volcanic rock with magnetic properties rending a compass entirely untrustworthy! The range consists of 11 ’munros’ (peaks over 3,000 ft), with numerous other smaller peaks. Best viewed from Sligachan at the north end of the range, is one of the most striking peaks - the serrated Sgurr Nan Gillean. Another peak, Am Bastier (3,070 ft) is Gaelic for 'The Executioner' -- our guide may well relate the story. Your own research may reveal routes that are rather advanced -- not to worry! Our exact route will be determined by the local guides with a view to keeping within our moderate aspirations, and may be influenced by the weather and local conditions. After our walk, we return to our hotel in Portree (dinner on your own this evening).

Walk Summary: About 4 hours of moderate hill walking with perhaps 100m elevation gain/loss on an undulating route; distance of about 6-8km (4-6 mi) today; terrain undulates on natural paths and unmarked paths through open fields, rocks, and undulating ground.

Overnight in Portree.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12 Skye - Oban via Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William, Glen Coe Walk
Today we depart the Isle of Skye and drive south to Oban via visits to Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William, and Glencoe. Soon after we cross the bridge to the mainland from Skye, our route takes us along the lakeshore of a sweeping valley, where we catch our first glimpse of the iconic 13th century CE Eilean Donan Castle, beautifully situated on a small Island out in the Loch. The castle is the ancestral home of the McRaes, and has been fully restored to its original splendor. It is perhaps the most famous image of a Scottish castle and was used to good effect in such films as ‘The Highlander’. We pause here to take photographs (exterior only) then continue our journey, passing through Fort William en route to Glen Coe, “The Glen of Weeping”. Arguably the most beautiful glen in Scotland, Glen Coe was the location of the famous massacre of 38 members of the MacDonald clan at the hands of soldiers of King William III (their killers were actually other lowland Scots in protestant British employ) in 1692 CE, following the Glorious Revolution of 1688 CE. The Glorious Revolution ousted the oppressive British King, James II, a Catholic, and gave the crown to William of Orange, a Dutch protestant nobleman who married Mary, daughter of beheaded Charles I, giving William legitimacy. The Glorious Revolution turned the UK into a protestant country for good, at the same time it removed much of the English monarch’s power in favor of an elected parliament, taking tax collection and major fiscal spending out of the hands of the king, and putting it into the hands of an elected body. This created the first constitutional monarchy, and it also made England’s parliament by far the most representative political body in history to date.

After a break for lunch en route, we continue to Glencoe Visitors' Center located not far from the spot where the slaughter took place, visit the center, then depart into the valley for our 2–3-hour Glen Coe walk. We walk to Coire Gabhail, a small valley at 650 ft. the walk takes an hour and a half without stops, but with photo stops and pauses to view the beautiful countryside it will take about 2.5 hours. This walk is classified as easy to moderate, and takes participants through stunning scenery to a valley hidden high among the mountains of Glencoe.

Walk Summary: About 2 hours of easy walking with little to no elevation gain/loss; distance of about 5 km (2.8 mi) over mildly undulating terrain on crushed gravel and natural paths with some slopes and across open fields.

Ovenight on Oban.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Oban: Isle of Mull & Isle of Iona, Duart Castle
Today we depart on a full day excursion to visit the Islands of Mull & Iona. We transfer to the harbor and catch the ferry to the Isle of Mull, where we visit the small but imposing Duart Castle, built on a rocky outcrop at the northeastern edge of the Isle of Mull. Duart Castle has seen much history including clan battles, Cromwellian invasion and Jacobite uprisings. Originally built in 1360 CE when Lachlan Lubanach Mclean, 5th Chief of the Clan Maclean, married Mary Macdonald, the daughter of the powerful Clan Donald ‘the Lords of the Isles’. Duart was part of her dowry and despite the legitimacy of the marriage being challenged, the castle and lands became the possession of the Clan Maclean. Murders, battles, betrayals and feuds fly like flags in the history of the castle. One of the last to support the catholic Stuart King Charles I in the Civil War of the 1640s CE, one Charles had been beheaded for betraying England to continental Catholics, Cromwell sent six ships to capture the castle, but it survived unscathed due to a storm which sunk three of the ships. The clans Campbell, McDonald and MacLean fought over the castle for the next 300 years. Today the castle is in the hands of the McLeans. Continuing our excursion, we drive across Mull to Fionnphort, where we take the passenger ferry to Iona, the tiny Isle made so famous by the arrival from Ireland of St. Columba in 563 CE. This was Christianity’s first arrival on Scottish soil. On Iona is a ruined 13th century CE Nunnery, and a restored Abbey of similar date, which we explore. We take lunch en route, and returning to Oban by ferry late afternoon.

We take lunch en route (dinner on your own this evening), and returning to Oban by ferry late afternoon.

Overnight in Oban.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 14 Oban - Edinburgh
This morning we check out and drive back to Edinburgh, where we check in on arrival. The afternoon is free in Edinburgh for personal exploration and relaxation. This evening we gather in the hotel foyer and depart for our farewell meal in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Edinburgh.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Departure
Departure from Edinburgh.
Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Motel One Edinburgh-Princes

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland

Set in the city centre and a 1-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley Station, this modern hotel is also less than
... mile from both Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

The Arch Inn

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Ullapool
Country: Scotland

The Arch Inn opened in 1973 on the site of the first building built by the British Fishing Society when
... was being established over 200 years ago. Originally it was an inn and store for fishermen and fish curers, with stabling through the archway for the horses that carried goods overland to the village. Over the years The Arch Inn has changed many times, but still remains at the heart of the village for locals and tourists alike.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Royal Hotel Stornoway

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Stornoway
Country: Scotland

Built in 1845, this waterfront hotel lies across the street from Stornoway Harbour.Cosy rooms come with free WiFI, en suite
... and flat-screen TVs, as well tea and coffeemaking facilities.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Viewfield Country House Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Portree
Country: Scotland

Experience 200 years of family history in this charming Victorian country house hotel. Relax by a log fire in the
... room and enjoy delicious food in the family dining room.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information


Inclusions

Breakfast daily, most dinners (local restaurants & hotels)*, some lunches (see full itinerary for each day's meal plan).

All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary.

Services of an Adventures Abroad Tour Leader and local guides at some locations.

Gratuities for drivers, local guides, restaurant staff, porters (if available).

Airport transfers for land & air customers, including early arrivals/late departing customers who have booked their air and extra nights through us.

* Due to the busy nature of Category 3 tours and our full days of on-foot exploration and travel, we have chosen not to include dinner on some days (or include lunch instead of dinner). These free evenings are so-placed to build in some enhanced rest-and-recovery opportunities in an otherwise busy and active program. Please see the full trip itinerary for details on each days' meal plan.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, some meals (see detailed itinerary), drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international air taxes (if applicable), any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs.

Seasonality and Weather

Summer is the most comfortable time in this part of the world, though conditions are notoriously changeable and can go from one extreme to the next in a hurry. One must be prepared for a wide range of conditions -- from windy and rainy and misty, to fine and warm, and everything in between.

The Western Isles, where most of our outdoor activity takes place, actually enjoy a milder climate than you might expect as a result of the Gulf Stream. This micro-climate can result in gorgeous weather, but is also unpredictable, giving our journey another dimension of adventure. We choose to visit in mid-late June in order to avoid the busy (and expensive) summer high season, which coincides with summer school holidays. We also hope that this time frame avoids atmospheric instability that increases the likelihood of storm fronts and unsettled weather typical of July and August.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Our ground transport will range from taxis to mini-bus and mid-size mini-coach. Road journeys are not long and stops for sightseeing will be frequent. Ferry crossings provided by scheduled services. You must be prepared to manage with your own luggage from time to time; you should also not rely on the availability of baggage handlers at the small hotels we utilize at some locations.

This is a busy program, though distances in this relatively compact region are not huge and we have some longer stays (3-4 nights) in some locales. While the trip is well-paced overall, we will have some full days of travel with sightseeing/comfort stops along the way. This is a hotel-based trip with no camping; all you need to carry is a small backpack with what you will need for the day.

Our difficulty rating "Level 3" refers to our full days of travel and sightseeing and, especially, our on-foot activities. This itinerary features some town/city on-foot explorations, but most of our walking takes place on well-maintained paths with relatively little elevation gain/loss. For further details specific to each days' activities on this tour -- approximate walk durations, distance, elevation gain/loss, and surface type (ie paved or "natural") -- please refer to the "Walk Summary" included on each walking day on the full itinerary.

Overall, our walks can vary widely, but generally range from 2km (1.5 mi) to 14km (8.6 mi) and may be done in segments for the sake of variety and opportunities for breaks and sightseeing. Our pace is leisurely but steady, and you should be comfortable walking about 3km (2 mi) per hour, and up to 10km (6 mi) in approximately 2.5 hours, depending on photo/refreshment stops and guide commentary. Because some walks can/may be adjusted at the discretion of your Tour Leader depending on things like weather and group interest, the final distances/durations of our hikes as indicated in our itinerary should be taken as guidance only.

For a general overview of all four of our rating categories, please click/tap on the "Activity Level 3" button located on this page.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

How might Covid-19 impact this tour and your booking? To review our safety protocols, passenger responsibilites, frequently asked questions, and terms governing your reservation, click here.

Review our full booking terms here.

Accommodation

Our hotel in Edinburgh will be typical city-style, international 3-star standard. Hotels on the islands will be smaller, character properties -- clean, well-located, comfortable, traditional and modern. Please note that single rooms will likely be smaller than twin-beaded rooms, as is typical of Europe.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout; local drivers, and walking guides at several locations.

Senior Tour Leader, Jonathan Hodgson, has confirmed his intention to lead our summer 2022 departure.

Group Size

Maximum 14 plus Tour Leader

XSCI TRIP DETAILS

DURATION16 days

TOUR STARTEdinburgh

TOUR ENDEdinburgh

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30 days from Ljubljana to Skopje
Our Adriatic, Albania & Macedonia Tour begins in Slovenia, past glacial lakes, lush green… Read More
30 days from Rome to Dubrovnik
Italy & The Adriatic Tour by Adventures Abroad: Historical structures throughout Italy… Read More
29 days from Valleta to Venice
On our Malta & Italy tour, for the better part of a month, we immerse ourselves in the… Read More
28 days from Tunis to Rome
This Tunisia, Malta & Italy Tour gives us a good perspective of the considerable expanse… Read More
26 days from Santiago de Compostela to Casablanca
Both Spain and Morocco serve as perfect examples as to why flying to the other side of… Read More
25 days from Lisbon to Sevilla
On this Portugal & Spain tour we see how referring to history as existing in a series of… Read More
24 days from Palermo to Venice
What do you get if you mix the incredible cultural riches of Italy's north with the laid… Read More
24 days from Florence to Dubrovnik
Italy & The Adriatic Tour by Adventures Abroad: As one of the most atmospheric and… Read More
24 days from Madrid to Marrakech
One look at the mountains framing the sky or the lakes that mirror any beauty that… Read More
23 days from Krakow to St Petersburg
Poland & The Baltic States Tour from Adventures Abroad: Not too often are we presented… Read More
23 days from Algiers to Malta
On our Algeria, Tunisia & Malta tour, the entire country of Algeria makes for a… Read More
21 days from Vilnius to Bergen
21 days from Warsaw to Prague
Combine picturesque vistas, unsettling historical discovery and exotic urban exploration… Read More
20 days from Palermo to Florence
20 days from Athens to Athens
20 days from Rome to Antwerp
This unique San Marino, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg & Vatican City tour… Read More
20 days from Frankfurt to Frankfurt
This was designed by, and will be led by, senior Tour Leader, Victor Romagnoli, who… Read More
19 days from Valleta to Rome
Combining gold-sand beaches that would rival those of any Mediterranean destination in… Read More
19 days from Krakow to Helsinki
Poland & Baltic States tours like no other! Eastern Europe holds numerous rewards for… Read More
19 days from Yellowknife to Toronto
This one-time offering will be led/hosted by Senior Tour Leader, Martin Charlton, who in… Read More
18 days from Madrid to Casablanca
Separated only by the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco tours venture to two… Read More
18 days from Santiago de Compostela to Sevilla
Take an adventure through the heart of Spain on our Spain: North & South tour and see how… Read More
17 days from Hamburg to Krakow
Tours of Poland, Czech Republic & Germany like no other!
16 days from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela
The Way Of Saint James has captured the imaginations of active travellers since the… Read More
16 days from Lisbon to Barcelona
Across the sun-drenched Iberian Peninsula are two countries with a soul and history that… Read More
16 days from Berlin to Warsaw
The variety on this busy trip is truly astounding, and on this "Category 3" adventure we… Read More
15 days from Tunis to Valleta
After the Roman Empire conquered Carthage, Julius Caesar resurrected the city into a vast… Read More
15 days from Athens to Athens
15 days from Madrid to Porto
15 days from Athens to Athens
This is the perfect Greek Isles experience for travellers who eschew crowds and the… Read More
14 days from Tirana to Skopje
Discerning travellers will be thrilled with this, one of our more comprehensive Albania… Read More
14 days from Rome to Venice
Few places in the world have as high of a reputation as a cultural and historic tour de… Read More
14 days from Palermo to Rome
Few countries ooze as much of a romantic appeal as Italy does. From the language to the… Read More
14 days from Zurich to Zurich
History has given Switzerland little land, but nature has blessed it with the finest… Read More
14 days from Athens to Athens
Greek Island Tours: join us on an exquisite, two-week adventure to experience the islands… Read More
14 days from Athens to Athens
Our Hiking the Greek Isles tour begins and end in the iconic capital of Athens, a city… Read More
14 days from Helsinki to Bergen
This spectacular 15-day Nordic Explorer tour to the Nordic countries is a perfect… Read More
13 days from Vilnius to St Petersburg
In the far northern region of Europe, our Russia and Baltic States tours explore a region… Read More
13 days from Zurich to Zurich
The Switzerland On Foot Tour is a guided walking tour combining some of Switzerland's… Read More
13 days from Torino to Torino
We're very excited to once again offer a more active tour in Italy, the Piemonte Panorama… Read More
12 days from Reykjavik to Reykjavik
In the land of fire and ice, one can expect a landscape of rugged mountains and swirling… Read More
12 days from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid
12 days from Rome to Venice
Experience a wide range of incredible highlights on our Northern Italy For Less! Tour, an… Read More
11 days from Reykjavik to Reykjavik
10 days from Rome to Florence
At 10 days in length, this adventure through Northern Italy may seem relatively short on… Read More
10 days from Madrid to Sevilla
If you have trouble determining a destination based on deciding between the culinary… Read More
9 days from Vilnius to Helsinki
Embark on this Baltic States tour that packs an incredible array of distinct culture and… Read More
9 days from Athens to Athens
As the birthplace of western democracy, there is something strangely familiar to those… Read More
9 days from Athens to Athens
In the sun-drenched islands of Greece, it is easy to get lost in the deep azure blue of… Read More
8 days from Florence to Venice
From the Renaissance grandeur of its buildings, the abundance of its art galleries and… Read More
8 days from Lisbon to Porto
The country of Portugal seems vast in so many respects; such is evident in the copious… Read More
6 days from Valleta to Valleta
On our Malta tour you'll see that, though small, Malta manages to cram just about… Read More
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