8. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye, Highlands & Jacobite Steam Train
Our Skye High tour is the perfect way for travelers short on time to see most of Scotland. In just three days, go hunting for the Loch Ness Monster, see ruined castles and stunning lochs, and listen to Celtic myths in a proper Highland pub. Day 1: We depart Edinburgh in the morning. Passing by Stirling Castle, we take a break in Callander. Then, we venture into Rannoch Moor, Britain's last wilderness. Our next stop is Glen Coe, one of the most famous glens in the Scottish Highlands. We head to Fort William, where you'll have the opportunity to board the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, for a magical two-hour ride along the West Coast. Crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct, you'll quickly understand why the Jacobite Steam Train is considered the finest rail adventure on Earth. Our journey continues with a ferry trip to the renowned Isle of Skye, where you'll hear ancient tales of faerie folk. Your home for the next two nights is Portree, offering plenty of time to explore its picturesque harbour or enjoy a drink with fellow travellers. Day 2: Today, we explore the Isle of Skye, also known as the 'Misty Isle': a bucket-list destination for its awe-inspiring scenery. This wee island is filled with ruined castles, breathtaking views, and faerie stories. Home to the legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, your Guide will share Celtic myths and Viking legends from centuries past. We traverse the windswept landscape, admire the stunning coastline, and take in the dramatic mountain ranges. In the afternoon, we visit Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod, before returning to Portree. Day 3: Be captivated by the enchanting Eilean Donan Castle, arguably Scotland’s most romantic view. Our adventure takes us to the heart of the Highlands, the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre. Here, we learn about the remarkable efforts of Trees for Life and their inspiring mission to restore Scotland's ancient Caledonian Pine Forest. Time for a bit of monster hunting! Loch Ness awaits, where we pause to spot the elusive Nessie while exploring Fort Augustus. A visit to the Commando Memorial treats us to impressive views of Britain's tallest peak, Ben Nevis. Heading southward, we explore the Highland village of Dunkeld and its historic riverside cathedral. As we journey back to Edinburgh, brace yourself for one last spectacle: the iconic Forth Rail Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We return to the capital in the early evening.