19 days
Duration
British Isles
Destination
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate
Activity

Join Odyssey Traveller as we explore the stunning scenery and the remarkable history of Scotland, including the fabled Isle of Skye.

In this 19-day fully-escorted, small group tour, we visit the whisky distilleries of Cardhu, Speyside Cooperage, and Glenfiddich to learn about the whisky process and its importance to Scottish culture and economy. The whisky industry in Scotland directly employs 10,000 people, supporting 40,000 jobs across the United Kingdom, 7,000 of which are in rural areas where other jobs may be hard to find. This makes whisky the third biggest industry in Scotland, behind energy and financial services.

Tour Highlights

We go beyond whisky, which dates back to the Ancient Celts (they called it uisge beatha, “the water of life”, from which evolved the Anglicised form of the name), and experience the scenic delights and incredible history of the Scottish isles, from Edinburgh to Glasgow. Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline of the city, is only one of the many attractions on offer. Edinburgh Castle stands at one end of the Royal Mile, in itself an attraction, with its cobbled streets and wynds (minor streets) branching out of the main road, as well as countless historic buildings including the Parliament and St Giles Cathedral.

In Glasgow, we will explore the Gothic magnificence of Glasgow Cathedral and take an architectural tour along the Mackintosh Trail, which includes a visit to the famous Mackintosh House. The Mackintosh House is a meticulous reconstruction of the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Mackintosh, an architect in the early 20th century, rebelled against the Victorian fascination with the past (evident in neo-Gothic architecture) and created designs that look striking and new even today.

This is only a sample of what we will experience on this tour. For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right-hand side of this page.

Articles & Other Tours to Scotland

You can also start by reading our article on Scotland & Scotch whisky and our country spotlight on Scotland.

Odyssey Traveller has several small-group tours to Scotland, including a special tour of the Scotland mainland and Shetland, with a whisky-drinking stop on the Isle of Skye.

If you are already on one of our tours and is seeking an extension--or simple a short tour--check out our city tour of Edinburgh which also visits Glasgow for a day. Just click through the links to read and explore!

Tour Notes
  • Itineraries may change if flight schedules, site availability, and other inclusions have to be amended prior to departure.
  • Group size limited to 16.

PDF of Tour

1
Taste authentic Scottish whisky right at its source, and learn about the fascinating history of whisky-making.
2
See important architectural sites in Glasgow on the Mackintosh Trail.
3
Learn about the fascinating history of ancient and modern Scotland and it’s relationship with Whisky
4
Visit fairy tale castles such as Kellie Castle, St. Andrews Castle, and the Falkland Palace.
5
Visit Skye, with its dramatic seascapes and volcanic landscapes and distilleries

Overview: Upon arrival in Edinburgh, we will come to the hotel individually. We will enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant and a whisky tasting before turning in for the night at our hotel.

(D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Novotel Edinburgh Centre or similar.

Overview: Today a local guide will join us. Our first port of call is Edinburgh Castle. The castle is perched on Castle Rock, the remains of an extinct volcano, and houses the city’s most ancient building, St. Margaret’s Chapel, dating from the C12th. The castle is located in Edinburgh Old Town, which is a World Heritage Site. We will also pay a visit to Scottish Parliament, then travel to Roslin to see the Rosslyn Chapel. We return to Edinburgh for a meal at our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Novotel Edinburgh Centre or similar.

Overview: Our first stop for the day is Kellie castle in Anstruther. We will make our way to the Scottish Fisheries Museum and stop for lunch at the Cellar restaurant or similar.

After lunch we will make our way to St. Andrews, which is Scotland’s oldest university town. Stones pillaged from its C12th cathedral were used to build the castle erected for the town’s bishops in the year 1200. We will drive around the world’s oldest golf links, known as the Old Course, and past the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, where the rules of golf were first drawn up. We then continue our drive to Perth.

(B,L,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at The Royal George Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will take a full-day excursion to Cupar. Our first stop will be Tarvit Mansion. We will visit a farmers market, then transfer to Falkland Palace. Upon arrival in Perth, we will enjoy dinner at our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: The Royal George Hotel or similar.

Overview: En route to Pitlochry, we will have the chance to view the Tummel Bridge as well as the Queen’s View. Queen Victoria made this site’s spectacular scenic views famous in 1866.

In Balmoral we will have entrance to the Balmoral Castle. We end the day in Grantown-on-Spey with a dinner in our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 4 nights at Grant Arms Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will have a day of whisky education and tasting at many distilleries. We will enjoy tours of Cardhu distillery, Speyside Cooperage, and Glenfiddich distillery. The remainder of the day will be at leisure.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Grant Arms Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will tour Haddo House in Ellon, before making our way to Pitmedden Gardens and the Museum of Farming Life.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Grant Arms Hotel or similar.

Overview: Our first stop for the day will be Brodie Castle. We will also stop to see Sueno’s Stone, before making our way to Findhorn, where we will visit the Findhorn Heritage Centre and Icehouse. Our last stop for the day will be Elgin, where we will visit the cathedral before ending the day with a dinner in our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Grant Arms Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will strike out to Culloden Battlfield Visitor Centre. Here on April 16th 1746 the last battle on British soil was fought. Following recent excavations on the battlefield, historians now label the battle a civil war between those who wanted the Stuart kings restored to the throne and those who wanted to retain the status quo. English and Scottish, Protestants and Catholics, and men from the same clans fought on both sides. The new centre houses a fascinating exhibition. A tour of the battlefield will show us even further detail of the events of that fateful day.

We will make our way to the Loch Ness Visitor Centre, and stop for photos en route to Invergarry, where we will enjoy dinner at our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Glengarry Castle Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will take a steam train to the bustling fishing port of Mallaig, where we catch a ferry to the Isle of Skye. We arrive in Armadale, where we will visit the Clan Donald Museum. We end the day in Invergarry.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Glengarry Castle Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will stop to view Neptune’s Staircase in Banavie, built by Thomas Telford in 1822. The canal joins the 3 lochs that occupy the glen, enabling shipping from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. Today, the canal is used for recreational boating.

Our next stop is Glencoe, famous for its beauty and ice carved landforms. The road through the glen cuts through an ancient volcano. It was here that members of the MacDonald Clan were massacred in 1692. Through our visit to the Glencoe Visitor Centre and our drive along the glen, we will learn the story of the massacre. Our final stop will be at Oban, a town of Victorian character on the coast, before travelling to our accommodation.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Western Isles Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will explore the Isle of Mull, then ferry to the Isle of Iona. We will have entrance to Iona Abbey, then ferry pack to Tobermory to enjoy a guided tour and tasting at Tobermory Distillery. We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Western Isles Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will take a ferry from Craignure to Oban, and view McCraig’s tower. In Kilmartin we will visit the Kilmartin House museum of Ancient culture. Our last stop for the day will be Finlaggan Information Centre, and we will enjoy dinner in the hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at The Islay Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will visit Bowmore Roundchurch, before travelling to Port Charlotte to visit the Museum of Islay Life and enjoying time to explore in Port Charlotte. Our next stop will be Kildalton, where we will see the Kildalton Church and the second largest common seal colony. Next we will have a guided tour and tasting at Ardberg Distillery, and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

(B,D)

Accommodation: The Islay Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will take the ferry from Port Ellen to Kennacraig, and explore Inveraray Castle. From Inveraray we will enjoy tea at Lodge on Lock Lomond or similar in the pretty village of Luss. Loch Lomond is known as the “Queen of the Scottish Lochs.” The loch is one of Scotland’s many lakes carved out by glaciers during the last Ice Age. We end our day arriving in Glasgow and enjoying dinner at our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Jury’s Inn or similar.

Overview: First we will go to Falkirk to view the Falkirk wheel and Kelpies. Our next stop is Stirling. Set at the crossroads of the nation and also set at the highest navigable point of the Forth River, Stirling was of extreme strategic importance. In fact, it was the most important piece of medieval real estate in Scotland. Stirling held a key position in Scotland’s struggle for independence. Stirling Castle, sitting directly above the town, crowns a 77 metre volcanic crag, and is a magnificent castle that stood at the heart of Scottish history for several centuries. From its ramparts no less than 7 battlefields can be seen. There is much to see here including the Great Hall, the Royal Apartments, and the C 16th Chapel Royal. In the tapestry room, we can see the painstaking recreation of ancient tapestries. From the castle we will go to the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre, then enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Jury’s Inn or similar.

Overview: After a morning at leisure, we will tour Glasgow, which was the main centre of the Industrial Revolution in Scotland. In fact, some say the revolution began here. Since the 1960s however, Glasgow has undergone a revolution of a different nature — a cultural revolution, culminating in the award of European City of Culture in 1990. A local guide will show us some of the main sights and provide us with some fascinating insights into the city’s history. We will visit the Museum of Piping and the Glasgow Cathedral.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Jury’s Inn or similar.

Overview: We will take an architectural tour along the Mackintosh trail. The Mackintosh trail includes the Art museum, House for an Art lover, the Lighthouse, the Mackintosh house, the Mackintosh church, Marty’s public school, Scotland, street school, the willow tea rooms, and the Hill house. After an afternoon at leisure, we will have a farewell dinner and whisky tasting.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Jury’s Inn or similar.

Overview: Our tour will end today after breakfast.

(B)

What’s included in our Tour

  • 18 nights of accommodation.
  • 18 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 8 dinners.
  • Transport in comfortable and modern coaches.
  • Ferry services.
  • All excursions, entrance fees, and local guides.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive international travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.

Modern pot stills in a distillery in Scotland
Scotland Driving valley sea
Forth Rail Bridge Scotland UK
Servants Walk Royal Mile
Modern pot stills in a distillery in Scotland
Short walks of Britain
Scotland cattle
Loch leven
Scottish Islands
Scotland history
Scotland history - Urquhart Castle

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.