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Orkney and The Highlands – Self Drive Tour

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Cities Covered

Duration

10 Nights 11 Days

Destination

Language spoken

English

Inclusions

Starting Price :

Per Person
* Calculated on per person
& twin sharing basis.
86,700 96,349
Cities Covered
Duration
10 Nights 11 Days
Language Spoken
English
Destination
Overview

In this Scotland holiday package, prepare yourself for an outstanding and unforgettable vacation. This package includes a visit to the stunning and unspoilt Neolithic site of Orkney. The vacation starts divulging the beautiful city of Edinburg. The amazing city is in itself offers an in-depth peek into the ancient history and politics of the country, with several important landmarks and castles dotting it. In this tour, you will also get a chance to explore the stunning Scottish Highlands famed for its rich past and imposing castles. For adrenaline junkies, this is the place to try out their skills. After getting a good dose of the majestic Scottish highlands, you will then travel to Orkney. It is one of the most ancient and magnificent destinations in the entire Scotland. It is an archipelago located on the northeastern of the country. The site comprises of various Neolithic sites, tall sandstone, and seal colonies and chambered burial tomb consisting of a 12th century Viking carvings on it.

Things to do in Orkney and The Highlands

In this vacation, tourists are for a treat. From strolling the beautiful cities of Edinburg to witnessing the imposing medieval-era castle and cathedral will leave every traveller to enthrall. Visit beautiful Scottish highlands and indulge in various adventurous activities. Finally, explore the Neolithic site of Orkney and its virgin landscape and rich Viking history.

Day 1: Arrival Day In Edinburgh

Welcome to Scotland. For an easy and comfortable way to get from the Edinburgh or Glasgow airport to your hotel in the Edinburgh city centre, we are happy to arrange a private transfer for you (at additional cost). After settling in, go out and explore. Edinburgh has a long and storied history, so there’s no shortage of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums and landmarks to visit, including the majestic Edinburgh Castle. You can easily travel around the city centre on foot, and we recommend strolling along the Royal Mile or walking to Castle Hill for a spectacular view of the city. For a good introduction to the city, why not join the Edinburgh Tour, a guided tour on a double-decker bus covering the top attractions, or a guided walking tour of the Old Town. And of course there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy some warm Scottish hospitality—not to mention a taste of the local whisky.Spend the night in Edinburgh.

Day 2: Into The Scottish Highlands

Start your drive today across the remarkable Forth Road Bridge and head towards the majestic Scottish Highlands today. There are many possible stops depending on time and interests. Notable highlights include the picture-perfect village of Dunkeld, perched on the banks of the River Tay, and the 13th century Blair Castle nestled in the heart of Highland Perthshire. Travelling through the Cairngorms National Park, another ideal stop is at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, where actors and restored buildings help bring Highland history to life.
If time allows, head to the Battlefield of Culloden Moor, where the last battle on British soil occurred in 1746—an event considered “the beginning of the end for the Highlands”. There you can also visit Clava Cairns, a series of tombs and standing stones which pre-date Stonehenge by some 1,000 years. Then continue on to Inverness, regarded as “Capital of the Highlands.”
Spend the night in the Inverness area.
Driving distance: 251 km / 156 miles

Day 3: Orkney Islands & Norse Heritage

Head north via the beautiful Black Isle Peninsula, passing the fairytale Dunrobin Castle on the way to the seaside village of Scrabster, where you will take the ferry to Stromness on Orkney—a beautiful 1.5-hour journey over Pentland Firth with spectacular views of the Old Man of Hoy. Once you’re back on dry land, continue to Kirkwall, the largest town of the Orkney Islands and a former Viking stronghold. Here you have the opportunity to explore the city centre, including the magnificent 12th century St Magnus Cathedral.
Spend the night in the Kirkwall area.
Driving distance: 203 km/ 126 miles
Ferry from Scrabster to Orkney: 1.5 hours

Day 4: Stone Age Ruins Of Orkney

Spend another day exploring fantastic Orkney, noted for its stunning scenery and ruins dating back millennia to the Stone Ages.
Today is a great opportunity to visit the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site area that includes a group of Neolithic monuments on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands. This includes the 5,000 year-old prehistoric village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar stone circle, the huge megaliths at the Standing Stones of Stenness and the chambered cairn of Maeshowe, where raiding Vikings in the 12th century left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions.
Spend another night in the Kirkwall area.
Driving distance: 56 km / 35 miles

Day 5: The North Coast 500 Route

Start the day early and take the ferry back to the Scottish mainland. From here you’ll follow the North Coast 500 route, Scotland’s answer to Route 66. This drive offers amazing vistas of rocky cliffs, gold sand beaches and beautiful mountains of the rural north coast.
Along your drive today we recommend visits to the beautiful Smoo Cave, the largest and most dramatic sea cave in Britain, and the pristine beaches and turquoise waters of Durness. Further ahead you can visit the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle before arriving at the charming and whitewashed village of Ullapool.
Spend the night in the Ullapool area.
Driving distance: 251 km / 156 miles
Ferry from Orkney to Scrabster: 1.5 hours
Note: During the months of April, May, September and October, the ferry to Scrabster departs at 06:30 AM on weekdays. If travelling in these months we recommend starting your journey on Tuesday or Wednesday in order to take the ferry on weekends, which departs at 09:00 AM.

Day 6: Eilean Donan Castle & Isle Of Skye

Start the day by visiting the breathtaking mile-long Corrieshalloch Gorge and enjoy a walk to the Falls of Measach. Head towards the Isle of Skye and make a stop at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, a sight you will surely recognize from many photographs, films and TV shows. Then head for the picturesque Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides.
Spend the night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.
Driving distance: 192 km / 119 miles

Day 7: Day Of Leisure On Skye

Today you have a full day to take in the magic of Skye, a haven for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. Take some time to wander around the scenic village of Portree with its colourful buildings and boutiques. We also recommend a drive around the northern part of the island via the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula. Here you can enjoy a walk up to “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle for stunning views and view the beautiful Kilt Rock waterfall.

Other suggested highlights include the An Corran Beach at Staffin, where you may spot dinosaur footprints dating back 165 million years, the Quirang rock face, and the mystical Fairy Glen.

Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

Driving-distance: 66 km /41 miles

HIGHLIGHTS

Day 8: Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle Ruins

Today head over to the mainland and drive along the shores of Loch Ness where you can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. You might also wish to take a boat tour on Loch Ness in search of its notorious and elusive monster, or go explore the nearby Urquhart Castle ruins on the shores of the lake.

Spend the night in the Fort William / Loch Ness area.

Driving distance: 254km/ 157 miles

HIGHLIGHTS

Day 9: Through Famous Glens To Loch Lomond

Head to Rob Roy country, the Trossachs and Loch Lomond area today. This journey takes you past Scotland’s most famous valley, the magical Glen Coe, combining world-famous scenery and history. Other worthwhile sights in the area include the grave of Rob Roy, the notorious outlaw and folk hero, at Balquidder and the beautiful Falls of Dochart in the village of Killin.

Alternatively, you can take a longer scenic route via the quaint seaside village of Oban through the historical valley of Kilmartin Glen. This area is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland, with many cairns, standing stones, rock carvings, stone circles, forts and castles. On this route you can also enjoy views to Loch Linnhe and stop at the charming village of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne, where you can visit Inveraray Castle, the home of the Duke of Argyl.

Spend the night in the Loch Lomond / Trossachs National Park area.

Driving distance via Glen Coe: 129 km / 80 miles

Driving distance via Kilmartin Glen/Inveraray: 285 km / 177 miles

HIGHLIGHTS

Day 10: Trossachs National Park To Edinburgh

It’s time to head back towards Edinburgh today. But first you can take some time to enjoy the beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park area. Take a walk in nature to spot wildlife, enjoy an optional steam-ship tour on Loch Katrine, follow in the footsteps of Rob Roy or visit a local whisky distillery.

For a fun photo opportunity, don’t miss the Doune Castle, featured in the classic film Monty Python & the Holy Grail and the Outlander TV series as “Castle Leoch”. Another ideal place to visit is Stirling Castle and the monument dedicated to William Wallace, the rebellious Scottish knight and subject of the film Braveheart.

Back in Edinburgh, return your rental car and enjoy the evening at your leisure, perhaps with a fine dinner to top off your amazing journey.

Spend the night in Edinburgh.

Driving distance: 132 km/ 82 miles

HIGHLIGHTS

Day 11: Departure

To get to Edinburgh Airport, you can take the Airport Express bus from Waverley Bridge or a taxi directly from your hotel. If your flight is in the afternoon, use the morning to enjoy some last-minute shopping, visit one of Edinburgh’s museums or simply relax and take in the old world atmosphere of the city.

If you wish to spend more time in Edinburgh or Glasgow before or after the tour, ask your travel consultant about adding extra nights or services, such as private airport transfers. We can also extend your trip with other destinations in the Nordic region such as Iceland or Norway. Contact us for details about customizing your itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • Transfer from KEF airport to Reykjavik on arrival
  • Accommodation (budget/comfort/quality/luxury) for 3 nights, includes breakfast
  • Private transportation with a professional English-speaking guide, as per itinerary
  • Entrance to Blue Lagoon; includes transportation
  • Blue Lagoon: Experience Comfort Package
  • 24-hour Emergency Service
  • Taxes & service fees
Exclusion:
  • Airfare and taxes
  • Visa and insurance
  • Any increase in Rate of Exchange leading to an increase in tour cost coming into effect prior to departure. However, the rate prevailing on the given day of payment will apply
  • Cost of any optional tours/ excursions
  • Government tax extra as applicable
  • Tips, laundry, telephone, any surcharges
  • Any meals, other than specified in the itinerary
  • Any transport, other than mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any sightseeing and inclusion other than specified in the itinerary
Notes:
  • A Govt. Service Tax applicable on the total package cost.
  • Rates are subject to availability or can change without prior notice.
  • Above Package Cost is not valid for any festive season, Government holidays,
  • Long weekends, Christmas , New Year & any other high season Period.”
  • Hotel standard Check-In / Check-out time 1400 hrs and 1200 hrs respectively.
  • Early Check in and Late Checkout are subject to availability and based on sole discretion of Hotel Management.
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