7-Day Luxury Scotland Vacation: Highlands and Isle of Skye

Bring Scotland’s legends, landscapes and long history to life on this exhilarating small group tour of the country’s most picturesque places.


  • Kick off your Highlands and Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh with a train journey across the beautiful Scottish countryside to Inverness, then travel over the sea to experience the wonders of the Isle of Skye.
  • Hear the most dramatic stories of Skye and the Scottish Highlands, as you stand in the landscapes and consider the human and geological forces that created them.
  • Local experts and guides will take you into captivating stories of castles and towering peaks, historic homes and traditional crafts, and to a dramatic loch hidden in Skye’s Cuillin mountains.
  • Stay at three welcoming and charismatic hotels: a Georgian mansion outside Inverness, a former hunting lodge on Skye and a loch-side retreat at Port Appin.
  • Taste some of the finest food in Scotland with traditional meals made from quality, locally sourced ingredients. 


Live the stories and traditions of Scotland on our seven-day, six-night Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh as part of a small group. You’ll explore the history, geology and traditions of Scotland in the Highlands of Argyll and on the Isle of Skye, known as the Misty Isle.

Travel from Edinburgh to Inverness to take in the sights and sounds of the Highlands, before exploring the enchanting Isle of Skye. Afterwards, journey on to a loch-side hotel to discover the scenic beauty of the Appin district. This Scotland vacation package encompasses loch-fringed coastlines, towering mountain ranges and hidden-away gems, all in the company of our local guides. They’re experts in bringing Scotland’s history, culture and geology to life.

Between spectacular locations, stay at three Good Hotel Guide-recommended hotels. We’ve carefully chosen places that we believe best showcase Scotland’s traditional comforts and best local ingredients.

Your Scotland vacation includes castles laden with tales of conflict, clans and courage. You’ll dig deep into the local landscape, marvel at the landscape’s rugged beauty and uncover its deep-time origins.

But perhaps the biggest highlight of the tour is Skye itself. This ‘Misty Isle’ just off the Scottish mainland holds so much history, culture and traditions that you’ll be enthralled the moment you set foot on the island. Our Skye vacation takes you from one end of the island to the other, from hundreds of millions of years to the present, from peaceful ports to jagged mountain peaks, with all the richness of island life in between.

  • Activity Level: Moderate, with a range of optional walks and hikes across the Scottish landscape between 1 and 3 miles long. (view our activity level definitions). This holiday also includes boarding a boat via a ramped pier.
  • Transport: Getting there: First-class rail travel between Edinburgh and Inverness, with a pre-ordered taxi to/from your hotel. Getting around: Comfortable minibus with air conditioning; passenger boat once on Skye.
  • Accommodation: Two nights’ stay at the Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer, a welcoming 18th-century Georgian mansion. Two nights at the Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree, on Skye, with one of the best views of the island’s landscape and mountains. Two nights’ stay at The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, a loch-side hotel with excellent views and a menu rich in local seafood options. A la carte dinner at the hotel(s), each night of the trip.
  • Weather: The Isle of Skye’s weather is generally cool to warm over spring and summer, but there can often be a risk of rain. Skye is also known as the Misty Isle, but we find that this often enhances its craggy landscape and won’t affect our itinerary.

Tour Map

Day 1 – Edinburgh to Inverness: Welcome to Scotland!

Meet your fellow travellers and Scottish guide at Edinburgh Waverley railway station, travel by train to Inverness, and settle into the glorious Coul House Hotel.

Coul House Hotel

The first journey of your tour is by first-class train from Edinburgh to Inverness. It’s a gentle introduction to the Scottish Highlands, with views of lochs, mountains and moors. After a mid-morning departure, you will arrive in Inverness in the afternoon, transferring to your accommodation via taxi.

You’ll receive a warm Scottish welcome at Coul House Hotel. An historic, family-run Georgian mansion, Coul House will be your base for two nights as you get some Scottish Highlands experiences under your belt. For now, get settled in, admire the countryside views and Coul House’s garden, and raise a glass to the start of your vacation in Scotland.

  • Check into Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer, for the next two nights
  • Group dinner

Day 2 – Cromarty: Folklore, Fortunes and Fossils

Explore the Black Isle peninsula, uncover historic attractions and hear the tale of Cromarty’s most famous son, Hugh Miller.

An aerial view of seaside Chanonry Point

After waking to a Highlands view and a hearty breakfast, you’ll be off to the nearby famous Black Isle peninsula, working your way up to the coastal town of Cromarty. On the way, we’ll stop in the town of Fortrose, known for its ruined cathedral and, with luck, see visiting dolphins from Chanonry Point!

You’ll also hear the legend of the Brahan Seer, a 17th century prophet whose predictions brought him to an untimely end on the Point.

Travelling on to Cromarty, we’ll visit the birthplace and childhood home of Hugh Miller, a pioneering Scottish geologist, folklorist and fossil hunter, whose life and discoveries are on prominent display in his preserved cottage, which is now a museum.

We’ll take lunch in town, and after some more discovering, either take the ferry across to Tain to learn about Clan Ross, or travel back down the Black Isle to Beauly, home to the ruined 13th century priory and the renowned outfitters Campbell’s of Beauly.

Back at Coul House, we’ll feast on a traditional group dinner, then relax ahead of the Skye leg of your Scotland vacation.

  • Return to Coul House in the evening.
  • Group dinner

Daily Walking Details:  Approx. 2 miles |  Negligible ascent  |  Approx. 2 hour

Day 3 – Inverness to Skye: Strongholds and Incredible Scenery

Journey to Skye, visiting a famous castle and spectacular natural wonders, then check into the Cuillin Hills Hotel with its spectacular views.

Vibrant sunrise at Quiraing on the Isle of Skye

On the way to Skye, we’ll stop at a quintessentially Scottish landmark – Eilean Donan Castle.

Standing where three lochs meet, the castle’s fascinating history began long before BBC branding and James Bond films made it famous! You’ll have plenty of time to wander the battlements and the castle halls and take lunch, before we hit the road and cross the bridge to Skye.

We’ll travel up through Skye to its northern Trotternish Peninsula, and stop off at the Old Man of Storr, an iconic collection of rock pinnacles that is an internationally recognisable sign of the island. If time allows, we’ll also take in further sights in Skye’s north, including the equally spectacular Quiraing mountain landscapes and cliffs, that owe their origin to ancient volcanic activity.

Travelling back down to Portree, we’ll end this day by checking into your accommodation on Skye, the four-star Cuillin Hills. This award-winning hotel has an equally commended restaurant, inviting bedrooms and some of the most remarkable loch and mountain views on Skye.

  • Check into Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree for the next two nights.
  • Group dinner

Daily Walking Details:  Approx. 2 miles  |  Negligible ascent  |  Approx. 2 hours

Day 4 – Straithaird: Sailing to a Secluded Loch

Sail to a hidden loch and uncover the story of the Highland Clearances.

Elgol and Coruisk

After breakfast with an unforgettable view of the Cuillin Hills, you’ll embark on a real Skye vacation adventure. We’ll head to a loch that’s notoriously hard to reach – if you travel there by land…

Luckily, you’ll be travelling by water! Board a boat in the village of Elgol to reach the elusive loch Elgol, which has stories of its own, having hosted Bonnie Prince Charlie while he evaded government capture after the Battle of Culloden.

At the picturesque Loch Coruisk, you’ll find out about the area’s geological past and hear the story of the Highland Clearances, a key chapter in Scottish history. Afterwards, there will be a picnic lunch and time to take a short or an optional longer walk along the shoreline of this hidden gem.

After getting the boat back to Elgol, we’ll return to Portree for a free afternoon and a last dinner at the Cuillin Hills Hotel.

  • Return to Cuillin Hills Hotel in the evening
  • Group dinner

Daily Walking Details:  Approx. 1.8 mile  |  165ft ascent  |  1.5 hours

Day 5 – Skye to Appin: History, Hogwarts and Heritage

Travel from Skye to Port Appin, discovering film locations, Scottish history and a lovely loch-side hotel.

Pierhouse Hotel

After a last breakfast on Skye, it’s time to head off on the next leg of your Scotland vacation to Appin in Argyll. We’ll travel down to Skye’s southern coast and catch the ferry over to the town of Mallaig, before driving off to the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Famous for carrying the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films, the area around the viaduct is also of great historical significance for being the landing point for Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, and the starting point of the Jacobite rising.

Having taken in the sights and the history, we’ll journey onwards, stopping for lunch in Fort William before visiting Glen Coe, the mountainous site of a notorious massacre and an area of great geological interest, as well as one Darwin visited.

The last stop before reaching your accommodation is Ballachulish Slate Quarry, where we’ll hear the story of continental collision to form the slates. Slates were once a vital industry for the area, and there is a linked story of a concerned doctor who campaigned for the area’s workers.

Finally, you’ll check into the Pierhouse Hotel on the shores of Loch Linnhe, a welcoming hotel with excellent views and a menu dedicated to quality seafood.

  • Check into the Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, for the next two nights.
  • Group dinner.

Daily Walking Details:  Approx. 1.5 miles  |  Negligible ascent  |  Approx. 2 hours

Day 6 – Appin: Unwind on the Scottish Highland’s Winding Trails

Immerse yourself in nature on this last full day of your Scotland vacation, enjoying trail walks and tantalising glimpses of Scottish history.

Highland Cow

After breakfast and views of the loch at the Pierhouse Hotel, you’ll be spending today in the great Scottish outdoors.

Weather permitting, we’ll be catching the ferry to the Isle of Kerrera, after a quick stop in Oban to see McCaig’s Tower. Styled after a Roman colosseum, this unfinished hilltop structure was the vision of banker John Stuart McCaig and remains a listed monument looking over the town to this day.

Once on Kerrera, we’ll walk some of the Gylen Castle circuit close to the ill-fated castle and ending (for us) in a welcoming tearoom. We will then reverse the route, and head back to the Pierhouse Hotel for a final group dinner.

If the weather is poor, we’ll stay closer to the hotel, exploring the equally interesting Sutherland’s Grove. This sheltered woodland walk boasts gorges, rushing rivers and the scenic ‘Black Glen’ reservoir at its far end. After a peaceful walk, we’ll travel to a nearby artisan ice cream producer, where all the milk comes from the farm’s native Highland cows.

  • Return to Pierhouse Hotel in the evening.
  • Group dinner

Daily Walking Details:  Approx. 4.4 miles  |  165ft ascent  |  Approx. 3 hours

Day 7 – Returning Home

The journey’s end. Travel back to Edinburgh via Loch Lomond and Glasgow to wrap up your tour of Scotland.

Edinburgh Skyline

Savor your last breakfast at the Pierhouse Hotel, then enjoy the journey back to Edinburgh via a scenic drive along the length of Loch Lomond. We’ll stop in Glasgow to catch the train back to Edinburgh, arriving at Waverley Station in the early afternoon. Alternatively, stay on in Glasgow for more adventures, or a flight home.

Note: If required for reasons beyond our control, GeoCultura reserves the right to substitute alternative accommodation of equal or higher quality or adapt the itinerary if required.

Single Supplement

There is a charge of GBP £549 / USD $686 for solo travellers.

Rail Ticket

For an extra charge of GBP £300 / USD $375 per person, we can arrange first-class return rail tickets between London and Edinburgh.

Activity Level and Transport

The activity level is rated as MODERATE, requiring an average level of fitness (view activity level definitions). The tour will involve walking in generally easy terrain, but will require good walking boots and a moderate level of fitness (please note, some paths may be uneven and loose underfoot). Walks are 1-3 miles long. This tour also involves boarding a passenger boat to reach Loch Coruisk, from a ramped pier.

Transport will be by small comfortable coach, passenger boat and first-class rail.

Rain is always possible, so you should bring light waterproof clothing, insect repellent is also recommended. Average temperatures on Skye range from lows of 8° to highs of 15° in June (46°F to 59°F).

If walking is an issue, alternative arrangements can be made during the scheduled longer walks, so please let GeoCultura know in advance. To enjoy the full experience, a reasonable level of fitness is required – please call us to discuss this if you have any concerns.

The Tour Includes/Excludes

The Tour Includes:

  • The services of your expert guide and tour host who will be with the group throughout the tour, staying at the same hotels.
  • Local geology expert who will accompany the group and give talks on selected days
  • All transportation costs when travelling from Edinburgh on the first day, and when returning to Edinburgh
  • Entry fees, local guide fees and activity fees, where arranged as part of the tour.
  • All accommodation costs for the nights stated, assuming two people sharing a double room. Single occupancy rooms are available for a surcharge. See Single Supplement in ‘Need to Know’ tab.
  • Six breakfasts, six a la carte dinners, three snack lunches.
  • All service charges and most gratuities.

The Tour Excludes:

  • Travel insurance. Guests should carry their own health and travel insurance.
  • Extra or optional activities not described in the tour
  • Lunches not included on four of the seven days
  • Personal expenditures, any alcoholic drinks with meals, and extras at hotels such as laundry bills
  • Transportation to and from Edinburgh Waverley railway station at the start and end of the tour
  • Passport and visa fees

Alternate Activities

Our tour leaders are happy to provide suggestions for alternative activities for guests who prefer not to participate in certain parts of the tour walks or visits, or group dinners.


Nights 1 & 2: Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer

Coul House Hotel

A ‘stunning Georgian building with wonderful grounds’, this 1820s mansion has been run as a hotel by ‘lovely, friendly’ hosts Susannah and Stuart Macpherson since 2003 - Good Hotel Guide (46th edition)

Nights 3-4: Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree

Cuillin Hills Hotel Room

With ‘possibly the best location in Portree’, the Cuillin Hills Hotel sits at a vantage point in the north of the town, providing exceptional views of Loch Portree, the Sound of Raasay and the distant Cuillin mountains. Good Hotel Guide (46th edition)

Nights 5-6: The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin

Aerial image of Pierhouse Hotel

The former home of Port Appin’s Pier Master, The Pierhouse Hotel is ‘a lovely hotel with stylish bedrooms and a varied menu, long on fish’. Breakfasts and dinners are accompanied by exquisite views of Loch Linnhe and the distant mountains. Good Hotel Guide (46th edition). (Photo Credit: The Pierhouse Hotel)

Note: If required for reasons beyond our control, GeoCultura reserves the right to substitute alternate accommodations of equal or higher quality.

Deposit and Payment Terms

Deposit: A deposit of 10% of the tour price is due upon registration for a tour.

Final payment: Full payment is due 60 days before a tour begins, or upon registration if within the 60-day window.

Cancellation by participant: A participant may cancel a registration after securing a confirmed place on a tour for any reason. The following refund terms will apply:

  • Greater than 60 days before tour begins: Any monies paid plus half of the deposit will be refunded
  • 30 to 59 days before tour begins: 35% of tour price will be refunded
  • 15 to 29 days before tour begins: 25% of tour price will be refunded
  • Within 14 days of tour or during the tour: No monies will be refunded

Cancellation by GeoCultura: GeoCultura reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrolment, inability to run the tour or concerns about the safety, health or welfare of participants. If a tour is cancelled before it begins, all monies paid will be refunded (including any deposit).

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions page for additional details.

Alison (Ali) Motion

Alison Motion 

With a lifetime of working in the great outdoors and an enviable knowledge of the best places to visit in Scotland, Ali has more than enough experience of guiding people around her homeland.

As a Blue Badge-accredited guide with the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, Ali delights in showcasing Scottish landscapes, wildlife, culture and history.

Career highlights for Ali include working as Education Manager for the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), and running the Discovery Centre at the Royal Highland Show, Scotland’s biggest annual agricultural show which attracts visitors and exhibitors from across the country.

Ali’s Hill and Moorland Leader (HML) qualification means she is perfectly placed to take you on and off the beaten track in search of spectacular landscapes, captivating wildlife and history-rich sites in Scotland.


Upcoming tours
16 - 22 Jun 2024
Prices from GBP £3,999.00