Hiking the Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye

Overview

Scotland is a dramatic realm of mist-shrouded crags and heathered moor, and we’ve crafted a hiking trip in stunning settings from the legendary Isle of Skye to the wild seascapes of the Outer Hebrides, a haven of Scottish Gaelic culture on the outer edge of Europe. Our trails bring us along the glistening lochs of Glen Affric, the sandy beaches of Harris, and among the pinnacles of the Quiraing. Between hikes, we’ll meet a tweed weaver, listen to a seanachaidh (storyteller), sample fresh scallops, sip fine single malt whisky, and hear tales of the Campbell and MacDonald clans. We’ll enjoy a warm welcome at our accommodations, which include a Georgian mansion and a castle.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Loch Ness / Glen Affric

Our hikes bring us along Loch Ness, where we keep an eye out for Nessie, and into Glen Affric, Scotland’s most beautiful glen, for a hike through a unique landscape of lochs, mountains, and ancient Caledonian forest. One evening, we’ll be entertained by a local storyteller—storytelling is a much beloved tradition of Scotland’s heritage.

 View Lodging
Days 3-5
Outer Hebrides / Lewis and Harris / Callanish Standing Stones

Ferrying to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, we hike along coastal cliffs to a village of thatched houses, then end our day at the Callanish Standing Stones, older than Stonehenge and steeped in legend. There are no fences or barriers here, so we can get right up to these mystical stones and feel history in our hands. On the Isle of Harris, beaches and mountain tracks offer us fantastic hikes, and we visit a Harris tweed weaver to learn about the production of this famous island fabric, woven by hand in homes in the Outer Hebrides for centuries. Award-winning gin and whisky are also created on Harris and we’ll sample the wares.

 View Lodging
Days 6-7
Isle of Skye / Quiraing / Cuillins

The Isle of Skye, whose name means “cloud island” in Old Norse, is a world of jagged mountain peaks and towering sea cliffs. We hike among the incredible rock pinnacles of the Quiraing, a place of wonder and amazement, and into the mysterious Black Cuillins, which rise straight out of the sea.

 View Lodging
Days 8-10
Eilean Donan Castle / Glencoe

We visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, set on a tidal inlet, and head to Glencoe, the most famous of Scotland’s glens. It was in this “secret” glacial valley that the legendary massacre in 1692 of the MacDonalds by the Campbells took place. We’ll enjoy a choice of wonderful hiking options in this wild setting of moors, woodlands, and steep U-shaped valleys, and soak up the legends. Depart on Day 10 via Inverness.

 View Lodging

Highlights

Highlights

Hike along Loch Ness, in beautiful Glen Affric, and in the “lost valley” of Glencoe
Enjoy magnificent accommodations, including Coul House and Inverlochy Castle
Meet a traditional weaver, hear a local storyteller, taste whiskies
Discover the wild landscapes of the Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye
Gaelic legends, sweeping seascapes, and stunning mountains, including the rock pinnacles of the Quiraing
Walk amid the Callanish Standing Stones, one of the most complete stone circles in Europe

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $6995  
Arrive: Inverness, Scotland
Depart: Inverness, Scotland
Lodging: 9 nights hotels and historic inns
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

9 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 3-7 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)

Other Trips You Might be Interested in: