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The Island Explorer Tour

Trip Type: Backpacker Tour
Tour Cost: $519 ($494 students)
Departs from: Edinburgh
Duration: 7 days

Tags: $500 or less Tours, 4-7 days, England & Scotland Tours, Greece/Turkey Tours, Haggis Adventures, Small Group Tour

An unforgettable journey of the far north west and the region’s most famous islands, the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye. Small villages, long sandy beaches and dramatic mountain scenery made all the more stunning by its remoteness. You will also discover the Gaelic culture, hear traditional music, as well as get the chance to enjoy the fantastic local seafood. And the sunsets are legendary!

Day: 1 | Location: Edinburgh to Carbisdale Castle

Heading north from Edinburgh, we pass through Perthshire - surrounded by mountains, forests and salmon packed rivers.  First stop is at Dunkeld where you will hear tales of the Wolf of Badenoch at Dunkeld Cathedral . Lunch is in the small village of Kingussie, made famous by the 'Monarch of the Glen' TV show. Then it's off to lonely Culloden Battlefield, scene of the last major battle in Britain. Then world famous Loch Ness for a wee bit of monster spotting before heading for our lavish evening accommodation in a Haunted Highland Castle*!

Day: 2 | Location: Carbisdale Castle to Loch Ness

We’ll depart for our journey north over Bonar Bridge. On the way take in the views of Dornoch Firth and Dornoch town's picturesque Cathedral.  Frolic on the amazing sandy beaches at Dingwall and then make a stop at Glen Ord Distillery.  We take a wee walk at Glen Affric, home to one of the largest remnants of the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest before passing through Drumnadrochit and back to Fort Augustus (on the banks of Loch Ness) for the night.

Day: 3 | Location: Free Day Loch Ness

Get amongst some spectacular Highland scenery and do your own thing. Hire bikes, take a boat trip on Scotland’s most famous loch, play a round (of golf!) or chill out in Morag’s Lodge with a nice local beer.

Day: 4 | Location: Loch Ness to Stornoway

This morning we take the 'Road to the Isles' with a stop at the Corrieshalloch Gorge, a breathtaking mile long gorge set amoungst the trees before arriving in the wee fishing village of Ullapool.  This evening we take a ferry to the Western Isles.

Day: 5 | Location: Lewis & Harris

Today we visit the stunning Callanish Standing Stones, Neolithic in age and dating back more than 4000 years. Less busy than Stonehenge, these are said to be some of the most impressive and inspiring of any of the ancient stones in Britain. These Hebridean islands are predominantly Gaelic speaking and have an unbroken culture dating back thousands of years.

Day: 6 | Location: Harris to Skye

In the morning we explore the amazing beaches of Harris, famous for its clear blue waters, magnificent mountain backdrop and traditional crofting culture. These islands are home to the Clan MacLeod who lived here for over 1200 years. After exploring the wonders of Harris, we leave the MacLeod homeland and cross by ferry to the 'winged island', the Isle of Skye. We explore the magical isle with its awesome scenery - the Quiraing, Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Cuillin plus its legends and faerie stories.

Day: 7 | Location: Skye to Edinburgh

Back on the mainland,  we stop at Eilean Donan Castle and explore the Great Glen before passing Fort William and Ben Nevis - Britain's highest mountain. Discover 'The Weeping Glen', Glencoe, where we hear about the infamous massacre of the MacDonalds. Over the wilds of Rannoch Moor, we then pass Stirling with its famous Wallace Monument, where the true story of Braveheart is told, before returning to the capital City of Edinburgh! 




NOTE: Another hostel may be substituted for Carbisdale Castle as an overnight stop. The following are black out dates for Carbisdale Castle: 16th May, 23rd May, 30th May and 12th Sept.

Departs Saturdays May to October 6
TOUR CHECK- IN: 08.30am

What’s included?

An unforgettable adventure with like-minded travellers, transport, including all ferries and a legendary tour guide!

What’s not included?

Meals and entrance fees are not included allowing you to keep your options open. We book accommodation for you in hostel dorms and all you have to do is pay for this when you arrive at the hostel. This usually costs between £15-£20 per person per night.

Join our award-winning tours and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime!

We've only ever had one aim - to provide the best possible adventures in Scotland, England & Wales for independent travellers! Every member of our team shares our passion for their country and travel, have travelled extensively themselves and know what it's really like to travel on a budget. To our team, travel is not a job - it's our passion. While others work to live - we live to travel!

We’re fanatical about making sure that every day, every single HAGGiS trip is the best we've ever run. We passionately believe our country is magnificent - it's our mission to help you love it like we do!

PASSIONATE team: We're proud that over the years our team has earned a reputation for being the best in the world - the experts! Perhaps that's why more travellers trust us with their precious travel time than any other backpacker travel company in Europe.

LEGENDARY crew: This might be your first visit to the UK and we are determined to make it so good, it won’t be your last! Therefore, it's important that the people who know it best show you around - the locals. Our guides are all young, superbly trained, highly entertaining, local characters with a knowledge and understanding of our country that is second to none. Widely recognised as the best trained, and world renowned for their professionalism these guys are the best there are!

GORGEOUS vehicles: Our distinctive yellow buses are welcomed throughout the Highlands. Just because you're travelling on a budget doesn't mean you have to compromise on safety or comfort. That's why we use Mercedes Benz midi-coaches, the latest models custom-built for touring. Famously yellow and named after our legendary crew, our buses all have eco-friendly (low-emission) engines, BIG windows, BIG sound systems and are ideally suited for your comfort. Perfect for that legendary HAGGiS atmosphere!

FANTASTIC reliability: HAGGiS Adventures are renowned for their reliability; after all, if we booked a tour we'd expect it to run too. Especially if you have travelled from the other side of the world! We do NOT operate a minimum numbers policy so once you book you will travel - guaranteed! Since 1993, the year we started, we have never EVER cancelled a tour!

AWESOME reputation: 15 years experience - HAGGiS is the longest running backpacker tour company in the UK and thousands of people have experienced our commitment to quality in that time. Don't just take our word for it. Over 99% of our passengers recommend us. We are also proud to have had some of our achievements recognised officially. We have numerous awards and our tours are rated as 5 stars by VisitScotland; see our AWARDS section.

Get 10% off the Island Explorer tour with Bakpak! Complete our inquiry form to get discount instructions

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Tour Highlights

  • Stay in a Highland castle* with its own art collection and ghost!
  • See a traditional Hebridean blackhouse and visit Harris tweed makers
  • Mysterious Callanish Standing Stones, predating Stonehenge!
  • White sandy beaches on Harris
  • A free day at Loch Ness to go monster spotting
  • The mystical and awe-inspiring Isle of Skye
  • Look out for dolphins and whales on the ferry trips – included in the price!

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