Head to the stunning Scottish Islands for a walking week that will take you off the beaten track to stunning mountains, local whisky distilleries, beautiful deserted beaches and forests teeming with wildlife discovered for you by your local guide.
Islay will be your first destination; it is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands, off the west coast of Scotland, and along with the neighbouring island of Jura, it’s known for its whisky. Seven distilleries produce the island’s characteristically peaty single malts.
The island’s better kept secret is that of its beautiful coastline with gorgeous beaches and the fact that it is home to a great variety of wonderful seabirds.
Jura, a short hop from Islay is much more rugged, dominated by the rough Paps and has a huge population of red deer as well as its solitary distillery.
The second half of the week is spent on Mull, which has the highest mountains you will see on the trip and also affords the opportunity to visit the island of Iona, the historic ”cradle of Christianity” in Scotland.
This holiday includes six night’s full board accommodation and five full days of guided walking on the four islands.
Departure is from Edinburgh on the first Sunday of the hiking holiday, with a second pick-up in Glasgow, returning around 3pm on the following Saturday.
The first day of travel to the islands will be taken at a leisurely pace to allow for general sightseeing and stops en route.
The itinerary gives a flavour for some of the walks you are likely to do during your week, with some easier walks and more challenging mountain hikes, but this is flexible.
Accommodation and Meals
Your accommodation is in selected small bed and breakfasts and larger guest houses on the islands of Islay and Mull which have been personally selected and where you will be warmly received by your host.
Evening meals for the whole group are normally taken at a local inn or restaurant and a special effort is made to ensure that they are a highlight! Seafood is a particular speciality on this trip.
The walking throughout this tour is suitable for people of reasonable fitness who enjoy walking and the outdoors but who needn’t necessarily have any previous hiking experience.
Walks each day are between 5-7 hours, with some lower level walks with little ascent and the option of one challenging day involving some mountain ascent. You will be on pathways throughout the week, but this can vary to being quite rugged or sometimes boggy. If you have any doubts about your suitability for the trip, please ask! We are happy to advise.
By booking this tour you are joining a group trip. However, should you wish to travel with friends and opt for a private tour at any time of the year, please get in touch.
A private tour is for a minimum of 4 travellers.
Arrive in the Highlands
Travel to Islay – Depart Edinburgh at 8am (Glasgow pick-up 10am) and head off to Kennecraig on the Mull of Kintyre with some short sightseeing stops en-route, if time allows. Highlights include Loch Lomond, Arrochar and the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. Mid-afternoon arrival on Islay should allow time for a short beach walk before dinner.
Discover Islay's Whisky
Islay – Starting at the Bunnahabhain distillery, walk out to northern tip of Islay with its sheltered sandy beach, cliffs and sea-worn arches returning along a rough coastal path to the distillery where you will have time for a tour and tasting.
Hiking in the Home of Whisky
Jura – After a short ferry ride over to Jura, spend the day walking across the island amongst the rocky Paps of Jura hills before a tour and tasting at the Jura Distillery before returning to the accommodation on Islay.
7 miles/12k, 150m/492ft, rough path, 5-6 hours.
Visit the Isle of Mull
Transfer to Mull – Take the three hour ferry journey via Colonsay to Craignure on Mull, allowing time for a short coastal walk before travelling to your accommodation in the picturesque harbour town of Tobermory.
The Holy Island
Iona – A whole day is spent walking around the holy island of Iona, off Mull’s westernmost point before time for a tour around the Abbey, the burial place of Scotland’s Kings.
6 miles/10k, minimal ascent, tracks and beach walking.
Explore Magical Skye
Ben More – You can either go for an ascent of the only island Munro outside of Skye, or a good walk on easier tracks on the lower slopes.
6 miles/10k, 3100ft/966m ascent, track and paths, 6 hrs.
Return to Edinburgh
Return to Edinburgh – Leave Mull early morning, arriving back to Edinburgh at approximately 2-3pm.
From £1,075 per person.