Europe & Africa / Scotland
Scottish Highlands Hiking Tour
Hike in Wester Ross and Cairngorms National Park
This guided tour explores two contrasting areas of the Highlands and offers some of Scotland's best hiking. Climbing several peaks during the trip, the walks offer glorious views across the moorlands and the areas boast a variety of wildlife. Adventurous days in the hills are balanced by relaxing evenings and warm hospitality in charming inns where outstanding cuisine leaves you fortified for the challenges ahead.
Day 1: Arrival in Inverness
Our Scottish journey begins at Edinburgh Airport from where you make your way into this charming capital city for a little exploration before taking the train north to Inverness. The 3-1/2 hour ride is one of the world's great rail journeys.
Days 2-4: Wester Ross
Four days of hikes begin with Loch Maree, one of the most beautiful in Scotland. Next is the Fisherfield Skyline Circuit which takes us through a pristine and rarely visited wilderness. then it's up 3,000-foot Beinn Damh, gaelic for "Hill of the Stag", typically enjoyed in complete solitude. The path winds its way through superb rhododendron and pine forest, passing a lovely waterfall--Allt Coire Roill--which plunges from a sandstone terrace into the woodland far below.
Days 5-8: Cairngorms
Surrounded by ocean on three sides, our climb of Beinn Ghobhlach--"The Forked Mountain"--provides views across the northwest highlands. Then it's on to Cairngorms National Park, largest in Scotland, and home to a diversity of land forms ranging from ancient Caledonian pine forest to arctic plateau wilderness. One fourth of the U.K.'s threatened bird, animal and plant species reside here, including many iconic species of the Highlands such as red deer, golden eagle, wildcats and otters. We climb the U.K.'s second highest mountain, Ben MacDhui, and enter the "montane zone", a huge area of arctic wilderness. Next is Hill of the Shepherd, one of our local guide's favorites and wonderfully situated above the Pass of Ryvoan. From the summit we descend past the poetic Ryvoan Bothy and the beautiful emerald-colored Angel's Lochan before shuttling back to Inverness.
Day 9: Departure from Inverness
The morning train departs for Edinburgh, arriving around lunchtime. From here you can transfer back to the airport at leisure to connect with your onward flights home.