Experience Scotland’s magnificent past during an 8-day expedition with National Geographic. Travelling alongside our adventure guides, encounter the untamed Highlands and the remote isles of the Inner Hebrides on foot, exploring glittering lakes and waterfalls, fantastic geologic formations, and historic sites that date back more than a thousand years. Set off on an adventure that follows in the footsteps of famous native Scots such as John Muir, Sir Walter Scott, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, learn the rich history and legends of Scotland’s wild western lands. Visiting Edinburgh, Oban, Isle of Skye and Perthshire enjoy magnificent landscapes, age-old tales and rich history that makes this part of the world one of a kind.

Trip highlights

Hike below the peak of Scotland’s iconic Ben Nevis mountain alongside a conservationist and historian from the John Muir Trust.

Explore the historic Loch Lomond National Park, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Edinburgh on a variety of hikes and walks.

Explore Scotland’s past as you walk among Neolithic and Bronze Age remains, as well as an Iron Age fort considered by some to be the country’s birthplace.

Visit a range of remote villages where you can enjoy local culture and enjoy a unique tour of a local whisky distillery in Oban.

Itinerary - 8 Days

1 Edinburgh, Scotland

Arrive in Edinburgh and make your way to the hotel where you can relax for a short while. Enjoy a mid-afternoon walk along the Royal Mile and step back in time as you wind your way past medieval church spires and cobbled alleyways to Holyrood Park.
A brisk hike till takes you up the knoll of Arthur's Seat, where outstanding views of the city await. Tonight, gather for an orientation and a welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)

Accommodations Bruntsfield Hotel

2 Lock Lomond National Park/Oban

After breakfast, head west stopping for a warm-up hike in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park—Scotland’s first national park, established in 2002. Along the hike enjoy the famous West Highland Way trail which diverts into a small but prominent peak called Conic Hill. Part of the Highland Boundary Fault, this 1,180-foot summit offers outstanding views across the islands of Loch Lomond to the peaks of the “Arrochar Alps” and beyond.
Continue to hike to Oban in the West Highlands and settle into our historic hotel that overlooks the picturesque harbour. (4 miles hiking, 3 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Perle Oban

3 Isle of Kerrera

Spend another day hiking across the beautiful landscapes of Scotland as day three takes you to the Isle of Kerrera. Pass Horseshoe Bay, where King Alexander II of Scotland died in 1249 while preparing to drive the Norwegian army out of western Scotland; and explore Gylen Castle, perched dramatically on a nearby cliff.
Built as a stronghold of the MacDougall clan in 1582, the castle was besieged and burned in 1647. Head up into the hills to take in spectacular views of the Island of Mull. Later, return to Oban by ferry and spend some time exploring this colourful port at your leisure. (6-7 miles hiking, 4-5 hours) (B/L)

Accommodation: Perle Oban

4 Kilmartin Glen/Oban

Learn more about the local area as a historian will join you for a morning hike at Kilmartin Glen, home to hundreds of ancient monuments. Continue to the ruins of Dun Add, an Iron Age fort considered by some to be the birthplace of Scotland. Upon returning to Oban, enjoy a guided tour of the local whisky distillery, and sample Scotland’s national drink. (5 miles hiking, 2-3 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Perle Oban

5 Glen Nevis/Isle of Skye

Continue your Scottish expedition as you head north, tracing the eastern shores of Loch Linnhe into a mystical landscape of sweeping slopes and rocky peaks. Continue on, passing the western end of Glen Coe and remember the historic massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692 before continuing on to Fort William.
Join a conservationist and John Muir historian for a guided hike beneath the hulking summit of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the United Kingdom. Later this afternoon, cross over the sea to Skye, stopping for a visit to the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. (3 miles hiking, 3 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Cuillin Hills Hotel

6 Glen Nevis/Isle of Skye

Enjoy the spectacular scenery northern Skye has to offer as you hike across grassy slopes that drop off in sheer cliffs, and rock formations that spike and curl. Hike beneath the unusual rock formations of the Quiraing and learn more about the fascinating story of geologic turmoil. (4-5 miles hiking, 3-4 hours) (BL/D)

Accommodation: Cuillin Hills Hotel

7 Cuillin Hills/Perthshire

Venture to Skye’s most famous mountains and enjoy a hike, from the Red Cuillin to the Black Cuillin range.
Take in the spectacular vistas of the Black Cuillin—one of Scotland’s most iconic views and enjoy the red-hued peaks and dramatic volcanic slopes that surround it. Trace the coast of Loch Slapin, framed by the magnificent rock citadel of Bla Bheinn.
After refreshments in a local tea room, transfer south to Perthshire and settle into our hotel located in a Victorian mansion. (5-6 miles hiking, 3-4 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa

8 Pitlochry To Edinburgh

On the final day of your Scottish hiking expedition, enjoy a free morning to explore the Highland town of Pitlochry. Stroll the main street past Victorian-era stone buildings, or visit the town's famed fish ladder, which allows salmon to bypass the Pitlochry dam and continue upstream to their spawning grounds each year. Transfer to Edinburgh in the late afternoon and transfer to the city centre or to the airport for your flight home. (B/L)

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