Familiarisation Trip to Scotland – Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye #adeoontheroad
In our previous blog post, we shared experiences from adeo’s recent familiarisation trip to Scottish capital city – Edinburgh. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, we highly recommend to start from that part, before we continue our adventure in the mystic land of Scotland – this time taking you to Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye.
After leaving truly enchanting Edinburgh, our agents continued their drive to northern and wilder parts of the country. Darryl and Luke had the pleasure to enjoy stays in wonderful locations including Glencoe near Fort William, Inverness and Kylesku in the far Northern Highlands as well as Portree on the Isle of Skye; stopping along the way in various other hotels for show-arounds. Lucky to experience each locations’ unique atmosphere and surroundings, they were amazed by great hospitality, delicious food, overall comfort and stunning views of the hotels they visited. Do not hesitate to ask for these hotels when requesting a proposal for your Scottish vacation! Meanwhile, let me take you through some of their itinerary and attractions they had a chance to encounter after leaving the capital.
Wild West Safari
The first (and long-awaited) attraction was Wild West Safari ride in West Highlands, near Fort William. The company specialising in these adventures offers scenic rides in a minibus seating up to 8 passengers, taking them to some of the most beautiful places of the region. Our agents have travelled to various locations and were accompanied by a guide, who besides sharing his knowledge about the region itself also explained the ice & fire formation of landscapes, told about the diverse fauna and flora of the territory and shared fascinating stories about the culture and highlanders.
The main point of that trip however is to see Scotland’s “Big Five” – a list of must-see animals: a red squirrel, an otter, a seal, a golden eagle and a red deer. Depending on weather conditions, it is rare, but not impossible, to see five during one single journey. Our lucky adeo team saw two animals from the list. Firstly seals, simply resting by the shores of Loch Sunart, observing the waters and the sky. After that, came a remarkable moment for the most majestic creatures of them five – the red deer. Found in few different locations, they were proudly standing in their natural habitat, looking strong and magnificent – just as if they were posing aware of their splendour.
The ride provided with unforgettable memories and incredible pictures of wildlife was a perfect way to observe nature in its purest form thanks to astonishing views, wild animals and of course peace and quiet of Scottish Highlands. When in that region, make sure to include Wild West Safari experience in your tour.
Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and Jacobite cruise
Next stop of their journey took them to probably the most famous lake in the world – Loch Ness. Renowned for the legendary dinosaur-like water monster “Nessie”, it is a fantastic destination for a day trip to the Highlands. Truly stunning views for vast and deep waters of the loch with wonderful glens in the background make it a perfect natural beauty spot.
The place is complimented by the ruins of Urquhart Castle; a dramatic and historically significant building with a rich medieval past. Here, you can find a remarkable collection of original and replicated artefacts, including everyday-use objects, musket balls or a working trebuchet siege engine.
If you’re not afraid of the hiding monster, you can also add a leisure boat cruise, just like Luke and Darryl did. Voyage across the lake with a relaxing pace and a unique perspective for photos will make you remember this place even better! So whether you believe in the monster story or not, it is surely worth visiting Loch Ness’s peaceful shores and cliff hanging ruins of Urquhart Castle.
North Coast 500
What would be a trip to Scottish Highlands without entering the equivalence to Route 66 in the USA – the NC500. Of course, the distance and views differ – the American route is 2,448 miles with deserts, canyons, farmlands and sandy beaches whereas the Scottish one is 516 miles with glens, lochs, moorlands and rocky cliffs. Both however are incredibly stunning, wild and full of surprises. It would be a shame for our agents to miss that on their journey!
Officially, the North Coast 500 route starts and finishes in “the capital of Highlands”, Inverness, however you can also join it from the south-west side, closer to Fort William or the Isle of Skye. Our agents chose the first way and so after leaving Loch Ness behind, they passed Inverness to head towards Torridon for another hotel show round. From there, Darryl and Luke entered NC500 and travelled north towards Ullapool; a small but gorgeous port and fishing village. With stunning shoreline of sandy beaches and rocky bays it is a great coastal destination for water sports, boat trips and marine life observing, whether eerie hills with incredible views are perfect for walking, bird watching and bike riding.
Leaving Ullapool, they were encouraged to explore just a bit further up the road and so they’ve discovered another gem – Kylesku hamlet with it’s characteristic curved bridge. Bridge built in 1984 was then a technical innovation; its unique arched shape were designed not only for the modern look, but mainly to preserve the surrounding landscape and life. At both ends of the bridge, there are car parks where you can admire two different perspectives of the astonishing Sutherland nature and immerse into the silence of the area. It is one of those destinations where time stops and you can simply enjoy the moment.
Portree on the Isle of Skye
On the way back from NC500, Darryl and Luke travelled to Portree; a harbour town set against the breath-taking scenery of the Cuillin Mountains in one of the Scottish Isles, Isle of Skye. Edged by steep cliffs, bustling with fishing boats and lined by pastel coloured B&Bs and fishing cottages, the port town is widely recognised as one of the most picturesque in the country.
Offering an ideal spot for strolls, the freshest of seafood in one of traditional restaurants or boat-trips out on to the waters in search of the rich sea and birdlife, which surround the island and her coastlines – the harbour just has it all! On one side of the port you can find The Lump, a rocky peninsula crowned by an old stone folly, whilst in the distance across the still waters are the snow-capped heights of the famous Cuillin Mountain range, Skye’s tallest peaks.
A quaint slice of Scottish island-life and an ideal centre for exploring, Portree is a natural destination for anyone visiting the unmissable and renowned Isle of Skye with its ultimate escape to peace, tranquillity and pure air.
There is so much more to see and do in Scotland, but for that, you have to visit this incredible country yourself! Perfect for nature, culture, history and entertainment, the country has it all no matter the weather! Inviting you again to read about adeo’s experiences from first part of the familiarisation trip to Scottish capital city – Edinburgh. Meanwhile, inspired by its vast and wonderful territories, we are now getting ready for 2022 season and are hoping to have you as one of our guests! Do not hesitate to contact us or to enquire for one of our many tours.
February 15, 2022