Lords of the Isles  

August 11 – August 23, 2018
12 nights
Lewis, Harris, Skye, Mull, Iona

"Lords of the Isles" - rulers of an independent kingdom in the west of Scotland until the 15th Century. The first ruler known as Lord of the Isles was Somerled, a Viking who ruled all the way from the Isle of Man to the very top of the Outer Hebrides. His descendants, Clan Donald, remained in control of the lands until 1493 when Lord John Macdonald II forfeited the lands, and the title, to James IV of Scotland. The title is traditionally passed to the eldest male child of the reigning monarch, which places Prince Charles as the current Lord of the Isles.

Includes premium tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo!

Follow the footsteps of Celtic and Viking rulers known as the Lords of the Isles. Edinburgh is the gateway to this island adventure. Island-hop until the journey returns to the mainland and the northwest coast of Scotland via the North Coast 500, the scenic path into Britain's Last Wilderness and, as we head south to Edinburgh, a drive along Loch Ness and finishing with a performance of the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The journey begins in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. Visit Stirling Castle which was the central defense route into northern Scotland between 1296 and 1314. The castle changed hands five times during that period, before Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II at Bannockburn, one of the most important battles in Scottish history. The restored palace within the castle served as the Royal Residence in the 16th Century for Stewart royals.

Pass through the magnificent and eerie Glencoe, well-known for both its inspiring scenery as well as one of the most famous and ill-fated events in Scotland's history–the famed Massacre of Glencoea stunning breach of Highland hospitality which took place in 1692. End the day in Oban, the Gateway to the Isles, and hope for one of Oban’s stunning sunsets.

Sail to the Isle of Mull and then to Iona, the cradle of Christianity in Scotland. This peaceful place
is home to the medieval Iona Abbey and Nunnery and the graveyard in which 48 Scottish kings are buried including Macbeth. See the famed St Oran's Chapel, built by Somerled in the 12th Century for burial of the Lords of the Isles, and the High Crosses dating from the 8th Century.

On the Isle of Skye visit the Museum of the Isles and trace the history of the Lords of the Isles; see Armadale Castle and Gardens on the traditional (Mac)Donald Clan lands, where the clan chiefs stayed from 1650, which was also used as a dower house. See the Quiraing, a spectacular landslip still in motion on the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Ridge.

View the ruins of Duntulm Castle, the seat of the chief of Clan Donald from the mid-1500's until 1730, and visit Dunvegan Castle, the mighty stronghold of Clan MacLeod for over 800 years. On the Isle of Harris see the 16th-century St Clement's Church at Rodel, the southern tip of the island, and the burial place for the MacLeods. Walk the white sands of turquoise beaches on the west coast, some of the most stunning in the world, and see the unusual landscape of the east coast, one that has been compared to the lunar surface–barren and rock-strewn.

A visit to the Isle of Lewis is not complete without viewing Calanais Stone Circle. Constructed about 3000 BC, it predates Stonehenge and is a mark of a sophisticated culture and the centerpiece of one of the most remarkable megalithic complexes in the world.

IIn nearby Carloway we find the best preserved broch in the Hebrides. The broch towers of Iron-Age Scotland are circular drystone fortifications which housed families, livestock, sometimes an entire village population against harsh weather and attacking invaders. Gearrannan Blackhouse Village is a 300-year-old settlement encapsulating traditional island life on Lewis.

Returning to the mainland to explore the northwest coast, see the dramatic mountain peaks of Assynt, the legendary practice grounds for the mountain-building Norse gods. Durness is home to the spectacular Smoo Cave–a sea cave explored by foot path from the car park on the cliffs above. Evidence of human occupation dating back 5,000 years has been found and archaeology suggests Pictish farm settlements more than 2,000 years old in the area. 

The drive to Urquhart Castle follows the famous Loch Ness; once the largest castle in Scotland, it was partially destroyed in 1692 to keep it from the hands of the Jacobites and is now a magnificent ruin on the banks of the loch. Continuing on to Edinburgh, the tour concludes with a performance of the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a music and cultural extravaganza on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Tour begins and ends in Edinburgh. It is suggested that you arrive one day early (August 10) to avoid flight delays and cancellations.



Pre-tour Edinburgh – Center City The Knight Residence
August 11 & 12           Oban Manor House
August 13 & 14           Portree, Isle of Skye Viewfield House
August 15 & 16          Tarbert, Isle of Harris        Hotel Hebrides
August 17 & 18           Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Cabarfeidh Hotel
August 19            Scourie, Sutherland      Scourie Hotel
August 20 & 21 Roybridge, near Fort William Glenspean Lodge
August 22 & post-tour Edinburgh – Center City The Knight Residence


  • Private transfer from Edinburgh Airport to city center
  • En suite accommodations in 4-star properties
  • Full Scottish breakfast daily (Continental breakfast in Edinburgh)
  • Five 3-course dinners
  • Deluxe motor coach transportation
  • Professional Blue Badge Guide
  • Premium tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Ferry transportation (seven sailings)
  • Entry fees, private tours, entertainment
  • Tax of 20%


  • $5,395 per person, double occupancy, (two guests sharing one room). Single supplement is $1,050. Single travelers have the option of sharing a room with other singles (if available) to offset this supplement, but this is solely at the discretion of the travelers and not the responsibility of Celtic Journeys.

More information:

  • Reservations require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, and checks payable to Celtic Journeys are accepted forms of payment. Balance is due 60 days prior to departure, at which time penalties apply. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
  • Airfare is not included; Celtic Journeys can make your arrangements for you with no booking fees. Tour begins in Glasgow and ends in Edinburgh; additional hotel nights at the beginning and end of the tour are available at reduced rates; booking service is complimentary.
  • To book, or for additional information, contact judy@celticjourneys.us , or call (703) 941-6455. Tour is limited to 16 guests. Tours are never cancelled except in the event of a natural disaster, airline strike, or travel warning of imminent danger.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation insurance is available to protect against cancellation penalties:

  • 60 days or more prior to tour date full refund less deposit
  • 59-30 days prior to tour date 50% refund less deposit
  • 29-15 days prior to tour date 25% refund less deposit
  • Cancellations of 14 days or less, no refund
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