Day one: Edinburgh to Inverness
Departing Edinburgh at 8.45am, you’ll travel through Perthshire to Dunkeld, a beautiful cathedral town set in woodland beneath misty mountain peaks. A perfect first taste of the Highlands.
You’ll continue over the lonely Drumochter Pass to Kingussie, a pretty town made famous by the 'Monarch of the Glen' TV show.
After enjoying some lunch in this tranquil town, it's off through the Cairngorm National Park to the eerie Culloden Moor, site of the last major battle in Britain. Your first night is spent in the vibrant Highland city of Inverness.
Day two: Inverness to Orkney
Today you’ll head further north and cross the waters of the Moray Firth – look out for bottlenose dolphins and minke whales! Then, from the tip of the British mainland, John o’Groats, it’s time for a peaceful 2-hour ferry trip to the Orkney Islands.
These secluded islands are home to more archaeological ruins in one area than anywhere else in Europe. Enjoy being free among nature as you catch first sight of Orkney’s idyllic green hills.
For your first taste of Orkney, prepare to be enchanted by the Tomb of the Eagles, a Stone Age chamber that was filled with thousands of human bones and the remains of sea eagles many millennia ago. You’ll spend the night on the island for a full day’s exploration tomorrow.
Day three: Orkney
You’ll have a full day to explore the island, starting with Skara Brae, one of the world’s best preserved ancient stone villages. Some of the eight dwellings still contain original furniture, thought to be from as long ago as 3,200BC!
See the magnificent standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar – the northernmost stone circle in Britain, and surely the most impressive.
Next, it’s off to a local whisky distillery to sample a drop of the local single malt (included in the price). Or, enjoy some free time – why not taste the famously delicious fish and chips in nearby Kirkwall.
Relax in the evening before spending a second night on the island.
Day four: Orkney to Inverness
The last excursion on Orkney is to the island’s most popular attraction, the peaceful and surreal Italian chapel. Built by 550 Italian prisoners of war in the Second World War, its beautiful construction and decoration, completed with next to no materials, has to be seen to be believed.
Next you will cross back to the mainland to begin the journey south. You’ll travel through the sparsely populated wilderness of Sutherland, where Gaelic is still spoken, to spend a final night in Inverness.
Day five: Inverness to Edinburgh
Your journey back south includes the chance to experience many of the Highlands’ most famous sights.
Visit the monstrous Loch Ness and continue through Glencoe, one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the Highlands.
Watch out for stags as you cross the wild Rannoch Moor, past the historic city of Stirling, before arriving back in Edinburgh around 5pm.