From: August 27 to September 4, 2017

Destination: Western Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye

  • Hiking Scotland's Highlands and Islands - FULL

    The western Highlands of Glen Shiel and Kintail and the famous Isle of Skye are where you find the Scotland of your imagination: craggy mountains and wild sea, green islands, wide skies and white beaches fill this inspiring and sparsely populated landscape. Our week long hiking trip is designed to show you Scotland off the beaten path, away from the hordes, and immersed in wild beauty. Our hikes will take us up and over rocky heights, past impressive waterfalls, and through wide glens. By trip's end you will have an understanding not only of its beauty, but also Scottish history, culture, and cuisine. Maximum group size: 8

    THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required).
  • Sunday, August 27
    Journey through the Highlands
    : Your Scottish guide will pick you up around 10am at Glasgow Airport. The Western Highlands are about 4 hours away and the drive there takes us through some of the Highlands most famous and scenic landscapes. We'll stop along the way to hike a portion of the West Highland Way along Loch Lomond, starting north of Inverarnan and walking south to a superb viewpoint over the Loch, where we'll have lunch. In late afternoon we arrive in the small settlement of Shiel Bridge, surrounded by the peaks of the Kintail mountains. Our home for the next 3 nights, Kintail Lodge, is located right on the shore of Loch Duich. Converted from an old shooting lodge, each of the ensuite bedrooms has a view either of the Loch or mountains. Tonight we'll eat dinner at the lodge and have our first chance to sample traditional Scottish fare. Overnight Kintail Lodge

    Monday, August 28
    Exploring Glen Lichd and hiking our first Highland mountain pass:After a hearty Scottish breakfast today we enjoy an excellent first day's walking over partly wild and boggy ground in the wide river valley Gleann Licht, a quintessential wild Highland glen. At the end of the valley we'll climb our first pass into the wide mountain scenery and admire an impressive (and refreshing) waterfall. This is a good stopping point for those who want to relax; Otherwise you can continue another 20 minutes to the top of the pass with magnificent views if the sky is clear. We'll then retrace our steps back to the van. Hiking: 5 hours with breaks, elevation gain of 1500 feet, about 12 miles. Overnight Kintail Lodge

    Tuesday, August 29
    Knoydart Peninsula:A short but spectacular drive over the steep Ratagan Pass offers superb views of Knoydart's famously wild mountain landscapes. In the gentle hills of the Glen Elg peninsula our first port of call are towers, called 'brochs', left to us by the Pictish people who inhabited Scotland 2000 years ago. Driving further along the wild coastline we arrive in the remote coastal village of Corran. We start hiking here on an old path that takes us along beautiful pebbled beaches, up and over shore cliffs, through heather and oak forests. We'll go until the path drops down into a bay and then retrace our steps back to Corran. We then continue to Kintail for another hearty dinner. Hiking 3 - 4 hours, 3.7 miles (the mileage is deceiving given the difficulty of some of the footing), undulating without significant ups and downs. Overnight Kintail Lodge

    Wednesday, August 30
    Forests, Waterfalls, Peaks and Mountain Lakes – a bird's eye's view
    Today's hike is through a very pretty valley which has been reclaimed from grazing sheep and deer, and where we now find a rich vegetation of birch, hazel, heather, and a maze of wild flowers. Steadily up and across a (hopefully) tamed river, we head for Loch a'Bhealaich. The lake opens up to famous Glen Affric, a world of waterfalls, lakes, mountains and wide valleys. The view is that of a bird and absolutely breathtaking!
    We then leave Kintail in the afternoon via the delightful original crossing to Skye on one of the last handoperated turntable ferries in Britain, Glen Elg. This is the historic and most picturesque entrance to Skye. The small and windy road leading us inland through a wild glen is an apt introduction to this famous island. Hiking: 5 hours with breaks, 5 miles, elevation gain 1315 feet. Overnight Uig Hotel

    Thursday, August 31
    The Quiraing  Today's hike, a classic hill walk, is a circuit around Britain's largest landslide, called the Quiraing. The area is a jumble of grass-topped rock towers and crags, which look like they have been frozen mid-tumble in a variety of strange angles, and a maze of grassy hummocks and domes. The Quiraing is over a mile wide and stretches from an escarpment all the down to the sea. Our hike, comprised of steep heather slopes and good paths, climbs up to and goes along the escarpment, with fantastic views across Staffin Bay to the Torridon mountains. From the high point the trail turns steeply down and then follows a path along the foot of the cliffs from where all the fantastic formations of the slide, with names like the Prison, can be clearly seen. Hiking 4.5 miles, 1100 feet elevation gain, 3 - 5 hours. Overnight Isle of Sky, Uig Hotel

    Friday, September 1
    The cleared coast and its historic abandoned villages
    One of the saddest periods in Scottish history is the Highland Clearances, a period of time when landowners forcibly evicted entire villages of tenant farmers and their families who had lived on the land for generations to make way for raising sheep. Today's atmospheric and wild hike takes us to 2 of these deserted and now ruined villages, located in a stunningly beautiful coastal location with fabulous views of the islands Rum and Eig. The ruins left behind bear witness to a thriving community with some fine examples of dry stone walling. Sitting on the rock plateau at Boreraig, this is a fantastic place to take in the sound of nature and watch for seabirds, dolphins and otters, while contemplating the trauma of the people who were forced to move. We then drive for 30 minutes to the picturesque fishing village Plockton for a stay at the delightful Plockton Inn Hiking: 5 Hours with breaks, 7.5 miles, undulating on rough paths. Overnight Plockton

    Saturday, September 2
    Diabag to Craig This is our last full day of hiking and a great way to end. After a scenic (and winding!) drive to Diabaig Bay, the well-maintained path crosses a rocky moorland, sometimes walking on large stone slabs. After awhile the coastline appears and the path then steeply descends to the Bothy at Craig (a bothy is a shelter, left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge; this one used to be a hostel). From here it is possible to descend to a pebbly beach, before returning the way we came. If we feel like it, we can also explore the river valley going inland from Craig, also very remote. Tonight we return to Plockton Inn for another delicious meal. Hiking: 3.5 Hours with breaks, 5 miles, a mixture of undulating with a steep ascent/descent on good paths.

    Sunday, September 3
    Today we need to journey back to Glasgow, starting with our hour-long drive to the ferry that takes us back to the mainland. The ferry takes us to the lively fishing town Mallaig on the mainland and along the spectacular "Road to the Isles" with its sparkly white sandy beaches, romantic sea lochs and, of course, the now famous rail viaduct Harry Potter passes on his way to school. We'll take a look at the workings of the locks of Caledonian Canal, the famous water route which links Inverness and Loch Ness with the West Coast, now mainly used by sailing yachts. Once we reach Glen Coe we'll be yearning for the hills and say good bye during a brief walk in this magnificent glen. We arrive in Glasgow around 5pm. That evening we'll go out to a local restaurant for our final farewell dinner. Overnight Glasgow

    Monday, September 4
    You are free to leave anytime this morning.
  • $2750 (see this page for travel discounts) $400 deposit. There are 3-4 singles available for $350.  You can read our cancellation policies here.

    Trip Includes

    • a local guide (there is no Adventures in Good Company guide on this trip
    • eight nights accommodation
    • all transportation within Scotland, including minibus and ferry
    • all activities on the itinerary
    • meals from dinner on August 27 through dinner on September 3
    Not included: transportation to Glasgow, beverages at dinner, guide gratuities, anything not on the itinerary, items of a personal nature
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking through stunning west coast glens and along the craggy coastline when the heather is in bloom
  • Savoring the surprisingly excellent Scottish cuisine served at Scottish pubs
  • Exploring remote areas of the Isle of Skye
  • Exploring the lonely peninsula of Glenelg with its mysterious 2000 year old towers called 'brochs'

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