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An Extended Exploration from Scotland to Iceland

An Extended Exploration from Scotland to Iceland

Cruise Only
16 nights

Luxury Holiday
Fort William, Scotland
Reykjavik, Iceland

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

EJ

A phenomenon in nature occurs when brilliant golden sunshine dances across green glens and glacial bays to create a supremely rare effect of celestial light. The luxury of this luminosity is the inspiration for our journey from Scotland to Iceland with wild wonders in-between.

Walk in the footsteps of saints and ancient kings in Edinburgh, where our overnight stay coincides with the global performance of the Military Tattoo. Cross paths with artists and poets who protest there “may be dragons” in the North Highlands from Invergordon. Explore the world-altering battlefields at Culloden, the culture of Inverness, the lore of Loch Ness, and the 4,000-year-old burial grounds at Clava Cairns which inspired the TV saga Outlander. In the Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Lewis we find Neolithic standing stones that are older than Stonehenge.

Glasgow provides an interlude of modernity along charming Buchanan Street, comparable to London’s West End. Fort William is the gateway to Scotland’s prettiest glens including Glencoe and Glenfinnan, made even more famous in the movies Skyfall and Harry Potter respectively. The light in Skye is exceedingly remarkable and helps spotlight some of the most geologically diverse landmasses as well as its favourite resident, the Talisker Distillery. Rare and remarkable, the Orkney and Shetland Islands exemplify the serenity of remoteness whilst the Shetland Islands mark the northernmost point in the United Kingdom. Chasing the midnight sun, we call on the Faroe Islands, a fairytale of unfathomable allure where waterfalls plunge straight into the ocean and lakes sit atop sheer cliffs. Is there any wonder why the summer sun refuses to leave these islands? Our journey’s final salutation to the sun in Iceland begins enlightening experiences around the Golden Circle, helicopter rides over volcanic craters and trekking the great “white desert” atop a massive ice cap.

EJ112 Operated by Explora Journeys

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An Extended Exploration from Scotland to Iceland Itinerary

Day 1 - Southampton

Sail into this vibrant quay with enough shops and entertainment to form its own village. Modern and lively, this coastal town bustles with waterfront restaurants, heritage charm, bars, cinemas and offers great access to other spots in the South of England. Sit back and drift through heavenly countryside to ancient Stonehenge, learn secrets from the Bombay Sapphire gin distillery or slip up to London for some rich British culture. Then enjoy a cup of tea as you reflect on formal traditions, perfect your cockney accent and recall England’s green and pleasant lands.

Day 3 - Queensferry

Wander through this striking city within stone walls and the imposing towers of Edinburgh Castle. Explore narrow passageways and hidden staircases that lead to stately Georgian terraces and historic landmarks; museums, tall townhouses, art galleries, fabulous shopping, iconic festivals and the crown jewels. Listen for the one o’clock gun fire and then head for some haggis. Tread the royal mile to Arthur’s Seat, taste whisky at a distillery, visit the royal chambers and a city zoo, take a ghost tour, have your own kilt made and listen to the emotive Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Head out to the Scottish Highlands for wild beaches, highland cows, deep lochs and rugged castles. And as night falls, watch the city come alive from traditional inns, underground bars and sophisticated whisky lounges. There’s no escaping the history, romance, culture and art at the core of the enchanting Scottish capital.

Day 4 - Queensferry

Wander through this striking city within stone walls and the imposing towers of Edinburgh Castle. Explore narrow passageways and hidden staircases that lead to stately Georgian terraces and historic landmarks; museums, tall townhouses, art galleries, fabulous shopping, iconic festivals and the crown jewels. Listen for the one o’clock gun fire and then head for some haggis. Tread the royal mile to Arthur’s Seat, taste whisky at a distillery, visit the royal chambers and a city zoo, take a ghost tour, have your own kilt made and listen to the emotive Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Head out to the Scottish Highlands for wild beaches, highland cows, deep lochs and rugged castles. And as night falls, watch the city come alive from traditional inns, underground bars and sophisticated whisky lounges. There’s no escaping the history, romance, culture and art at the core of the enchanting Scottish capital.

Day 5 - Newcastle upon Tyne

Step into the progressive, compact hub of England’s North-East. In contrast to its Roman and Medieval architecture, historic heritage and powerful industry, Newcastle continues to reinvent itself. Explore radical retail, lively nightlife, sporting prowess and the Angel of the North sculpture - all just a short way from glorious coastline and rugged countryside. Head further afield to Hadrian’s Wall in Northumbria, Alnwick Castle and enjoy a tea-tasting party in York. Friendly ‘Geordies’ have their own language and distinct accents – prepare to be called ‘pet’ and be welcomed with open arms. With ambitions to be the UK’s first carbon-neutral town, soak up Newcastle today - for tomorrow, there’ll be change.

Day 6 - Invergordon

Bottlenose dolphins escort you into this land of legends, history and spectacular scenery. Explore auld castles, battlefields, steam railways, wildlife parks, nature reserves and forts in the spectacular Scottish Highlands. Play golf on championship courses, mountain bike or hike through hills, fish wild salmon and taste the world’s finest malt whisky at the Glenmorangie Distillery. And then there’s Loch Ness. No visit to Scotland would be complete without searching for a wee glimpse of the legendary hump-backed monster. End your day with rosy cheeks, lungs full of the purest air and a dram (or two) of scotch.

Day 7 - Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

Head to a far-off land in the Outer Hebrides, where unique culture awaits you at one of Britain’s best kept secrets. Spot seals and whales from breathtaking beaches and dramatic headlands that fringe miles of peat-covered moorland. Visit Lews Castle, the prehistoric Standing Stones at Callandish, learn the art of weaving or crofting and enjoy peat-smoked scallops or battered fish and chips. And as you admire your new hand-woven Harris tweed jacket, bid farewell to authentic Gaelic values, and the fabulously iconic long-haired cattle.

Day 8 - Greencastle

The Eire Force is strong along the Wild Atlantic Way. Scout the filming sites of Star Wars movies on the rugged cape of Mailin Head. Taste the legends of Donegal County in gin and whiskey at Sliabh Liag Distillery. Take a swing at the two courses at Ballyliffin, which golfing superstar Rory McIIroy proclaims, “are must-play championship links”. Step back in time at Grianan of Aileach, a massive man-made stone ring fort and one of Gaelic Ireland’s royal sites. Go with the flow along the Lough Foyle to the bold Greencastle, built in 1305 by the Earl of Ulster. Or delver deeper into nearby Derry to see how its “Troubles” have eased into a vibrant and beautiful community. And never forget, “Go mbeidh an fórsa leat” or “May the force be with you”!

Day 9 - Liverpool

Rock around this lively creative city, where Scousers rule and The Beatles reign. Explore the core through a mass of museums, art galleries, multi-ethnic restaurants, entertainment and vibrant fashion. Where friendly locals with distinct dialects welcome with ‘iya’, and football fans follow in the footsteps of their heroes. Hike along remote trails in the Lake District for unrivalled views of spectacular scenery, wildlife and naturally vast lakes. Then back in the city visit the Cavern Club to hark back to the boom of the sixties beat. All you need is love in this holistic setting of town and country.

Day 10 - Greenock

Arrive in style to the haunting hum of a piper. Bursting with colourful character and a cutting-edge arts scene, this vibrant city merges history and heritage with architecture and design. Visit Medieval spires, Victorian gems, Art Nouveau icons at art galleries and the museum at Kelvingrove. Set forth out of town to experience mythical landscapes; romantic yet rugged countryside where glacial lochs rest, small islands skirt and wildlife runs free. Known for courage, Glaswegians welcome with wee tales of clans, kilts and crests.

Day 11 - Fort William

Ben Nevis awaits you, whilst Fort William sits safely within the shadows. Boldly hike up the 2,000-foot heights or rise up aboard the Nevis gondola for eye-watering panoramic views; miles of rolling hills dressed with dramatic mountain peaks that sink into the darkest depths of Loch Leven. Discover the town’s life and history through the Commando Monument, fresh seafood, distilleries, cosy pubs and more ducks than you can imagine. And as you face the powerful vision that is Loch Ness, you’ll understand why this location ruled for Bond and Braveheart.

Day 12 - Portree, Isle of Skye

Arrive at the sloping port of Portree, into the lands of the MacDonald clan. Wander through this wildlife haven where waterfalls tumble under shifting skies, wide-eyed deer stand alert, sheep lazily graze and sea eagles swoop. Explore the painted buildings of the charming fishing town, the Talisker distillery and relax in the comfort of a cosy local pub. Capture all the visual treats of this little piece of paradise, for a whole host of new memories.

Day 13 - Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Orkney’s capital and most southern isle is blessed with architectural wonders. Capture the true Viking spirit in the ‘Church on the Bay’; visit grand sandstone seafront buildings, visit St Magnus Cathedral and smaller churches, the enigmatic Standing Stones of Stenness and other ancient sites. Play Ba, eat cream teas, shop local boutiques and watch fishing fleets depart the bay. Previously claimed to be the most beautiful Scottish high street, soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere and splendour of this royal Scottish Burgh.

Day 14 - Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Slowly explore this tiny harbour town surrounded by rugged Scottish terrain and native wildflowers. Wander to historical ruins, archaeological sites, the Shetland Croft House Museum and step back in time in the ancient capital, Scalloway. Amble along Da Street for local boutiques and listen to Celtic music where fiddlers tell tuneful tales. View the stunning Shetland archipelago as you spot porpoises, otters and seals. And then there’s the ponies – animated short-legged, long fringed caricatures – like Lerwick, they’re hardy yet gentle.

Day 15 - Thorshavn

Relax into the peaceful ambiance of this small capital city (named after Thor, God of Thunder), where neighbouring volcanic islands lie dormant, the sheep supply shops with jumpers. Discover churches, museums, rows of turf roofed houses and Faroese culinary delights. Hike out of the city or set off by boat to glimpse whales, dolphins and a real-life puffin paradise. With over 300 rainy days per year, and more ewes than people, you will return warm, but perhaps not dry.

Day 17 - Reykjavík

Feel the magnetic lure of adventure at the world’s northernmost capital. Mystical landscapes promise dramatic snow-capped volcanoes, ice fields and mountains for thrilling quests; explore by helicopter, ride Icelandic horses, zip through lava tunnels on super trucks and rocket across glaciers on snow scooters. Then slow down to visit a geothermal-fired bakery and greenhouse, soak in wellbeing springs, the blue lagoon or refresh at the nearby face mask bar. And as the nightlife beckons under the sun that barely sets, drink black death schnapps as a poetic reminder of Reykjavik’s exhilarating activities.

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