The Scotland Highland is a place for all seasons. We wanted to see it in the early spring and we planned our trip end of February, beginning of March.
This itinerary in Scotland starts in Glasgow, then takes you to Highlands and Isle of Skye and it ends in Edinburgh. We choose train as our transport, which fits very well for this itinerary, as ScotRail has a very good coverage and some scenic routes you don't want to miss. First and second day in Glasgow are a great way to take in the culture and the culinary scene. The third day we start the adventure with a train raid to Mallaig that will pass through famous Harry Potter bridge - Glenfinnan Viaduct. From Mallaig you pass to Isle of Skye where you will spend a full day discovering what this amazing volcanic island has to offer with a private tour. Then is back to the train raids to get to Inverness and then to Edinburgh as our departure hub. Edinburgh is another amazing city that is worth to be included in the trip.
Itinerary of Scotland starts at Edinburgh Airport
we landed on Edinburgh Airport. We arrived with Ryanair, but there are other low cost airlines landing here. Our first 2 days we spend it in Glasgow.
The Glasgow subway system is something you have to try. There is only one live going in a circular route and the directions are call Inner and Outer. Everything is really small - the tunnel, the train (both in height and in length), the hole station. It is an experience to try.
Train from Glasgow to Mallaig - one of the most amazing train raids in the world
The train that goes to Mallaig leaves at 8:23. It is considered one of the most beautiful train journey in the world. All the way to Mallaig I saw rhododendron bushes, so if you manage to take this route when the rhododendron is in bloom, I suspect it would be amazing. The trip is 5 hours long, and one of the main attractions is the Glenfinnan Viaduct. We bought the tickets with a few days before the trip, just to make sure we have a good price and that we find good seats. When buying tickets with a seat, you have this card placed right above your seat, so people with no allocated seat can know where to stay. We had a nice dog traveling right next to us. We started the trip in a British rainy weather and we reached some 500 meters altitude where we had snow. The hole trip is so wild, that we saw also some deer.
There are 4 carts, the ones in the back are for Mallaig and the ones in the front are for Oban. Make sure you are in the right ones. Also if you have a reservation, the seat will have a card mentioning that, so people with tickets with no seat would know.
From here onward you will see the typical Highland view: lochs and hills. This is the reason we started this itinerary in the first place - true and unspoiled natural beauty of Scotland. And the train is the best way to see it. PS, loch is the local name for lake or sea inlet, like Loch Ness.
We finally arrived in Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye after 13 hours on the road (train, ferry and 2 buses). But let me tell you that it was all worth it. The next day we had a private tour of the island and the day spend on the Isle of Skye was the most memorable from our Itinerary in Scotland.
Nice accommodation with amazing view over Portree.
This tour is about 9 hours and covers most of the Skye Island landmarks. The owner and our driver, Rab, is a gentleman that will tell you all the stories of Skye with fairies and all. You can contact him at 01470 521 448 or https://www.skye-minibus-tours.co.uk/. It is one of the only tour that operates during winter, with the only condition that there are minimum 3 people joining his tour. It is really hard to see the hole island in one day without the help of a local or some private transportation (car or tour). If you have more than one day you can try to arrange it using public transport. You know me, I'm all about self organizing , but this one should be done with a tour.
Old Man of Storr is a rock formation visible from a distance. Of course, if you have the time I would recommend hiking there, I'm sure it is very rewarding. For me it looks like the guarding of the island.
The waterfall is created by Loch Mealt. The water drops from the edge of the island 55 meters into the sea. We had the good fortune to have an amazing sunny day during our Isle of Skye trip, so we enjoyed a great rainbow at Mealt Falls.
An amazing walk towards the lighthouse. We had a very strong wind that made it very hard to advance. It was so strong that a waterfall falling at the edge of a cliff, would never reach the ground. It was vaporized by the wind.