Wilderness Hiking Outer Hebrides and St. Kilda

007364 - R15

Explore the pristine Outer Hebrides island chain on Scotland’s far west coast, discovering its abundant wildlife, including some of the rarest wildlife to be found in Scotland. On this wildlife-focused holiday you’ll enjoy coastal and glen walks and, weather permitting, a boat trip to the incredible archipelago of St. Kilda.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Explore by boat and on foot some of the most pristine, wild and spectacular seabird locations in Europe
  • See the fascinating Callanish standing stones
  • Sail on the Minch and visit the town of Stornoway
  • Visit St. Kilda, a double UNESCO World Heritage Site (weather permitting)
  • Look for otters, red deer and golden eagles on the Isle of Harris
Details

2020 Departures:
May, June & July

2020 Pricing:
From US$2,699 – twin
From US$2,699 – single willing to share

Prices are starting from rates, shown in US$, per person based on two people sharing a twin room or one person willing to share a room with another solo traveller of the same gender. A limited number of single rooms may be offered – please inquire for availability and pricing. Prices are approximate US$ equivalent of the British Pound rate and will vary depending on currency conversion of the British Pound at the time of payment of your deposit and re-calculated at the time of final payment. You can lock in the applicable US$ rate by paying in full when you make your reservation. CA$ prices are also available converting from the British Pound.

Tour Code:
007364 - R15

Itinerary
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Day 1: Inverness - Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

After meeting at the train station in Inverness early this morning, we drive to Ullapool to catch the morning ferry across to the Isle of Lewis, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides archipelago. The ferry journey takes us through well-known seabird and cetacean feeding areas – so we should have some good sightings before we even arrive on the islands! Our first stop is a visit to the mysterious standing stone circle at Callanish on the way to our welcoming lodge, where we will spend the next 7 nights. (D)

Day 2: St. Kilda World Heritage Site

The plan for today, weather permitting, is to take a boat trip to the famous archipelago of St Kilda. Over 40 miles offshore, visiting this amazing double World Heritage Site requires a boat crossing of about 3 hours each way. It is a challenging but vastly rewarding day. The crossing to St Kilda provides a great opportunity for marine life sightings, with mid to late summer being especially good for basking sharks. As we approach the islands we see, hear and smell the vast seabird colonies! We’ll have a few hours on land to explore – with some of the highest sea cliffs in Britain, and globally important colonies of gannets, fulmars and puffins, this is a spectacular place to see. Together with the thought-provoking story of the islanders who lived here, this is one of the most amazing places you can ever visit.

Please note that the visit to St Kilda is strongly contingent on good weather and sea conditions. Since this will be a highlight of the trip then if it is not possible to visit St Kilda on this day then your guide will try to schedule it for a different day during the trip. If the weather prevents reaching St Kilda altogether then we’ll enjoy a wonderful boat trip in the Loch Roag area instead, exploring the remote west coast of Lewis and its plentiful wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Wildlife of Harris

We will spend the day exploring Harris with some short hikes along coastal routes and excellent glen paths. Home to vast expanses of moorland, this beautiful island holds nationally important breeding populations of greenshank and dunlin. Otters and eagles are known to regularly hunt in this terrain, and you may also see herds of red deer, which can often be seen grazing on the hillsides. (B,L)

Day 4: White Sands & Machair Plains

Today we’ll explore some of the beautiful white beaches on foot and take in the vibrant colours of the wildflowers found in the Machair plains. This rare habitat is only found on the exposed western coastline of Scotland and Ireland, and is always busy with different birds and insects. (B, L, D)

Day 5: The Minch & Stornoway

Voyage along the east coast of the Hebrides as you sail into a stretch of water known as the Minch. Keep your eyes peeled for inquisitive marine life which may include dolphins, seals and minke whales. Look to the sky in hope of witnessing the plethora of birdlife that circle above. Enjoy some time this afternoon to explore the coastal town of Stornoway which is the largest settlement in the Western Isles. There is much to discover here and the land is rich in history and traditional island culture. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Harris, in Search of Raptors

We’ll head into the hills of Harris today, and area with one of the highest density of golden eagles in Europe. Here we’ll visit an eagle hide, built in a dramatic glen in order to view one pair of eagles which have decided to call this place home. Sea eagles, also known as white-tailed eagles, are also frequently spotted in this area as they come in to feed on the salmon and other prey. Other daytime hunters include the ghostly hen harrier and furious looking short eared owl, either of which could turn up almost anywhere during our time on the islands. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Butt of Lewis

Today we’ll head to a lighthouse perched on top of the impressive cliffs at the Butt of Lewis, reputedly the windiest spot in Britain! These cliffs are home to home to many species of seabird including kittiwakes, shags, black  guillemots and fulmar petrels. This can be one of the best wildlife watching areas in the Western Isles as, in addition to the abundant and soaring birdlife, whales, dolphins and porpoises can be spotted here too. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Return to Inverness

We begin our journey back to Inverness today, with continued opportunities for some wonderful scenery and excellent wildlife sightings. We’ll travel to Stornoway where we’ll visit the museum in Lewis Castle and enjoy a walk in the grounds. Then it’s back to the mainland and journey back to Inverness, arriving at the train station by mid-evening. (B, L)

Included
  • 7 nights of accommodation
  • Meals as indicated in the day by day itinerary: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner
  • Transportation throughout the trip
  • Private boat and ferry transfers
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide/driver
Not Included
  • Airfare, train or bus travel to/from Inverness
  • Accommodation pre or post tour in Inverness
  • Personal equipment
  • Optional Tours
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
Tour Notes

Rating: Green 2

It is your responsibility to ensure you are appropriately fit and capable of doing the described hikes in the expected times. Green coded trips are the least demanding, numbered from 1 (easiest) to 9 (hardest).  An explanation of the demands of this particular trip is outlined below. If you are unsure as to the suitability of this walking tour please ask us. We can discuss your fitness level and how it relates to the trip you are interested in taking and advise you appropriately.

Green graded wildlife holidays are suitable for for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km, but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details will be provided in the trip itinerary.

The weather in Scotland can be unpredictable and at times can make activities more challenging. Please do bear this in mind when thinking about what trip to join.

While on tour, if your guide feels that you are not able to complete a scheduled hike, for your own safety and well-being, as well as the benefit of the group, they may ask you not to join in that day. In such cases the decision of the guide is considered final. Again, if you have any questions about the grading, then please do us a call to chat about your previous hiking experience, your level of fitness and overall suitability for this trip

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

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