The Alexandra Hotel in Oban is the perfect base to explore the highlands and islands.
The excursions take in the very best of Argyll and are a wonderful experience and Highland adventure.
This eight day summer Tour has been engineered to provide you with a really relaxing holiday experience visiting the very best of the West Highland coastal areas – all the way from Mallaig and south to the Kyles of Bute, and west to the stunning island of Iona. Your holiday includes a day in your home port of Oban, which gives you time to explore the town, or for the more adventurous, to take a ferry to the islands. You can check the Calmac sailing timetable at www.calmac.co.uk. One option is to go over to Lismore and return in a couple of hours, or take a half day trip to Colonsay and the Corryvreckan whirlpool, or venture as far as the beautiful islands of Coll and Tiree. Some people have even made it all the way out to the island of Barra. Ferry costs are not expensive as it is highly subsidised right now!!
Your Tour includes:
- Three star, VisitScotland Quality Assured Hotel
- Dinner, bed & breakfast, daily
- Entertainment every night
- Red carpet welcome
- Return coach travel from your pick-up to Scotland
- Luxury air conditioned supercoaches
Isles of Mull & Iona
This excursion is a true gem and a wonderful day out to the islands. We drive to the terminal across the bay to board the ferry which has plenty of lounge and café/restaurant space, or you can enjoy the amazing vistas as you leave the bay and pass beneath Dunollie Castle and the north end of Kerrera Island.
We enter the open water of Loch Linnhe and cross to Lismore lighthouse, then pass by Duart Castle before arriving at the Craignure ferry terminal where we reboard the coach. Then there starts a lovely run across the island by Ben More and the shores of Loch Scridain before arriving at Fionnphort where we take the small local ferry across to Iona.
You will see the sparkling white sand and the incredible aquamarine colour of the water, all set off by the red granite rocks on either side of the Sound of Iona where wildlife abounds.
We see the Iona Abbey on the way across and from the pier it is about 10 minutes’ walk past the old nunnery and various ancient buildings before arriving at the fully restored abbey. Good catering options on the island help make this a stunning day to remember!
“This superb collection covers the gems of the Isle of Mull & Iona, Mallaig, Ben Nevis and some of the amazing areas of Argyll's Coast. The tour includes several exciting ferry crossings"
Mallaig & Ben Nevis (Optional)
This excursion takes us north across Loch Leven and up to Fort William before cruising west along the side of Loch Shiel to the Jacobite Memorial at Glenfinnan.
Glenfinnan is the site of the viaduct made famous by Harry Potter. The Memorial commemorates Prince Charlie raising his standard and igniting the 1745 rebellion, which all came to a bloody end in 1746 at Culloden Moor near Inverness.
It is then on to Mallaig, which is a fishing port of renown and still has a sizeable fleet. You can see the Isle of Skye and the Cullin mountains from the waterfront. The pier is wonderful, with all sorts of craft alongside and interesting characters to see!! (I met Tom McClean, the Atlantic rower and adventurer there recently.)
Wonderful white sands of Morar, and scenery to die for!!!
Pass of Brander, Glen Coe & Seal Sanctuary
This excursion takes us out to the east of Oban via the Falls of Lora, Connel Bridge and Dunstaffnage Castle. We pass Loch Etive and usually see highland cows at the roadside on the way to the Pass of Brander and the hydro electric dam on Loch Awe.
At the east end of the loch we see Kilchurn Castle and know we are now in Glen Orchy, the original seat of the clan Campbell. Outstanding mountain and loch scenery in all directions! We ascend up into Glen Lochy and pass on into the top of Strathfillan and the village of Tyndrum. Coffee at The Green Welly Stop is mandatory!
From here we go north and see Auch Glen and Ben Doran ahead of us. Fabulous panoramic views! Soon we are back in Glen Orchy and make our way past Loch Tulla to the viewpoint at Blackmount – cameras ready please!
It is then on to Rannoch Moor, past Loch Ba and Buachaille Etive Mhor before descending into Glen Coe with its poignant history and amazing rock formations. From Glen Coe we pass by Loch Leven and then south to Appin and the Seal Sanctuary. Great fun and also an education! We can have tea and coffee in the café here, before heading back to Oban. A great day indeed!
“A few days ago I returned from my first visit to Scotland and one of your beautiful Hotels, the Alexandra Hotel. My partner and I usually have five short breaks a year but I must say this was our best ever; your staff were excellent. We enjoyed the entertainment. In fact we have never had better on holiday. We look forward to coming again next year and we have told our friends so our party will increase. Many congratulations to you all for all the effort you put in for making our stay so memorable.”
Tarbert, Loch Fyne & Inveraray Castle
This marvellous excursion takes us south by Loch Feochan and the standing stones of Kilmartin Glen, then on to Lochgilphead and the fishing port of Tarbert on Loch Fyne. Tarbert is a spectacular village, noted in the past for herring fishing, but now more inclined to lobster, prawn and crayfish catches.
Tarbert is the entrance to the Crinan Canal which ensures a safe water passage to the north from the Clyde area.
We leave Tarbert and proceed along the north shore of Loch Fyne to Inveraray and the site of not only the seat of the Duke of Argyll, the majestic Inveraray Castle, but also the ancient court house and jail. Some very grand buildings in a wee seaside town!!
From here, we proceed back to the head of Loch Awe and enjoy views of Kilchurn Castle before passing round the Loch and descending down to Loch Etive by the banks of the River Awe and Loch Awe – simply the finest scenery all day, before heading home to our hotel for dinner and entertainment.
Day of Leisure in Oban
There is plenty to see and do in Oban, and you can take advantage of the free day by either exploring Oban, going to McCaig’s Tower or Pulpit Hill for superb views, or taking a ferry trip to Lismore or Colonsay – or even out to Coll and Tiree. With subsidised ferry travel, it is extraordinarily inexpensive, and on-board catering is exceptional. It is even possible to view the Corryvreckan whirlpool when you are on the ferry to Colonsay.
The world is your oyster here! Thinking of which … seafood lunches are exceptional in Oban – everything is fresh off the boat here!!
Kyles of Bute & Glendaruel
This excursion takes us round the head of Loch Fyne and passes through Inveraray and Glendaruel before taking the elevated road round Tighnabruaich on the Kyles of Bute. The coach always stops at the viewpoint above the Kyles of Bute for the most amazing photographs.
Tighnabruaich is an old ferry port for access to the Isle of Bute, but we like it for Susy’s Café – a superb lunch stop with fantastic views up and down the Kyles of Bute. There are shops in Tighnabruaich and it is a lovely walk along the old promenade.
Home to dinner and entertainment at the end of a great day!!!