Trip created by Rachael Gavan
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Argyll and the Isles is a glorious coastal region of western Scotland. Known for its glittering sea lochs, wild islands, hills and glens, it is perfect for exploring on foot.
While the scenery of Argyll is outstanding, the ancient heritage, abundant wildlife and whisky distilleries are equally appealing. This fascinating itinerary takes you on a journey through the Argyll peninsula and several of its islands, including the whisky island of Islay and the hard-to-reach Isle of Jura.
The daily guided hikes link prehistoric sites, nature reserves and whisky distilleries, all set against the backdrop of green hills and the rolling Atlantic. We finish the trip with two nights on the Isle of Islay – a wild and beautiful island on the very western fringe of Scotland – known for its eight whisky distilleries, prolific birdlife and stunning coastal landscapes.
We meet in Oban late morning, coinciding with the arrival of the train from Glasgow. After introductions, we head straight to our first island – Kerrera. Just south of Oban, we take a small boat across the strait to this small island, which has about 100 residents. We enjoy a superb hike which takes a circular route covering the southern half of the island. On the way, we pass the ruined outpost of Gylen Castle, once a stronghold for the MacDougall clan. The views are wonderful and will whet the appetite for the week ahead! After hopping back across to the mainland, we transfer 30 minutes south to our hotel. Set in a fantastic coastal location, all rooms benefit from sea views. We enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. (L, D)
Walk details: 10km/ 6 miles | 300m/ 980 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours
The tiny island of Gigha is an overlooked gem of the Inner Hebrides. A 20 minute ferry ride takes us onto the island named ‘Gudey’ by the Vikings, which translates to ‘God’s Isle’ or ‘The Good Isle’ – either way, it’s a strong endorsement! We’ll have a flexible approach today, so may hike to the north end of the island and climb Creag Bhan, its highest peak at just 101m but with views better than many a higher mountain. Or we can explore the southern shores, with the famous Achmore Gardens and tranquil rural scenery. Wherever we venture, we’ll experience life on this gorgeous island of white sandy beaches, wonderful seascapes and friendly people. (B, L)
Walk details: Up to 10km/ 6 miles | 100m/ 320 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours
Picturesque Kilmartin Glen is one of the richest sites in Europe for prehistoric remains. Our morning walk takes us on a circular route through some of the most interesting sites, including Celtic crosses, medieval grave slabs, Bronze Age chambered cairns and standing stones. In the afternoon, we visit Dunadd, possibly the birthplace of Scotland. We enjoy a short woodland walk, and perhaps also along the nearby Crinan Canal before returning to our hotel. (B, L)
Walk details: 8km/ 5 miles | 50m/ 160 ft of ascent | approx. 3-4 hours
With a privately chartered boat at our disposal, this day is sure to be a highlight of the trip. We’ll venture, with a flexible approach, to the rarely-visited Isle of Jura to enjoy some wild hiking. We may land in West Loch Tarbert and hike coast to coast, being collected by our boat on the eastern shores. Or we may hike point to point along the east coast, passing George Orwell’s cottage and enjoying fantastic views back to Argyll. Whatever hike we undertake, our boat will detour to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, so we can appreciate the power of Scotland’s largest tidal whirlpool – from a safe distance! (B, L)
Walk details: 11km/ 7 miles | 350m/ 1150 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours
After an early breakfast, we transfer 1 hour south to Kennacraig, where we catch the 9.45am ferry across to Islay. On arrival, we drive to Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve where we enjoy lunch as we look for birds such as cuckoos, corncrakes and hen harriers. Afterwards, we enjoy a hike which explores the shoreline of Loch Gruinart and Killinallan Point, visiting beautiful beaches and offering views north to the islands of Colonsay and Mull. (B, L)
Walk details: 10km/ 6 miles | 50m/ 160 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours
Our walk today explores the Oa Peninsula in the far south of Islay. We hike up to the American Monument, which commemorates the loss of two troops ships in 1918. We then follow a dramatic cliff-top trail past an Iron Age fort to reach the summit of Beinn Mhor. Although just 200m high, this is a superb viewpoint – on a clear day, the coast of Northern Ireland can be seen! After the hike we recover by visiting one of Islay’s whisky distilleries before returning to the hotel, perhaps making a short detour on the way to enjoy a late afternoon stroll at Machir Bay before our farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 9km/ 6 miles | 250m/ 820 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we take the morning ferry back onto the Argyll mainland, keeping a lookout for wildlife and admiring the views as we sail. Once back in Kennacraig, it’s a 90-minute transfer back to Oban. We should arrive by 2pm. Trains south to Glasgow depart at approx 2.30pm. (B, L)
We spend our nights in welcoming and friendly country house hotels: the first four nights at Loch Melfort, south of Oban, and the final two nights at Bridgend on the Isle of Islay. Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Please note that we can offer a maximum of two single rooms on this itinerary.
Both accommodations are owner-managed and a warm welcome is assured. You can relax and enjoy their tranquil locations, indulging in wonderful meals and perhaps tasting a local whisky or two.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. Please note that we can offer a maximum of two single rooms on this itinerary. The single supplement is £335 and is subject to availability.
Dinner is included on the first and last nights. All days include breakfast and lunch.
This trip is especially good for food and all our meals are prepared from the best local produce. We’ll enjoy wonderful home-cooked meals each evening, with good, healthy portions. Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are willingly catered for u2013 simply let us know at the time of booking.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Oban Railway Station at 11:30am on Day 1 of your trip. We aim to return to Oban by 2:00pm on the last day.
All ferries and boat trip fees are included within this itinerary.
|Trip Dates for 2019||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|1st Jun - 7th Jun 2019||1 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,725||Book Now|
|6th Jul - 12th Jul 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,725|
|27th Jul - 2nd Aug 2019||1 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,725||Book Now|
|10th Aug - 16th Aug 2019||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,725||Book Now|
|7th Sep - 13th Sep 2019||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,725|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Rachael is a true gem and we regularly receive feedback thanking her for designing inspiring itineraries and for being such a pleasure to chat to. In many cases the people Rachael designs tailor made trips for, actually become friends and she’s had more than one invite to far off lands as a result. Rachael believes in only the highest levels of customer experience and service and the Argyll and the Isles trip she created uncovers some surprising hidden parts of this less explored corner of Scotland.
- Rachael GavanAsk Rachael a Question
Green Graded Walking Holidays
Green graded walking holidays are suitable 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 are available in the itinerary.
Rated 4.90 out of 5 based on 69 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – Argyll & the Isles
Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.
That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.
Reviewed on 03/10/2018
Age: 60 - 70
Country: United States
Trip Date: 08/09/2018
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
I booked a trip, then had to change the date and select a different hike. Chantal and I reviewed the trip options / fitness levels of each and after much discussion settled on the Argyll & the Isles hike. The fitness level of this hike was 2 grades below the original trip I had chosen. Chantal mentioned that she had recently done this one and assured me that due to the terrain, she felt this was the best fit for me. Boy was she right! I felt challenged by the climbs on this one and would have been in over my head if I had gone with my original choice. I am so grateful for her input in choosing the right hike!
So great to have someone else coordinate all the details. Alan was the perfect guide for our group - bless his heart as he had to contend with six rather strong willed women. We all 'clicked' right at the onset.
Nice clean, comfy rooms. Would be nice if they had a bit more counter space in the bathrooms and an outlet for the hairdryers.
Alan had the patience of Job. Imagine, poor him and six, over fifty, opinionated women to contend with! He led us skillfully and with great humor. Really enjoyed his company and leadership.
I spent a month touring Scotland with a week dedicated to the hike. Hands down it was the very best part of the month. Can't wait to book the next one!
Reviewed on 18/09/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Every time I called or emailed, I got a timely response.
Well organized and entertaining. Our guide went out of his way to ensure everyone was well looked after. It was a great mix of walking and learning.
My only complaint is the negligible water pressure in the shower at the first hotel. The locations, the rooms, and the service were great.
Great job, Alan! Your sense of humor and attention to detail were greatly appreciated.
Just do it! The 6 of us on our trip met for the first time on day one. Now we are considering meeting for another Wilderness Scotland adventure.
Reviewed on 17/09/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
excellent guide, wonderful locations and congenial company
loch melfort hotel had difficult locks on the bedroom doors; v poor showers port Charlotte hotel was v comfortable and welcoming
Alan was patient, friendly, extremely well informed about all the historic sites we visited and a great guide on all our walks.
The islands we explored were so different from each other and I was surprised they felt so remote. it was a wonderful, restorative week. If I weren't already booked on two Wilderness Scotland holidays next year, I would have to see to that immediately so as to cope with the sadness of a great holiday's coming to an end.
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