Argyll & The Isles Walk

Scotland: (ZZ-HK-WS03)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_hiking_scotland_argyll_and_the_isles.aspx

Introduction
Scotland
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 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 hard-to-reach Jura.
Our 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.

Highlights
• Explore the beautiful Argyll Peninsula, visiting four islands which hug its western coastline, spending the final two nights at a lovely hotel on the whisky island of Islay
• Take a privately chartered boat to the wild island of Jura, detouring to view the turbulent waters of the famous Correyvreckan Whirlpool
• Stay in two welcoming small hotels, each with a tranquil setting, with wonderful meals providing the perfect end to each day

Accomodation

Accommodations
We spend our nights in welcoming and friendly country house hotels: the first 3 nights at Loch Melfort, south of Oban, and the final 3 nights at Bridgend on the Isle of Islay.
Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Both accommodations are owner-managed and a warm welcome is assured. You can relax and enjoy their tranquil coastal locations, indulging in wonderful meals and perhaps tasting a local whisky or two.

Loch Melfort, Arduaine
In the Main House, the original family house of the Campbells who built the estate and gardens, the accommodation comprises of 8 cozy main house bedrooms and 20 Sea View rooms all of which offer a tranquil setting. Wi-Fi is available in all bedrooms and public rooms.
Our water comes from a natural source on the hill above the hotel. After heavy rain, the water becomes somewhat colored from the peat. It is perfectly safe to drink, having been filtered and passed through an UltraViolet system and is very good for your skin and the environment, as there is no chlorine added. Laundry can be done at this location for an extra fee.

Bridgend, Isle of Islay
Located at the “Heart of Islay”, Bridgend Hotel offers excellent facilities for the more discerning traveler. Opened a century and a half ago the hotel aims to provide the original Islay experience to all customers, offering a warm and friendly service. All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a desk. The private bathroom is equipped with a hair dryer.
Wifi is available free of charge. Laundry can be done at this location for an extra fee.

Single & Triple occupancy
Triple occupancy is not possible in any of the accommodations.
A maximum of 2 single rooms are available on this trip, the single supplement is subject to availability.
Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.



Meals
All meals are included from Lunch on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 7 (except for dinners on day 2, 3, 4 and 5).

Lunches are usually eaten on the trail and dinners and breakfast are provided at the accommodations. Food is of paramount importance and our meals are prepared from the best local produce. We'll enjoy wonderful home-cooked meals each evening, with good, healthy portions.
On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

Special diets and dietary restrictions
Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are willingly catered for - simply let us know at the time of booking.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1: The Green Isle of Kerrera
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.
Ascent: approx. 300 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 0 m / approx. 4-5 hours (10 km / 6 miles)
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Loch Melfort


Day 2: Kilmartin Glen & Argyll's Beavers
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 the home Scotland’s only wild Beaver population, which were reintroduced to the wild after being extinct here for over 400 years. We take a fascinating tour with the knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff and perhaps take a short wander along the nearby Crinan Canal before returning to our hotel.
Ascent: approx. 50 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 0 m / approx. 3-4 hours (up to 8 km / 5 miles)

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight at Hotel in Loch Melfort


Day 3: The Wild Island of Jura
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!
Ascent: approx. 350 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 0 m / approx. 4-5 hours (11 km / 7 miles)
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight in Hotel in Loch Melfort


Day 4: Sail to Islay & Hike to Killinallan Point
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.
Ascent: approx. 50 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 0 m / approx. 4-5 hours (10 km / 6 miles)
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight in Brigden


Day 5: Woodland Wander & Islay Woolen Mill
Enjoy a change of pace with a woodland exploration this morning. On the way, we stop into a working wooden mill producing beautiful woven products which have featured in many Hollywood films. We will have some time to admire some other local crafts, including a tiny brewery which is the only beer producer on this island dedicated to whisky. Depending on time we may head out for another short hike along Islay’s beautiful Machair dunes.
Ascent: approx. 23 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 0 m / approx. 2 hours (7 km / 4.25 miles)
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight in Brigden


Day 6: Mountains, Monuments & Single Malts
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.
Ascent: approx. 250 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 0 m / approx. 4-5 hours (9 km / 6 miles)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Brigden

Day 7: Journey Back to Oban
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.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

PLEASE NOTE - The itinerary may be subject to change due to weather conditions and other factors.

This holiday is suitable for active travelers 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.


Rates and Dates for Argyll & The Isles Walk

Rates include:

Accommodation, Most meals, All transfers including private boat and ferry transfers as described in itinerary, Tour of a whisky distillery with tastings & Knowledgeable walking guide / driver.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionGBP ~US$
    A
    20207 day trip£1725$2280
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.32

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionGBP~US$
2020 Transfer from Oban train station at 11:30 am on day one $ 0 $0
2020 Single supplement (if requested, pending availability) £ 365 $485

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 08/22 - 08/28 7d / 6n 7 day trip 2 /8 Expired
A 2020 09/05 - 09/11 7d / 6n 7 day trip 2 /8 Expired

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Some meals (dinners on day 2, 3, 4 and 5), medical and personal accident (mandatory) & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting:
Airport:
Transfer:

Climate:
                                                Oban area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

45

46

48

53

59

62

64

64

60

55

50

46

Average Low Temperature (°F)

39

39

41

43

48

52

55

55

52

48

43

40

Average High Temperature (°C)

7

8

9

11

15

16

18

18

16

13

10

8

Average Low Temperature (°C)

4

4

5

6

9

11

13

13

11

9

6

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons
One of the great things about Scotland is that you never know what you are going to wake up to. On a typical week, you may encounter some showers but some beautiful sunshine as well. We will keep all our fingers and toes crossed for sun throughout your trip but Scotland can be just as beautiful in the rain, thousands of little waterfalls cascading down the mountains and lush green plants that you just wouldn’t experience without rain. You just have to be prepared for any weather and we’ll provide you with a helpful equipment list when you book. After all, there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes!

May and June are a great time for wildflowers and plants bursting into life after the winter, it’s also a good time to see lots of different bird life. July and August are great months to see a variety of different wildlife including marine animals; these also tend to be the warmest months and August is the month for breath-taking purple heather. The weather in September and October is generally pretty settled, and the light is beautiful, particularly as the leaves and bracken are starting to turn golden. There is also the chance of hearing the eerie roars of the rutting stags echoing through the glens. There is something special about every month so you really just need to decide when works best for you.

What To Bring: