Adventurous Scottish Sea Tour: Oban & Glasgow

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Total Trip:

8 Days
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Countries Visited:

Scotland
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Places Visited:

Glasgow, Oban, Isle of Mull, Trossachs
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.
Bleached white sand spreads into pink sandstone cliffs. Dark blue waters fade into glassy, see-through estuaries. Friendly basking sharks circle local boats and harbor seals nibble at your fins. Witness the diverse Scottish coastline on this custom tailored Scottish sea tour through Oban and Glasgow. The west coast of Scotland erupts with natural beauty: you can indulge in peaceful villages, and dine on the freshest seafood. Visit medieval castles and snorkel in protected secluded lagoons. Puffins

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Day 1

Moments Inland

Arrive in Glasgow and your private transfer meets you at the airport as your Scotland tour begins. Scotland’s largest city is home to famously friendly people and a particular style uniquely its own. The previously industrial atmosphere decorates the city, from factory edifices to turn of the century Victorian buildings. Beneath the surface Glasgow overflows with culture and energy, home to a vibrant art scene and spectacular cuisine. Merchant Square fills with locals dining in the covered courtyard. They watch the city pass them by in the collection of restaurants and festivals.

Lush greenery encircles Glasgow Cathedral, constructed in 13th century and home to St. Kentigern’s tomb. Marvelous vaulted arches decorate the interior. The immaculate white colors Blackadder aisle. The windows provide exceptional light. The spiced aroma of myrrh wafts all around. The city remains at the heart of Scottish culture and national pride, from the center of the country’s design and architecture facilities at the Lighthouse, to the 15th century Provand’s Lordship, the oldest house in the city. You find a glimmer of history, an abundance of pleasure, and nonstop culture around the expansive cityscape.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

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Day 2

Ready for the Sea

Oban is famous for its hold on tradition and captivating landscape. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and takes you out of Glasgow. The city fades behind an abundance of rolling hills that quickly change into towering trees. Venture through the celebrated Trossachs. The woodland valley sits between mountains to the north and south and waterways to the east and west. The verdant trees border Menteith Lake, the scenic landscape made famous by Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake. Once in Oban, the welcoming aroma of the seaside drifts through the air. At the watery edge of town, you can see the rolling mountains of the Isle of Mull. The waterfront is peaceful.

The bay is calm. The aroma of fresh fish and chips emanates from small, local edifices. The city is known for its capital seafood restaurants and exceptional views. McCaig’s Tower crowns the hilltop overlooking the city. The structure resembles a Victorian Colosseum constructed in the late 19th century. A mile long walkway runs along the coastline and leads to the ruins of the 13th century Dunollie Castle. Moss has overtaken the remainder of the tower and almost blends into the surrounding swath of trees. The water brushes against the rugged coastline. The gentle rhythm of the wake adds to the ambiance of the castle and charming coastal city.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

A Look Beneath the Sea

The town begins to bustle early in the morning. People make their way to the harbor to catch the ferry to the Isle of Mull. Fishing boats return from the firth hauling their catch. They weight anchor along the marina wall and pull in their nets. After breakfast, you make your way to the harbor and board a vessel. The walkway’s rocky border guides you to the boat’s orange glow. You step aboard and venture off into the sea. The morning sea air is filled with salt and sweetness. The breeze combs through your hair.

The water mists into the air. On the edges of land, you can see red deer grazing on the grass. Duart Castle stands atop a small bluff and watches over the water. The stronghold was home to the Maclean Clan dating back to the 13th century. You arrive in the area of Coll and begin your search for basking sharks. The basking shark is the second largest fish in the world, behind whale shark. They eat plankton and can grow up to 26 feet in the length.

Basking sharks have an inherent curiosity and tend to circle divers in the water. The water is cold but calm. The emerald color differs from the deep cobalt around the Oban harbor. Your heart immediately races when you see the shark approaching. Your guide flashes you the okay sign, and you can come close enough to see every tiny detail of the shark’s skin to its open mouth. The wonders of the subaquatic world are endless. The beauty of the Scotland, above and below the water, is ubiquitous.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Barking Lagoon

The morning rises over the seaside town, and you once again make your way to the harbor. The boat takes you out into the shimmering seascape. The aroma is not only familiar but also comforting. The colorful facades of Oban fade away. The water soon turns from emerald to clear. A small craggy coast sits in the distance, draped with sporadic mossy grass. The water’s depth reaches around 12 feet and allows for some of the clearest seas in all of Scotland. A large seal colony lingers nearby. The Harbor Seal can grow to over six feet in length and weigh up to 370 pounds. The gregarious seals greet the boat as it coasts through the sea.

You follow your guide into the water, surrounded by the barking and playful animals. They zoom through the water and poke their heads above the surface like periscopes. They wiggle their ears and twitch their whiskers before diving back into the water. Water brushes against the craggy outcroppings from the island. The seals nibble at your fins and wind their way around the estuaries. Their white and gray spotted fur stands out against the sandy seafloor. The seals return to the beach where their fur blends into the rocks. They sunbathe on the small island and practically disappear in their camouflage. Return to Oban and settle into Coast, an award-winning restaurant known for its modern Scottish cuisine and locally sourced produce.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Soaring New Heights

The morning breeze carries the sound of splashing water from the distance. The walk to the harbor has become a morning ritual. You board the boat and take your time departing Oban in search of the stunning puffin. The harbor fades out of view, but the coastline continues to flank the water. The Treshnish Isles are known for their remarkable beauty. The grass grows short but fertile across the rolling, rugged hillsides. The water is calm and mirrors the color of the Scottish sky. The archipelago stretches around four miles long and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The island of Lunga is thought to hold over 3,000 puffins in addition to other avian life. The island topography is one of coastal cliffs. Puffins nest and burrow into the sandstone. During hatching season, hatchlings poke their head out of their niched nest for a curious look at the world. A horned puffin has a wingspan of up to 23 inches and can weight over a pound. Their bright orange feet and beaks stand out against their penguin-like features of black and white feathers. When fishing, the bird lands for a few seconds on an open rock before nestling into its burrow.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Castles and Lochs

The countryside outside of Oban brims with rolling mountainsides, powerful castles, and glistening lochs. After breakfast, your day begins with a tour of the landscape that takes you through layers of remarkable Scottish history. Loch Awe sits in the passing shadow of Ben Cruachan, a 3,693-foot tall mountain. The loch is one of Scotland’s largest lakes, where you find the 15th-century ruins of Kilchurn Castle. The postcard-perfect landscape blossoms with green. Mounds texture and terrace the foothills of Ben Cruachan. The castle ruins continue to rise into the sky. The stronghold stands alone on a peninsula reaching into the loch. The water contains calm ripples.

The scent of moss and freshwater emanates from the scenery. Return to Oban in the evening and enjoy the delectable seafood at The Waterfront. The restaurant looks over the pier. The aroma of the sea returns and the scent of locally sourced seafood come with it. Over the ambient sounds of the restaurant, you can hear the gentle lull of the water against the pier. Fresh lemon and rosemary accentuate the luscious scent of char-grilled sea bream. Scallops are served with salmon mash potatoes and a decadent white sauce poured over semi-sweet asparagus. Indulge in your evening on the coast one last time.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Village Visits

In the morning, you make your way to the harbor and board the ferry with the crowd. The familiar energy from excited ferry goers blends into your comfort with the harbor. Soon the ferry moves away from Oban, and you arrive on the Isle of Mull. The island is rich with emerald waters and rosy granite. Basalt crags create a contrasting black color to the opulent white sands of nearby beaches. You have passed the island’s coastline over the past days and now have time to visit the towns and coastal villages. Tobermory is an enchanting town situated on the northwest coast of the island. Houses line the esplanade and shine with vibrant colors, from pastel blues and pinks to earthy orange.

A bright white lighthouse touches the isle’s edge. The bottom of the bay houses a legend of a sunken 16th-century Spanish ship, part of the famous armada. The fishing port was constructed in the 18th century and has grown in popularity due to its relaxed atmosphere, scenic location, and naturally romantic landscape. White-tailed eagles circle the water in search of active fish. A nine-hole golf course offers a panoramic view from the cliff tops where even the Isle of Skye is visible. The laidback atmosphere and sweet aroma of verdant trees and ocean create a relaxing experience. In the afternoon, you return to Oban and continue south, returning to Glasgow.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Ocean Outbound

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens were constructed in 1841 by the University of Glasgow and made public near the end of the 19th century. The glass building rises out of the grass like a glass palace. The interior preserves exotic plant life from around the world, from tropical forests to arid deserts. In the morning yoga classes indulge in the serene surroundings, stretching and exercising in peace. The scent of toast and creamy, partially melted butter accompanies aromatic Scottish tea. It takes you a moment to reacquaint yourself with the heavy stone facades and sprawling cityscape. The Scottish charm continues to filter through the city, but the seaside village ambiance is gone. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and shuttles you to the Glasgow airport. Once in the air you look out the window and find the reflective waters of the Atlantic beneath you, reminding you of your seafaring Scottish adventures.

To see more itinerary ideas, visit the luxury tours to Europe page.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore the surrounding island aquatic life, including swimming with the second largest fish in the world, the basking shark
  • Scuba dive and snorkel around some of the country’s most pristine aquatic scenery
  • Spend time in the charming coastal city of Oban, situated on the cobalt waters of Scotland’s west coast
  • Tour the craggy cliffside coastline to witness a marvelous display of puffins in their natural habitat
  • Indulge in fresh, local seafood sourced by the fishermen of Oban
  • Enjoy the old world fishing villages situated on the rugged coasts along the Isle of Mull and Inner Hebrides
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Detailed Description

Scotland challenges the perception of beauty with an eclectic mixture of rugged mountains and craggy coastal cliffs. This 8-day Scottish sea tour through Oban and Glasgow is best experienced from May to early September when the water gets warm enough to allow for exploration and the mountains are flush with grass. Glasgow is filled with contemporary culture, surrounded by the remarkable verdant hills for which the countryside is known. The seaside brims with dark, deep waters that level out into shallow, transparent beaches. Wildlife roams through woodlands and castle ruins continue to rise over lake shores and the seaside.

The adventure starts in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. The streets hold a reminder of the city’s industrial past and house the true culture in award-winning restaurants and modern galleries. Tour the city with a guide and find a historic ambiance mixed with modern flair. Your time in handpicked, boutique hotels adds a touch of splendor the already exquisite coastal exploration. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and takes you northbound through the Trossachs National Park, one of the most celebrated parks in Scotland.

You arrive in Oban and find a celebrated seaside town in view of the Isle of Mull. Oban is known for its incredibly fresh seafood and locally sourced restaurants. Your time in Oban takes you out onto the water, spending your days exploring the limits of the Inner Hebrides and the coastline of Mull. You follow your guide into the water to swim with basking sharks. Set sail to a secluded island lagoon and snorkel or scuba dive with harbor seals from the local colony. Take your time visiting the towering coastal cliffs to view puffins in their natural habitat.

On day six you have free rein over the varied landscape around Oban. The day is yours to explore Dunstaffnage Castle or Loch Etive and the Priory Gardens. You could even take a ride across the hillside on the Jacobite Antique Steam Train to Fort William. The following day you take the local ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull to visit the captivating fishing village of Tobermory. The surrounding landscape, from the ocean to trees, is a relaxing way to spend your morning before returning to Glasgow. On day nine your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the airport.

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Starting Price

$2395 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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