Scotland is just as mysterious as it is intriguing and charming. The region attracts rustic lovers from all over who come to Scotland for its awe-inspiring panoramas, traditional villages quaintly nestled in verdant highlands, friendly locals and world-famous liquors. Cruising Scotland’s Western Isles, charter guests will have the opportunity to taste multiple vintages of Scottish whisky from at least half-dozen distilleries combining diverse flavors such as barley, heather, malt and smoke. Because the weather in Scotland can be capricious, the best time to visit is the summer months of May through September when, even with soft breezes, quiet anchorages offer seclusion until the Sun comes out again. The Argyll coast is blessed with the Gulf Stream thanks to which guests can enjoy remarkable sunny beaches and wildlife including whales and porpoises. Diving will be a true joy with wrecks lining the seabed along Scottish shores while history amateurs will be wildered by omnipresent ruined castles, ancient stone monuments and traditional kilted clansmen. All gastronomes will indulge in fresh catches of the day like salmon or lobster while meat-eaters will savor Angus beef.
Day 1: Oban to Tobermory
Embark on your sailing adventure in the Scottish resort town of Oban in the Firth of Lorn, a pristine bay bordering Scotland’s western coast. If you have some free time, make sure to visit the castles of Dunollie and Dunstaffnage or sip on a vintage whisky at the Oban Distillery. En route to Tobermory you will cruise between towering bluffs before reaching this colorful village, a favorite of Queen Victoria who frequently sailed up here by yacht as well.
Day 3: Coll to Colonsay
After breakfast sail over to Iona, a small islet at the southern tip of Isle of Mull well-known for its ancient abbey dating back to the 9th century. Iona is said to be the burial place of as many as 50 Scottish kings and the birthplace of the fabled Book of Kells, a manuscript containing Gospels from the New Testament. In the afternoon, anchor off Colonsay and enjoy the isle’s golden beaches before visiting the tiny bookshop specializing in Scottish history and the Colonsay Hotel, the island’s only hotel and pub.
Day 4: Colonsay to Islay
As you sail the Hebrides aboard your luxury charter yacht, stop in Loch Tarbert to visit the ruins of the 14th century Tarbert Castle sitting atop the panoramic village. Next, anchor off Port Elen on Islay, an island known as the Queen of the Hebrides and a sacred place to all Scotch drinkers as it is home to eight distilleries.
Day 5: Islay to Campbeltown
Sail around the Mull of Kintyre made famous by Paul McCartney in the same entitled “Mull of Kintyre”, before mooring in Campbeltown lined with edifices dating back to the 19th century where locals still communicate in the original Scots language. The region is one of the few in the Scottish Highlands where this language, rather than Scottish Gaelic, is more prevalent. Apart from a number of historic monuments, excellent cuisine and noteworthy landmarks, summer attractions in Campbeltown include music and kite festivals.
Day 6: Campbeltown to Lamlash
Lamlash is the largest village of the Isle of Arran, an island settled since 10 000 BC where symbolic stone circles and wall carvings abound. The town’s quaint paved facades lining the tranquil harbor considered by many as the best shelter in the area. Hike around Lamlash to explore the robust beauty of Arran and explore Brodick Castle and its lush walled gardens a couple of miles north of Lamlash. In the evening, step in to a local pub for a sip of traditional malt of some typical Arran beer.
Day 7: Lamlash to Troon
Your final port of call during this luxury charter cruise is the charming port of Troon where golf aficionados will enjoy a round of golf on verdant rolling hills. This utterly picturesque locale will have you under its spell in no time so stay in town for lunch and stock up on local specialties that you will take back home with you.
Day 2: Tobermory to the isles of Coll and Tiree
Continue exploring the Hebrides as your luxury charter yacht draws closer to the twin islands of Coll and Tiree. The nearby Gulf Stream current, it is one of the warmest places in the UK. The island of Coll boasts of sandy beaches and dunes while Tiree is known as the region’s windsurfing capital. Both islands are an opportunity to marvel at traditional thatched cottages.