1 SPOT LEFT: Insider Tour of the Scottish Highlands

At a Glance

Glasgow, Scotland
Jun 12 - Jun 20, 2024
8 Nights
Level: 3
We rate all trips on a 1 to 5 scale. A designation of 1 would be trips with the least amount of activity, such as our beach trips, where it's up to you if you'd like to be active. Our adventure trips (such as the Inca trail hike) are a 5. Most of our trips are rated 3, for people who don't mind a fair bit of walking.
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Home >Trip >1 SPOT LEFT: Insider Tour of the Scottish Highlands

Trip Description

Deep Into the Highlands

See the most stunning landscapes and meet  Scottish women who are as engaged and fun as you are–all with a  friend/guide who knows the best places and experiences in the area.

ONLY 2 ROOMS LEFT!

Our personal guide: Johanne McInnis is widely known in the spirits world as the Whisky Lassie. She writes books and articles about whisky and often judges whisky competitions and teaches master classes in the Scottish Highlands. With her local contacts and knowledge, she has put together the definitive tour of this glorious region of lochs, glens and mountains.

NOTE: NextTribe members receive a $100 discount on price.  

Watch a recording of our Scotland Info Session to meet your guide and get your questions answered. 

This trip is not a “whisky tour”–though we will soak in the glorious culture that has made Scotch Whisky renowned across the globe. This trip is devoted to history, nature, and Scottish women our age who are as bold as any women you’ll meet. Through Johanne’s friendships we’ll have unique opportunities to meet locals and get deeper into the culture than a regular tourist can.

5 Reasons We Love This Trip

  1. Scottish scenery: highlands, lochs, heaths, rivers.
  2. A chance to meet dynamic Scottish women and get deeper into the culture.
  3. Dancing a traditional Ceilidh with men in kilts.
  4. Nestling in the cozy Craigellachie Hotel in the countryside.
  5. Learning more about Scotland’s whiskey culture from one of the world’s experts.

Our Guide: Johanne McInnis

Johanne McInnis is from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada and is freelance spirits writer, panelist and judge with over 25 years experience as a public speaker.

With a background in organic chemistry and distillation, she travels the world and presents master classes in the UK well as across North America. She is a published columnist and her articles can be found on websites and publications such as the Malt Whisky Yearbook. Through her passion and enthusiasm Johanne shares entertaining stories, information and knowledge as she helps others on their own spirits discovery journey.

Photos

Map

Itinerary

WEDNESDAY, June 12th

Welcome to Scotland

Fly into Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. It's famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, a rich legacy of the city's 18th–20th-century prosperity due to trade and shipbuilding. Today it's a national cultural hub.

We'll begin by walking around the historic center, then gathering for a reception where you can meet a local dynamo who once ran the Glasgow Whisky Festival. At some of the oldest pubs in town, we'll soak in the wonder of Scottish drinking culture.

We'll spend the night at the Indigo Glasgow, which is housed in a power station from the 1800s.

THURSDAY, June 13th

Glasgow to Oban

We'll be picked up at our hotel to start our intimate tour of the Scottish Highlands. First stop is Oban, a gorgeous coastal town known as the "Gateway to the Isles."

The city is also known for its Ceilidh events (pronounced Cay-lah), traditional Highland dances with live music and--bonus--men in kilts! We'll attend one before heading out to a lovely dinner in this mecca for seafood.

We'll also make time to climb McCaig’s Tower at sunset and hike up Pulpit Hill.

We'll be staying at the Oban Bay Hotel, right on the water.

FRIDAY, June 14th

Loch Ness

What would a visit to the Scottish Highlands be without a stop at Loch Ness? After one of the most spectacular drives in the British Isles (the back road from Oban to Drumnadrochit), we'll have lunch at Fiddler's Highland Restaurant, known for its classic Scottish dishes.

Then we'll head out on the lake itself, and after our return on dry land, we'll have time to explore Urquhart Castle.

We'll spend the night at the Loch Ness Inn.

SATURDAY, June 15th

Craigellachie in Abelour

After breakfast and some free time along Loch Ness, we'll head up to Inverness, considered the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Following lunch, we can explore the Old Town and an indoor Victorian Market selling food, clothing and crafts.

Then we'll head to the Speyside region, where we'll spend 3 nights at the spectacular Craigellachie Hotel, which Condé Nast Traveler described as “the oldest and greatest whisky hotel in the world." The London Times proclaims that "you won't find more stylish lodgings in all of rural Scotland."

We'll have plenty of opportunities to explore the uniquely picturesque area surrounding the hotel, beside the Spey River. Hiking, biking, fishing, animal watching is all possible from this home base. But we'll start with a welcome dinner at the hotel.

SUNDAY, June 16th

Speyside Distilleries

We'll start the morning with a hike along the River Spey to the charming Telford Bridge.

Then we'll head to Balvenie Distillery for what Johanne McInnis, our whisky expert calls the most comprehensive distillery tour. We'll then eat lunch in the beautiful Glenfiddich distillery, nearby. Bonus: We'll also have a chance to visit a small distillery, that is run by a friend of Johanne's and still makes whisky the traditional way.

Dinner in Aberlour.

MONDAY, June 17th

Aberlour, Shortbread and Local Women

This morning will be relaxed to allow time for you to hike, bike, or to make arrangements to fish in the River Spey or ride horses nearby.

In the afternoon we'll head to the Walker Shortbread Factory for a look around and a shortbread making class (TBD).

We'll then meet at the elegant, woman-owned Dowans Hotel for a special reception for female entrepreneurs and artisans in the Speyside area. Get ready to be insipired.

Dinner at Dowans.

TUESDAY, June 18th

Cairngorms

After we check out of the Craigellachie Hotel, we'll head south to Caringorms National Park, which offers simply stupendous natural scenery--from the wild high mountains, to the heather moorlands and peatlands, to the magnificent forests, the farms and crofts, and the wetlands and rivers which wind through the flood plains.

We will stop at park headquarters, where you'll be able to spend a good part of the day hiking, biking or soaking in the breathtaking landscapes.

Then it's on to Edinburgh, where we'll stay at the Voco Edinburgh Royal Terrace Hotel.

WEDNESDAY, June 19th

Edinburgh

We'll cover Edinburgh from end-to-end--climbing Arthur's Seat, exploring the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.

We'll end the trip with a reception/fund raiser for a local activist whose efforts benefit women in need.

THURSDAY, June 20th

Farewell Scotland

Take the opportunity to extend your stay in Edinburgh, to see more of this wonderful town. Or head to the Edinburgh airport to return home.

If you'd rather fly out of Glasgow, you can take a train to Glasgow (about an hour), then take a taxi or public transport to the Glasgow airport.

Logistics

What's Included

  • 8 nights Accommodations

1 in Glasgow, 1 in Oban, 1 in Loch Ness, 3 in Aberlour and 2 in Edinburgh

  • 7 Dinners

  • 6 Lunches

  • All breakfasts

  • 3 receptions with locals

In Glasgow, Aberlour, and Edinburgh

  • Boat Ride on Loch Ness

  • Transportation

On comfortable mini-bus

  • Ceilidh dance

Traditional Scottish dance in Oban

  • Distillery visit

  • Walking tour-Edinburgh

  • Visit--Edinburgh Castle

What's Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcohol (unless specifically mentioned in an itinerary activity or purchased as an add-on)
  • Tips

Gratuities to local guides, drivers, maids and hotel staff, travel insurance, round trip airfare, passport and visa fees, personal items such as phone calls, laundry, baggage fees and items not expressly listed as included.

Additional Add-Ons

Hotels

Indigo Hotel

Glasgow

Oban Bay Hotel

Oban

The Loch Ness Inn

Loch Ness

Voco Edinburgh Royal Terrace Hotel

Edinburgh

The Craigellachie Hotel

Craigellachie

Our travelers love us (yay!)

Colleen M., California

What I love about the NextTribe trips is that there is so much camaraderie of other women that are like you, and then the fabulous things that the organizers puts together to give you that viewpoint, it’s awesome.

Courtney M., Texas

What I love about NextTribe trips is that you get the experience from an insider’s perspective—someone that has ties to the community and focused on building relationships from the start. I’ve been on a trip with another women’s travel group that dropped a guide in, not personally knowing anything about the locale, traditions, or culture. She was there to make sure you showed up on time, got on the bus, etc. With NextTribe, you feel like you’re having a personalized experience with your best girlfriends.

Donna B., Washington

I didn't know anyone going on the trip but that didn't stop me from signing up. I have learned that some of my life's greatest adventures have come from taking a risk and jumping in feet first. So glad I did with NextTribe! I may not have known anybody at the start, but now I feel like I know everybody.

Connie B., Pennsylvania

I love to meet and interact with strong, mature women from across the country as we learn together.

Leslie M., Georgia

I always come by myself on NextTribe trips because I like to meet super fun and interesting women. We're always doing fun and interesting things in great cities that you couldn't do on your own because you wouldn't know the people or places or the insiders.

Teresa S., Kentucky

NextTribe fills the need I have to travel with older interesting women who are curious about the world and want to share the journey.

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Let’s Do This!

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Did you know we have easy payment plans for our trips, interest free? Think of this as a layaway plan to feed your soul.

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What to Expect Traveling with NextTribe

You’ll be embraced by a tribe of travelers, starting with smart, fun women who lead our trips. We even have a code of community for both travelers and guides.

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Terms & Conditions

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Travel Insurance – Do You Need it?

Short answer: Yes! We strongly suggest you buy trip insurance to protect your investment in the trip.

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Frequently asked questions

What’s different about your trips?

We curate trips specifically for curious, engaged women over 45. You’re pretty well assured that your fellow travelers will be a lot like you–since you’ve all responded to the idea of “aging boldly.”. That means built-in compatibility in your small group, including the woman who is leading the adventure.. In addition to specializing in group travel for people who don’t normally like group travel, we also pride ourselves on creating experiences that allow you to interact with local women or get deeper into the culture than you would if you planned the trip yourself.

Where do you go?

We have a wide range of weekend jaunts here in the U.S. for those who want a quick getaway. We also love taking women to Mexico, where founder Jeannie Ralston used to live. We’re always talking about pushing boundaries, and we’re doing that in the geographic sense too. For those with more time, we offer trips all over Europe, to India, Vietnam, Peru (for a hike on the inca Trail to Machu Picchu). Soon, our travelers will be getting passport stamps in even more countries on six continents. Be saving those frequent flier miles!

What do you mean by transformational travel?

NextTribe is affiliated with the Transformational Travel Council, an international group of travel professionals dedicated to making the world a better place, one trip and one traveler at a time. We recognize that travelers, especially post-pandemic, are looking for more than just a date and a destination. They can shop for that anywhere online. Our community honors the intention behind a traveler’s investment in a trip. Our travelers want to have fun (we do too!) and to travel with a sense of purpose and belonging. That’s why we go to great lengths to provide ways for women to self-select by reading the articles in our magazine and the content of our website. If you like what you see, you’re likely to be a NextTribe traveler, and we look forward to seeing you on a trip soon!

What if I travel solo?

If you really prefer to book your travel yourself and go it alone, we applaud you. That’s brave and bold and we would never try to talk you out of it. But our trips are designed so that even a woman who’s used to traveling alone, or someone shy about meeting new people, will feel comfortable in our group. Our trip leaders are there to “read the room” and make sure everyone feels included and respected.

What if I don’t like group travel?

We don’t either! Not the way most groups do it. If you feel like doing what the group is doing, great! Join us for dinner or just some of the activities. All the benefits of solo travel and the comfort of being with a group. Our groups are small (normally around 12 to 14 women) and in most situations, you are free to opt out of an activity. We figure you’re grown-ass women who know what’s best for you.

What’s the price range of your trips?

We are committed to providing what we call “affordable-luxury” travel. Don’t expect
the Four Seasons, but who wants to stay in a gilded bubble anyhow? We always look for good value and offer wonderful hotels and memorable experiences that won’t break the bank and will get you closer to how locals live. Our prices depend on the length of the
trip and the destination. We offer domestic trips for under $2,000 for a shared room, which we encourage. If you don’t have a roommate we will match you with someone. Sometimes this has resulted in lasting friendships with new travel buddies., Some of
our longer trips–two weeks in India or Vietnam, for example–will cost between
$4,800 and $6,000.

What’s included in the price?

Our trips cover most everything you’ll need to dive into a destination. Hotels and most meals, plus special experiences such as hands-on classes and sessions with local artists, writers or entrepreneurs are almost always included, but each trip is different so please be sure to read The Experience and the itinerary. We occasionally have an add-on for an extra price, but those are clearly designated. What’s not covered as a rule are airfare, alcohol and tips.

Do you have payment plans?

We sure do. It’s easy to pay for our trips by setting up automatic credit card charges at regular intervals, interest free. Think of it as the layaway plan to feed your soul.

How do I get trip discounts?

Our NextTribe members get a discount on every trip. Plus, members are the first to hear about new trips and receive upgrades on rooms if they’re available. Check out our three different membership levels here.

What’s the average age of women on the trips?

We welcome all women over 45, but most of our travelers are in the 50 to 65 age range. More important than age is the spirit of the traveler–her curiosity about the world, and her eagerness to embrace new opportunities. We’ve found women of any age with those qualities fit in well with our groups.

What’s the activity level of the trips?

Most of our trips are geared for active travelers who like to walk–a rating of 3 on our 1-5 rating scale. Here are some examples of how we rate. A designation of 1 would be our beach trips, where it’s up to you if you’d like to stroll down the beach, or play in the waves or walk around the small town. Trips where we have dedicated transportation for much of the time (such as India) are a 2; Paris is a 3 because we believe the best way to appreciate a city is to view it on foot. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is a 4, because you’ll be walking up some hills (at 6,000 feet altitude) and occasionally on cobblestone sidewalks. Our Inca trail trip is a 5, as are our more adventurous outdoor trips.

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