Please note:

We are only offering private tours in 2018 for groups of 9+. For details of our other tours from Inverness please click here.

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**XYZ** private tour itinerary

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Gallery

When you book onto the **XYZ Tour** you are booking the following:

An amazing WOW Scotland tour guide to entertain and look after you on your journey
A professional coach driver for maximum safety (no driver guiding here!)
28-seater luxury coach featuring reclining seats, AC and PA system
5 Star VisitScotland rated tour company
Number 1 Inverness tour company, with a 5 star-rating, on TripAdvisor
A company you can trust; member of both Visit Scotland and Visit Loch Ness
WIFI on board
Free cancellation up to 72 hours prior to departure
Locally owned and operated
Small family run company

Sandy gave us a personal tour of a variety of small distilleries during our trip. We signed up for a Speyside Whiskey Tour but also had a few other places we were interested in that were not on the official list. Sandy took it all in stride and put together an impromptu itinerary for us that included a fantastic lunch spot and tasting experiences that would never have been possible without his expert knowledge. Highlight of our trip!

Aaron

Private tours that are perfect and personal. Both our guides were very knowledgeable, very personable and great company to make our days enjoyable and tons of fun.

Annam

FAQs for the **XYZ** Tour:

If you’ve any questions about the **XYZ** tour you should find the answer by clicking on the relevant section. Should your question not be answered please contact us and we’ll be very happy to help.

Why should we choose WOW to take us to Skye?

We know that there are a number of companies in Inverness offering similar tour itineraries to ourselves, and we appreciate that it can be difficult to decide which company to use.  We wanted to summarise the main benefits of coming on our tour, so that you can make sure you are making the best choice for your group.  So..here goes…

  • First and foremost, we are the only operator from Inverness to provide both a tour guide and a tour driver on all Skye tours.  Your comfort and safety is of utmost priority to us, and we feel that your driver should be 100% focused on the road.  This is particularly the case on the single track, winding roads on Skye, where considerable attention is required to navigate the vehicle, and be constantly alert for other drivers (generally tourists, who are unfamiliar with our roads!).  Meanwhile, your tour guide can focus on keep you entertained, comfortable and informed about what you are seeing, what he would recommend at the next stop, and other important information!
  • We are the only company to offer a seat reservation system for our front row and extra legroom seats so, if sitting with a companion, room to stretch or taking uninterrupted photos is important to you, this will be a great benefit.  You can read more about the coach in our blog
  • We are the only company to offer both a lunch and dinner pre-ordering service on-board; we work with The Little Cake Shop in Portree who supply us with wrap lunches and Scottish themed light dinners.  This is an entirely optional service which we provide in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time; you only have one day on Skye, and we want you to make the most out of it!
  • We are offer free WIFI on board all Skye tours
  • We have the newest and smartest tour vehicle (ok, this is partly subjective, but we are pretty confident!)
  • We are the only local company offering coach tours to Skye from Inverness (we operate from Tomatin, 20 miles south of Inverness, and the company owner is an Invernessian born and bred!).  We think that this is important, as it means that the money you pay for your ticket goes back into the local economy.
  • Skye has a fragile economy which is very dependent on tourism, and we want to ensure that the local community see the benefit of our tours.  We work with a local supplier – The Little Cake Shop – in Portree to provide all meals, and all of the money that you pay goes directly to them
  • Carefully crafted itineraries are our speciality;  since we came up with the 12 hour Skye tour from Inverness five years ago the itinerary has evolved to take into account various factors such as traffic, popularity of certain sights etc.  This year we have tweaked the route again, and we are confident that it is the best! You can read about it here
  • We have been awarded 5 Star Tour status by our national tourism organisation, Visit Scotland, for the last two years.  They came out as mystery shoppers on our Skye tour both years, and rated the tour experience as “exceptional”, which is no mean feat!
  • We are the number one tour operator in Inverness as rated by TripAdvisor, with over 1080 5 star reviews (over 400 of these are specifically for our Isle of Skye Tour – that’s a lot of very happy customers!)

We have written quite a number of blogs on the points above and are delighted to share these with you.  Click on the links below for further information;

WOW’s brand new Isle of Skye mini-coach  – Read more here about the features of our new coach

New improved Skye tour for 2018 – Read more here about our new improved 2018 itinerary

£1000 donation for 1000 reviews – Read here about our contributions to community trusts in Staffin and at Eilean Donan Castle

We very much hope that you will choose to come with us to Skye, and are looking forward to meeting you, and showing you the best the island has to offer, this summer!

What sort of vehicle do you use?

We currently operate a luxury 28 seater mini-coach which we bought brand new in 2018. You’ll find details about this amazing vehicle here!

For 2019 we will most likely be purchasing another brand new vehicle for this route – whilst we aren’t 100% sure what it’s going to be yet it will either be equal too (or most likely even better than!) what we’ve already got.

Can I be dropped off in Skye after the tour?

Yes – this is not a problem and is a great way of doing a trip around Scotland. You are welcome to bring your luggage with you, just let us know when booking. We typically drop people off in Portree, but if you’ve somewhere else you’d like to be dropped please contact us and we’ll let you know if we can make it happen. For more information please check out this page.

Is there any advantage of booking the Skye Tour direct?

Yes, there certainly is!  Our Isle of Skye Tour can be booked through a number of online agents, as well as through the Visitor Information Centre in Inverness. However, there are a number of advantages to booking directly, as follows;

  1. None of our agents have the ability to upgrade your seats; you have to book direct to do this.  By booking the Isle of Skye Tour directly through our website you will be able to pay extra to book our hugely popular front row seats (£20 per person surcharge) or extra legroom seats (£15 per person surcharge).
  2. We offer preferential terms if you cancel last minute, as follows;
    – If you cancel your tour at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled departure then we will refund you in full
    – If you cancel within 72 hours of the scheduled departure you will not be entitled to a refund. However, if we are able to re-sell your place then we will be able to issue a 50% refund, so please let us know if you need to cancel, no matter how last minute it is.
  3. Please rest assured that you will always pay the same price (in £GBP) for our tour, so you will never lose out by booking direct

We would really encourage you to book directly, and look forward to seeing you on our Skye Tour soon!

Can I reserve seats on the Skye tour?

Due to customer demand, we have a booking system for the four seats at the front of the coach. These seats are available to pre-book for a £20 per seat surcharge (if you are not given this option when booking then this will be because the seats have already been taken). Please note that it does not make any difference which side of the coach you sit on, so don’t take requests for specific front seats.

We also give you the opportunity to book the extra leg room seats at the back of the coach – as with all seats in the coach these seats recline (very unusual for back row seats!) so you can really travel in comfort.  The surcharge for extra legroom seats is £15 per seat.

The rest of our seating works on a first-come-first-served basis, as we feel that this is the fairest system of allocating seats. It is not possible to reserve window seats, or seats together if you are travelling as part of a group but, if you do wish to choose your seat, we would recommend arriving early at the bus stop (i.e. before 0820). If you are unhappy with your seat please let your tour guide know and he will do his best to accommodate your requests, although obviously many guests would prefer a window seat so it is not always possible to keep everyone happy!

What times does the Skye tour start and finish?

This tour departs at 8.30am (0830). Please ensure that you are ready to board the bus at 8.20am (0820) as we will leave promptly at 8.30am (0830), and are unable to wait for any latecomers!

The tour will return to Inverness city centre at approximately 8.45pm (2045).  It is possible that we may return a bit later than this, although we always try to keep to our schedule as much as possible.

Where is the pick-up point for the Skye Tour

We pick-up from Stance 7 at Inverness Bus Station, Margaret Street, Inverness, IV1 1LT. Look out for the kilted WOW guide and WOW-branded shiny new silver mini-coach and you will not miss us!

How often are bathroom/toilet stops?

There are six stops where toilets/bathrooms can be accessed. The longest time between bathrooms is 1 hours 55 mins, although on this leg of the journey it is definitely possible to make an unscheduled stop en-route if requested. For the rest of the day the average length between stops is around 75 minutes.

Below we have listed the times when bathrooms are available (times can vary slightly but this gives you a very good indication);

9.25am (Achnasheen), 11am (Kyleakin), 12.05pm (Sligachan), 2.10pm (Staffin), 4.10pm (Portree) and 6.05pm (Eilean Donan Castle).

Outside of these times it is possible to make unscheduled bathroom stops – please just ask our driver or guide to see what they can do for you, as the last thing we ever want is for our passengers is to be uncomfortable.

Please note that there are bathroom facilities available in Inverness bus station which you can use prior to tour departure.

 

Where will we be stopping for lunch?

We work with The Little Cake Shop on Skye to offer a lunch of freshly made wraps for pre-ordering on the coach. We will take orders and cash in the morning then we will deliver the meals to you at lunch time, to be eaten on the coach.

Each wrap costs £3.50 and comes with fresh salad inside (gluten free wraps are also available for £4 each). You can choose from the following fillings:

  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Ham & cheese
  • Egg mayonnaise
  • Tuna mayonnaise
  • Chicken mayonnaise
  • Hummus

You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks with you as there are limited opportunities to purchase these along the way.

The lunch and dinner pre-ordering service is organised purely for your convenience, and in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time looking for places to dine.  It is very difficult to organise options which please every customer, particularly as the choice of suppliers on Skye is very limited (especially for weekend tours).  Consequently, if you do not like the sound of our menu options then please feel free to bring your own food.  Alternatively, you will have 45 minutes to pick up something in Portree (please note that, for the comfort of other passengers, we do not allow any hot food to be brought onto the coach).

Will we be stopping for coffee/snacks enroute?

There are a couple of places where you can pick up a coffee or a bottle of water, but doing so means that you will have less time to spend exploring the sights. Consequently, many of our guests prefer to bring some light snacks and drinks with them on the coach, to keep their energy up for the adventure!

If you do wish to purchase drinks and snacks on the tour the main opportunities to do this are in Portree (you have approximately 45 minutes here and there are a number of cafes, bakeries and shops) and at the Sligachan Hotel (there is a bar there, with a great selection of whisky!).

Where will we be stopping for dinner?

We are excited to introduce a Scottish-inspired light dinner on our Isle of Skye tour. Similarly to the lunch options, we will take orders and cash in the morning then we will deliver the meals to you at dinner time, to be eaten on the coach.

Our dinner options, which we have carefully crafted with The Little Cake Shop on Skye, cost £8 and you can choose from the following:

  • Hot cooked smoked Salar salmon served with seasonal salad, Highland oatcakes and black pepper mayonnaise
  • 3 Scottish cheeses (Ullapool smoked cheese, Connage gouda & Orkney mature cheddar), seasonal salad, red onion chutney & Highland oatcakes (Vegetarian)
  • Wafer sliced Rannoch smoked roast venison, seasonal salad, red onion chutney & oatcakes
  • Olive & roast red pepper salad with Highland oatcakes and red onion chutney (Vegan)

For a sweet treat, there will be homemade white chocolate fudge for £1.50.

You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks with you as there are limited opportunities to purchase these along the way.

The lunch and dinner pre-ordering service is organised purely for your convenience, and in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time looking for places to dine.  It is very difficult to organise options which please every customer, particularly as the choice of suppliers on Skye is very limited (especially for weekend tours).  Consequently, if you do not like the sound of our menu options then please feel free to bring your own food.  Alternatively, you will have 45 minutes to pick up something in Portree to eat later (please note that, for the comfort of other passengers, we do not allow any hot food to be brought onto the coach).

How much time will we spend on the coach on the Skye tour?

This is a 12 hour tour which covers all of the most popular sights, both en-route to and on the Isle of Skye. Although there is approximately 7 hours 15 minutes of driving involved the scenery along the way is stunning, and of course the commentary will keep you informed and entertained, so the time onboard will fly by! The tour also incorporates around 5 hours of stops so there is plenty of time to get out and explore!

 

What type of transport do you use for the Skye Tour?

In 2018 we purchased a brand new 28-seater coach, for use exclusively on our Isle of Skye Tour.  This well appointed coach is equipped with reclining seats, WIFI,  panoramic windows and USB charging points.  Most importantly, you will always be accompanied by a driver and a separate tour guide, so the driver can focus on navigating the windy single track roads on Skye, whilst the tour guide can focus single-mindedly on your comfort and enjoyment.

You can read more here about why we think this is the best tour vehicle on the road.

Please note that we cannot guarantee to use this vehicle on all tours.  If we cannot use it we will use a similarly appointed vehicle, but it may not have USB charging points.

Can we visit the Fairy Pools, the Faerie Glen or Talisker Distillery?

In a word, no! This 12 hour tour has a jam-packed itinerary, which has been extremely carefully planned to maximise your time on the island, and it really is impossible to fit in any more sights. However, it is possible to drop you in Skye at the end of your tour so you can explore these places the next day at your leisure.

What should I wear on the Skye tour?

At stops such as The Quiraing and Sligachan there are opportunities to go on short walks. As the ground is often wet, muddy and slippery we would ask that you wear hiking boots or, as an absolute minimum, sensible shoes/trainers/sneakers which have good grip and which are suited to this type of terrain. Also, please bring a waterproof jacket (waterproof trousers can also come in useful if you have them!).

Even if the sun is shining brightly when you leave Inverness, they do say that you only really experience Scotland when you see four seasons in one day, so please be prepared!

Can children come on the Skye tour?

We welcome children over the age of six on our tour and, as such, offer children aged 6 – 17 years a lower price of £59 per person. It should be noted that approximately eight hours of the tour are spent on the coach, so it may be an idea to bring some toys and games with you.

Unfortunately, due to the duration of the tour and time on the coach, we do not feel that this tour is appropriate for children under the age of six, so the tour is not open to this age group. This is for the comfort of other passengers and also to ensure that the driver and guide can focus on doing their jobs without any distractions.

UK law states that each passenger must have their own seat and use their seatbelt at all times. Consequently, it is not possible to take a child on your lap. From experience we know that, very occasionally, parents try to bring children on without purchasing a seat. However, we would like to make it clear that this is not allowed and there will be no refund if you are refused entry to the tour for taking children under 6 or those whom you haven’t booked.

Can wheelchair/walking frame users come on the Skye tour?

Unfortunately not all of the stops offer wheelchair access, as a lot of the terrain on Skye is very rugged. Also, the coach is not equipped for passengers to remain in their wheelchairs.

That being said, if you are able to get out of your wheelchair at the coach steps and walk onto the coach, there is no reason why you could not enjoy the tour from the comfort of the coach and we will make every effort to accommodate those with mobility problems.

We would rather book a private tour – is the Isle of Skye Group Tour available to be booked privately?

In 2018 we will not be offering any small private tours; for groups of 1 – 8 we would highly recommend our scheduled Isle of Skye Tour.

If you have a larger group (i.e. 9 or more people) we may be able to offer you a private tour in a 16, 28, 34 or 48-seater coach. For larger groups we have a couple of different private tours to Skye, with the itinerary most similar to the group tour being the Skye Highlights tour.

Why should we choose WOW Scotland?

We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website.  We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016 and 2017 for providing “exceptional” tours.

Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor  as of April 2018 1035 out of 1090 reviews rate us as excellent) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.

For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the local tourism body; Visit Loch Ness.

I am planning to drive to the tour pick-up point then leave my car – is this possible?

Absolutely.  Rose Street car park is right next to the tour pick-up point and you can find further information on parking here.

I am planning to stay in Dingwall/Conon Bridge/Muir of Ord/Beauly – can I join the tour?

Absolutely! There is a train regular train service running between Dingwall, Conon Bridge, Muir of Ord, Beauly and Inverness, which allows you to get to Inverness in time for the 0830 departure time, then get back again in the evening. For more details, click here

I am planning to stay in Elgin/Forres/Nairn – can I join the tour?

Absolutely! There is a train regular train service running between Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Inverness, which allows you to get to Inverness in time for the 0820 meeting time, then get back again in the evening. For more details, please click here

I am planning to stay in Edinburgh/Glasgow – can I join the tour?

Unfortunately there is no public transport from Edinburgh or Glasgow which will allow you to arrive in Inverness by 0830, and no public transport departing from Inverness for these cities after 2045. Consequently, if you wish to travel from one of these cities, and take the tour, all in one day then you will require your own transport (the drive takes approx 3 1/4 hours to either city).

I am planning to stay in Aberdeen/Inverurie/Huntly – can I join the tour?

If you have a car then you can certainly drive to Inverness, park for the day and join the tour.

If you wish to travel by train, unfortunately it it not possible to take the first train in the morning from Aberdeen to Inverness, as it arrives at 0836, which is after our departure time.  However, if you can stay in Inverness the night before the tour then there is a train back late evening at 2133 (except on Sundays, when the last train is at 2103 – we would strongly advise against taking this train if you are on the Isle of Skye Tour as we sometimes arrive back later than planned).

Consequently, we would suggest that you stay in Inverness the night before the tour, then return to Aberdeen on the last train back after the tour.

Is the itinerary fixed/guaranteed?

The itinerary has been carefully planned to ensure that you get the most out of your day. However, there are factors outside of our control, such as traffic flow, road closures and adverse weather, which mean that, on rare occasions, we may not be to achieve everything listed in the tour itinerary. Consequently, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary, although this will be a last resort, and we will endeavour to visit alternative places of interest instead.

Do I need to bring cash with me on the tour? If so, are Euros/US dollars accepted in Scotland?

It is advisable to bring some cash (GBP £) on all tours. Credit/debit cards are widely accepted but, in some small shops (or for smaller purchases), cash is the only option.

Please note that American Express is not commonly accepted in Scotland, but Visa and Mastercard should be fine. Unfortunately very few places will accept other currencies such as Euros or US dollars.

Can I bring dogs and other pets on the tour?

Unfortunately dogs and other pets are not able to travel on our tours. If you are partially sighted or blind and use a guide dog to get around please do get in touch to discuss ways in which we can accommodate you and your dog.

Can I bring luggage?

Yes, we do have space for a limited amount of luggage. If you wish to bring luggage please contact us before booking. There are also left luggage facilities at Inverness train station for those travelling back to Inverness (please contact the station to find out opening times of this facility prior to use).

Who will our tour guide be?

One of our highly competent local guides will lead your tour – you can read all about the team on our About page, or have a look at their reviews on TripAdvisor.

Should I tip my guide?

If the tour meets or exceeds your expectations then please feel free to tip as it is always very much appreciated. However, please rest assured that tips are not expected in Scotland, so no offence will be taken if you don’t tip. It is worth noting, on coach tours, that the tour guide and the coach driver always pool their tips, sharing them equally, so it is fine to give money to either one of them.

Does the tour only run on the dates listed on your website?

Yes, you’ll find the most up-to-date tour dates on our calendar.  Scheduled tours will only run on the listed dates.

Do you offer any other group tours?

Yes, our scheduled group tours from Inverness are listed below;

Isle of Skye tour
Whisky Bus
Highland & Speyside Explorer Tour
Outlander-inspired Walking Tour

I’m a travel agent, can we work together?

We work closely with a number of agents all over the world and welcome enquiries from all travel agents. Whilst we are unable to offer travel agent discounts on private tours, we can offer commission on our scheduled coach tours, for those agents who are sending us their clients on a regular basis.

Do you offer foreign language tours?

At the moment we only offer tours in English, and we are unable to offer any translation services.  This is something which we are working to improve in the future but, for now, hopefully the fantastic Highland scenery can speak for itself!

Do you have any reviews?

Yes, lots! Check out our TripAdvisor ratings to see what our customers say about us (we are currently number 1 in Inverness, have 5 stars and have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence – which means we rate amongst the top 10% of TripAdvisor businesses worldwide – every year since we started the business in 2010!)

You can also see reviews for WOW Scotland on YelpFacebook and Google

How do I get to Inverness?

To find out how to get to Inverness click here. 

Where can I stay in Inverness?

Once you have booked your tour we are happy to send you our list of recommended accommodation providers in Inverness and Skye. As a start, click here for a short list of where to stay in Inverness and Loch Ness.

Can I book with confidence?

Yes! We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website.  We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016 and 2017  for providing “exceptional” tours.

Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor (as of  January 2018 we had 1034 5 Start reviews) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.

For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the local tourism body; Visit Loch Ness.  WOW Scotland has also featured in a number of local and national publications including Wanderlust, Coast Magazine, The Houston ChronicleThe Boston GlobeThe Vancouver Sun,  Scotland Outdoors Magazine, Scottish Life magazine (Autumn 2013 p 49), German TV programme Euromaxx and the Inverness Courier (our logo has even featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Johnny English Reborn).

What forms of payment do you accept?

All payments are taken through our secure online booking system, which utilises Stripe. We accept almost any debit and credit cards, including American Express.

 

What are your terms and conditions of booking?

Our terms and conditions can be found here. You’ll find a general overview of our cancellation terms in this FAQ section if you don’t want to read though all the T&Cs!

Is it possible to pay on arrival?

Due to high demand for our tours, we are unable to secure your booking unless you pay the full amount in advance. That being said, you are welcome to come to the bus stop in the morning and, if there are places available, you can join the tour and pay on board (on some tours it may be possible to pay by credit card, but generally we are only able to accept cash on board).

Do you offer guaranteed departures?

Yes, if you book onto one of our tours then we will run this tour, regardless if anyone else has booked on or not!

We have never had to cancel a tour yet but, if the weather forecast was so bad that we considered it dangerous to travel, then we may have to cancel a tour. However, this is extremely unlikely, and we would do our utmost to accommodate you on an alternative date.

Do you offer group discounts?

For groups of 10+ please contact us for preferential pricing.

Can I cancel my tour if I change my mind, or if I am unable to get to Inverness for any reason?

Yes, and our cancellation terms for scheduled tours from Inverness (i.e. Isle of Skye Tour, Whisky Bus and Highland & Speyside Explorer) are as follows;

  • If you cancel your tour at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled departure then we will refund you in full
  • If you cancel within 72 hours of the scheduled departure you will not be entitled to a refund. However, if we are able to re-sell your place then we will be able to issue a 50% refund, so please let us know if you need to cancel, no matter how last minute it is.

Unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to these rules, as it would be unfair to treat customers differently.

Please note that booking direct with WOW Scotland (rather than through an online agent) gives you the best cancellation policy!

Contact WOW Scotland Tours:

Contact us