I took my husband on a surprise trip to Scotland for his 40th birthday. We spent 1 day of our week long adventure with John, The Hebridean Explorer, on the Isle of Skye Explorer tour. This, by far, was my favorite of the entire trip to Scotland.
Booking the tour was incredibly easy. John was delightful in his correspondence, responsive, and willingly answered all of my (sometimes inane) questions. I could tell just over email we were going to have a great time.
John picked us up at our hotel in Inverness bright and early and we set off for the day. We passed Loch Ness and wove through the picturesque countryside on our way to Skye. We stopped periodically for photo ops and exploration opportunities (such as Eilean Donan Castle, Kilt Rock, Black Cuillin, Old Mann of Storr and more ) and at no time did we feel either rushed, nor did I feel like I was spending too much time in the car. The pace was perfect. The ride was made even more pleasant by John's commentary. He is both immensely knowledgeable about the history of the country but also injects humor and levity to the tales he tells as you progress through the day.
During our conversation I mentioned that my ancestry could be traced to a regional Clan. On our way back to our hotel for the evening he took us on a special detour so we could visit my ancestral lands and check out what is left of one of the Castles that once belonged to them. That kind of attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond made the trip even more special than it already was. That's just how John is. Gracious, thoughtful, and always thinking of ways to improve your experience.
Skye itself is too beautiful for words and pictures really don't do it justice. Its something you must experience in person. We ate delicious lunch at a wonderful pub in Portree on Skye and had the opportunity to explore the town and shops and had the opportunity to take some incredible photos.
At the end of the day I felt like we had not just taken a tour, but had really connected with the countryside, understood the history in a way a textbook could explain, and and made a friend for life in John.
Do yourself a favor and don't miss this experience. It was truly a trip of a life time.
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