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You leave Aberdeen in the morning and delve straight into the home of whisky, the Speyside region. But don’t worry if you’ve not had breakfast, at your first stop in the Speyside Cooperage, you’re learning about whisky rather than drinking it.After learning about the beautiful oak casks here, you head for lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants.And now you have the chance to try some whisky. Your first distillery is Aberlour. This whisky is famously easy to drink for beginners but also has enough depth to impress the connoisseurs.You then head to one of the most famous distilleries in the world, Glenfiddich. The huge stills here and classic architecture are exactly what you’d imagine a Scottish distillery to be. But be careful in the shop, there’s always a temptation to buy a £300 whisky here…After this, you have a refreshment stop at Huntly, a quintessential Scottish Highland village.In the evening, you arrive back in Aberdeen where it’s up to you whether you continue the whisky tasting.
You depart Aberdeen and head straight for the ‘Whisky Capital of the World’, Dufftown. We know it’s early in the morning, but if you want to savour the sights and smells of a famous distillery, there’s time to have a look around the Glenfiddich Distillery.You venture through the heart of Speyside and arrive at Loch Ness for an optional boat trip. Onboard the ship, you travel over the widest and deepest part of the loch and get a fine view of Urquhart Castle.Back on dry land, it’s time to travel deep into the past at Clava Cairns. This spot is situated in a gorgeous green grove and boasts well-preserved ancient burial tombs. They even say this spot was the inspiration for Outlander’s Craigh na Dun.You then continue to Culloden Battlefield, the location of the final Jacobite Rising. It’s an eerie, flat, tragic landscape that can put the history of Scotland into perspective. The interactive exhibition centre here really brings it all to life.Before you reach Aberdeen in the evening, you have one final comfort stop at Huntly. This is a magnificent finale: a lively village and a ruined castle shrouded by trees.
Day 1. You will escape the city and head north into Fife. Here you will visit Kingsbarns Distillery, one of the newest distilleries in Scotland.We then travel north east through St Andrews to the traditional market town of Blairgowrie for lunch. You will indulge in a special warehouse experience at Royal Lochnagar Distillery.You continue through the eastern Cairngorms via The Lecht, following one of the highest main roads in the UK towards Tomintoul, the self-proclaimed highest village in the Highlands and home to the Whisky Castle. You descend to the banks of the mighty River Spey and into Grantown on Spey. Grantown on Spey is your home for the next 3 nights.Day 2.Today we visit Glenfarclas Distillery. This is one of the last independent, family-owned distilleries in Scotland and we have arranged an exclusive tour and tasting for you to enjoy.You return to the banks of the Spey and then to the beautifully restored Knockando Woolmill. This is a great stop to find out more about its historical importance, but also provides the chance for delicious home-baking and morning coffee.In Craigellachie we visit Thomas Telford’s famous bridge across the Spey, before visiting the Speyside Cooperage. Here you will get an insight into the often-forgotten art of the cooper – the people responsible for the casks used by the distilleries.You can then enjoy a delicious lunch in the restaurant at Glenfiddich Distillery (matched with a wee dram if you like) before heading to Aberlour Distillery.Day 3.After a hearty breakfast we visit The Glenlivet Distillery for a private tour and chance to taste some distillery exclusives. Next, it's on to Glendronach Distillery, in the Highland Whisky region and, after a warm welcome and look around, three outstanding Highland drams await you.Lunch in Huntly is followed by a visit to Strathisla Distillery to see one of the oldest operating distilleries in the Highlands and one of the most picturesque too.Day 4.We visit Carrbridge and view the 298-year-old packhorse bridge. Then visit Tomatin Distillery for a unique look behind the scenes and a phenomenal single cask nosing and tasting.We will have lunch in Aviemore, the beating heart of the Cairngorm National Park, before a visit to the excellent Cairngorm Brewery to sample their craft beers.We say farewell to Speyside and visit the picturesque village of Dunkeld before returning to Edinburgh.