The land of welcomes, whisky and winding roads
Porsche Travel Experience Scotland
The jaw-dropping scenery, inviting, deserted roads and bountiful hospitality of Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands makes it a tour you won’t forget in a hurry
Day 1: A hundred thousand welcomesThis is the rough translation of the Scottish Gaelic greeting "Céad míle fáilte". You will soon discover exactly what it means when the limousine shuttle picks you up from the airport and drives you in style to the Balmoral, your acclaimed 5-star hotel. The former station hotel with the famous clock tower – which, incidentally, is always two minutes fast to ensure that travellers don’t miss their trains – has stood here at No. 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh’s most distinguished address, for over a century. 'Number One' is also the name of the hotel’s own restaurant – and it certainly lives up to its name. Its cuisine ranks among the best in the city and was recently awarded a Michelin star – for the 12th time in succession. Could there be a better place to meet and get to know your travelling companions over dinner and a couple of drinks? We, and Scotland, welcome you – one hundred thousand times.
View of 5-star Hotel Balmoral in Edinburgh
View of 5-star Hotel Balmoral in Edinburgh
By the way, if you are interested in taking a unique guided tour of the city right after getting settled in at the Balmoral, ask for Andrew Fraser. The congenial concierge in his traditional tartan kilt is as Scottish as they come and knows Edinburgh like the back of his hand. He is not only a mine of information with countless tales to tell and true insider tips, he’s also an expert genealogist when it comes to Scottish families and clans. Who knows – maybe there’s a Scottish bloodline mixed in with the petrol that flows in your veins! If there is, Andrew also knows where to find the tartan of your clan. If you are feeling a little pushed for time today, no problem, the last day of our tour offers plenty of time for you to explore the city.
Concierge Andy Fraser
Concierge Andy Fraser
Day 2: Get ready for the first adrenaline kick of the dayAs a true Porsche aficionado you will, of course, be raring to go long before your wake-up call. At 9.11 am on the dot, your shuttle sets off to take you to the Porsche Centre Edinburgh. Your Porsche will be waiting when you arrive and our convoy drives off right away – don’t forget, in Scotland, they drive on the left, so it’s fortunate that most roads are as good as deserted at this time of day. Our first pit-stop after around an hour’s drive is Stirling Castle – a historic fortress, towering above us on an ancient volcanic outcrop. Anyone suffering pangs of hunger after visiting the enormous kitchens will very soon be relieved. After a short drive along idyllic country roads, we make a stop for lunch at Ross Priory – a glorious country mansion on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest and most beautiful lake. From here, we drive on through the rugged natural scenery of the Trossachs National Park on the narrow country lanes of the legendary Scottish Highlands, with breathtaking views at every turn. You can catch your breath again and wind down later in the evening with all-round views of the untamed beauty of Scotland at a dinner and whisky tasting in the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel.
Ancient stone and modern dreams forged in metal meet at Stirling Castle in Scotland
Ancient stone and modern dreams forged in metal meet at Stirling Castle in Scotland
Day 3: Drama and dreamsIt would be sheer understatement to call it picturesque. What the world of nature will lay before us today mocks every attempt to describe it in words. The first leg of our tour takes us north to Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, where we stop for an exclusive guided tour of the historic distillery. Exhilarated by the fine, smoky aromas of fruits, honey and pinewood, we head for the Taymouth Marina Restaurant, which enraptures the senses not only with wonderful views of Loch Tay and Drummond Hill, but also with culinary delights. Our route now takes us further north to Glencoe. The overwhelming beauty of the picturesque 'Valley of Tears', named after a gruesome massacre in 1692, is more likely to bring tears of joy to the eyes of those who pass through it today. Green, green and more green, in all imaginable and unbelievable shades. Escaping from this verdant vision, we drive on along the shore of Loch Eil, where the colours change from turquoise to pink in the fading light of day. Our port of call this evening is the Inverlochy Castle Hotel in Fort William, where the likes of Sean Connery, Barbra Streisand and Anthony Hopkins have also rested their weary heads. It won’t take you long to find out why.
Scotland offers picturesque landscape views
Scotland offers picturesque landscape views
Day 4: A drive through the world of moviesThe day begins as if on a film set. Eilean Donan Castle is the name of the small castle that stands on – or should we say, dominates – an island where three lochs meet on our route to the West Highlands. Anyone who has seen Hollywood movies like 'Highlander', 'Braveheart' or 'The World Is Not Enough' will find the view familiar. This is where brave warriors in kilts battled against Viking invaders in the 13th century – and where your next adventure begins. Only a few minutes further along our route from here we come to the famous and notorious mountain pass by the name of Bealach Na Bà – also known under the deceptively harmless name of Applecross Pass. In a nutshell, bend after bend after bend. After almost an hour of intense concentration at the wheel, this stretch of our tour ends with lunch at the Applecross Inn – and a chance to meet its landlady, Judith Fish. Nomen is omen – her pub is famous for its seafood specialities, served only a stones throw away from the sea. After lunch, our route brings more spectacular views of the sea as we take the scenic road along the coast to Fearnmore. Dropping the soft-top rewards you with incomparable panoramic views – and maybe the chance to spot Nessie, the enigmatic Loch Ness Monster. Namely, today’s accommodation, the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, is situated quite close to the legendary Loch Ness.
Applecross Pass offers bend after bend
Applecross Pass offers bend after bend
Day 5: Faster, higher, happierThe new day brings new records: The Cairngorms National Park is Great Britain’s largest national park, and home to five of the highest mountains in the United Kingdom. Gorges. Forests. Thundering waterfalls. Why settle for second-best? The first stop on our route is a superlative, too: Tomintoul, the highest village in the Scottish Highlands. Whisky Castle, on the starting line of the Malt Whisky Trail, has been selling 'uisge beatha', the Scottish 'water of life', for more than 100 years: single malts and blended whiskies of the very finest quality. The next sight on the tour is truly majestic, Balmoral Castle, the summer residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Our next stop also has royal connections. The seaside town of St Andrews is home to the university where Crown Prince William first met Kate, his future wife. If that’s not a sensation in itself, this picturesque coastal town is also known worldwide as the 'home of golf'. So it’s only natural that you will be spending the night here in the famous Fairmont St Andrews Hotel. With views of the North Sea, the skyline of St Andrews and a delicious dinner in the hotel restaurant that must be among the best in the world.
The Cairngorms National Park of Great Britain
The Cairngorms National Park
The traditional afternoon tea was allegedly invented by Anna Maria Stanhope, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting. Today, at the Balmoral Hotel, she would be amazed to see how truly regal her simple fare to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner has since become. The Palm Court is an oasis of bygone colonial style in which finest loose-leaf teas, sandwiches, scones and delicious pastries and desserts are served between palm trees to the gentle tones of a harp. There can’t be a more wonderful place to enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea at the Balmoral Hotel
Afternoon Tea at the Balmoral Hotel
Day 6: Last exit EdinburghIt’s always best to go out on a high note. Or, in this case, drive. After breakfast, as we drive our cars back to the Porsche Centre Edinburgh, you can enjoy the feeling of being pressed into the seat and the rich sound of the sports exhaust system for the last time on our tour. Even though you must now say farewell to your constant companion of the last seven days, the journey is by no means over: From here, we return to the Palm Court at the Balmoral for a typically English afternoon tea. The afternoon is also the perfect time to discover the highlights of Edinburgh on a guided tour. To round off another wonderful day, we take a leisurely stroll to the culinary highlight of our tour – dinner at the legendary Pompadour restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Here, as a perfect finale, we have another opportunity to savour exquisite Scottish specialities – created by the Galvin brothers, whose excellent cuisine has earned them a Michelin star and almost countless other prestigious accolades. Absolutely unique – unless, of course, you join us again on the next Travel Experience tour.
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