Setting off from the pier, you'll be treated to a wonderful cross-section of typical Highland scenery, viewing rugged hills and moors, curving coastlines, wooded river valleys and farmland. Scottish traditions and spirit abound here, and this leisurely panoramic drive gives you a glimpse of the beautiful countryside that lies north of Invergordon - an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The first part of your journey travels through gentle farmland backed by rolling green hills before the road turns off to climb up over the moors with marvelous panoramas of the distant mountains. A photo stop is made at the Struie viewpoint, known as `million dollar view` - a name which speaks for itself.
Your tour continues with more delightful scenery as your route takes you through the small community of Bonar Bridge on your way towards Shin Falls. Here, in a cleared woodland setting is the Falls of Shin Visitor Center. Disembarking your coach, it's a short walk down a gravel path and through the trees to reach the stretch of the River Shin known as the Shin Falls. This is not a raging waterfall, but a cascade of water, depending on amount of recent rain, over a series of rocks. The Shin is only a small river, about five miles long, dropping some 270 feet from Loch Shin to the Kyle of Sutherland. The urge for a salmon to return to the precise place of its birth is instinctive and irresistible and from the end of May onwards, they can be seen hurling themselves at the Falls of Shin, time and time again, in a bid to throw themselves up and over in order to reach home. Walking back to the Visitor Center, you will have time to browse in the excellent gift shop which sells quality goods and souvenirs. There is also an inviting café for passengers wishing to purchase some refreshments.
Re-joining your coach, the tour continues on via the typical Highland town of Spinningdale towards the coast. Here, you will visit the small town of Dornoch, where mellow stone houses stand in broad, tree-lined streets. Full of character, Dornoch retains its old world dignity, despite its popularity as a holiday resort. Free time is given here for you to explore on your own and you may choose to visit the craft center and town jail. The restored jail gives a graphic example of what it would have been like to be imprisoned in the last century. The craft center contains a fine selection of locally manufactured articles for sale. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the cathedral which dates from 1224 when the town became a bishopric. It may well be the coziest cathedral in the country, small and cross-shaped with colorful windows that illuminate its warm, mellow walls.
The return route to Invergordon takes you along the fine coastal road bordering the Dornoch Firth, and the Cromarty Firth. Cromarty Firth is one of the finest deep water anchorages in the world and now one of the most important European centers for the repair and maintenance of the oil exploration rigs.
Please note: This tour can include up to 1 1/2 hours of walking, mainly at the guest's discretion. The gravel path to reach Shin Falls is on an incline and guests should use caution. The tour is considered suitable for wheelchair guests who can make their way on and off the coach. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of sites visited may vary.