Executive VIP Highland Tours
I am Ryan Mackenzie-Raymond, proprietor of Sgùrr Tours. A true Sgitheanach at heart, I have spent half my life either on the Isle of Skye or in the West Highlands. I have now settled and now live in Inverness the Highland Capital with my wife and step-daughter.
As a Sgitheanach at heart and experienced tour guide, I have a vast knowledge of the Highlands, especially the west coast, and am intimately familiar with both the main roads and backroads of the Highlands, which enables me to customize tours to match my clients’ interests. Since I am also a professional portrait and landscape photographer, I can offer clients professional photo shoots — or photography lessons — during the tour.
I also have a passion for the Gaelic language and am learning (slowly!) to speak it fluently. So if you take a tour with me, as an added extra I will teach you some of the beautiful language of the Highlands — and you will learn that every place name in the Highlands comes from the Gaelic. I will also entertain you with stories not just about tourist attractions but also about the out-of-the-way places only locals know.
I decided to focus on private tours after spending several years working as a driver/guide for a reputable Scottish tour company opening a branch in Inverness. I did not have a bus driver’s licence when I was hired but underwent thorough training with the company’s help. After taking 3 theory tests in the space of 3 hours (and passing each one), I went to Edinburgh for intensive training. It was tough learning to drive a big bus in a place I didn’t know; however, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I then passed the licensing test with flying colours. Prior to working as a tour guide, I was a firefighter for 4 years and underwent emergency blue-light driving training, which has stood me in good stead for navigating narrow, winding Highland roads
safely (although sometimes I wish I had blue lights and a siren on the bus!).
Whilst working as a driver/guide for almost 4 seasons, I received 150+ 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor, Viator. and Get Your Guide. However, something felt missing when I was giving tours on a 16- or 32-passenger bus, and time after time people mentioned how much nicer it would have been to be on a smaller tour. I started wanting to give visitors a more personal and intimate experience of the Highlands, and thus I decided it was time to fly solo (taking those 5-star reviews with me) and start up my new business offering private executive tours around the Highlands in a smaller — and more luxurious — vehicle.
If you would like a personal, intimate tour of our beautiful country with a fun, kilted tour guide, then please get in touch and we will give you the best the Highlands has to offer.
My goal when starting Sgùrr Tours was to create a business where I could offer clients more personal private tours to the Isle of Skye, the west coast of the Highlands, and the Inverness region, and to make sure they enjoy a level of comfort and style not possible on a big bus. Our mission is to make visitors feel special — like they were VIP film stars.
Because I want to give clients the best of the best, I invested in a top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz V Class Sport vehicle, which can comfortably seat up to 7 passengers. The comparatively small size of the vehicle allows you to ride in style while I pass on my wealth of knowledge about the Highlands. Here is a list of perks you’ll get with an executive tour with Sgùrr Tours:
– Hotel and Inverness Airport pickup/drop-off
– Comfortable leather seats
– Onboard WiFi
– Complimentary cooled drinks from a 12v cooler
– Rear-controlled air conditioning for your own comfort
– A Mackenzie tartan blanket if you want to get cosy
– USB charging sockets and USB cables upon request for iPhone & Android
– Professional photoshoot (extra charge)
– Chilled champagne upon request (extra charge)
– Picnic lunch upon request (extra charge)
With a smaller vehicle, it’s possible to go off the beaten track to beautiful places that big buses cannot reach. I can take you away from the normal tourist attractions so you can enjoy the landscape in peace and tranquillity and take photos without hundreds of people standing in the way. There is only so much Photoshop can do!
Because I am also a professional photographer. my other goal in starting Sgùrr Tours was to be able to offer a photoshoot as an added bonus (extra charge applies). I can take my camera and portable lights out on the tour to give you a special photo of the most amazing landscapes the Highlands has to offer. You can take the image away with you so you can cherish forever that special moment in our beautiful Highlands. If you want, I can also have your photo printed onto photo paper, canvas, or even aluminium for a very special finish (again, an extra charge applies).
So, our mission is to give you the best of the best and a tour you will never forget!
"Ryan took us to some unbelievable locations that provided very beautiful views to be photographed. These were breathtaking views and not on regular tour routes. Ryan is a very knowledgeable person. He provided a lot of details on each place and places on the way in terms of the Scottish life, history and culture."
"Ryan picked me up in Kinlochewe and then we went on a grand of Torridon and the surrounding area . I have to say I wasn’t disappointed Ryan took me to some wonderful places . It was truly beautiful and dramatic given the volatile weather we encountered."
"We have one of Ryan's many fabulous prints gracing our wall, which reminds us of the wonderful day that we spent with Ryan, enjoying his company, personality, and his expertise."
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