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Scotland Tours in May

Travel to Scotland in May to see a quieter side of the country. You can drive around the country, visit ancient castles and go hiking in the stunning landscapes. Take your pick of Scotland tours in May, all planned by the local experts at Nordic Visitor.

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VISITING SCOTLAND IN MAY

Looking for Scotland tours in May? You’re in the right place!

Travel to Scotland in May to enjoy the good weather, smaller crowds and long daylight hours of the early summer season. From Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye and the impressive Highlands, the country is stunning at this time of year.

In May, visit Scotland by taking a scenic road trip, joining a small group tour, or touring with a private guide. Whichever way you choose, you’ll be amazed by all the natural wonders and historic sites you can see on a holiday to Scotland in May.

When you book a trip to Scotland with Nordic Visitor, you get hand-picked accommodation, transportation reservations, daily breakfast and access to our 24/7 helpline.

Get in touch via our live chat or toll-free numbers and we'll happily plan your May adventure.

 

— WHY US?

Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts
  • 24/7 emergency helpline during tour

Experience Scotland on a road trip

Explore the Highlands and beyond on a self-drive tour. You do the driving, we handle your accommodations, route planning and any itinerary customisations. Tours come with a hand-marked map, attractions guide and more.

Scotland
Free upgrade
Best seller
Self-drive
10 days / 9 nights
4.8
Apr - Oct

Classic Scotland

1823GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
Best seller
10 days / 9 nights
Apr - Oct

1823GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Free upgrade
Best seller
Self-drive
8 days / 7 nights
4.7
Apr - Oct

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye

1533GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
Best seller
8 days / 7 nights
Apr - Oct

1533GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Free upgrade
Best seller
Self-drive
17 days / 16 nights
4.7
Apr - Oct

Grand Tour of Scotland

Scottish Highlands & North Coast 500

3403GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
Best seller
17 days / 16 nights
Apr - Oct

3403GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Free upgrade
Best seller
Self-drive
14 days / 13 nights
Apr - Oct

Classic Scotland at Leisure

2552GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
Best seller
14 days / 13 nights
Apr - Oct

2552GBP

GBP

Close map view

Visit Scotland on a small group tour

Want to travel with a witty local guide and make some new friends along the way Check out these guided small group tours, with maximum 16 travellers and transportation in a comfy mini-coach. Departures are 100% guaranteed.

Scotland
10% OFF IN 2024
Best seller
Guided Groups
7 days / 6 nights
4.8
May - Sep

Wonders of Scotland

Pace Level Level 2 (Classic)
Activity Level Level 2 (Moderate)

2892GBP

2603GBP

Eur

View map
10% OFF IN 2024
Best seller
7 days / 6 nights
May - Sep

2892GBP

2603GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
10% OFF IN 2024
Best seller
Guided Groups
10 days / 9 nights
4.7
May - Sep

Highlights of Scotland

Pace Level Level 2 (Classic)
Activity Level Level 2 (Moderate)

3774GBP

Eur

View map
10% OFF IN 2024
Best seller
10 days / 9 nights
May - Sep

3774GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland & Ireland
Best seller
Guided Groups
14 days / 13 nights
Apr - Oct

Wonders of Scotland & Ireland

Pace Level Level 2 (Classic)
Activity Level Level 2 (Moderate)

5417GBP

Eur

View map
Best seller
14 days / 13 nights
Apr - Oct

5417GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland & Ireland
Best seller
Guided Groups
16 days / 15 nights
Apr - Sep

Best of Ireland & Scotland

7315EUR

Eur

View map
Best seller
16 days / 15 nights
Apr - Sep

7315EUR

EUR

Close map view

Explore Scotland on a Private Tour

Enjoy more Scottish cultural insights on a privately guided tour with a local driving you around in style. Tours are fully customisable and ideal for those interested in Scotch whisky, Scottish cuisine, Outlander film locations and more.

Scotland
Free upgrade
Best seller
Privately Guided
8 days / 7 nights
4.9
Apr - Oct

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Private

4254GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
Best seller
8 days / 7 nights
Apr - Oct

4254GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Privately Guided
5 days / 4 nights
Apr - Oct

Scenic Scotland Express - Private

2282GBP

Eur

View map
5 days / 4 nights
Apr - Oct

2282GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Free upgrade
Best seller
Privately Guided
10 days / 9 nights
5.0
Apr - Oct

Classic Scotland - Private

5461GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
Best seller
10 days / 9 nights
Apr - Oct

5461GBP

GBP

Close map view
Scotland
Free upgrade
Privately Guided
14 days / 13 nights
Apr - Oct

Complete Scotland - Private

8255GBP

Eur

View map
Free upgrade
14 days / 13 nights
Apr - Oct

8255GBP

GBP

Close map view

Experience Scotland your way

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Scotland below.

What do our customers say?

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.

Sherri, United States

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye, October 2023

Couldn't ask for any better

Everything was organised. No issues at all. Just show up to where you have been booked and everything is good. No checking in or paperwork or credit cards to leave. The tour itself was amazing! The guide, the book, the suggestions. Really couldn't ask for any better.

David, United States

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye - Private, July 2023

Special experience

The tour exceeded our expectations. Our guide (Peter) quickly got a good idea of the things we liked and tailored the tour to see the things that he thought we would like and avoid the things that he did not think that we would like. His judgement was spot-on, and we felt like he truly listened to us and made our experience special.

Sharon, United States

Wonders of Scotland, September 2023

Highly recommend Nordic Visitor

This is our second tour with Nordic Visitor. Agents used before the tour were always very prompt with responses to our questions. During the tour, we found the accommodation perfect, guide very informative and friendly, and the driver got used to where we needed to go without any problems. We would definitely use Nordic Visitor again!

Barbara, United States

Best of Edinburgh - Loch Ness & Highlands, June 2023

We were in good hands

As first-time visitors to Edinburgh, and senior citizens, our choice to use Nordic Visitor was an excellent one. The welcome package we received at the hotel was really helpful, with our tour vouchers, maps and restaurant recommendations. We would not have known what hotel to select and the one selected for us was perfect. The choice of tours offered was perfect for a 5-day visit. So glad to learn about the Royal Mile and visit the castle. The trip through the Highlands and Loch Ness was beautiful. Our travel agent, Rebecca, always quickly responded to email questions prior to departure. Thank you! Nordic Visitor made our trip easy and rewarding. We were in good hands.

Amanda, United States

Classic Scotland, August 2023

Thank you Nordic Visitor!

We had really great experiences with each B&B we stayed at but Gail at Dionard Guest House was especially lovely. If I were to go back I may stay there half the time then go back to the Isle of Skye for the rest of the time. It's just breathtaking there! Thank you Nordic Visitor!

James, United States

Outlander Experience, June 2023

One of the best trips we have ever taken

The entire experience was excellent. Nordic Visitor made it easy for us, although we are amateur travellers. Our guide was the absolute best, we couldn't have asked for a better person. He was able to convey his experience and amazing knowledge to make the trip both fun and educational. One of the best trips we have ever taken, thank you!

Terry, United States

Highlights of Scotland, July 2023

Amazing trip!

It was an amazing trip! My husband and I took the Highlights of Scotland tour in July and had a wonderful time! Our tour guide, Andy, was amazing. His knowledge of Scotland was top notch and kept us informed throughout the entire tour. Andy educated us on Scotland history, shared delightful stories and enlightened us with Scottish culture. The accommodation were all so nice. Each one a bit different, but comfortable and lovely. Each place had helpful and respectful staff. Our bus was very comfortable, lots of room and great windows for the amazing views of Scottish scenery. The drivers were great. So glad they were driving us around the country.

Kristen, United States

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye, June 2023

Enjoyed my tour so much!

I enjoyed my tour of Scotland so much! Booking with Nordic Visitor was so easy. Their itinerary showcased highlights across the country, so I feel like I experienced the best of the best! The communication from our tour consultant, Duncan, was prompt and detailed. It was so comforting knowing that Nordic Visitor was only a phone call away 24/7.

Scotland Travel Guide

Start preparing for your trip by doing some research before your Scottish adventure.

Flights to Scotland

The two biggest international airports in Scotland are in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and in Edinburgh, the capital city and usual starting point for Nordic Visitor tours. Flight times to Scotland are, for example, 6.5 hours from New York City and 1.5 hours from London. Major international airlines with flights to Scotland include (but are not limited to) British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and KLM.

Scotland and the rest of the UK is on GMT time. If your journey to Scotland involves one or more connecting flights, or if you're crossing several time zones to get here, your dedicated Nordic Visitor travel consultant can add extra nights in Edinburgh to your package so you can rest up after arrival.

Please note that flights to Scotland are not included in Nordic Visitor packages.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOTLAND IN MAY

Whatever you’re wondering about visiting Scotland in May, we’re here to answer your most commonly asked questions. Is May a good time to visit Scotland? Definitely!

May is in fact the start of the summer travel season in Scotland. However, this month is part of the quieter shoulder season. This means you’ll find less traffic on the roads, less visitors at top attractions and more availability for accommodation around the country.

Read below to find out all the details from our local travel experts.

What are the best things to do in Scotland in May?

Many of Scotland’s amazing attractions are accessible all year long. But as May is the start of the summer season, there are longer opening hours, daylight hours and better weather. This allows you to enjoy and take on more of the fun travel experiences Scotland offers.

Here are the 10 best things to do in Scotland in May:

  • Drive around the beautiful Scottish Highlands
  • Admire the natural scenery, including pretty beaches
  • Go hiking and walking along the rugged hills, lochs and glens
  • Sail to one or more of the Scottish islands
  • Explore picturesque, ancient ruins and castles
  • Learn about Scotland’s Viking heritage
  • Taste the various whisky flavours and Scottish delicacies
  • Meet the abundant local wildlife, such as dolphins, puffins, orcas and more
  • Immerse yourself in Gaelic culture
  • Visit the buzzing cities, charming towns and fishing villages


What are the most popular events in Scotland in May?

May is a great month to visit Scotland to attend some of the varied events hosted around the country.

Some of the most popular Scottish events in May include:

  • Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
  • Islay Festival of Malt and Music
  • Arran Mountain Festival
  • Ullapool Book Festival
  • British Pipe Band Championships
  • Edinburgh International Children’s Festival
  • Orkney Folk Festival

Art festivals are also hosted in Glasgow, Perth and Dumfries throughout the month.

Can I attend Highland games in Scotland in May?

May is the beginning of the popular Highland Games show season, which peaks in July and August. Events are still sparse at this time of year, but you’ll find a few to attend, from Glasgow to the Highlands.

Highland games involve a series of traditional athletic competitions (with lots of kilts and bagpipes!). They are usually held throughout the Highlands on weekends and are a great Scottish cultural experience.

What are the best places to visit in Scotland in May?

May is a great month to travel to Scotland and visit its towns, historic sites and natural highlights. More so, you’ll enjoy long daylight hours and fair weather, ideal conditions for exploring.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Scotland in May:



What is the weather like in Scotland in May?

As May is a transitional month between spring and summer, you can expect mild and changing weather in Scotland. On average, there are highs of 13°C (55°F) and lows of 7°C (45°F).

Although May isn’t the hottest month of the year, you can expect some warm days in the low to mid 20s°C (68°F).

What are May temperatures in Scotland?

The average temperatures around the country will be between 7°C (45°F) and 15°C (59°F) in May.

Are there midges in Scotland in May?

If you’re visiting during the summer months, you can expect midges to be out and about. Midges are tiny insects that bite, found especially in the Highlands and islands of Scotland.

May is the start of the midges season, however it is still mild at that time. July and August is usually considered the worst period for midges in Scotland.

They are at their most active in the early mornings and evenings. You can try to avoid being outside in the countryside at those times of the day. Or we recommend carrying the Avon Skin-So-Soft body oil spray, the repellent of choice for Britain’s Royal Marines.

What to wear in Scotland in May?

Like in many of the Nordic countries, Scots have the saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.

As the weather is expected to be mild in May, we recommend layers. That way you can remove or add clothes depending on the day’s weather. Make sure to bring some lightweight and warm under layers as well a rain jacket.

What are the daylight hours in May in Scotland?

In May, the daylight hours are continuing to grow longer as we slowly approach the summer solstice. This means you’ll enjoy plenty of daytime brightness to explore Scotland to your heart’s content. You can expect 15 to 18 hours of daylight per day in May.

Daylight hours differ based on the time of the month you visit and location in Scotland. In Edinburgh, the sun rises at 5:30 AM and sets at 8:50 PM at the beginning of the month. By the end of May, it grows longer with daylight hours between 4:30 AM and 9:45 PM.

As you head north, you can expect these hours to stretch out longer. For example, in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland Islands, the sun rises at 5 AM and sets at 9 PM in early May. Later in the month, the sun rises at 3:50 AM and sets by 10:15 PM.



Does it snow in Scotland in May?

It is unlikely to snow in Scotland in May. It is however possible that you'll still find snow at the top of mountains, when driving or hiking.

Can I see the northern lights in Scotland in May?

In May, it is unlikely you’ll see the northern lights. This is because during the summer months there are few hours of proper darkness. During the winter months, when daylight hours are shorter, it is possible to see the aurora borealis in remote corners of Scotland, but it’s still rare.

For your best chances of spotting the auroras, we recommend heading north into the “Northern Lights Belt” between October and March. You could pick a northern lights tour in Iceland, Lapland or Northern Norway.

What to pack for Scotland in May?

For a trip to Scotland in May, it is best to be ready for all kinds of weather. From warm days to windy and rainy weather, make sure to pack all the necessary clothing. That way, come rain or shine, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the country.

Here is a list of packing essentials for your Scotland tour in May:

  • Lightweight layers, including t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and shorts
  • At least one warm jumper or fleece
  • Waterproof jacket or shell layers
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Light scarf and gloves
  • Warm hat and sun hat or cap

As well as these essentials, be sure to bring good sturdy walking or hiking boots depending on what activities you may want to enjoy.



How to tour Scotland in May?

There are various ways to travel on your Scotland tour in May. Depending on your personal tastes and requirements, you could either go for a guided or self-guided vacation.

Road trip around Scotland
May is a great time to visit Scotland on a self-drive tour, which would allow you to stop at the sights you want to see at your own pace. At this time of year, the road conditions are good for touring and you’ll enjoy long daylight hours to drive and explore.

Pick up your rental car from Edinburgh or Glasgow and drive to iconic locations. You could visit St Andrews, Loch Ness, Inverness, the Isle of Skye and Fort William, amongst many more.

Depending on the amount of time you have, there are many options and regions of Scotland you could visit. Do an express tour into the Highlands in 5 days or take 2 to 3 weeks to do a complete tour, including the northern and western isles.

Driving in Scotland is an adventure that you won’t regret! Especially if you book with Nordic Visitor, as we offer collision damage waiver and a 24/7 helpline for emergencies.

Good to note: In Scotland, and the wider UK, motorists drive on the left. If you’re not used to that, make sure to hire an automatic car or you could join a guided tour.



Join a small group tour of Scotland
Do you want to leave the driving to someone else? Between May and September, you could opt to join a small group tour. This way you could explore the highlights of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye with like-minded travellers.

A small group tour offers an enriching experience, allowing you to get the most out of your trip thanks to the expertise of a local guide. What’s more, you’ll be travelling alongside 14 people at most, so the trip is still personal for you.



Learn about Scottish history and culture with a private guide
On the other hand, you might prefer to be accompanied by your very own local expert throughout your Scotland experience.

A privately guided tour is one of the most exclusive ways to see Scotland and learn all about this beautiful country. You’ll have your own personal guide to show you the best locations and teach you about the local history.



Whatever tour you pick, you’ll take advantage of all our signature benefits. These include charming accommodation, daily breakfast, transportation, such as car rental and ferries, our Nordic Visitor Scotland Travel Guide, and a hand-marked map with your route and highlights.

You’ll also have activities, like entry to castles and distilleries, included in some packages. 

Good to know: Our Scotland itineraries aren’t set in stone. Our Edinburgh-based Scotland experts know the country inside out. They’ll help you see the country your way, tailoring your itinerary and adding all the best excursions to suit you.



Scroll down to learn more about Nordic Visitor’s services.
 

— OTHER DESTINATIONS

See more of Northern Europe

  • Like combining culture with nature? Discover Scandinavia
  • Want more stunning road trip ideas? Venture to Iceland
  • Prefer to visit its Celtic neighbour? Experience the culture of Ireland
  • Keen to go off the beaten track? Explore wild Greenland and Svalbard

Our Services

Whether you travel independently or with a guide in your Nordic Visitor package, you will receive personalised service from a designated travel consultant and high-quality travel documents. What's more, all self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines the driving route, overnights and highlights along the way. Travel with ease knowing that Nordic Visitor has close professional relationships with local service providers, which are carefully selected by our staff for their consistently high standards.

Book With Confidence

  • Protect your money & plans with our flexible booking terms  .
  • 97% of customers say they’d recommend us to friends.
  • We work closely with trusted, high-quality suppliers.
  • Enjoy personal service from Scotland travel experts.
  • Get peace of mind with a 24/7 helpline during your stay.
  • We’re here for you in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Contact us

Whether you’re looking to add a night in Edinburgh, want restaurant recommendations or have questions about your tour, we’re happy to help so get in touch with our friendly team to answer any of your travel queries.

Call

Our Scottish phone number is
+44 (0)131 344 4630

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