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Highlights of Scotland

(10 days / 9 nights)

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DISCOVER THE CHARM OF THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

This 10-day guided small group tour will take you all around the country to experience the very best of Scotland, from its grand capital, Edinburgh, to the enchanting and rugged Highlands. The route combines popular attractions such as Loch Ness, Isle of Skye, Glencoe, and the castles of Royal Deeside, as well as the lesser-known gems like the mystical Loch Coruisk. You will stay in unique hotels around the country, experiencing Scottish hospitality and enjoying gourmet local cuisine, and be guided by a local and passionate guide who will ensure that you have the best experience possible.

Contact us for availability

— Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Groups limited to 15 travellers
  • Hassle-free travel experience
  • Quality & value for your money
  • Trusted local experts in Scotland
  • Great customer reviews

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Tour Highlights

  • Explore some of Scotland’s top sights on the famous and breathtaking Isle of Skye
  • Stay at unique properties & enjoy gourmet local cuisine
  • Walk along the mysterious Loch Ness
  • Discover Scotland‘s historic capital Edinburgh and stroll up the Royal Mile
  • Experience the striking natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands
  • Enjoy some quiet time in nature at the Trossachs National Park
  • Photograph the picturesque Dunnottar Castle
  • Taste the flavour of the country at a local whisky distillery
  • Visit the grand ancestral homes on the Royal Deeside Castle Trail in Aberdeenshire
  • Hassle-free travel experience with a local tour driver-guide

Travel style

Guided Small Groups i

Interest

Best Seller i, Castles and Royalty i, Classic i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Culinary Experience i, Culture and History i, Heritage i, Highlands i, Whisky i

Pace level

Level 2 (Classic) i

Activity level

Level 2 (Moderate) i

Season

May - Sep

Max group size

15

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

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  • Day 1: ARRIVAL IN SCOTLAND

    When you arrive in Scotland, make your way into Edinburgh city centre where your hotel will be located. Many travellers opt to take a taxi or use public transport, but for a more direct and comfortable ride, we will be happy to organise a private airport transfer for you.

    For those arriving early in the day, we recommend spending the afternoon walking through the city, strolling along the Royal Mile and exploring the Old and New Towns, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also plenty of museums and landmarks to visit in the city centre, including the majestic Edinburgh Castle. For a spectacular view over the city we recommend going up Castle Hill or Calton Hill. Tonight you can enjoy dinner at one of Edinburgh‘s many gourmet restaurants and spend the evening at your leisure.

    Spend the night at Nira Caledonia or similar.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details Optional Extras
  • Day 2: SCOTLAND‘S DRAMATIC EAST COAST

    Today, your guide will pick you up to start your epic trip around Scotland. The tour will start with a drive across to the Kingdom of Fife where the first stop will be in the quaint village of Falkland. There we will visit the Renaissance Falkland Palace, the country residence of the Royal Stuarts.

    We will then head east to explore the historic town of St Andrews, famous for being the home of golf and home to the oldest university in Scotland. As we continue north, we will pass Scotland’s first city of design Dundee before making a stop at the spectacular Dunnottar Castle for a fantastic photo opportunity. When we reach the hotel near Aberdeen, we will take part in a private whisky tasting for a flavour of the locally-produced Speyside malts before enjoying a gourmet dinner. 

    Spend the night at Mercure Ardoe House Hotel or similar.

    Included:
    • Entrance to Falkland Palace
    • Breakfast at your hotel
    • Dinner and private whisky tasting at the hotel restaurant

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 3: ROYAL DEESIDE, CASTLES & WHISKY

    Today we will journey further into the Scottish Highlands, all the way to Inverness, the "Capital of the Highlands". The journey will take us through Royal Deeside for an enchanting drive into the Cairngorms National Park, famous for its wildlife, high peaks and beautiful Highland landscapes. On the way we will stop at the 16th-century Crathes Castle, where we will have time to explore the tower house and its grounds.

    We will then continue through Speyside, the heart of Scotland’s whisky-making country where there are over 40 distilleries on the way. We will enjoy a tour of the historical Glenlivet Distillery where we will have the opportunity to taste single malt whisky, known in Scotland as ‘water of life‘. When we reach the hotel near Inverness, we will enjoy a gourmet dinner.

    Spend the night at Kingsmills Hotel or similar.

    Included:
    • Entrance to Crathes Castle
    • Whisky tasting and tour of Glenlivet Distillery
    • Breakfast at your hotel
    • Dinner at the hotel restaurant

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 4: HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS

    This morning, the tour will take us to the haunting Battlefield of Culloden Moor, the site where the last battle on British soil occurred in 1746, which also marked the end of the Highlander way of life. We’ll have some time to explore the visitor centre before getting back on the road. The next stop will be a visit to an even older site, the Bronze-age cemetery, Clava Cairns. This site includes passage graves, ring cairns and standing stones dating back roughly 4,000 years, making it older than Stonehenge.

    In the afternoon, the guide will drive us north to explore the beautiful Black Isle Peninsula and head to Chanonry Point, where dolphins can sometimes be spotted at low tide in the Moray Firth. Tonight, we will enjoy a gourmet dinner at the hotel.

    Spend the night at Kingsmills Hotel or similar.

    Included:
    • Entrance to Culloden Battlefield
    • Breakfast at your hotel
    • Dinner at the hotel restaurant

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 5: FROM LOCH NESS TO SKYE

    Today will start with a drive south to reach the famous and mysterious Loch Ness, where we will have a chance to take photos and see if we can catch a glimpse of Nessie. The drive will then continue passing by dramatic landscapes of mountains and valleys. Before arriving on the island, the guide will make a stop at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, a sight you will surely recognise from films.

    Upon arriving on the Isle of Skye, we will head south to Elgol, where we will then set sail on a Misty Isle boat tour on Loch Coruisk in the heart of the Cuillin Hills. This will be a great photography and sightseeing opportunity for bird watchers and marine lovers.

    When we reach the hotel on Skye, we will enjoy a gourmet dinner.

    Spend the night at Hame on Skye* or similar.

    Included:
    • Breakfast at your hotel
    • Dinner at the hotel restaurant

    * Please note that for arrivals in June, the accommodation will be at the beautiful Cuillin Hills Hotel and for arrivals in August, it will be at loch-side Greshornish House Hotel.

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 6: THE ISLE OF SKYE

    Today we will have a full day to take in the magic of Skye, a haven for nature lovers. A guide will take over for the day and we’ll start by spending some time in Portree, where you can wander around, admiring the colourful houses and seaport.

    We’ll then head to the northern part of the island, to the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula. This is where so many of the island’s mythical and spectacular landscapes lie.

    Driving over the Quiraing, we will be able to admire some of the jaw-dropping natural sights. We’ll also pass by the very Scottish Kilt Rock waterfall, the iconic “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle, and we’ll even be able to go looking for dinosaur footprints at the An Corran Beach at Staffin. Tonight, we will enjoy a gourmet dinner.

    Spend the night at Hame on Skye* or similar.

    Included:
    • Misty Isle boat tour (1h45)
    • Breakfast at your hotel
    • Dinner at the hotel restaurant

    * Please note that for arrivals in June, the accommodation will be at the beautiful Cuillin Hills Hotel and for arrivals in August, it will be at loch-side Greshornish House Hotel.

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 7: MARINE WILDLIFE & GLENFINNAN

    Today, we’ll head south to the Sleat Peninsula. On our way we can admire the beautiful beaches, lochs, and glens of the region. At the foot of the Black Cuilin Hills, we’ll enjoy a walk to the crystal-clear Fairy Pools.

    In the afternoon, we’ll take a ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. On the mainland, the tour will continue with a beautiful drive to Glenfinnan. This is where the Glenfinnan Monument and viaduct overlook the beautiful Loch Shiel. We will have some time to take some iconic photos before continuing our journey to Fort William. Tonight, enjoy some local cuisine in one of Fort William’s restaurants.

    Spend the night at the Nevis Bank Inn or similar.  

    Included:                                                                                                                            
    • Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig (30 minutes)
    • Breakfast at your hotel

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 8: TRAVEL ALONG DRAMATIC GLENS & LOCH LOMOND

    Today’s journey will take the group down to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park area. On the way, we will travel through Glen Coe, Scotland’s most famous valley offering breathtaking scenery, which you may recognise from films like Skyfall and Harry Potter. Here, we will go on a guided 20-minute walk, a perfect chance to take photos.

    At Loch Lomond, we’ll stop at the picturesque village of Luss. Dating back to medieval times, many of the cottages are from the 18th and 19th century, nesting on the shores of the tranquil Loch Lomond. When we reach the hotel on the banks of Loch Long, we will enjoy one last gourmet dinner together.

    Spend the night at the Knockderry House Hotel* or similar.

    Included:                                                                                                                            
    • Breakfast at your hotel
    • Dinner at the hotel restaurant

    * Please note that for arrivals in September, the accommodation will be at the beautiful Loch Lomond Arms in Luss.

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 9: TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK TO EDINBURGH

    Today’s drive will start through the impressive Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. On the way we will stop at Doune Castle for a visit. You may recognise this castle from famous films and television series such as Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander. We will also pass by the beautiful city of Stirling, which can’t be missed because of its imposing castle sitting atop a hill, overlooking the town below. Our last stop on this tour will be the Kelpies, two impressive horse-head statues that will capture your attention.

    Back in Edinburgh, your driver-guide will drop you off at your accommodation. Tonight you can enjoy dinner at one of Edinburgh‘s many gourmet restaurants and spend the evening at your leisure.

    Spend the night at Nira Caledonia or similar.  

    Included:                                                                                                                             
    • Entrance to Doune Castle
    • Breakfast at your hotel

    Average Travel & Exploring Duration: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Accommodation details
  • Day 10: DEPARTURE FROM SCOTLAND

    On your day of departure, make your way back to the airport. If you would like to add any additional nights to your trip or to arrange a private transfer, you can add the option below. If your flight is in the afternoon, you may have time for some last-minute shopping, a visit to one of Edinburgh’s museums, or one last stroll through the charming city centre.

    Included:
    • Breakfast at your hotel

Map

Here’s a map of your travel route, to help put things in perspective.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Thank you again for great memories

We just returned last night from our trip to Scotland and I wanted to let you know what a great trip we had with Nordic Visitor. You were wonderful setting up our requests and I cannot thank you enough for switching our tour dates when we were unable to go as originally planned in May. The hotels and food were brilliant. Brian was magnificent. We could not ask for more of a guide. Even the special trip to see Highland coos. This was our second Nordic Visitor trip and we are now looking into our 3rd for next year. Thank you again for great memories. I am glad we were able to meet you on our first night.

Everything was enjoyable

Brian was an exceptional tour guide. He was informative, entertaining, got us where we needed to go safe and on time...and brought us to some extra sights along the way. His local insights were invaluable. Singing "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" every day when we got on the bus started the day off just right. I truly can't express how much we enjoyed this tour and I think a lot of that can be attributed to Brian.

Annie was perfection from the time we booked the tour and the maps and materials sent to us prior to departure were great. Being a vegan, I am used to "making due" with salads or whatever I can cajole the chef/cook to make me while traveling and often rely on protein bars, etc. The food on this trip was exceptional, and many of our trip mates where jealous of my meals. This pleasant surprise certainly took this trip to an entirely new level for me. The small group, the wonderful sights, the grand itinerary, the superb lodgings. Everything was enjoyable....truly.

Couldn't have asked for more

Brian has such passion for what he does. Couldn't have asked for more. Annie Pepperell was our travel agent with Nordic Visitor. She did an excellent job all the way around.

Fun & educational

Tour director Brian was amazing! He made the trip fun & educational. 

Brian provided us daily bonus stops in addition to the planned itinerary. I loved that we didn't hit all the usual crowded tourists stops! 

Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

The accommodations for this tour includes quality hotels and guesthouses, picked by our team of local travel experts based on excellent ratings and personal experience. The rooms all offer comfortable facilities, including private WC and shower or bath. Breakfast is always included as part of your tour.

The hotels mentioned are our first priority for this tour. Please note that although we have included specific accommodations in the tour, these are subject to change in rare cases. We reserve the right to substitute a named property in the same locality for one of a similar standard. We will send you the final list of hotels before you arrive for your tour.

Tour Information

We recommend that all Nordic Visitor travellers read through the following information about what the tour includes, your tour guide, accommodation, and other useful information for your travels.

Please note that this tour is not recommended for families with children under the age of 13. As the legal drinking age is 18, those aged 17 and under will not take part in the whisky tasting or distillery tours.

YOUR TOUR DRIVER-GUIDE
This tour package includes the professional service of an experienced Scottish tour guide, who will drive you around Scotland. Not only will the guide offer their local knowledge and share hidden gems and stories with you, but they will act as the logistical organiser for the group, ensuring that everything is running smoothly and that you’re having a good time during your holiday. As an expert and a local, your tour guide will be a valuable resource for questions about local customs, language, food and other practical travel information. If you join our guided small group tour, you will get a personal experience for your Scottish adventure. There will be one guide per tour, who will drive and lead the tour aboard a comfortable, high-quality mini-bus, except on Skye where another guide will take you on a full day tour of the island.

ACCOMMODATION
Our team of local travel experts carefully selects the hotels based on excellent ratings, personal experience and comfort. Generally, in Scotland, whilst room sizes may vary, our room types are based on European standard sizes. Please note that twin rooms, triple and family rooms are not commonly available in Scotland, so please contact us for booking assistance if that is something you would like. Please also be aware that, due to the historic nature of the properties we usually select, most of the rooms are only accessible by going up stairs, as there are often no lifts available. Please contact us if you are not able to walk up stairs.

LUGGAGE INFORMATION
This tour is by mini-bus and so, to ensure comfortable seating for everyone on our tour, we need to limit the size and amount of luggage. Each guest is allowed one suitcase (total length, width and height cannot exceed 158m, or weigh more than 20kg) and one smaller item (e.g., a small backpack or day bag) for daily essentials. If you have more luggage, we ask you to please make arrangements to store it while you are on the tour as we will not have the space to bring it along.

FITNESS & ACTIVITY LEVEL
Please note that this tour includes some walking at some of the sightseeing stops. This means you need to be prepared and able to walk between 1-3 kilometres on certain days. You also need to be able to carry your own luggage when boarding the bus each day.

FOOD & DRINK
A daily breakfast is included at your booked hotels for the duration of your stay. You will also enjoy six dinners with the group, as per the package’s inclusions. They will usually be three-course à la carte meals. Please notify your travel consultant in advance of any dietary restrictions or allergies. Other meals and drinks are not included and will be at your own expense during the trip.

WHAT TO PACK IN SUMMER

  • A small backpack to store your daily items on the bus
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • For more information on what to pack, please visit our Online Travel Guide.


ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE FROM GLASGOW
If you are planning on arriving in Glasgow, you can book a private transfer from Glasgow Airport to your accommodation in Edinburgh to start the journey in a comfortable way. During certain tours, you will have the options to end your trip in Glasgow, rather than Edinburgh, if that is more convenient for you.

CURRENCY RATE
All bookings are charged in British Pounds (£, GBP). Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate. Therefore, conversions from GBP to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.

AFTER BOOKING WITH NORDIC VISITOR
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two business days by one of our travel consultants who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.

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