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Callanish Standing Stones at sunset

Complete Scotland - Private

(14 days / 13 nights)

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Tour the Highlands and Islands with a Guide

Enjoy a 2-week seamless travel experience around Scotland. With your very own private driver-guide, you’ll be swept across the Scottish Highlands to discover top spots like Loch Ness and Glen Coe. You’ll also go island hopping to see Skye, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. This is an ideal itinerary if you want to discover the famous sights and hidden gems of Scotland with the personal attention and insider knowledge of a private guide.

14 days / 13 nights

Price p.p. from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 8255 GBP

— Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Seamless travel experience
  • Comprehensive itinerary, personalised map & travel guide
  • Quality & value for your money
  • 24/7 helpline during your tour
  • Service from local travel experts in Scotland
  • Great customer reviews
  • Carbon offsetting included

Read more

— Cancellation Protection

  • Rebook your tour on one occasion, or
  • Cancel for any reason and receive a partial refund and travel credit

Terms and conditions apply

Tour Highlights

  • Experience the vibrant Scottish capital city, Edinburgh
  • See the striking landscape of the Scottish Highlands
  • Enjoy island-hopping between Orkney, Harris, Lewis and Skye
  • Walk along the mysterious shores of the Loch Ness
  • Marvel at the sweeping views of Glen Coe, Scotland’s most famous valley
  • Take in the scenery of the famous North Coast 500
  • Visit the spectacular Callanish Standing Stones
  • Explore the mysterious and ancient “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”
  • Pick which castles to visit on the Castle Trail in Aberdeenshire
  • Learn about the sights from a trusted, knowledgeable private guide

Travel style

Privately Guided i

Interest

Culture and History i, Highlands i, Isles i, Off the Beaten Path i

Season

Apr - Oct

Departure

Daily

Interest

Culture and History i, Highlands i, Isles i, Off the Beaten Path i

Driving distance

1890/1170 km/mi

Itinerary

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

  • Day 1: ARRIVAL DAY IN EDINBURGH

    Upon your arrival in Edinburgh, you will be greeted by a private driver who will take you to your hotel in the city centre. If you arrive 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 within the city centre, including the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

    Spend the night in Edinburgh.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 2: SCOTLAND’S DRAMATIC EAST COAST

    Today your guide will pick you up from your hotel in a comfortable vehicle to start your private tour. You can then decide with your guide on the stops you want to make for the day. First, you could visit the quaint village of Falkland, where you may like to explore its Renaissance palace. Then you could wander around St Andrews, famous for being the home of golf and of the oldest university in Scotland.

    Later, you’ll continue north, passing by Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design. You can decide with your guide if you’d like to take the direct route to Aberdeen, or if you might take the coastal scenic route, which will take you past the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven.

    Spend the night in the Aberdeen area.

    Driving distance: 235 km / 145 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 9 hours

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

    From Aberdeen, your guide will take you into the Scottish Highlands. You’ll first journey along the “Deeside Tourist Route”, an enchanting route through the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, there are plenty of castles that you could visit, including 16th-century Crathes Castles, or you can ask a recommendation from your guide. You will then continue to Speyside, which is famous for its whiskies. There are over 40 distilleries to choose from, such as Glenfiddich or Aberlour, if you would like to visit one of them*. 

    Spend the night in the Inverness area.

    *Please contact us if you would like to book a distillery tour in advance. This is highly recommended if you have a specific distillery in mind.

    Driving distance: 240 km / 150 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 4: JOURNEY TO ORKNEY

    Today your guide takes you into the Northern Highlands, all the way to the seaside village of Scrabster. On this journey, you might like to stop at the fairytale Dunrobin Castle. In the early afternoon, you’ll catch a ferry to Stromness on Orkney, a beautiful 1.5-hour journey across the Pentland Firth with spectacular views of the Old Man of Hoy. Once you’ve reached mainland Orkney, your guide will drive you to the capital, Kirkwall, a former Viking stronghold. Here you can explore the city centre and the magnificent 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral. 

    Spend the night in the Kirkwall area. 

    Ferry from Scrabster to Orkney: 1.5 hours

    Driving distance:  205 km / 130 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 5: THE WONDERS OF ORKNEY

    You have the whole day to explore the gems of Orkney with your guide. Just let them know what interests you most so they can recommend the best sights for you. Orkney is full of stunning scenery and ruins dating back millennia to the Stone Ages.

    The highlight of Orkney’s wonders is the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site area that comprises a group of Neolithic monuments. This includes the 5,000-year-old prehistoric village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar stone circle, and the huge megaliths at the Standing Stones of Stenness. You could also visit the chambered cairn of Maeshowe (pre-booking is essential), where 12th-century Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions. 

    Spend another night in the Kirkwall area. 

    Driving distance: 56 km / 35 miles 
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 6: THE NORTH COAST 500 ROUTE

    Today you journey back to the mainland by ferry before travelling part of the famous North Coast 500 route. Scotland’s version of Route 66 stretches around the northern coast of Scotland and is known for its incredible vistas of rocky cliffs, gold sand beaches and beautiful mountains.

    You could stop along the way to visit the beautiful Smoo Cave, the largest and most dramatic sea cave in Britain. Or how about a walk on the pristine beaches of Durness? The 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle are also worth a stop. Then you’ll arrive at the charming and whitewashed village of Ullapool

    Spend the night in the Ullapool area.

    Ferry from Orkney to Scrabster: 1.5 hours 
    Driving distance: 250 km / 150 miles 
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 7: GAELIC CULTURE & NEOLITHIC MEGALITHS OF LEWIS

    This morning, you will catch the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, where the Gaelic culture and language still thrives. In Stornoway, your guide could take you to visit the Stornoway Museum located within Lews Castle, which houses exhibits about the island including six of the famous Lewis Chessmen. If time allows, your guide might also take you to the west side of the island to see the spectacular Callanish Standing Stones, an impressive collection of Neolithic stone circles and megaliths.

    Spend the night on Lewis or Harris.

    Ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway: 2.5 hours
    Driving distance: 165 km / 100 miles 
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 8: HARRIS & THE GOLDEN ROAD

    Enjoy the beauty of the Isle of Harris. Along with your guide you will explore the small village of Tarbert and then take in the striking scenery on a drive along “The Golden Road” towards Rodel.

    Depending on your interests, you might like to explore the beautiful medieval St. Clement’s Church and go for a walk on Luskentyre Beach, one of the most spectacular in Scotland, boasting miles of white sands and dazzling turquoise waters. You could also ask your guide to take you to the Harris Tweed outlets to purchase a genuine souvenir, as this tweed is still woven by hand in the Outer Hebrides.

    Spend another night on Lewis or Harris.

    Driving distance: 70 km / 45 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 9: ISLAND HOPPING TO SKYE

    Today your guide will take you to catch the ferry from Tarbert to Uig on the Isle of Skye. Upon your arrival on Skye, you will head around the northern part of the island, the striking Trotternish Peninsula. Here you’ll have the option to see highlights such as “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle, Kilt Rock Waterfall, the Quiraing landscape, and the mystical Fairy Glen. You can decide with your guide where you would like to spend the most time and if you would like to go for certain walks.

    Spend the night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Ferry from Tarbert to Uig: 1 hour and 40 min
    Driving distance: 80 km / 50 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 10: THE ISLE OF SKYE

    A private driver is the best way to take full advantage of your day on Skye. First you’ll have time to wander around the main village of Portree, with its colourful buildings and boutiques.

    Then you will head west to go enjoy some more famous sights. Depending on your interests, you may wish to stop for a walk at the crystal-clear Fairy Pools at the foot of the Black Cuillin Hills. Or you could go sample the local whisky at the Talisker Distillery (pre-booking is essential). In the northern part of the peninsula you can visit the romantic Dunvegan Castle, home to the Chief of Clan MacLeod.

    Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Driving distance: 70 km / 45 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 7 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 11: THE BEAUTY OF LOCH NESS

    Today’s journey will bring you back to the Scottish mainland. On the way south, your guide will make a stop at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Then you will head all the way to the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness. You can decide if you want to take a boat tour onto the loch, visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, or explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle ruins.

    Spend the night in the Fort William area.

    Included: Entrance to Urquhart Castle
    Driving distance: 260 km / 160 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 12: TRAVEL ALONG DRAMATIC VALLEYS

    Today’s journey will be a scenic one, so don’t hesitate to let your guide know if you have specific interests. You’ll travel past Scotland’s most famous valley, Glen Coe, which offers world-famous scenery. This is a great location for a panoramic walk. Further, you could stop at the grave of Rob Roy at Balquidder or to admire the beautiful Falls of Dochart in the village of Killin.

    Spend the night in the Trossachs National Park area.

    Driving distance via Glen Coe: 130 km / 80 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 7 hours

    Attractions Attractions
  • Day 13: TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK TO EDINBURGH

    Today your guide takes you back to Edinburgh (you can choose to end your trip in Glasgow in the optional activities below). You’ll travel through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, where you could stop to take a nature walk, visit a distillery or, if time allows, enjoy a boat tour on Loch Katrine. For a fun photo opportunity, your guide could stop at Doune Castle, featured in many TV series and films. You could also stop by Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top attractions, or the Kelpies sculptures.

    Spend the night in Edinburgh. 

    Driving distance: 130 km / 80 miles
    Average travel & exploring duration: estimated 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 14: DEPARTURE FROM SCOTLAND

    On your day of departure, a private driver will pick you up from your hotel to take you directly to Edinburgh Airport. If your flight is in the afternoon, you can do some last-minute shopping or sightseeing.  You could walk up Castle Hill for one more view over the city, stroll through the Princes Street Gardens or wander down the Royal Mile to the elegant Holyrood Palace.

Optional extras

Customise your adventure with these Optional Extras.

We recommend adding your extra activities to the tour now for the best booking experience and to secure your spot, as activities are likely to sell out.

Map

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

Essential information

We recommend that you read carefully through the following information before booking this private tour in Scotland. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions here so you know what to expect. You’ll also find more practical advice and attraction recommendations in our online Scotland Travel Guide.

On a private tour with Nordic Visitor, you can sit back and enjoy a curated itinerary, led by your personal driver-guide.

Your guide will be an expert in Scottish history and culture. They’ll share their local knowledge and stories with you and take you to hidden gems across the country. They will also be happy to tailor your journey to your unique needs and interests along the way.

Your experience will also begin and end with private airport transfers.

Depending on availability and on the size of your travelling party, we can offer a range of vehicles, such as premium executive cars, 4-wheel drives and touring vans.

During the booking process, you'll be able to book a group up to 7 people. Should you have 8 people in your travelling group, please contact us.

Your Scottish experience begins the moment you land at Edinburgh Airport. Make your way to the arrivals hall, where a driver will be waiting to greet you. From there, you’ll enjoy a comfortable ride in a private vehicle to your accommodation in the city.

On the day of your departure from Scotland, a private car will pick you up from your accommodation in Edinburgh. Your driver will then take you straight to the airport in time to catch your flight home.

During your Scotland tour, you’ll stay in accommodation hand-picked by our local travel experts. We’ve partnered with local businesses and selected hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses based on excellent ratings, comfort and our personal experience.

In Scotland, you can choose from single or double rooms. Twin, triple and family rooms are not commonly available. Please also note that in Scotland room types are based on European standard sizes, which means they are smaller than in North America.

For example, a double room often consists of 2 single beds pushed together. And single rooms are often smaller than the standard double.

Due to the historic nature of the properties we usually select, most of the rooms are only accessible by stairs. Lifts are not common in Scottish hotels. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are not able to walk up stairs.

This tour includes a few guided walks along the itinerary. This means you must be prepared and able to walk between 1-3 kilometres (0.6–2 miles) daily. You also need to be able to carry your own luggage when boarding the vehicle and at each accommodation.

Travelling with your kids? No problem! Just let your travel consultant know during the booking process. We’ll arrange any cots needed at your accommodation.

If you need multiple rooms, please note that we can't guarantee family rooms or interconnecting rooms at all accommodation. You may even have rooms on different floors.

If you'd like us to arrange for a car seat to be provided for your trip, please let us know ahead of time. This will incur a small extra cost.

Summer in Scotland might be warmer than you expect! While temperatures are unlikely to reach higher than 20°C (68 °F), heatwaves in Scotland are usually humid. This means it can feel hotter than it is, especially in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

That said, the weather is also very changeable, so you’ll want to come prepared for anything. Rain is always a possibility, and when the sun sets a warm jumper or jacket is a must. We’ve prepared a useful packing guide to help you decide what to bring with you.

Please note that sightseeing is dependent on weather and road conditions. This means that your itinerary might need to be altered if these conditions are not favourable during your visit. If something unexpected occurs, you can call our 24/7 helpline to speak directly with a Nordic Visitor staff member.

Whatever time of year you’re in Scotland, you’re likely to see lots of different types of weather. As you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors it’s a good idea to come prepared for a combination of weather conditions.

Here is a recommended packing list for a summer trip:

  • A warm jumper or fleece
  • A waterproof jacket
  • Good walking shoes or boots (especially if you intend to hike and go on nature walks)
  • Light scarf or thin sweater
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and a sunhat

In some areas of Scotland, such as the Highlands and islands, you might notice small, pesky insects called midges. They’re most active on summer evenings and tend to swarm near still water. You can avoid bites by wearing long-sleeves and trousers and by packing an insect repellent.

And here’s our recommendations for a winter getaway:

  • A warm, windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Thermal base layers and cosy jumpers
  • A scarf, gloves and hat
  • Sturdy boots and some woollen socks

For more information, check this packing list suggestion.

By booking with Nordic Visitor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s always someone there for you throughout your trip.

For support and advice during the day, you can ask your guide or call our office. And if anything unexpected happens outside working hours, you can reach us on our 24/7 helpline.

The Edinburgh-based travel expert on call will handle any unforeseen situations for you, such as unusual weather or events.

If you’re arriving from Canada, the United States, Australia or the European Union, you won’t need a visa to visit Scotland.

Visiting from another country? You can find the complete list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Scotland on the website of the UK government.

Your passport must also be valid during the entirety of your stay in Scotland. It’s a good idea to check your passport expiry date early in case you need to renew it.

There are limited laundry facilities in Scotland’s countryside, though you’ll find laundrettes in the cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. Some hotels do offer dry cleaning for an additional cost.

Your breakfast is included at all your accommodation in Scotland. For the rest of your food, your spending money will depend on the standard of restaurants you decide to go to.

Budget between £15–£20 per person for each day’s lunch. Dinners at casual restaurants might cost between £20–£25. Meanwhile at upscale restaurants, you can expect to pay £40–£50 or more. This does not include the cost of alcoholic beverages.

If you enjoy your experience with your guide, it’s a nice idea to give them a tip.

This tour includes the service of a personal guide who will be happy to help you customise your experience along the way. They will get to know your interests, and you can tell them about any places where you would like to stop on the drive.

You can also customise this tour online during the booking process. You’ll be able to add extra nights to your itinerary as well as optional day trips, excursions and upgrades.

It’s best to book as soon as you can to secure your preferred travel dates. Once you have picked your tour, check the availability calendar to see which months are open for booking. Then, select the date you want and complete your booking. 

Nordic Visitor offers 10–20% deposits so you can reserve your trip as early as it’s convenient for you. The remaining balance is due 30 days before you travel. 

Many tours are also open for the following year if you like to plan well ahead. And if you have any questions or need advice, you can always contact us

After booking your tour package online, you will be contacted within 2 business days by your own dedicated travel consultant. They will be your point of contact for all your travel needs before, during and even after your trip. 

At that time, they’ll confirm the availability of your tour. Then the booking process starts, which may take a few weeks. Once this is done, your travel consultant will provide you with all the details of your trip. You will also receive more information about what to expect during your trip.

No need! Nordic Visitor is already working on offsetting the estimated carbon footprint of your package. We’ve partnered with an environmental fund in Iceland to carbon offset all our tours.

Carbon offsetting your international flights is not included, but we highly recommend you look into possibilities with your airline or directly through a local environment fund. 

You can get in touch with our Scotland travel experts ahead of your trip if you have any questions. The live chat option is useful for getting a quick reply as someone answers live every day during office opening hours.

Once you’ve booked, we’ll provide you with a travel guide packed full of local tips and top attractions for your visit. You can also check out our online Scotland Travel Guide where we’ve compiled useful information about topics, including:

After you have booked your tour, it will only take a few days to confirm its availability. But it may take a few weeks to create your itinerary and book everything. Once your trip details are finalised, we’ll send you e-copies of your travel documents.

Upon your arrival in Scotland, you’ll receive a welcome bag with hard copies of your itinerary, attraction and tour vouchers, the Nordic Visitor Scotland Travel Guide and more.

So when do you check in? And what can you expect upon landing in Scotland?

After picking up your luggage, make your way to the arrivals hall, where the driver of your private transfer will be waiting for you. They’ll welcome you to the country and take you straight to your accommodation in Edinburgh.

Check-in times vary between hotels and guesthouses, but it normally starts between 2–4 PM.

You are welcome to request an early check-in for an additional fee. Although this isn’t always available, you’ll be able to store your luggage at the hotel if you have to wait. Please contact your travel consultant well in advance of your arrival if you’d like an early check-in.

When you depart may depend on the time of your return flight. Check out early if you’re heading to the airport for a morning flight. On the other hand, if you’re flying home later in the day, you might like to enjoy a leisurely day or visit one more attraction.

You will need to check out from your room, but will be able to store your luggage at the hotel reception. Simply return later to collect your bags before catching public transport or a taxi to the airport.

All bookings are billed in British Pounds (GBP), the local currency in Scotland and the UK.

Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate. This means conversions from GBP to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.

Accommodation

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

Comfort Plus

In this category, you can expect standard rooms in good quality 3-star guesthouses or country hotels.

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Superior

In this category, you can expect standard rooms in 4-star hotels or boutique guesthouses.

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Vehicle

Be comfortable and enjoy the journey as a passenger in the vehicle of your choosing.

Private car

  • x7
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Private car

  • Comfortable vehicle depending on the size of your travel group.

Price per person from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 8255 GBP

Monthly price comparison

Our best price per person when booking for two.

2024
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