Loading...

Scotland is Open | New Multi-day tours for Christmas and New Year's!

Menu

Grand Tour of Scotland

(17 days / 16 nights)

View Photos View Map Book with confidence

Discover the Scottish Highlands and Islands' way of life

This 17-day self-drive tour has been designed for those who want a complete experience of Scotland. If you want beautiful scenic drives, the chance to explore mythical ruins and learn more about Scotland's rich history, this itinerary is for you. During this tour you get all the exciting adventures and highlights of our Complete Scotland tour, which goes from Edinburgh into Highlands, to the Orkney Islands, then west to the Isle of Harris and Lewis and down to the Isle of Skye, plus the chance to discover the stunning Isle of Mull.

17 days / 16 nights

Price p.p. from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 2713 GBP

See Book With Confidence terms

— Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Quality & value for your money
  • Trusted local experts in Scotland
  • Great customer reviews

Read more

— Book With Confidence

  • Optional cancellation insurance
  • Affordable deposits from 10%

Terms and conditions apply

Tour Highlights

  • Explore some of Scotland’s top sights on the famous and breathtaking Isle of Skye
  • Explore the mysterious and ancient “Heart of Neolithic Orkney
  • See the rugged hills of the Isle of Mull and beautiful beaches of Iona
  • Visit the spectacular Callanish Standing Stones
  • Walk along the mysterious Loch Ness and visit the castle on its shores
  • See the striking natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands
  • Enjoy island-hopping between Orkney, Harris, Lewis and Skye
  • Drive along the famous North Coast 500
  • Discover Scotland's historic capital Edinburgh and stroll up the Royal Mile
  • Enjoy a road trip with peace of mind with your personal itinerary from a local travel expert

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

Active i, Castles and Royalty i, Classic i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Heritage i, Highlands i, Hiking i, Honeymoon & Romance i, Isles i, Off the Beaten Path i

Season

Apr - Oct

Departure

Daily

Interest

Active i, Castles and Royalty i, Classic i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Heritage i, Highlands i, Hiking i, Honeymoon & Romance i, Isles i, Off the Beaten Path i

Driving distance

2580 / 1610 km/mi

Itinerary

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

Download PDF
  • Day 1: ARRIVAL IN EDINBURGH

    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 Town and New Town, 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. 

    Included: Entrance to Edinburgh Castle

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

    Today, start your road trip driving up to Fife. Your first stop will be the quaint village of Falkland, where you can explore its Renaissance palace. From there, drive east to the town of St Andrews, famous for being the home of golf and of the oldest university in Scotland. As you continue north, pass by Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design. You can then take the direct route to Aberdeen, or take the coastal scenic route, which will take you past the St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve and the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven.

    Spend the night in the Aberdeen area.

    Included: Entrance to St Andrews Castle & St Andrews Cathedral

    Driving distance: 235 km / 145 miles

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

    Today will take you into the Scottish Highlands. First drive along the “Deeside Tourist Route”, an enchanting route through the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, there is a plethora of castles you could visit, including 16th-century Crathes Castle, and of course, the Scottish residence of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, which you can visit from April to July. You will then continue to Speyside, which is famous for its whiskies. You may want to visit one of the many distilleries (there are over 40 to choose from!), such as Glenfiddich or Aberlour.

    Spend the night in the Inverness area.

    Driving distance: 240 km  / 150 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 4: JOURNEY TO ORKNEY

    Today your drive will take you north, across the Black Isle Peninsula, all the way to the seaside village of Scrabster. We recommend making a stop on the way 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, drive 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

    Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 5: THE WONDERS OF ORKNEY

    You have the whole day to explore the gems of Orkney, admire its 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, the huge megaliths at the Standing Stones of Stenness and the chambered cairn of Maeshowe, where 12th-century Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions. 

    Spend another night in the Kirkwall area. 

    Included: Entrance to Skara Brae & Maeshowe

    Driving distance: 56 km  / 35 miles 

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

    Today you journey back to the mainland by ferry before taking on 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, mountains, and gold sand beaches. We recommend stopping along the way to visit the beautiful Smoo Cave, the largest and most dramatic sea cave in Britain, the pristine beaches and turquoise waters of Durness, and the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle before arriving at the charming village of Ullapool

    Spend the night in the Ullapool area. 

    Ferry from Orkney to Scrabster: 1.5 hours 

    Driving distance: 250 km / 150 miles 

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

    This morning, catch the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, where the Gaelic culture and language still thrives. In Stornoway, you could visit the Stornoway Museum located within Lews Castle, which houses exhibits about the island including six of the famous Lewis Chessmen. You will want to make the detour toward the west side of the island to see the spectacular Callanish Standing Stones, an impressive collection of Neolithic stone circles and megaliths. We also recommend visiting the Black Arnol Museum to learn about the history of the island life.

    Spend the night on Lewis or Harris.

    Ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway: 2.5 hours

    Driving distance: 165 km / 100 miles 

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

    Today enjoy the beauty of the Isle of Harris. You can explore the small village of Tarbert and then take in the striking scenery on a drive along “The Golden Road” towards Rodel. We recommend exploring the beautiful medieval St. Clement’s Church and going for a walk on Luskentyre Beach, one of the most spectacular in Scotland, boasting miles of white sands and dazzling turquoise waters. You can also visit the Harris Tweed outlets for 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

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

    Today you’ll catch the ferry from Tarbert to Uig on the Isle of Skye. Upon your arrival on Skye, we recommend a drive around the northern part of the island via the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula. There you can enjoy a walk up to “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle and see the beautiful Kilt Rock waterfall. Other highlights include the Quiraing, the An Corran Beach at Staffin, where you may spot ancient dinosaur footprints, and the mystical Fairy Glen.

    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

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 10: DUNVEGAN CASTLE & CORAL BEACH

    Spend a full day taking in the magic of Skye, a paradise for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. Wander around the scenic village of Portree, with its colourful buildings and local shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs. Drive to the western of the island to visit the romantic Dunvegan Castle, home to the Chief of Clan MacLeod. We also recommend going for a walk along Claigan Coral Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Skye. You can also visit Neist Point, the most westerly point on Skye that offers stunning sea views.

    Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Driving distance: 130 km / 80 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 11: THE MAGIC OF SKYE

    Enjoy another full day at your leisure in the mesmerizing surroundings of Skye. The island is perfect for those who love hiking as there are great areas and mountains all over, including to the mystical Fairy Pools and taking in the beauty of the Cuillin Mountains. You could also take part in a sailing tour to get a different perspective. For the whisky enthusiasts, or for those who want to taste the true flavor of Scotland, visit the Talisker Distillery to sample some genuine single malt Scotch whisky.

    Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Driving distance: 160 km / 100 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 12: THE BEAUTY OF LOCH NESS

    Today’s journey will bring you back to the Scottish mainland. Make sure to stop at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, a sight you will surely recognise from many photographs, films and TV shows. Drive all the way to the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness, where you can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. You might also wish to take a boat tour on Loch Ness in search of its notorious and elusive monster, or go explore the nearby Urquhart Castle ruins on the shores of the loch.

    Spend the night in the Fort William area.

    Included: Entrance to Urquhart Castle

    Driving distance: 260 km / 160 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 13: FORT WILLIAM TO THE ISLE OF MULL

    Start your day with a scenic ferry ride over to Craignure on the Isle of Mull, a place characterised by white sandy beaches, rugged mountains and thriving wildlife. Your first stop will be Duart Castle, standing proudly by the sea cliffs of the island. We then recommend taking the scenic route along the west coast, past the highest peak Ben More. Stop on the way at one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland, Calgary Bay. Continue on to the charming village of Tobermory, the largest settlement of the island.

    Spend the night on the Isle of Mull or in the Oban area.

    Ferry from Oban to Craignure:  45 minutes

    Driving distance: 180 km / 115 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 14: BEAUTIFUL ISLES OF IONA & STAFFA

    Today you have a full day at your leisure on Mull. You have the option to head to the west coast of the island, from where you can take a ferry ride from Fionnphort over to the Isle of Iona, home of dazzling beaches and sacred sites such as Iona Abbey. From Iona you can join a boat trip to the uninhabited Isle of Staffa, where you can admire Fingal’s Cave, a natural arched sea cave with impressive basalt columns. While on the boat tour, you might come across dolphins, porpoises and minke whales. 

    Spend another night on the Isle of Mull or in the Oban area.

    Included: Entrance to Iona Abbey

    Driving distance: 180 km / 115 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 15: KILMARTIN GLEN, LUSS & LOCH LOMOND

    Today, take the ferry back to the mainland and continue your drive along the scenic route to the historical valley of Kilmartin Glen. This area is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland, including standing stones and circles as well as forts and castles. On the way we recommend a stop at Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne, where you could visit Inveraray Castle. Continue on to the shores of the beautiful Loch Lomond and visit the charming conservation village of Luss.

    Spend the night in the Trossachs National Park area.

    Ferry from Craignure to Oban: 45 minutes

    Driving distance: 245 km / 150 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 16: TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK TO EDINBURGH

    Today’s drive will bring you back to Edinburgh (you can choose to end your trip in Glasgow in the optional activities below). Drive through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, where you could stop to take a walk in nature, enjoy an optional steamship tour on Loch Katrine, or visit a local whisky distillery. For a fun photo opportunity, don’t miss Doune Castle, featured in Monty Python & the Holy Grail and Outlander. If time allows, you could also stop by Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top attractions, or at the Kelpies, two impressive horse-head sculptures.

    Spend the night in Edinburgh. 

    Included: Entrance to Doune Castle and Stirling Castle

    Driving distance: 130 km / 80 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 17: DEPARTURE FROM SCOTLAND

    On your day of departure, we recommend taking the Airlink bus or a taxi directly from your hotel to reach the airport. If you would like to add any additional nights to your trip or to arrange a private transfer, you can do so during the booking process. If your flight is in the afternoon, you may have time for some last-minute shopping, to visit one of Edinburgh’s museums, or take one last stroll through the charming city centre.

    If you wish to spend more time in Edinburgh or Glasgow before or after the tour, ask your travel consultant about adding extra nights or services, such as private airport transfers. We can also extend your trip with other destinations in the Nordic region such as Iceland or Norway. Contact us for details about tailoring your itinerary.

    Optional Extras

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.

Excellent information and documents!

Having used another tour company for Ireland and England just before this section of our trip I can say with one hundred percent truth that your information and documents were excellent! When we saw a paper map was included and daily ideas for the itinerary we were so happy. We didn't need electricity or wifi, we could just look at the map! An overall view like that was so much easier to use.

Everything ran as smoothly as clockwork!

My husband and I wanted to hire a car and travel extensively throughout northern Scotland which included the Orkney Islands, and the other beautiful islands in far northern Scotland. From the day we contacted Agne Dobrovolskyte at Nordic Visitor, everything ran as smoothly as clockwork! Agne knew exactly what we wanted;  all the Bed & Breakfast places she booked on our behalf right throughout Scotland were absolutely perfect, centrally located near all facilities, managed by wonderful, friendly hosts and included delicious, plentiful breakfasts. The car Agne booked for us was reliable and the perfect (compact) size to negotiate the narrow, single lane roads you frequently experience in northern Scotland (especially on the northern Scottish islands). Agne gave us the benefit of her experience of Scotland with wonderful suggestions on what to see and do - suggestions and advice that we were glad we followed. Everything Agne did and organised, made our road trip throughout the beautiful country of Scotland a wonderful and memorable experience. For anyone wanting to deal with a high-achieving travel company that is absolutely professional and efficient, we highly recommend Nordic Visitor and, in particular, Agne Dobrovolskyte, who proved to be a very competent, friendly and knowledgeable travel agent. Thank you, Agne!"

Great travel experience

I can't find anything wrong with the service or experience we had booking through Nordic Visitor. I will keep on advocating how great our travel experience was with you. 

Incredibly helpful

Annie was amazing! She put together a fantastic package. We visited Annie in Edinburgh before and after we traveled the country. She was incredibly helpful.

We enjoyed the trip immensely

We thought the daily itinerary was very well planned - several stops that were never more than 45 minutes from one another and never too overly ambitious. The recommendations for places to stop for refreshments were also very good. The itinerary also distinguished between the 'must see' and the 'if you have time'. It was obvious that the itineray was prepared by someone who was extremely familiar with the sites. We enjoyed the trip immensely. It was better than we hoped it would be.

Whole experience was a pleasure

I was very impressed with the ease of use and professionalism of Nordic Visitor right from the initial website browsing through online booking, tour confirmation, payment and final documentation. Service from our Travel Consultant (Sarah) was top class and personalized. The guidance given on sites of interest was well researched and fully comprehensive. The whole experience was a pleasure. Well done.

Accommodation

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

Comfort Plus

Standard rooms in good quality and comfortable three-star hotels in combination with well-appointed guesthouses or country hotels.

View

Superior

Standard rooms in four-star hotels or boutique guesthouses in combination with Superior rooms in premium three-star hotels.

View

Rental car

Enjoy your road trip with a free GPS and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to reduce liability.

Toyota Yaris (manual)
or similar

  • x4
  • x3
  • x1
  • M

Toyota Yaris (manual)
or similar

  • Description: Economy
  • Passengers: 4
  • Luggage: 1
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Manual

Vauxhall Astra (manual)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Vauxhall Astra (manual)
or similar

  • Description: Compact
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Toyota Auris (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Toyota Auris (automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Economy
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Mondeo (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo (automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Standard
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

BMW 520 (automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

BMW 520 (automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • Description: Premium
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Kia Sportage (automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Kia Sportage (automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • Description: Intermediate SUV
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Mercedes Vito (automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • x8
  • x3
  • x5
  • A

Mercedes Vito (automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • Description: Premium Passenger Van
  • Passengers: 8
  • Luggage: 5
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Automatic*
  • *manual option available upon request

Price per person from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 2713 GBP

Book with confidence

Monthly price comparison

Our best price per person when booking for two.

2022
2023

Optional extras

Customise your adventure with these Optional Extras.

Tour Information

We recommend that all our travellers read through the following information about driving in Scotland, what the tour includes, the itinerary, accommodation, and other useful information for your travels.

ABOUT OUR SELF-DRIVE TOURS
This is a self-drive tour, which means you will follow a detailed and personalised itinerary during your road trip in Scotland. No dedicated driver or tour guide is included. All accommodation, rental vehicle, and other planned activities or added services will be pre-booked by Nordic Visitor (as specified in the itinerary). As this is a self-drive tour, you are welcome to stop when and where you wish on your drive. Except for accommodation and booked activities, other highlights we’ve listed in the itinerary are suggestions based on Nordic Visitor favourites.

TRAVEL SEASONS IN SCOTLAND
Scotland is beautiful all year long, but we want travellers to be aware that the summer is the high travelling season, with July and August being the peak months. Due to this fact, many of the highlights, such as Isle of Skye and Edinburgh, will be extremely popular and offer limited availability, for attractions, accommodations, restaurants and tours alike.

For a more relaxing experience, we recommend booking well in advance or arriving during the shoulder season, from April to June or September and October. However, if you wish to travel in July or August, we will endeavour to make this a great adventure.  

ACCOMMODATION
Our team of local travel experts carefully selects hotels, B&Bs, and guesthouses around the country 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.

DRIVING IN SCOTLAND
The roads in Scotland are usually in good conditions all year long and are renowned for their road trip worthiness. Please be aware that in the UK motorists drive on the left side of the road (and on the right side of the car). If you are not used to driving on the left, we highly recommend choosing a vehicle with automatic transmission for your self-drive tour. If you want a manual transmission vehicle, keep in mind that you will need to shift gears with your left hand (floor pedals are the same). Drivers will also have to get used to the narrower roads of the UK as well as the rural single-track roads with passing places, and be careful of animals on the road.

For inexperienced drivers who still want to explore and discover Scotland, we recommend one of our guided small group tour or our privately guided tours, where you will have a local, experienced guide at the wheel.

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE FROM GLASGOW
If you are planning on arriving in Glasgow, you could 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, as well if that is more convenient for you.

SAFETY & WEATHER CONDITIONS
Please note that sightseeing and transport is dependent on weather and road conditions and might need to be altered if conditions are not favourable. This includes ferries and drives. If something unexpected occurs, you can call our 24-hour helpline to speak directly with a Nordic Visitor staff member.

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.

OTHER SUGGESTED TOURS

Scotland
Self-drive
10 days / 9 nights
Apr - Oct

Scottish Highlands & West Coast

1503GBP

Eur

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

Classic Scotland

1483GBP

Eur

Scotland
Best seller
Self-drive
8 days / 7 nights
Apr - Oct

Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye

1156GBP

Eur

Scotland
Self-drive
7 days / 6 nights
Apr - Oct

The Outlander Trail

1013GBP

Eur

We are here to help

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.

here to help