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Scotland Complete

(14 days / 13 nights)

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Spend 2 weeks exploring the nature and history of Scotland

Come to Scotland to experience the famous sites as well as lesser known hidden gems, including Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Orkney Islands, Harris, Lewis and the North Coast 500. This 14-day tour includes plenty of time to explore the lush Scottish landscape and islands that you´ve dreamt about as well as experiencing the country´s rich culture. You will get to visit castles and historical sites, explore ancient stone circles, hideaway villages and stroll along golden beaches. With your flexible self-drive itinerary you’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy optional activities such as hiking or taking a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train which is recognisable from the Harry Potter films.

14 days / 13 nights

Price p.p. from

Approx 1475 GBP

The amount will be charged in GBP

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Classic, Culture and History, Heritage, Highlands, Honeymoon & Romance, Isles, Off the Beaten Path

Season

1 Apr - 31 Oct

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1786/1110 km/mi

Itinerary

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

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  • Day 1: ARRIVAL DAY IN EDINBURGH

    Welcome to Scotland. For an easy and comfortable way to get from the Edinburgh or Glasgow airport to your hotel in the Edinburgh city centre, we are happy to arrange a private transfer for you (at additional cost). After settling in, go out and explore. Edinburgh has a long and storied history, so there’s no shortage of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums and landmarks to visit, including the majestic Edinburgh Castle.    

    You can easily travel around the city centre on foot, and we recommend strolling along the Royal Mile or walking to Castle Hill for a spectacular view of the city. For a good introduction to the city, why not join the Edinburgh Tour, a guided tour on a double-decker bus covering the top attractions, or a guided walking tour of the Old Town. And of course there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy some warm Scottish hospitality—not to mention a taste of the local whisky.     

    Spend the night in Edinburgh. 

     
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  • Day 2: INTO THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

    Start your drive today across the remarkable Forth Road Bridge and head towards the majestic Scottish Highlands today. There are many possible stops depending on time and interests. Notable highlights include the picture-perfect village of Dunkeld, perched on the banks of the River Tay, and the 13th century Blair Castle nestled in the heart of Highland Perthshire. Travelling through the Cairngorms National Park, another ideal stop is at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, where actors and restored buildings help bring Highland history to life.    

    If time allows, head to the Battlefield of Culloden Moor, where the last battle on British soil occurred in 1746—an event considered “the beginning of the end for the Highlands”. There you can also visit Clava Cairns, a series of tombs and standing stones which pre-date Stonehenge by some 1,000 years. Then continue on to Inverness, regarded as “Capital of the Highlands.” 

    Spend the night in the Inverness area. 

    Driving distance: 251 km / 156 miles 

     
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  • Day 3: ORKNEY ISLANDS & NORSE HERITAGE

    Head north via the beautiful Black Isle Peninsula, passing the fairytale Dunrobin Castle on the way to the seaside village of Scrabster, where you will take the ferry to Stromness on Orkney—a beautiful 1.5-hour journey over Pentland Firth with spectacular views of the Old Man of Hoy.   

    Once you’re back on dry land, continue to Kirkwall, the largest town of the Orkney Islands and a former Viking stronghold. Here you have the opportunity to explore the city centre, including the magnificent 12th century St Magnus Cathedral.  

    Spend the night in the Kirkwall area.  

    Driving distance: 203 km/ 126 miles   

    Ferry from Scrabster to Orkney: 1.5 hours 

     
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  • Day 4: STONE AGE RUINS OF ORKNEY

    Spend another day exploring fantastic Orkney, noted for its stunning scenery and ruins dating back millennia to the Stone Age.   

    Today is a great opportunity to visit the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site area that includes a group of Neolithic monuments on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands. 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 raiding Vikings in the 12th century left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions.  

    Spend another night in the Kirkwall area.  

    Driving distance: 56 km / 35 miles 

     
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  • Day 5: THE NORTH COAST 500 ROUTE

    Start the day early and take the ferry back to the Scottish mainland. From here you’ll follow the North Coast 500 route, Scotland's answer to Route 66. This drive offers amazing vistas of rocky cliffs, gold sand beaches and beautiful mountains of the rural north coast.  

    Along your drive today we recommend visits to the beautiful Smoo Cave, the largest and most dramatic sea cave in Britain, and the pristine beaches and turquoise waters of Durness. Further ahead you can visit the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle before arriving at the charming and whitewashed village of Ullapool.  

    Spend the night in the Ullapool area.  

    Driving distance: 251 km / 156 miles

    Ferry from Orkney to Scrabster: 1.5 hours  

    Note: During the months of April, May, September and October, the ferry to Scrabster departs at 06:30 AM on weekdays. If travelling in these months we recommend starting your journey on Tuesday or Wednesday in order to take the ferry on weekends, which departs at 09:00 AM. 

     
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  • Day 6: GAELIC CULTURE & NEHOLITHIC MEGALITHS OF LEWIS

    Take the ferry in the morning to Stornoway and enjoy the beautiful sights of Lewis, an isle where the Gaelic culture and language still thrives. The main attractions here are the spectacular 4,000 year-old Callanish Standing Stones, an impressive collection of Neolithic stone circles and megaliths often referred to as the “Hebrides’ Stonehenge.”   

    Another highlight is the Black Arnol Museum, a must for anyone wanting to learn more about island life in the old days. In Stornoway you might also wish to visit the newly renovated Stornoway Museum located within the Victorian era Lewis Castle, which houses exhibits about the island including six of the famous Lewis Chessmen.       

    Continue south and spend the night on the Isle of Harris. 

    Driving distance: 69 km / 43 miles 

    Ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway: 2.5 hours 

     
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  • Day 7: ISLE OF HARRIS & THE GOLDEN ROAD

    Today enjoy the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, famous for its idyllic sandy beaches and craggy landscapes. Explore the small village of Tarbert and then take in the striking scenery on a drive along “The Golden Road” towards Rodel. 

    On the way, enjoy a walk on Luskentyre Beach, one of the most spectacular in Scotland, boasting miles of white sands and dazzling turquoise waters. Stop to admire tiny rural communities and perhaps take some time to explore the beautiful medieval St. Clement’s Church. 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 the Isle of Harris. 

    Driving distance: 177 km / 110 miles 

     
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  • Day 8: ISLAND HOPPING & NORTHERN SKYE

    Today you’ll travel from island to island as you take the ferry from Tarbert to Uig on the picturesque Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. After arriving, we recommend a drive around the northern part of the island via the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula. Here you can explore the mystical Fairy Glen and further along, via the Quirang rock face, visit the Staffin Beach where you can spot old dinosaur footprints. You can also view the beautiful Kilt Rock waterfall and enjoy a walk up to “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle for stunning views. 

    Spend the night on the Isle of Skye or nearby vicinity. 

    Driving distance: 71 km / 44 miles 

    Ferry from Tarbert to Uig: 1 hour and 40 min 

     
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  • Day 9: DAY OF LEISURE ON THE ISLE OF SKYE

    Today you have a full day to take in the magic of Skye, a paradise for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. Take some time to wander around the scenic village of Portree with its colourful buildings and boutiques. You might also wish to visit the Talisker Distillery to sample some genuine single malt Scotch whisky or head back to the northern part of the island to visit the romantic Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, home to the Chief of Clan MacLeod. 

    Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby vicinity. 

    Driving distance: 85 km / 53 miles 

     
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  • Day 10: EILEAN DONAN CASTLE & LOCH NESS

    Experience two of Scotland’s most famous attractions today. After departing Skye, drive towards the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, a sight you will surely recognize from many photographs, films and TV shows. Then head for Loch Ness, where you can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to learn about the story of the lake and, of course, its notorious and elusive monster. If you want to go out searching for Nessie yourself, you can take an optional boat tour and visit the Urquhart Castle ruins. 

    Spend the night in the Fort William area. 

    Driving distance: 237 km / 147 miles 

     
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  • Day 11: Explore Fort William at Your Leisure

    Today you will have a free day in the Fort William area, also known as the UK´s outdoor capital. There are endless opportunities for you to explore.  For instance, you can take an optional excursion on the Jacobite Steam Train, which is considered one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world, and crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct known from the Harry Potter books.  If you are interested in hiking, the area is home to the beautiful Glen Nevis region where you can view the Steall Falls, Scotland's second highest waterfall with a single drop of 120 metres. Or you can take the Mountain Gondola up to Aonach Mor and enjoy breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands. 

    Spend another night in the Fort William area or near Oban. 

    Driving distance: 29 km/18 miles 

     
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  • Day 12: THROUGH FAMOUS GLENS TO LOCH LOMOND

    Head to Rob Roy country, the Trossachs and Loch Lomond area today. This journey takes you past Scotland’s most famous valley, the magical Glen Coe, combining world-famous scenery and history. Other worthwhile sights include the grave of Rob Roy, the notorious outlaw and folk hero, at Balquidder and the beautiful Falls of Dochart in the village of Killin. 

    Alternately, you can choose to travel a longer scenic route via Oban with views of Loch Linnhe to the historical valley of Kilmartin Glen. It is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland, with many cairns, standing stones, rock carvings, stone circles, forts and castles. On this route you can also stop at the charming village of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne, where you have the opportunity to visit Inveraray Castle, the home of the Duke of Argyl. 

    Spend the night in the Loch Lomond / Trossachs National Park area. 

    Driving distance via Glen Coe: 129 km / 80 miles 

    Driving distance via Kilmartin Glen/Inveraray: 177 miles/285 km 

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  • Day 13: TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK TO EDINBURGH

    It’s time to head back towards Edinburgh today. But first you can take some time to enjoy the beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park area. Take a walk in nature to spot wildlife, enjoy an optional steam-ship tour on the tranquil lake Loch Katrine, follow in the footsteps of Rob Roy or visit a local whisky distillery. 

    For a fun photo opportunity, don’t miss the Doune Castle, featured in the classic film Monty Python & the Holy Grail and the Outlander TV series as “Castle Leoch.” Other ideal places to visit are Stirling Castle and the monument of William Wallace. 

    Back in Edinburgh, return your rental car and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps with a fine dinner to top off your amazing journey. 

    Spend the night in Edinburgh.  

    Driving distance: 132 km / 82 miles 

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  • Day 14: DEPARTURE

    To get to Edinburgh Airport, you can take the Airport Express bus from Waverley Bridge or a taxi directly from your hotel. If your flight is in the afternoon, use the morning to enjoy some last-minute shopping, visit one of Edinburgh’s museums or simply relax and take in the old world atmosphere of the city.

    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 customizing your itinerary.

Map

Here’s a map of Scotland, to help put things in perspective.