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Scottish Highlands & the Isles

(10 days / 9 nights)

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Into the very heart of Scotland

Whether or not you have Scottish roots, this journey will get you right to the heart of Scotland. Come experience the famous places you’ve heard all about, including Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Inverness and dozens of castles and historical sites along the way. You’ll also get to visit Harris Tweed, makers of authentic tartan cloth, and sample a wee “dram” of real Scotch whisky at local distilleries. With your flexible self-drive itinerary you’ll also have plenty of hiking and photographing opportunities.

10 days / 9 nights

Price p.p. from

Approx 1042 GBP

The amount will be charged in GBP

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Best Seller, Castles and Royalty, Classic, Culture and History, Highlands, Honeymoon & Romance, Isles, Off the Beaten Path

Season

1 Apr - 31 Oct

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1248/775 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 your time and interest, including 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: 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 attraction 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 today 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 Lews 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 / Loch Ness area.

    Driving distance: 237 km / 147 miles

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  • Day 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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.