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Scottish Highlands & West Coast

(10 days / 9 nights)

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15% OFF

A tour of Scotland to see and experience the top sights

This self-drive tour was designed to ensure you can see and visit as many as Scotland’s highlights as possible in your 10-day road trip around the country. We’ve included the best experiences of the east and west coast. This includes St Andrews, Loch Ness, Oban and the Isles of Mull and Iona, and many more famous sights and hidden gems along the way. This will be a great chance to admire the Scottish landscapes and learn about its rich history and culture.

10 days / 9 nights

Price p.p. from

Approx 1135 GBP

The amount will be charged in GBP

— Why book with Nordic Visitor

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

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Tour Highlights

  • Walk along the mysterious Loch Ness and visit the castle on its shores
  • See the striking natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands
  • See the rugged hills of the Isle of Mull and beautiful beaches of Iona
  • Stroll up the Royal Mile and discover the capital city Edinburgh
  • Explore the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness, and its surroundings
  • Enjoy some quiet time in nature at the Trossachs National Park
  • Photograph the picturesque Dunnottar Castle
  • See Neolithic and Bronze Age stone circles and remains around Kilmartin Glen
  • Discover historic sites around the country with the Scottish Explorer Pass
  • Enjoy a road trip with peace of mind with your personal itinerary from a local travel expert

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

Castles and Royalty i, Classic i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Culture and History i, Heritage i, Highlands i, Hiking i

Season

Apr - Oct

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1450/905 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 Activity
  • 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: Entrances 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 Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 4: The Beauty of Loch Ness

    Spend some time exploring Inverness, “The Capital of the Highlands”, and its surroundings, such as the Black Isle Peninsula and Moray Firth, where dolphins can sometimes be spotted at low tide. Drive south along the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness, where you can stop to visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition or to try to spot the notorious monster, Nessie. You can also explore the nearby Urquhart Castle ruins. You could also opt to take a detour to visit the picturesque Glen Affric.

    Continue south to Fort William, passing by Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

    Spend the night in the Fort William area.

    Included: Entrance to Urquhart Castle

    Driving distance: 155 km / 95 miles  

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 5: Explore Fort William at your Leisure

    You have today to explore the surroundings of Fort William, or you have the option of taking a day trip to the Isle of Skye. For Skye we recommend an early start. Before arriving at the island, you can stop by the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. On Skye, you can visit the village of Portree and hike to the mystical Fairy Pools, from where you can take in the beauty of the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

    For a more leisurely day, we recommend staying around Fort William. You could board the “Harry Potter train”, the Jacobite Steam Train, which passes by the Glenfinnan Viaduct and is considered one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world. Hikers will love the area and could discover the beautiful Glen Nevis where you can view the Steall Falls, Scotland's second highest waterfall.

    Spend another night in the Fort William area.

    Driving distance to Skye and back: 380 km / 235 miles
    Driving distance around Fort William: 85 km / 55 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 6: 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
  • Day 7: 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 8: 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 to the reach 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 9: 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: Entrances to Doune Castle and Stirling Castle

    Driving distance: 130 km / 80 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 10: 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.

    Optional Activity

Map

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

Accommodation

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

Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel, B&B, well-appointed guesthouse or similar. All provide breakfast..

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Quality

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a boutique guesthouse, three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation of that s..

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Toyota Yaris
or similar

  • x4
  • x3
  • x1
  • M

Toyota Yaris
or similar

  • Type: A
  • Passengers: 4
  • Luggage: 1
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Manual

Kia Picanto (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x3
  • x1
  • A

Kia Picanto (automatic)
or similar

  • Type: B
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 1
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Automatic

Vauxhall Astra
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Vauxhall Astra
or similar

  • Type: C
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Toyota Auris (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Toyota Auris (automatic)
or similar

  • Type: D
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Vauxhall Insignia
or similar

  • x5
  • x4
  • x4
  • M

Vauxhall Insignia
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Manual

Ford Mondeo (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x4
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo (automatic)
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic

BMW 520 (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x4
  • x4
  • A

BMW 520 (automatic)
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic

Vauxhall Zafira
or similar

  • x7
  • x5
  • x1
  • M

Vauxhall Zafira
or similar

  • Type: H
  • Passengers: 7
  • Luggage: 1
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Kia Sportage
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • M

Kia Sportage
or similar

  • Type: I
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Kia Sportage (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Kia Sportage (automatic)
or similar

  • Type: J
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Mercedes Vito
or similar

  • x9
  • x3
  • x9
  • M

Mercedes Vito
or similar

  • Type: K
  • Passengers: 9
  • Luggage: 9
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Manual
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Price per person from

Approx 1135 GBP

The amount will be charged in GBP

Monthly price comparison Our best price per person when booking for two.

2019

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.

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