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  • Address: Inverness, Scotland

Inverness ATTRACTIONS See all

Caledonian Canal Tours

Pleasure boats float along Caledonian Canal, a scenic 60-mile (97-kilometer) waterway that runs through Scotland's Great Glen, connecting Fort William in the southwest to Inverness in the northeast. The canal, which links Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, Loch Dochfour, and Loch Ness, is popular with walkers and cyclists, who follow towpath trails. 

The Basics
Though the long-distance Great Glen Way, which follows the path of the canal, attracts hikers and cyclists to the water’s edge, most visitors to Scotland encounter the Caledonian Canal during sightseeing cruises. The most-visited part of the canal is the area around Loch Ness, a vast and scenic lake, and the supposed home of a mysterious aquatic monster. Organized tours departing from Edinburgh and Inverness often include a visit to the canal, as well as trips to other area Highland highlights, such as Urquhart Castle, the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, and Glencoe.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Caledonian Canal is a must-see for scenery-seekers and active travelers. 
  • Swimming is not allowed in the waterway. 
  • Wi-Fi hotspots are available (for a fee) at various spots along the canal. 
  • Some parts of the Great Glen Way are wheelchair-accessible.  

How to Get There
If you’re coming from Fort William, Neptune’s Staircase, 4 miles (6 kilometers) north of the city in the village of Banavie, are the nearest and most spectacular set of lochs on the canal. To get there, ride the Mallaig-bound train from Fort William to Banavie. If you’re based in Inverness, take a stroll along the Canal Road, which connects to the Great Glen Way. 

When to Get There
The best time to visit the canal is in summer. At this time, the weather is generally warmer, days are longer, and sightseers can take advantage of cruise vessels’ outdoor decks. The canal is perhaps at its most scenic during sunrise and sunset, when the golden glow reflects off the water’s surface. 

The History of the Caledonian Canal
Built in the late 18th and early 19th century, the Caledonian Canal was meant to serve as a safe route for commercial freight who wanted to avoid the hazardous west coast of Scotland. Unfortunately, by the time it actually opened in 1822, larger steam ships were becoming more commonplace, and were too large to use the canal. Nowadays, the canal is largely used for recreational purposes. 

Tours & Tickets

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Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 43 Reviews

Explore the stunning natural beauty of Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands on this 12-hour mini-coach tour from Edinburgh. Accompanied by a guide, enjoy ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $65.64
Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle Visit from Inverness, Inverness, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle Visit from Inverness

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Explore Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle during this enchanting 4-hour tour. Take a one hour cruise leaving from Dochgarroch Lock, 4 miles outside Inverness, ...  Read more

Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.55
Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise including Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Cultural ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise including Urquhart Castle

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Discover the beauty of the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness and enjoy a visit to Urquhart Castle.

Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $40.19
Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Sail Loch Ness and View Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Sail Loch Ness and View Urquhart Castle

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness and view Urquhart Castle from the water on our 3-hour, 20 minute cruise from Tomnahurich Bridge, Inverness.

Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 hours 20 minutes (approx.)

From USD $30.81
The Complete Loch Ness Experience Day Tour from Inverness, Inverness, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

The Complete Loch Ness Experience Day Tour from Inverness

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

No one can resist the mythical Loch Ness: its beauty evokes a sense of wonder, while its monstrous depths are legendary. On this 7-hour small-group tour, you ...  Read more

Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $32.15
Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands

4.5 star rating: Recommended 228 Reviews

Go on a fantastic tour from Edinburgh to explore the legendary myths of Loch Ness and enjoy the diverse range of Scottish Highland scenery. Drive through the ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $64.30
Loch Ness and the Highlands Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Loch Ness and the Highlands Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 34 Reviews

Join this small group tour (maximum 16 passengers) for a classic one day tour to Loch Ness. Traveling through spectacular Highland scenery, this tour is the ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $65.64
Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise, Including Visit to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise, Including Visit to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Exhibition Centre

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 15 Reviews

Enjoy a full-day guided coach tour including a cruise on Loch Ness. Depart from Inverness and take in Corrimoney Cairns, the Loch Ness Centre, Urquhart Castle ...  Read more

Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $61.62
Glencoe, Ben Nevis and Loch Ness Day Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Glencoe, Ben Nevis and Loch Ness Day Tour from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Explore some of Scotland's most iconic sites and stunning scenery with this unique guided day tour from Edinburgh and witness the unique site of Glencoe, the ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $64.30
Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Sail on Loch Ness and View Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Cruise the Caledonian Canal, Sail on Loch Ness and View Urquhart Castle

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Discover the beauty of the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness and enjoy views of Urquhart Castle from the water.

Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $26.79

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