Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Time5 days (Approx.)
TicketMobile ticket
Offered in: English and 5 more

Overview

Experience the dramatic beauty and history of the Scottish Highlands on this 5-day trip from Edinburgh. Aboard a luxury coach, enjoy the scenery of Cairngorms National Park and the mysterious Loch Ness. Visit famous sites like Stirling Castle and Eilean Donan Castle, hear bloody histories like the battles of William Wallace and the massacre of Glen Coe, and journey on the famous Jacobite Steam Train from Harry Potter. Four nights in 3-star lodging and daily breakfasts included.
  • 5-day Highlands and Isle of Skye trip from Edinburgh with an expert guide
  • Sit back and relax on a scenic drive through Stirling and the wild Rannoch Moors
  • Admire the legendary Scottish Highland scenery in Trossachs National Park
  • Take a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, known as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express from many of the Harry Potter films
  • Visit attractions and landmarks such as Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Clan Donald Skye and Culloden Battlefield
  • Enjoy a choice of 3-star guesthouse or hotel accommodation in Oban, the Isle of Skye and Inverness
Your 5-day excursion of Scotland’s rugged Highlands and the Isle of Skye begins in Edinburgh, where you’ll meet your guide and group. You’ll set off in the morning by luxury van to your first destination: Stirling Castle. During the next days, you’ll travel by coach, ferry and on the famous Jacobite Steam Train. Witness the best of the region, from brooding historic landmarks like William Wallace monument, Eilean Donan Castle, Clan Donald Skye and Culloden Battlefield to the stunning natural settings of Loch Ness and the Rannoch Moors. Enjoy group tours by day and free time to explore Oban, Isle of Skye and Inverness by night.

Your tour includes round-trip transport, four nights stay in a 3-star hotel or guesthouse and daily breakfasts. Also included is admission to the Loch Ness boat cruise and Tomatin whisky distillery.

Itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh – Stirling – Highlands – Oban
Leave the Royal Mile in central Edinburgh by air-conditioned coach, and head north to the ancient Scottish capital of Stirling to see the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge — a fight that took place during the 13th-century First War of Scottish Independence. From the site, take in stunning views of Stirling Caste and the towering Wallace Monument.

Travel through the wild plains of Rannoch Moor and into brooding Glencoe, site of the massacre of 1692. Gaze out of your window at the scenery, pass the Isles of the Dead, and continue to Oban, a lovely west coast fishing port where your overnight accommodation awaits.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in Oban


Day 2: Oban – Jacobite Steam Train – Isle of Skye (B)
After breakfast, travel along the west coast by coach, and then take the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig — a journey voted by UK travel magazine Wanderlust as the 'top rail journey in the world.’ The train itself starred as Hogwarts Express in many of the Harry Potter films, and its route crosses Glenfinnan viaduct — a sight made famous in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Relax as you pass the village of Glenfinnan, where bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the start of the failed Jacobite campaign, and hop off the train at Mallaig. Then, board your ferry and travel across the sea to the beautiful Isle of Skye, typified by its awe-inspiring mountains, myths and legends. Your first stop on the island is Clan Donald Skye, a sweeping 20,000-acre (8,094-hectare) estate, for a walk around before your final journey of the day to the island’s capital Portree. Check in to your accommodation and spend your night at leisure.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in Portree, Isle of Skye

Day 3: Isle of Skye – Eilean Donan Castle – Loch Ness – Inverness (B)
Enjoy breakfast in your accommodation and then spend your morning exploring the Isle of Skye with your guide. Visit the Quiraing rock formation at Trotternish Ridge, stroll around Kilt Rock to marvel at its basalt columns, and soak up the raw beauty of the island’s wind-whipped cliffs and extraordinary geological scenery.

In the afternoon, return to mainland Scotland by crossing Skye Bridge, and then travel through the glorious west coast countryside to one of Scotland’s most-photographed landmarks: Eilean Donan Castle. Used as a filming location in the 1986 movie Highlander, the ruins of the romantic castle look out over three sea lochs, and the landmark is widely considered as one of Scotland’s most iconic sights.

After admiring the ruins and taking photos, travel through the Great Glen to Loch Ness, home of the fabled Loch Ness Monster, aka Nessie. Use some free time for a stroll along the banks of the famous freshwater loch, and then make your way to Inverness, capital of the Highlands, to check in to your overnight accommodation.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in Inverness


Day 4: Inverness – Loch Ness – Ullapool – Inverness (B)
Relax over breakfast, and spend your morning back at Loch Ness looking for the monster on a Loch Ness boat cruise.

Back on dry land, leave Loch Ness behind and head through the northwest Highlands to the small coastal village of Ullapool for a look around. Stretch your legs on a stroll, and take in the stunning vistas of Loch Broom, a photogenic sea loch located nearby. In the late afternoon, return to Inverness and spend your last evening in the Highlands doing whatever you wish.

Overnight: 3-star guesthouse or hotel in Inverness

Day 5: Inverness – Culloden Battlefield – Aviemore – Pitlochry – Edinburgh (B)
Check out of your accommodation after breakfast, and visit the atmospheric Culloden Battlefield, scene of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat at the end of the Jacobite Rebellion. Explore the site with your guide, and perhaps check out the visitor center and exhibition to learn more about the Jacobite Rebellion — the series of battles that helped shape Scottish history.

In the afternoon, travel through Cairngorms National Park and stop for a visit to Aviemore, a village set within the National Park that offers breathtaking views of the Cairngorms Mountains. Enjoy some free time for a walk before traveling south to Pitlochry. Here, you have the opportunity to visit a local whisky distillery (admission own expense) to learn about the Scotch whisky that’s produced in the town. Finally, return to the start point in central Edinburgh, where your 5-day tour finishes in the early evening.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

5.0
51 reviews
5 Star
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s
, Aug 2018

Our tour guide was funny and knowledgeable. We had a great time. We had an excelent train ride.
The castles were amazing.

M
, Jul 2018

I had never traveled with the following characteristics:
- The Driver is also the Guide
- Stop places are sufficient in time
- You're dropped off at the Hotels and then picked up to continue the journey
- The stops for lunch / lunch and others depend on the time we are at that moment due to traffic or our additional stops.
But that did not make the trip any bad or disorganized, but very good and practical.

T
, Dec 2017

We had a great guide which made all the difference. We saw Loch Ness, Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, the Jacobite Steam Train, the Kelpies, the battlefield of the Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and many other awesome sites. All were impressive! In addition, our hotel accommodations were good and some were excellent. More rest stops on some routes would have been helpful. We also had a great group with whom we enjoyed travelling for the five days. We highly recommend this tour of Scotland.

k
, Oct 2017

Just an incredible trip!! Sinclair, our driver and guide, made this the most memorable trip ever! Such full days - learned so much about Scottish history, enjoyed the gorgeous scenery, and shared the trip with a fabulous group of people from all over the globe!

P
, Sep 2017

This trip was for my step-daughter, so here are her thoughts below:

First things first, our tour guide Caitlin was absolutely amazing. She made our trip so enjoyable, taught us so much about Scotland and went above and beyond all expectations. If you can take a tour with her, I absolutely recommend it.

The tour itinerary itself was great. The Highlands are absolutely beautiful and you get to see a lot in a short amount of time. Some of my favorite places/things we did were Oban, Portree, the Jacobite Steam Train, and Loch Ness.

Because you see so much in a short of amount of time, you don't have a lot of time at each destination. Be aware of that. Also, at a lot of the stops, the museums/exhibits are at an extra cost usually a pound or two, so I would bring the extra pocket money because it is definitely worth it. Also, due to time constraints, I do recommend seeking out quicker places to eat for lunch versus sit-down restaurants as you usually only have an hour or less. You definitely can enjoy a sit-down dinner every day.

The accommodations weren't bad. We stayed in hotels, and as the week went on they got better. Honestly, it didn't matter to us much because we were only there to sleep. We didn't spend much time in our overnight accommodations.

Some other thoughts:

It rains a lot in Scotland, so if you're looking for somewhere with warm weather than you're probably looking at the wrong tour destination!

I wouldn't recommend flying out the same night the tour ends because you get back to Edinburgh on the later side, so you will be rushing to get to the airport if you do.

Take advantage of your tour guide and ask about the best places to eat/go in the evenings. They are happy to give you recommendations and they are truly great ones!

Lastly, something we were really worried about was having enough cash on us. Most places in the Highlands take credit cards and have ATMs. You only really need cash for the very small villages you pass through and some of the gift shops. I think we used about 200 pounds in cash for the entire trip, but use your judgement.

Overall this trip was absolutely amazing and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. I didn't want to leave Scotland, it was so beautiful.

C
, Sep 2017

There were many problems with this trip. I put down our difficulties to inadequate training for the driver but possible it is company policy. On the first night the driver did not know where our B and B was. Five of us ended up following up him, largely uphill, dragging our suitcases for more than 20 minutes until he found the B and B. Both that night and the following night we were up a sharp from any area where food was available. We were left at the B and B door with the expectation we would make our way down the hill. There was no consideration of the age or abilities of anyone on the bus trip. The bus driver did not stand at the door of bus to assist anyone off or on the bus. The itinerary was changed with no explanation as to why we didn't go to a certain place. When we got to a site no explanation of the distance or terrain was provided. Thank God the scenery was beautiful.

d
, Jan 2017

LOVED IT!!!

H
, Oct 2016

Everything was organized very well, great tour, Gill our guide was the BEST.

J
, Sep 2016

Could we have asked for a better guide than a red-haired, bearded, kilted Scot with a degree in Scottish history? Dave gave us a great tour, pointed out pubs and restaurants for our lunches and dinners, made lots of photo stops and really helped everyone connect to Scotland's history and culture.

G
, Aug 2016

excellent tour and guide - took us to many nice places - however, the rooms were very spartan to say the least the first two nights - hence only 4 stars


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