The A82 (Glasgow to Fort William and Inverness), the A9 (Stirling to Perth, Aviemore, Inverness and Thurso) and the A96 (Aberdeen to Nairn and Inverness) are the three main roads to and from the Highlands. The area also has three National Tourist Routes (the Highland Tourist Route, the Moray Coastal Route, and the North & West Highlands Route) which offer a leisurely drive through areas of exceptional natural beauty between Aberdeen and Inverness, Inverness and Lairg, and from Ullapool to John O’ Groats respectively.
Some care is needed when driving in Scotland off the main roads: make sure that you drive safely on single track roads and look out for livestock on rural routes. Some of the more remote areas have fewer petrol stations so make sure to fill up when you can.
If you plan on travelling by bicycle, take a look at our information on cycling in Scotland.
Traffic Scotland is a great source of up-to-date traffic information, whilst you can also use Transport Direct to plan your route.
For information about all public transport in Scotland, the best place to check for information and timetables is the Traveline site; you can also download their handy mobile app or call them on 0871 200 22 33.
There are regular coaches to the Highlands from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, plus connections from other towns and cities across the UK.
Once you arrive, an excellent network of local bus services operate between many of the main towns, villages and over to the Isle of Skye. Postbuses also carry fare-paying passengers in rural areas where there is no other form of public transport.
Travel by train to the Highlands and you will be treated to spectacular scenery. You can travel to Inverness from towns and cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen by train, and then join a local train from there. You can also take the Caledonian Sleeper overnight from London to Fort William and Inverness.
For a truly memorable trip, take the train from Fort William to Mallaig, a route that is widely regarded as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. This route – which you can do by steam train in the summer - also takes you across the magnificent sweeping viaduct at Glenfinnan which appears in the Harry Potter films.
There are several options for flying to the Highlands, the best way to find the most competitive fares for flying around Scotland is to search on comparison sites such as SkyScanner, Travel Supermarket and Cheapflights.
You can fly to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, from across the UK as well as some international airports. Wick Airport receives direct flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh. For more information take a look at The Highlands and Islands Airports site.
Both Caledonian MacBrayne and the small Glenelg-Skye ferry operate car and passenger services to the region’s west coast islands.
You can visit the northern islands from the Highlands with NorthLink Ferries and Pentland Ferries operate car and passenger services from Scrabster (near Thurso) and Gills Bay over to Orkney. In addition, John o' Groats Ferries offers passenger-only services to Orkney.
There are also a wide variety of tour operators offering wildlife, heritage and adventure boat trips. The classic trip from Elgol drops you at the steps to Loch Coruisk in the heart of the magnificent Cuillin.
Find out more about travelling to and around Scotland.