Best of the Highlands
On this special four-day tour a relaxed stay in the Highland Capital of Inverness is combined with fabulous excursions to Isle of Skye and the Far North to discover the history, nature and beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Edinburgh - Glen Coe - Inverness
We leave Edinburgh and head towards Stirling for great views of Stirling Castle, standing guard over this historic old town. We soon find ourselves in the Highlands as we enter a land of sparkling lochs, majestic mountains and charming villages. The vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor sets the scene as it leads us into the heart of hauntingly beautiful Glen Coe, where we’ll make a photo-stop.
Fort William sits close to the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain. This is a wonderful starting point for our journey through the Great Glen, a picturesque valley of fast-flowing rivers and deep lochs. We spend some time at the most famous of these, Loch Ness. There’s a stop at atmospheric Urquhart Castle, which overlooks the deepest waters of the loch. You can tour the historic castle ruins and take a short monster-spotting cruise before we make the short drive to our touring base in Inverness.
Overnight: Inverness (3 nights)
John O'Groats and the Far North Excursion
Our destination today is the very edge of mainland Britain as we head for the Northern Highlands. We travel from Inverness over the Moray, Dornoch and Cromarty Firths to reach "Whisky Country”. This region is home to a number of famous whiskies including Glenmorangie, which is produced in Tain, a town that can trace its history back to 1066.
We’re heading along part of the famous North Coast 500, a touring route that offers some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery. At Golspie we will hear the sad tale of the Highland Clearances during the 18th Century when residents were evicted to make way for sheep farming. A little later, in the attractive fishing town of Helmsdale, we will see the emigrants statue which commemorates those displaced highlanders who emigrated to the New World.
After a souvenir photo stop in John O'Groats, the most northerly village in the UK, it's on to spectacular Duncansby Head to discover nature at its most striking. It's well worth the short walk to be rewarded with wonderful views of the towering sea-stacks, that are home to a large, varied, and noisy bird population.
We make a brief stop in Wick, before beginning the return journey. As we travel southwards towards Inverness there will be a stop in one of the attractive fishing villages that hug the coastline.
Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye Excursion
Today we point our compass west to the beautiful Isle of Skye. We begin our day's journey with a drive to the lonely village of Achnasheen, where we have our first stop. Later we will travel through beautiful Glen Carron, stopping to enjoy the view over Loch Carron.
Iconic Eilean Donan Castle is our next treat. This attractive fortress sits on a little island at the point where three great sea lochs come together. There is free time here so you can visit the castle and savour the views.
A short drive takes us "over the sea to Skye”, where our scenic drive meanders along the coastal route with wonderful views of the islands of Scalpay and Raasay to enjoy. The jagged Cuillin Hills dominate Skye so we’ll find the very best vantage point to appreciate them before arriving in Portree, the island’s attractive main town.
After lunch we head for the lunar landscape of the Trotternish Peninsula where we will see the stunning Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock, with its waterfall cascading 60m into the Sound of Raasay below.
Back on the mainland we travel through Glen Shiel where we will see the towering peaks of the Five Sisters of Kintail before making our last stop in little Invermoriston to visit Thomas Telford's famous bridge and the rushing falls of the River Moriston below. The last part of our tour will take us along the banks of Loch Ness and back to Inverness.
Inverness - Black Isle - Edinburgh
Our last day together begins with a fascinating journey through the beautiful Black Isle. Our first break is in the charming town of Beauly to view the ruined Priory and, perhaps, enjoy browsing the local shops. Our next stop is at little Glen Ord Distillery, where an expert guide takes you through the malt whisky distilling process. After a wee dram, it's off to the historic fishing village of Cromarty where there is free time to explore this delightful community.
The Moray Firth is home to a dolphin colony, so we make a stop at a local vantage point for the best chance to spot these adorable creatures.
Our journey southwards will take us through the Cairngorms National Park which is home to five of the six tallest mountains in the United Kingdom. All part of the stunning scenery as we travel through the Spey Valley and then descend through the Pass of Drumochter. Look out for white-washed Blair Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Atholl.
Next we enjoy a break in the Victorian resort of Pitlochry situated in the midst of beautiful Highland Perthshire before the final part of our journey takes us through the ancient Kingdom of Fife and back to Edinburgh.
- Edinburgh - City Centre
- Small coach
- Medium Group (17-30)
- Small Group (1-16)
Tour company information
The best choice for quality and value tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and London for over 100 years. If you are planning to visit Scotland then you will find our range of one-day tours, short breaks and luxury escorted tours the very best way to discover the real Scotland - a land of fairytale castles, picturesque lochs and spectacular scenery. Our wide range of Scotland tours depart from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and London. With a choice of over 140 different itineraries from 1 to 15 days in length we’ve got the perfect tour, just for you.
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