Classic Scotland | 12 Day Self-Drive
Bagpipes. Haggis. Tartans. Some things are just classically Scotland, and this tour is one of them. Immerse yourself in everything this great country has to offer.
Arrive in Edinburgh and make your way to your accommodation. After dropping off your belongings, begin exploring Scotland’s wonderful capital, Edinburgh, featuring a wide range of cultural and historic attractions. Explore the Old Town, the city’s historic heart, with its quaint alleys, called ‘closes’, leading off the Royal Mile. Sample some traditional music in one of the many venues in the city. As you will probably be tired from your long journey, have dinner and return to your hotel for an early night.Day 2: East Neuk & St Andrews
After breakfast today, make your way across the Forth Bridge and head to the county of Fife. The fishing villages of the East Neuk are photogenic, the seafood restaurants tempting, but if golf is your sport, then you have to play in St Andrews. St Andrews is a must-visit for all fans of the game as it's well-known by people all over the world. It’s also a wonderful place for history, learning, and culture. At the end of the day, make your way back to Edinburgh where you will spend one more night.Day 3: Cairngorms National Park & Royal Lochnagar Distillery
Get a very early start this morning and take the Tay Bridge for Dundee and continue north to reach the whiskey and castles of Grampian. Along the way, you will pass through Cairngorms National Park where you will find more mountains, paths, rivers, friendly villages, and distilleries than you can even imagine. Explore some of the many forest paths and admire the nature and wildlife you come across. Check out the 17th Century Braemar Castle and learn of its exciting story. Lastly, end your day with a visit to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery where you will enjoy a guided tour of the distillery and have the opportunity to taste some exclusive whiskies. Continue west to your accommodation in the town of Aviemore.Day 4: Swanson Gallery & Janet Street
Today make your way to Thurso. After checking into your accommodation, begin exploring the lovely town of Thurso. Check out the Swanson Gallery. It hosts exhibitions year round exhibitions of great artwork. Visit the many traditional shops throughout the town and visit the impressive Janet Street which overlooks the River Thurso and is also near Thurso Bridge. After a long day of traveling and exploring, enjoy dinner and then settle into your hotel early.Day 5: Orkney Islands
Today make your way to nearby Scrabster and board a ferry to the mainland of the Orkney Islands. Visit the Stone Age site of Skara Brae which can be found on the island’s west coast. It predates Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza and is northern Europe’s best-preserved prehistoric village. You can also explore Maeshowe, a Stone Age tomb built from giant sandstone blocks. At the end of the day, take the ferry back to Scrabster and drive back to your accommodation in Thurso where you will spend one more night.Day 6: Ullapool
This morning, leave Orkney and return to Scrabster to take the coast road west to explore the northern coastline. Be sure to enjoy the views along your drive and make stops as you wish. Drive along the coast until you rejoin the main road and continue south for Ullapool. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and then begin exploring. Don’t let the small size of this village fool you as there is still plenty to see and do. Enjoy the views of this picturesque fishing town with a walk through the area where you will also encounter history and Highland culture.Day 7: Calanais Standing Stones
Hop on the ferry from Ullapool today and you’ll be taken to Stornoway on the Outer Hebrides. This area is famous for spectacular beaches. The Isle of Lewis in particular is also notable for its prehistory, including the Standing Stones at Calanais, a setting of great presence and mystery which draws many to puzzle over its meaning. You’ll encounter absolutely beautiful scenery due to all the mountains, hills, meadows, rugged coastlines, and the mix of terrains that make up the area. Travel south to Tarbert in Harris for the ferry to Uig in Skye where you will spend the night.Day 8: The Cuillins & Talisker Distillery
Skye, the Misty Isle, represents all that’s dramatic about Scottish Highland scenery. Some rate the view of the Cuillins, a range of rocky mountains, on the way to Glen Brittle as the finest hill view in Scotland. Skye’s scenery and landscapes are its main attraction and will take your breath away. If you’re up for a challenge, try climbing the Cuillin Range. Another fun activity is taking a visit to the famous Talisker Distillery where you can taste a delightful Single Malt Whiskey. Skye is also a great destination for wildlife watching. In the evening, have dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants in the area and then settle into your hotel.Day 9: Fort William
Leave Skye by the Skye bridge, admiring the Five Sisters of Kintail, the peaks which frame Glen Shiel, then continue on to Fort William. This is the ‘outdoor capital’ of the UK. Nearby Nevis Range, for example, is a ski centre in winter, while, without snow, it has Britain’s longest downhill mountain bike track. It’s fierce and demanding but there are plenty of other gentler forest trails nearby. Continue onto Oban and check into your accommodation. Oban is said to be a seafood heaven so for dinner, go out and enjoy some local fish.Day 10: Ben A'an & the Trossachs
This morning, drive through Glencoe for Crianlarich, Lochearnhead and the northern boundaries of the Trossachs (now in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park). When you reach Kilmahog, stop and walk to the summit of Ben A’an by Loch Achray. Continue over the Duke’s Pass in the heart of the Trossachs. Just past the village of Aberfoyle, you will soon reach Drymen where you will encounter a superb view of Loch Lomond from a little park in the centre. Continue to Glasgow where your accommodation will be for the rest of your tour.Day 11: Riverside Museum & Glasgow Cathedral
Glasgow, as Scotland’s largest city, offers Scotland’s largest shopping choice, as well as museums, culture, nightlife, pubs and friendly locals. Spend your day shopping and exploring the wide range of museums and galleries. The Riverside Museum tells the story of Glasgow’s industrial background and that of its community. Glasgow Cathedral offers one-of-a-kind architecture you won’t want to miss. This urban metropolis has something for everyone. Enjoy your last night in Scotland in this amazing city doing anything you may have missed.Day 12: Return Home
Tour company information
Crystal Travel & Tours
Crystal Travel & Tours is a tour operator based in Boston specializing in custom vacations to Scotland and Ireland. A family-owned business, Crystal Travel was founded in 1985 by Jim & Teresa Kelly and since that humble beginning it has grown into a trusted resource that has helped tens of thousands of people better enjoy their travel.
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