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Ring of Brodgar
Orkney, Scotland © Nordic Visitor

Classic Scotland & The Orkney Islands

From £1645 per adult

Departure days

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April — October

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Discover Scotland's highlights at your own pace with a Nordic Visitor self-drive tour. This road trip will take you around the country to see some of Scotland's most beautiful landscapes, including the Isle of Skye and the Orkney archipelago.

Stop when you want to and visit what you want to see most with a self-drive tour of Scotland. With 12 days, you'll have plenty of time to explore the stunning Highlands, get a taste of the rugged Scottish isles, and learn more about the local culture and history.

This tour includes a Historic Scotland Explorer Pass so you can visit some of the country's most famous attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, amongst many more.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN EDINBURGH

Upon your arrival in Edinburgh, make your way to your hotel located in the city centre. For those arriving early in the day, we recommend spending the afternoon walking through the city, strolling along the Royal Mile and exploring the Old Town and New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also plenty of museums and landmarks to visit within the city centre, including the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

Spend the night in Edinburgh.

DAY 2: SCOTLAND'S DRAMATIC EAST COAST

Your road trip starts today! Pick up your rental car and head into Fife. Here you could visit the lovely village of Falkland before stopping by the sea in St Andrews, famous for being the home of golf. Later, continue north, passing by Dundee and the St Cyrus National Nature Reserve. Don't miss the spectacular Dunnottar Castle for a fantastic photo opportunity.

Spend the night in the Aberdeen area.

Driving distance: 235 km / 135 miles

DAY 3: ROYAL DEESIDE & CASTLES

Welcome into the Scottish Highlands! You'll first drive along the Deeside Tourist Route, a charming journey through the Cairngorm National Park. The area is dotted with castles, such as Crathes Castle and Balmoral, the home of the Royal Family in Scotland. Later, you'll arrive into Speyside, a region famous for its whisky production.

Spend the night in the Inverness area.

Driving distance: 240 km / 150 miles

DAY 4: JOURNEY TO ORKNEY

Today, you head all the way north mainland Scotland to catch the ferry to Orkney. Along the way, you could stop at the fairytale-like Dunrobin Castle.

Make sure to admire the beautiful views over the Pentland Firth while on the ferry. Once you reach Stromness on Orkney, you can drive to Kirkwall, the capital and former Viking stronghold. You have the rest of the day to explore.

Spend the night in the Kirkwall area.

Ferry Scrabster to Orkney : 1.5 hours

Driving distance: 205 km / 130 miles

DAY 5: WONDERS OF ORKNEY

Spend your entire day discovering the highlights of Orkney, from its stunning scenery to ancient landmarks. The most famous area is the UNESCO-listed "Heart of Neolithic Orkney". Comprised of Skara Brae, a prehistoric village, the Ring of Brodgar stone circle, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the chambered cairn of Maeshowe.

Spend another night in the Kirkwall area.

Driving distance: 56 km / 35 miles

DAY 6: NORTH COAST 500

Today you journey back to the mainland by ferry and take on part of the North Coast 500, one of Scotland's most scenic drives. You'll find gold sand beaches to make you feel like you're in the Caribbean, a backdrop of mountains, and stunning views all around. We recommend stopping to visit the largest sea cave in Britain, Smoo Cave, as well as the 15th-century Ardvreck Castle.

Spend the night in the Ullapool area.

Ferry from Orkney to Scrabster: 1.5 hours

Driving distance: 250 km / 150 miles

DAY 7: ALONG THE WEST COAST TO SKYE

From Ullapool, you'll make your way south to hop onto the famous Isle of Skye. Along the way, we recommend taking a walk in the Corrieshalloch Gorge, visiting the Inverewe Garden, and taking in the dramatic views of the Torridon Hills.

Spend the night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

Driving distance: 265 km / 165 miles

DAY 8: THE ISLE OF SKYE

You have the full day to discover Skye and all its natural wonders. You could explore the colourful Portree, the main village of the island, before heading north to the Trotternish Peninsula. This is where some of Skye's most famous sights are located. This includes the "Old Man of Storr," the Quiraing, Kilt Rock waterfall, and the Fairy Glen.

Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

Driving distance: 70 km / 45 miles

DAY 9: THE BEAUTY OF LOCH NESS

Journey back to the mainland. We recommend Eilean Donan Castle as your first stop of the day. It is a picturesque sight and one of the most recognised castles in Scotland.

You'll then make your way to the famous Loch Ness to explore this area further. You could pop by the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, visit the nearby Urquhart Castle, or even opt for a boat tour for better views over this vast loch.

Spend the night in the Fort William area.

Driving distance: 240 km / 150 miles  

DAY 10: TRAVEL ALONG DRAMATIC GLENS

Explore magnificent and historic valleys today. First, you'll get to take in the impressive views of Glen Coe. You could then drive directly to the Trossachs, or take the longer, scenic route. The detour is worth it to visit the beautiful town of Oban and the Kilmartin Glen. This region is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland.

Spend the night in the Trossachs area.

Driving distance via Glen Coe: 130 km / 80 miles

Driving distance via Kilmartin Glen: 285 km / 180 miles

DAY 9: TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK

Today’s drive will take you through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park back to Edinburgh. You can also choose to end your trip in Glasgow if you want to explore Scotland's largest city.

You'll have plenty of activities to choose from for an exciting last day. Take a walk through nature, enjoy a steamship tour on Loch Katrine, or visit the local Deanston Distillery. But make sure not to miss Doune Castle, featured in many movies and TV series. If time allows, you could also stop by Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top attractions, or at the Kelpies, two impressive horse-head sculptures.

Spend the night in Edinburgh.

Driving distance: 130 km / 80 miles

DAY 10: DEPARTURE FROM SCOTLAND

Today you say goodbye to Scotland. If your flight is in the afternoon, you may take your last few hours to do some last-minute shopping, visit one of Edinburgh’s many museums, or take one last stroll through the charming city centre.

Contact details

Nordic Visitor UK
139/2 George Street
Edinburgh
City of Edinburgh
Scotland
EH2 4JY
Starting
Edinburgh Edinburgh & The Lothians Edinburgh - City Centre Edinburgh Airport
Length
10+
Days
Transport
Self drive
Languages
English
Themes
Ancestry Architecture Castles Food and drink Island Hopping Landscapes

Tour prices

From

  • £1645 Per Adult
Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season

Attractions

Tour company information

Nordic Visitor UK

Nordic Visitor provides tailored tour packages in Scotland. Our travel experts are based in Edinburgh and will craft a personal itinerary for you based on your vacation or holiday needs. All our travel packages are tested by our consultants to ensure your Scottish getaway is everything you dreamed of and more. Choose from self-drive, small group or private tours. You'll also find a range of special interest packages including tours focusing on castles, whisky, cuisine, Outlander and more!

Opening times

Monday: 9am–5pm
Tuesday: 9am–5pm
Wednesday: 9am–5pm
Thursday: 9am–5pm
Friday: 9am–5pm
Office closed during local Edinburgh holidays.

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