Highlands Excursion | 9 Day Self-Drive

A trek through the Scottish Highlands is one of the most magical journeys you could make. Magnificent landscapes, rugged coastline, and beautiful wildlife are just a few of the things that make the Highlands a trip of a lifetime.

Day 1 : Inveraray & Glencoe Inverary Castle

Depart Glasgow and drive north along the banks of Loch Lomond with views of Highland peaks. At Tarbet you might like to get out of the car and embark on a short cruise to appreciate the beauty of this famous loch and admire panoramic views of the Highlands. Travel across the mountains to Inveraray Castle. This imposing Campbell family home with four conical spires was built between 1746 and 1789. Stop off at Kilchurn Castle on the shores of Loch Awe. Kilchurn was another Campbell family stronghold and also a filming location for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Move further north along the shores of the spectacularly beautiful Loch Awe and the River Orchy. The drive into Glencoe is one of the most beautiful in all of Scotland so make sure you arrive there in daylight.

Overnight in Glen Coe

Day 2 : Oban & Loch Awe

Take a leisurely drive along the shores of Loch Awe. This is one of hundreds of lochs in the country but surely one of the most beautiful. Be sure to take plenty of pictures along the way before you head towards the coast and make your way back up to Oban. Stop here for a delicious seafood meal and a stroll along the promenade before you return to your accommodation in Glen coe.

Overnight in Glen Coe

Day 3 : Urquhart Castle & Inverness

Head northeast along the banks of Loch Ness. Search for the elusive Loch Ness Monster or just enjoy the scenery. Stop first at Fort Augustus – a historic and scenic hamlet offering spectacular views down Loch Ness and a paradise for walkers – before continuing along the banks of Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. Head north along the shores of Loch Ness to the town of Inverness where you can spend a few hours exploring - Inverness is famous for its castle and cathedral - before returning to your accommodation for the evening.

Overnight in Inverness

Day 4 : Isle of Skye

From Inverness, make your way towards the Isle of Skye. Cross the Skye bridge and continue on to Portree. The Trotternish Ridge is considered by many to be the most beautiful part of Scotland. While Skye is connected to the mainland, it remains largely untouched. Have fun exploring both the island and the little town of Portee before you make the long drive back to Inverness.

Overnight in Inverness

Day 5: Culloden Battlefield & Distillery Culloden

A short distance from your hotel is the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre. Learn about the battle and walk around the moorland where, on 16th April 1746, British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in just one hour.

Drive through pleasant farming country into the gentle rolling hills of the Speyside region, where many of Scotland's famous distilleries are located. The River Spey supplies pure water for whisky making. Dufftown is the capital of whisky and is located north of the Cairngorms National Park. Stop at one of the prominent distilleries to learn about whisky making and sample a “wee dram” at the end of the tour. Drive to your hotel in Aberdeen to relax and dine in the elegant setting.

Overnight in Aberdeen

Day 6 : Balmoral Castle & Afternoon Tea

Drive along the charming River Dee Valley, called “Royal Deeside” as it was made popular by Queen Victoria. Visit the Royal Family’s Balmoral Castle set in its spacious estate. Visit Crathes Castle when Balmoral is closed during March & August through November.

Stop in Ballater, where many shops show royal warrants to indicate that the Royal Family uses their goods. Return to your hotel for some free time to relax before dinner.

Overnight in Aberdeen

Day 7 : Glamis Castle & St Andrews

Tour Glamis Castle, the legendary setting of “Macbeth” and childhood home of the late Queen Mother and enjoy coffee and shortbread in a 16th century chamber. Head to St Andrew's, the “Home of Golf.”

See the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course and enjoy free time to visit the British Golf Museum or browse through the medieval town with its cathedral and castle. Continue into Edinburgh. If time permits, take a ghost walking tour to learn some of the more spooky details of the city.

Overnight in Edinburgh

Day 8 : Edinburgh Castle & City Tour

The best way to explore Edinburgh is by one of its many walking tours. Take one or more of these and you can then decide what you would like to see for the remainder of the day. See the bustling Princes Street and the gracious, wide streets of the 200-year-old Georgian New Town.

Walk along part of the Royal Mile where compact medieval houses reach 11 floors tall. Visit Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city and contains the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Scone. If you happen to be there during the month of August the Military Tattoo is definitely worth seeing.

Overnight in Edinburgh

Day 9 : Return Home

Make your way to Edinburgh Airport and board your flight home.

Price on Request

Departure days

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

January — December

Contact details

Crystal Travel & Tours

100 Spring St

Tour information


  • Glasgow Airport


9 Days


  • Air
  • Driver guide
  • Self drive


  • Bespoke
  • Private
  • Small Group (1-16)


  • English


  • Castles
  • City
  • Food and drink
  • History
  • Landscapes

Tour Stops

Crystal Travel & Tours

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.

Opening times

Mon - Fri | 8am - 6pm
Sat | 9am - 5pm

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