Scottish Highlands
Tours

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Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Tours

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in Fort William, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness with personal touches. Visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

Loch Lomond: Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Cruise

2. Loch Lomond: Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Cruise

Depart from Balloch village and set sail beyond the stately homes of historic Scottish industrialists within view of Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southerly Munro. Continue towards Inchmurrin Island, the largest inland island in Great Britain and home to the ruins of the 12th century Lennox Castle. Learn the history and legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Enjoy a cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." 

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

3. Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond, known as “the jewels in her crown.” Learn the history and the legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. This leisurely 2-hour circular cruise passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club and explores the middle island of Loch Lomond, sailing through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continues onwards to the village of Luss.   Enjoy cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." The luxurious and smooth passenger boats offer excellent viewing, opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities.  

From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

4. From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that transports you directly from Inverness city center to the legendary Loch Ness. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores as you relax on a guided coach tour. After departing from Inverness by coach, you will drive to Loch Ness. Once you arrive, hop on board a boat to cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Keep an eye on the sonars for a blip that could be Nessie! There is a fully stocked bar on board and a selection of Scottish snacks. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are also served, should you require a little warming up. Once you are back on shore, explore the historic ruins of the once mighty stronghold of Urquhart Castle. After you have seen the castle, relax on the coach as you make the return drive to Inverness city center.

Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

5. Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

Spend 2 hours on a round-trip sail to Urquhart Castle from Dochgarroch Lock. Your cruise sails from Dochgarroch Loch on the Caledonian Canal and heads to the heart of the mystery, where you’ll learn the fascinating story of Loch Ness. Enjoy the views and the selection of hot and cold Scottish snacks on board. There’s also a bar if you fancy a wee dram, and for those of you who like to stay connected, there is free WiFi onboard!

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

6. From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Take the 40-minute ferry crossing, keeping a lookout for marine wildlife including puffins and orcas on the way. When you arrive on Orkney, board a luxury coach which will be waiting for you to begin your tour of the island. As you set off, enjoy the commentary from a local guide. First, see the Churchill Barriers built during the First World War. Stop in Kirkwall which is Orkney's capital city and discover St Magnus Cathedral, shops, the museum, and the scenic harbor.  Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow and admire the beautiful views of the Hoy hills. Then, arrive in Stromness, one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Stroll through the winding street, visit the museum, and find plenty of places to eat lunch.  Next, set off for the neolithic village of Skara Brae, established in around 2,500 BC and which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years. Follow the route onwards along a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, making a stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Finally, board the return ferry, and make a stop at the Italian Chapel which is beautifully decorated inside 2 Nissen huts. Return to John O'Groats with incredible memories of your excursion.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

7. From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

Explore the Isle of Skye on a day trip from Inverness, and marvel at some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland. Discover Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, the Old Man of Storr, and more. Depart Inverness and travel South, along the shoreline of Loch Ness to Invermoriston. Stop for a short break at Loch Ness which is 24 miles long, over 700ft deep, famous for its sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Continue to the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, situated on its own island at the head of Loch Duic. Take time to explore one of Scotland’s most photographed castles and its atmospheric surroundings. Journey to the Isle of Skye, passing over the Skye Bridge and on to the small village of Portree for a lunchtime stop. Portree, although a small harbor village, is the capital of Skye, and is surrounded by rocky cliffs and rolling hills. Take in its beautiful surroundings while enjoying lunch with views of the boats. Begin touring the island with stops at Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, the Old Man of Storr, and perhaps Strome Viewpoint.

Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

8. Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

Experience the wild and windy Scottish coastline. Listen to informative commentary from your guide throughout the cruise and enrich your knowledge of Scotland’s natural history. Cruise through the Pentland Firth past Duncansby Head lighthouse passing close to the sheer 200-feet high cliffs teeming with sea birds followed by a close-up view of the famous Stacks of Duncansby. Cross the inner sound of the Pentland Firth for a view of the uninhabited island of Stroma and the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals. See the various cliffs and birds of Stroma. The types of birdlife seen will depend on the nesting season. For example Puffins will be seen in large numbers in June and July but in much smaller numbers in August. If you are lucky, catch a view of some whales.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

9. From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan viaduct for stunning views. Admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

Portree: Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour

10. Portree: Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour

You will start on your journey with a drive to the Fairy Pools in the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains. The pools are located in one of the most dramatic landscapes on Skye. The fairies regularly bathe here, in the crystal clear green pools of the River Brittle. Weather permitting, you can swim in the pools of the river, one of the UK’s best wild swimming spots. Have fun diving under natural arches and waterfalls, but please do not spy on the fairies, as they can easily take offence. You then move on to Talisker distillery based in Carbost, one of the three whisky distilleries on the Isle of Skye. The whisky is a single malt Scotch, with a very distinctive peaty-smoky taste. You can then go through the visitor center (not on the tour) and if available sample one of the fine whiskys produced here. You now have a choice of either going to Neist Point or being dropped off at Dunvegan Castle, and we will pick you up on the way back from Neist Point. You will travel to the far west of the island to the dramatic Neist Point. This is the best place on the island to spot whales, dolphins and sharks. Here we transport you to the edge of the world, with its beautiful scenery, awesome skies and endless ocean. Take advantage of the opportunity to stop at the magnificent Fairy Glen, the most important meeting place of the fairies on Skye. Wander between countless conical mounds, known in the Highlands as Fairy Knowes, and put your ears to the grass to listen for the fairies at work inside. Bend down to search for elves in the glen's miniature forests. Follow the twisted path to the top of the fairy castle or walk the faun’s maze and have a wish granted! Then enjoy the drive up the Trotternish ridge and marvel at the magnificent views of the Quiraing, a landscape used in many sci-fi films, known for its wonderful rock formations and stunning coastal views. Part of the largest landslip in Europe, this is a place like no other. Finally, arrive at Kilt Rock and the Dinosaur Museum. Then, continue on to the charming Old Man of Storr, a stunning 200 foot tall stone pillar, which has detached itself from the highest point of the ridge, creating a magic landscape of twisted rocks, looming shadows, and swirling mists. Old Man of Storr has featured in many movies including Prometheus, the 2012 sci-fi film directed by Ridley Scott. Come and see for yourself why Skye has been voted by National Geographic as the fourth greatest island visitor experience in the whole world.

Frequently asked questions about Scottish Highlands Tours

What are other things to do than Tours that are worth visiting in Scottish Highlands?

The other unmissable things to do in Scottish Highlands are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Scottish Highlands

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 733 reviews

Our guide, Neil, was what made the best part of our tour! His shared knowledge of history, geography, and lore was very informative and entertaining. The castle was a great stop, and we were very pleased with how accessible it was to the public. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise as well. The town we stopped in for lunch offered many venues, al within a block or two of the parking area. We agreed that we all enjoyed this excursion, and again, Neil was a superb guide!

The tour was great. A must if you want to see the highlands and learn about Scottish history. Very good driver and guide, Paul E. is very knowledgeable and fun !! Fantastic scenery and lots of laughs along the way.

Great tour, a lot to see in one day, sometimes you would like a little more time, but that's not the point of the tour here. You would have to book a longer tour for that.

Paul E. and Graham were absolutely great!!! We learned so much and enjoyed the tour!! Clearly a must when visiting Scotland!!!!

It was a fantastic tour with even better guid Paul E. and our cool driver Graham. Keep doing perfect job Thank you very much