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Scottish Highlands

Neighborhood Tours

Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Neighborhood Tours

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

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

Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Depart 8.45am. 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 6.15pm with incredible memories of your excursion.

Portree: Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour

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

Discover the magic of the Isle of Skye on this day trip from Portree. Travel aboard an airconditioned coach on this sightseeing adventure. Try to spot wildlife at Neist Point, or view the fantastical rock formations of Quiraing, and the stone pillar of Old Man of Storr, Be picked up at a centrally-located meeting point in Portree and hop aboard the spacious pus. Relax on the drive to the Fairy Pools in the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains where the fairies are thought to bathe. Have the chance to take a dip in crystal clear green pools of the River Brittle. Admire the natural arches and waterfalls in this picturesque location before heading to the Talisker distillery based in Carbost, one of the three whisky distilleries on the Isle of Skye. Have free time to purchase a single malt Scotch, with a very distinctive peaty-smoky taste. Choose to go to Neist Point or to Dunvegan Castle. Look for whales, dolphins and sharks at Neist Point or capture pictures of the hilltop medieval style castle. 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. Continue up to the Trotternish ridge and marvel at the views of the Quiraing, a landscape of rock formations and stunning coastal views. Arrive at Kilt Rock and the Dinosaur Museum before heading to the Then, continue 200 foot tall stone pillar called the Old Man of Storr which has featured in many movies including the Ridley Scott epic 'Prometheus.'

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Highlands Tour in Spanish

3. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Highlands Tour in Spanish

Discover the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands on this guided day trip from Edinburgh. Admire views of Stirling Castle on the way to the charming town of Callander. Visit the Dalwhinnie distillery and hit up a pub in the town of Pitlochry.  Depart from Edinburgh's city center and head towards the Scottish Highlands. Pass by Stirling and catch a glimpse of the incredible Stirling Castle. Travel through Trossachs National Park and stop in Callander, where you can buy a drink and a light snack. Continue up to Glen Coe and take as many photos as you want. Journey past the village of Fort William and arrive at Fort Augustus. Explore the area with free time to take a boat cruise on Loch Ness, grab lunch, or relax in the village/ Stop at the Commando Memorial and listen to stories from WWII. See Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom. Visit Loch Laggan and Dalwhinnie distillery before you cross the Grampian Mountains. Finish your tour at the town of Pitlochry and relax with a drink in one of its pubs. Return to your meeting point in Edinburgh at the conclusion of your tour.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

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

Leave Inverness and head on a trip to explore the Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle. Learn the history and culture of Scotland from your guide as you explore the sites. Keep an eye out in Loch Ness, as you might even spot the Lochness monster if you're lucky. Travel in style in a Mercedes mini coach and hear about Scotland's turbulent past from your knowledgeable guide. Marvel at the views of the mountains of Wester Ross on the drive to Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the castle before traveling over the bridge to Skye. Head through the mountainous heart of the island before arriving in the harbor town of Portree for lunch. After lunch, the drive takes you around the Trotternish Peninsula. The guide will point out landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and Quiraing. Make your way back through majestic Glen Shiel, along the shores of Loch Clunie. The final part of the trip takes you along the banks of mighty Loch Ness.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

5. From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

Depart from a central meeting point in Inverness, where you will meet your guide and board the mini-bus. First, stop at Eilean Donan Castle and take plenty of photos as you admire the majestic beauty of this iconic sight in its wonderful coastal location. Upon arrival in Portree, make your way to the harbor viewpoint where you can see the pretty pastel-colored houses. Enjoy a short stop here, where you can also purchase a light lunch. Next, stop at a loch-side viewpoint, and discover the unique rock formation of the Old Man of Storr. See the 50-meter high pinnacle that juts out from the Trotternish Ridge and is recognizable from blockbuster films including Ronin 47, Snow White & The Huntsman, Prometheus, and The BFG. Continue to Kilt Rock, an exposed sea cliff that resembles the traditional Highland kilt. Be amazed by the imposing waterfall that cascades 60ft (180m) into the Sound of Raasay below. Continue to the Fairy Pools, a series of crystal clear waterfalls and pools surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Cuillin Mountain. Finally, stop for some photos of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness. Admire the sight of the castle on a distinctive peninsula jutting out onto the mysterious Loch Ness, before heading back to Inverness.

From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

Depart Edinburgh and journey northwest to Midhope Castle (April 1 to September 24), site of Lallybroch Castle in the time travel TV series "Outlander." Next, stop in the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow and enjoy a photo stop at Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison in "Outlander"), originally a royal retreat between Edinburgh and Stirling Castle. Continue to the 14th-century country pile of Callandar House, where ties to Rome's northern frontier in Europe at the Antonine Wall have been traced. Following in the footsteps of Claire and Jamie, visit Falkland, Outlander's Inverness. Many of the streets here were used as filming locations in Outlander, including when Claire sees Jamie's ghost. Move on to the Royal Burgh of Culross to discover a tiny village nestled on the coast of Fife. Arguably the best example of a 17th-century Scottish village, the gardens at Culross were featured in "Outlander" as Claire's herb garden, as was the mercat cross (market cross) from Cranesmuir Village. Saunter along the cobblestone streets and see the quaint Biscuit Café before stopping for photos at Tuilyies Standing Stones (time permitting). End the day at South Queensferry for beautiful views over the Forth and photos of the Forth Rail Bridges.

From Edinburgh: Islay and The Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Islay and The Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

Explore Islay and become a whisky expert on this unique 4-day tour. Sit back and enjoy the action-packed itinerary as you are driven in style in a luxury minicoach. And learn about the long history and traditions of this special Island. Discover everything Islay has to offer, from stunning sandy beaches to fascinating wildlife and a vibrant local culture. And try the famous Islay whiskies, renowned for their strong peaty flavors and nurtured by the salty sea air. Day 1 On day 1 you’ll travel through Loch Lomond National Park, with visits to Inveraray, Loch Fyne and the Kingdom of Dalriada. Here you can see the Kilmartin standing stones and community museum before catching the ferry to Islay for 3 nights in Bowmore. Day 2 Day 2 gives you the flexibility to visit the lovely sandy bays of Islay’s west coast, Saligo Bay, Kilchoman Distillery, Machair Bay, the tiny harbor village of Portnahaven, Bruichladdich Distillery, Ardnahoe Distillery, and the Islay Museum. Day 3 On day 3 you’ll explore the south side of Islay followed by a tour, tasting and lunch with local produce at Ardbeg. Other options include the ruins of Kildalton church or a visit to the community craft producers at Islay House Square and the woodlands along the River Sorn. Day 4 On day 4 you’ll take the ferry back to Argyll and the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. Lunch will be at Kilmartin, home to 350 pre-historic monuments and stone circles, with some free time in Oban before returning to Edinburgh via Glasgow.

4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

8. 4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. Your first stop is the charming village of Culross. You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. In the early afternoon you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show. You then pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. You arrive in Inverness later that afternoon, which will be your base for the next two nights.  Day 2 starts by visiting Culloden, which plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s at the Culloden Battlefield where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes, before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor center and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil. You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns. After lunch, head continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk. The castle resembles the way that Diana Gabaldon described Castle Leoch, though she had never heard of this building prior to writing Outlander. A short drive takes you to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. Beauly priory is a beautiful 13th-century ruin and where the Lovat Frasers are buried in Diana Gabaldon’s book. In the afternoon, you can sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting. Afterwards, return to Inverness with time to explore the town and enjoy the city for another evening. Day 3 starts with a visit to the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness and through the Great Glen before heading to Glenfinnan. It stands framed by typically spectacular Highland scenery and bedside a section of the Jacobite Steam Train railway line famously used as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter. Your overnight stop is in Fort William underneath the shadow of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Day 4 begins with a magnificent drive through Glencoe, across the rugged Trossachs area onto Doune Castle. The castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV program. Later, you have a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth. This was used as the set for Fort William in the show and appears in many other movies because of its beautiful setting and thickly fortified walls. After your medieval adventure, you'll return to Edinburgh in the early evening.

Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

9. Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

See the beauty of the famous Loch Ness and stay in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, on this 2-day small group tour. Detailed Itinerary: Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head north across the River Forth towards the Highlands. A short stop in Dunkeld is followed by a walk along the River Tay, or perhaps at the nearby Hermitage, before you head for the holiday town of Pitlochry for lunch. There will also be the option to visit the local whisky distillery. From here the tour now takes you past Blair Castle into the Cairngorm National Park, where you will spend some time taking in the majesty of this amazing area, deep within the ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of the Rothiemurchus Estate. You then continue north and arrive at your destination of Inverness, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. The evening is free for you to explore the capital of the Highlands. Day 2: After a leisurely breakfast you will be picked up from your accommodation in Inverness and explore the surrounding countryside en route to Loch Ness. Here you have the chance to take a boat trip along the loch with great views of Urquhart Castle, or to stay on shore and visit the impressive ruins of the castle, overlooking the loch. You will spend your lunchtime on the southern shore of the loch in the charming village of Fort Augustus. The Caledonian Canal, which links the lochs of the Great Glen, dominates the town and makes a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You now continue south past Ben Nevis and Fort William to Glencoe. This haunting glen was the scene of a terrible massacre in 1692, where many of the Clan Macdonald were slaughtered. The return journey continues over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor and into the countryside around Stirling, before finally reaching our starting point of Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

A warm welcome awaits you in Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland's malt whiskey distilleries. You’ll have a chance to sample the whiskey and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Cairngorm, Speyside and Royal Deeside. Day 1: Head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first-ever recorded distillery in the country. After lunch in Pitlochry, sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey - your base for 2 nights. Day 2: Enjoy a whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whiskey region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, make your first stop of the day at Glen Moray distillery, where you can try whisky matured in a wide selection of casks. Travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage*, where you see another aspect of the whiskey-making process. After lunch in nearby Aberlour, visit Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here, travel back to Grantown on Spey. *Speyside Cooperage is only visited on Monday and Wednesday departures. Day 3: In the morning visit Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.  Then, enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. Pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here, the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 40 reviews

Rob, our guide, was exactly the kind of guide you wish for. Very engaging and knowledgable about plethora of topics from Scottish history and kilts to local particularities. Really admire he was driving and talking about interesting things we saw around often while playing some Scottish music to accompany his talking. The day was quite exhaustive as it took 12 hours but would definitely recommend it.

The tour guide was amazing…. Really funny with wealth of information and stopped with enough time at various locations with tips & tricks of visiting various areas….Orkney is beautiful Thank you

We had a lovely time on this trip! Our guide, Gordon, was entertaining and informative, and made the experience enjoyable

Excellent tour! well done, Gregory! we loved every minute

The tour was fabulous and Gordon the best guide ever!