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Scottish Highlands

Small group activities

Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Small group

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

1. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

Explore the stunning lochs and castles of the Western Highlands on this small-group tour from Glasgow. You'll see the superb ruins of Kilchurn on Loch Awe, the bustling west coast harbor town of Oban, and the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. Depart Glasgow at 8:30 AM and travel through gorgeous Glen Fruin, driving parallel with Loch Long. You'll then cross the Highland boundary, where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically–the flat plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Continue your drive over the Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass before traveling through the Arrochar Alps. You'll then arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. From here you will drive along the shore of Scotland’s longest loch, Loch Awe, where you'll stop to take photos of Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin right in the middle of Loch Awe and the former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will then continue to the harbor town of Oban, gateway to the Isles, where you will eat lunch. After lunch you'll travel north along the coast around Appin, passing imposing Castle Stalker, and into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond. The last stop of the day will be in Luss, an 18th-century conservation village with old workers' cottages, built for the laborers of the estate.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour

2. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour

Embark on a guided tour to Loch Lomond National Park, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, the Great Glen, Loch Ness, and Pitlochry from Glasgow. Learn the history behind each turn from your guide. Depart Glasgow and travel north towards the Highlands along the “bonnie, bonnie” banks of Loch Lomond. Crossing the ancient natural fault line that runs across Scotland you travel into the majestic Highlands where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically – the flat fertile plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Traveling north through Breadalbane, meaning the 'High Country of Scotland,' you climb towards the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor and down into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. Glencoe is infamous as the site of the Glencoe massacre in 1692. Beyond Glencoe you will enter the Great Glen, a deep glacial valley that follows a geological fault line. Passing through the town of Fort William you drive under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness. Keep an eye out for legendary sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Take in views of the charming town of Fort Augustus and the Caledonian Canal which links the lochs of the Great Glen. Spend some time here where you can purchase a nice lunch before traveling north up the full length of the loch. Have the opportunity to see the ancient stronghold of Urquhart Castle while taking a 5-Star Jacobite boat cruise on the loch. Continue north through Inverness before traveling south in the stunning the mountains of Cairngorms National Park. Drive over the Drumochter Pass, at 1500 feet above sea level and past the 13th century Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl. Finally, stretch your legs at the Highland resort town of Pitlochry which is built for Victorian tourism and nestled amongst the mountains of Highland Perthshire. Return to your starting point in Glasgow at the end of your tour.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

3. 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 Edinburgh: Isle of Skye 3-Day Tour with Accommodation

4. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye 3-Day Tour with Accommodation

Enjoy a full 3 days exploring the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the romance of the island of Skye in a small group tour. Dhoose your accommodation to suit your own budget and you will get an exclusive discount card to receive discounts at local restaurants and shops. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh by luxury Mercedes minibus at and travel west, passing Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Continue towards Stirling with its imposing castle and views of the Wallace Monument. You will pass Doune Castle, movie location for scenes from Monty Python's infamous "Holy Grail," before stopping at the edge of the Highlands for refreshments. As you drive into the Highlands you will pass Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Crianlarich and Tyndrum, stopping for lunch along the way. Drive north through Glencoe, scene of the great massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Continue to Fort William and up to the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, offering magnificent views over Ben Nevis. Next you will take the "Road to the Isles," through the splendor of the 5 Sisters of Kintail, the mountains that guard the pass to the Isle of Skye. Stop to visit the famous Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film "Highlander" and located at the junction of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders. Crossing over the bridge to Skye, you head north to Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Enjoy an evening and dinner at leisure, exploring the town’s Gaelic attractions and harborside. Day 2: You will spend the day on the Isle of Skye with flexible arrangements. There are many possibilities, depending on the weather, and the dynamics of your group. Your driver/ guide's local knowledge will come to the fore to arrange the best day for everyone. You could travel north to explore the Trotternish Peninsula with its stunning Quiraing mountain pass and some of Skye's extraordinary geological scenery. Or head to Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns that are reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt. Enjoy the magic of the waterfall, cascading over cliffs and down into the sea below. Take a short break for lunch, before continuing to explore this most dramatic of islands. Head in a westerly direction to Dunvegan castle, the ancestral home of Clan Macleod, or enjoy spectacular views at Neist Point, the most westerly point of Skye. Return you to your accommodation in Portree in the early evening to enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening at leisure. Day 3: Your driver will collect you from your accommodation and head south through the Cuillin Hills, back over to the mainland for stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Move on to Loch Ness for lunch. Look out for "Nessie," the mysterious monster that has haunted and confounded visitors since the 1950s. Head south through the Grampian Mountains along Loch Laggan, famous as the location for the TV miniseries "Monarch of the Glen," before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland's highest whisky distillery. You will pause for refreshments at Blair Castle, before heading back to Edinburgh via Perth and over the extraordinary Forth Road Bridge.

From Edinburgh: Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Tour

5. From Edinburgh: Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Tour

Explore the Scottish Highlands and admire its spectacular scenery on a guided tour from Edinburgh. Discover more about Scottish historical figures and events with stops at Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, and Kelpies. Depart Edinburgh and travel through the historic grace of Linlithgowshire. Your guide will help you spot Linlithgow palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. On the way to Loch Lomond, make a stop at the Kelpies Monument. These two horses’ heads stand as a testament to the horse power that drove the industrial development of Central Scotland. From here you head to the shores of Loch Lomond, which is Scotland’s largest loch and is protected as Scotland’s first National Park. This is the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’ and take in fantastic views of the mountains. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. By spending time on the trails by the loch you’ll be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest legends. Head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. See steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests. You stop for lunch in the heart of the National Park then continue to the city of Stirling where you can visit one of Scotland’s most magnificent castles. You can choose to take in the views from inside and understand why this castle was so instrumental in Scottish history. From here, make a short journey back to Edinburgh via Kelpies before arriving back in the capital.

From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

6. From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

Leave Inverness in the morning and begin your full-day tour with a trip to the ancient burial site of Clava Cairns. This Bronze-Age graveyard has survived 4 millennia and is a great spot to take photos.  Afterward, you’ll head to Culloden, one of the most important sites in Scottish history. It was here that a 60-year series of uprisings finally ended in a tumultuous battle in 1745.  Explore the visitor center and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last ever battle fought on British soil. Continue to Glen Affric and stop to walk among the indigenous Caledonian pine trees. Enjoy views over Loch Affric and the mountains beyond, with your expert guide taking you to the best waterfalls and photo spots.  Afterward, explore the historic ruins of Beauly Priory, a monastery dating back to the 13th century. To cap things off, you’ll head to the shores of Loch Ness, before ending up back in the center of Inverness in the early evening.

Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

7. Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a fabulous day trip from Edinburgh to experience Scotland’s beautiful countryside just minutes from the capital. Drive to the stunning Highlands, and stop to sample a drop of the national drink to get a complete taste of Scotland. Leaving Edinburgh, the tour makes its way to the ancient capital of Stirling, where the skyline is dominated by its castle on the rock and the iconic Wallace Monument. Stop to hear of Scotland’s most famous patriot and his part in the medieval Wars of Independence.  Say hello to “Hamish the hairy coo”, before driving through the scenic Trossachs National Park. Heading further into the Highlands, pass the shimmering waters of Loch Earn, before stopping for lunch at The Famous Grouse Experience, one of Scotland’s best-known whisky distilleries. Once revived, enjoy a “wee dram” of Scotch whisky and drink the “Water of Life.” Continue to the Hermitage in the heart of Perthshire for a short woodland walk to see the spectacular Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. On the return journey, visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, an area associated with Macbeth, where the stunning cathedral sits on the banks of the River Tay. Pass the iconic Forth Bridge on the way back into Edinburgh, admiring the fantastic 19th-century feat of engineering.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Group Day Trip

8. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Group Day Trip

Escape the bustle of Edinburgh and take a full-day sightseeing tour of Scotland’s magnificent Highlands. Traveling in a small group in a 16-seat Mercedes minibus, get a more intimate experience as you visit Loch Ness, Glencoe Valley, and Rannoch Moor. Drive past Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and continue to Stirling Castle, and the National Wallace Monument, commemorating Scotland's hero William Wallace. Stop for a coffee at Callander, before crossing the Highland boundary fault line. Learn about the Highland clans, such as the MacGregors, and the famous folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. Continue north through Breadalbane, and ascend Rannoch Moor’s heather and peat bogs, dotted with dozens of lochs. Pass the majestic peak of Buachaille Etive Mor, and descend into Glencoe Valley. Drive under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness. Look out for the Loch Ness Monster or simply enjoy the scenery on this 2-hour stop, with time for lunch. Pass the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park, then Loch Laggan, and finally the Drumochter Pass. See the 13th-century Blair Castle before heading through the forests of Perthshire to Perth, the medieval capital of Scotland. Cross the famous Forth Bridge on your way back to Edinburgh.

From Inverness: Cairngorms National Park and Whisky Tour

9. From Inverness: Cairngorms National Park and Whisky Tour

Depart Inverness and travel through the spellbinding landscapes of Speyside towards Dava Moor for some great views of the Cairngorms National Park. Keep your camera ready to capture the vibrant color of blooming heather if you’re visiting in the summer and autumn months. Visit the forest village of Carrbridge. Here, you can get some refreshments, breathe in the cool mountain air, and wander around the Old Packhorse Bridge. Continue south to Glenmore Forest Park, where you'll have free time to explore. Take an optional walk through the woods to Loch Morlich, which is one of Scotland’s most scenic and popular lochs. You can admire a sandy beach and large and ancient pine trees before you make your way back to the mini-coach. If you prefer not to walk, there’s a café and exhibition at the visitor center. After working up an appetite, head to Aviemore for lunch at your own expense. Finish off with a dram of whisky at Tomatin Distillery*. Savor the aromas of fruit and spice, and feel the passion for community and environment in this little town clustered around the distillery. Leave the remote landscapes behind and start your journey back to Inverness, where you'll arrive in the early evening.

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

4.8 / 5

based on 717 reviews

We went on the tour last year and had an amazing time. This year it definitely lived up to our expectations. Our tour guide Willy was so friendly and so knowledgeable and really cared about the places we were visiting. Fully recommend rabbies for any tours and can’t wait to join them again in the future.

Jeff C with Rabbie Tours was AWESOME! Funny, kind, informative and easy to understand. We covered some serious ground on this tour and it was a great taste of the Highlands and lochs.

Great tour of the Highlands, John was a great tour guide gave lots of Scotland's history and I enjoyed the long stop in Oban.

the tour was great .Our guide/driver Russell was amazing , I strongly recommended a tour with Russell.

Guide was very nice. Only complaint was not enough time in Clava Cairns.