See The Gems Of Scotland At Your Own Pace
Take a road trip through the famous landscapes, ancient ruins and old settlements where Scotland’s greatest stories come to life. This independent self-drive journey includes some of Scotland’s most famous sights and routes, from the capital city to the rugged Highlands. Experience the beautiful Isle of Skye and other legendary places, such as Loch Ness, Glenfinnan, and the Trossachs National Park, along with the historical cities of Edinburgh and Inverness. With the Explorer pass we’re including in this package, you’ll also have entrance included to historic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and more.
(1) Explore some of Scotland’s top sights on the famous and breathtaking Isle of Skye. (2) Walk along the mysterious Loch Ness and visit the castle on its shores. (3) Stroll up the Royal Mile and discover the capital city Edinburgh. (4) See the striking natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands. (5) Enjoy some quiet time in nature at the Trossachs National Park. (6) Photograph the picturesque Dunnottar Castle. (7) Explore the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness, and its surroundings. (8) Visit as many castles as you can on the Castle Trail in Aberdeenshire. (9) Discover historic sites around the country with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass. (10) Enjoy a road trip with peace of mind with your personal itinerary from a local travel expert.
Day 1: Arrival In Edinburgh
Make your way into Edinburgh city centre where your hotel will be located. Many travellers opt to take a taxi or use public transport, but for a more direct and comfortable ride, we will be happy to organise a private airport transfer for you. 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 and New Towns, 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
Today, start your road trip driving up to Fife. Your first stop will be the quaint village of Falkland, where you can explore its Renaissance palace. From there, drive east to the town of St Andrews, famous for being the home of golf and of the oldest university in Scotland. As you continue north, pass by Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design. You can then take the direct route to Aberdeen, or take the coastal scenic route, which will take you past the St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve and the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven. Spend the night in the Aberdeen area. Driving distance: 235 km / 135 miles.
Day 3: Royal Deeside, Castles & Whisky
Today will take you into the Scottish Highlands. First drive along the “Deeside Tourist Route”, an enchanting route through the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, there is a plethora of castles you could visit, including 16th-century Crathes Castles, and of course, the Scottish residence of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, which you can visit from April to July. You will then continue to Speyside, which is famous for its whiskies. You may want to visit one of the many distilleries (there are over 40 to choose from!), such as Glenfiddich or Aberlour. Spend the night in the Inverness area. Driving distance: 240 km / 150 miles.
Day 4: Highlights Of The Northwest Highlands
Today you get the choice between spending the day exploring Inverness surroundings or getting a taste of the North Coast 500, one of Scotland’s most scenic driving routes. Around Inverness, you can visit the famous Battlefield of Culloden Moor and roam the Bronze-age cemetery Clava Cairns. You can also visit Cawdor Castle or take a walk at one of the golden sand beaches. If you journey to the North Coast, we recommend visiting the breathtaking Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach. Explore the Inverewe Garden, a botanical garden which boasts over 2500 exotic plants and flowers. You can also drive through the imperious landscape of the Torridon Hills before returning to Inverness. Spend another night in the Inverness area. Driving distance along the west coast: 255 km / 160 miles. Driving distance around Inverness: 105 km / 65 miles.
Day 5: Loch Ness & Castles
Drive along the shores of Loch Ness where you can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. You might also wish to take a boat tour to admire the views of the loch and try to catch a glimpse of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, or go explore the nearby Urquhart Castle ruins. From there, continue your drive west toward the breathtaking Isle of Skye. On the way, you may want to stop at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, a sight you will surely recognise from many films and TV shows. Spend the night on the Isle of Skye or nearby. Driving distance: 185 km / 115 miles.
Day 6: The Isle Of Skye
Today take full advantage of your day on Skye, a haven for nature lovers. You can visit the village of Portree, with its colourful buildings and boutiques before going on a drive around the northern part of the island via the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula. There you can enjoy a walk up to “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle and see the beautiful Kilt Rock Waterfall. Other highlights include the Quiraing, the An Corran Beach at Staffin, where you may spot ancient dinosaur footprints, and the mystical Fairy Glen. Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby. Driving distance: 70 km / 45 miles.
Day 7: Sleat Peninsula & Glenfinnan
Head south to the Sleat Peninsula, admiring the beautiful beaches, lochs, and glens of the region. You may wish to stop on the way to enjoy a walk to the crystal-clear Fairy Pools at the foot of the Black Cuillin Hills or to sample Single Malt Whisky at the Talisker Distillery. In the afternoon, catch a ferry from Armadale to Mallaig on the mainland. On your journey, we recommend a stop at Camusdarach Beach. At Glenfinnan, you can admire the Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct, the latter of which features in the Harry Potter film series. Spend the night in the Fort William area. Ferry duration: 30 minutes. Driving distance: 135km / 85 miles.
Day 8: Travel Along Dramatic Glens
Today’s journey takes you past Scotland’s most famous valley, Glen Coe, which offers world-famous scenery. You could stop at the grave of Rob Roy at Balquidder and the beautiful Falls of Dochart in the village of Killin. Alternatively, you could travel the longer scenic route via the seaside town of Oban onto the historical valley of Kilmartin Glen and past the charming village of Inveraray. This region is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland, including cairns, standing stones, and castles. Spend the night in the Trossachs National Park area. Driving distance via Glen Coe: 130 km / 80 miles. Driving distance via Kilmartin Glen/Inveraray: 285 km / 180 miles.
Day 9: Trossachs National Park To Edinburgh
Today’s drive will bring you back to Edinburgh (you can choose to end your trip in Glasgow in the optional activities below). Drive through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, where you could stop to take a walk in nature, enjoy an optional steamship tour on Loch Katrine, or visit a local whisky distillery. For a fun photo opportunity, don’t miss Doune Castle, featured in Monty Python & the Holy Grail and Outlander. If time allows, you could also stop by Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top attractions, or at the impressive Kelpies, two impressive horse-head sculptures. Spend the night in Edinburgh. Driving distance: 130 km / 80 miles.
Day 10: Departure From Scotland
On your day of departure, we recommend taking the Airlink bus or a taxi directly from your hotel to reach the airport. If you would like to add any additional nights to your trip or to arrange a private transfer, you can do so during the booking process. If your flight is in the afternoon, you may have time for some last-minute shopping, to visit one of Edinburgh’s museums, or take one last stroll through the charming city centre.
Inclusions in tour are as follows:
Accommodation (comfort/quality) for 9 nights.
Rental car of your choice with unlimited mileage, CDW, excess waiver and VAT for 8 days.
Free use of GPS & two authorized drivers for the duration of the vehicle rental period.
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass (14 day use), provides free entry to many attractions.
All ferry crossings, as per itinerary.
Map of Scotland and detailed personal itinerary.
Taxes & service fees.
Followings are not included in tour:
Flights to/from Scotland.
Transfers to/from airports (can be arranged on request).
Transfers to/from car rental pickup/drop-off locations.
Meals & drinks (unless otherwise stated).
Entrance fees to attractions (unless otherwise stated).
Fees for parking, ferries not listed in the itinerary and other miscellaneous driving expenses.
Personal travel insurance.