This two-day trip from Edinburgh to Loch Ness and Inverness will show you the Scottish Highland’s most beautiful scenery. The tour includes views of Ben Nevis and an optional boat ride on eerie Loch Ness, where you can look for the Loch Ness Monster.
You’ll visit Glencoe, a wilderness steeped in grim history, where you can soak up the atmosphere on an afternoon walk. You'll see the stronghold of Urquhart Castle, and spend the night in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands.
The Scottish Highlands are Europe's last great wilderness! This personalized tour is as close as you can get to touring in your own car, with the added benefit of gaining intimate knowledge of Scotland. Traveling in a small group means you can take lots of stops and reach out-of-the-way places, giving you more time out of the van to discover the real Scotland.
Day 1: Edinburgh – Inverness
Depart Edinburgh in the morning and take a leisurely stroll along the River Tay or explore the wooded grounds of the Hermitage to look for 18th-century follies such as Ossian's Cave. From here you will continue on to the popular holiday town of Pitlochry, where there will be free time to have lunch (own expense) in one of the local restaurants or cafes.
Cross over the geological fault line, which separates the Lowlands from the Highlands, taking in views of the magnificent Highland scenery and passing the majestic Blair Castle before entering Cairngorm National Park. This unique area is one of the last remaining pockets of native Caledonian pine forest left standing. Your guide will stop in the ancient Rothiemurchus Estate to allow you time to fully appreciate the stunning views.
Continue your journey north, arriving at Inverness in the early evening. You will be dropped off at your accommodation, and the evening is free for you to explore the capital of the Highlands.
Overnight: 3-star hotel or B&B in Inverness
Day 2: Inverness – Edinburgh
After a leisurely breakfast, you will picked up from your Inverness accommodation and travel toward the famous Loch Ness. There will be stops along the way to take photos of the beautiful surrounding countryside. Upon arrival you will have the option to take a boat trip out on the loch (April to October; price not included) to look for Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, and take in views of Urquhart Castle, or you may stay on dry land to explore the castle's mighty ruins.
Journey 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 Macdonald Clan died. The tour stops here for you to take in the unique atmosphere of this place.
The return journey to Edinburgh takes you across the wild and remote Rannoch Moor and through the countryside around Stirling, before concluding in Edinburgh in the evening.