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5-day scotland itinerary: how to spend 5 days in scotland (+5 alternatives).

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Heading to the UK soon and looking for the perfect 5-day Scotland Itinerary? You’ve come to the right place!

Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and there is so much to do! From the beautiful capital city, Edinburgh, to the National Parks and lakes, there is a lot you can see in 5 days.

In this article, we tell you exactly how to spend 5 days in Scotland.


  • BEST TOUR : Rabbie’s Isle of Skye and West Highlands 4- day tour
  • BEST THINGS TO SEE: Edinburgh, Cairngorms, Inverness, Loch Ness and Fort William or Edinburgh, Highlands and Skye
  • FUN THINGS TO DO: Riding the Jacobite train , hiking, Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh

In the first section, you will find the ultimate Scotland 5-day itinerary for first-timers.

This itinerary is packed with activities and was made to allow you to enjoy Scotland at its maximum.

With only 5 days in Scotland, you need to be organised.

The itinerary will help you to do that but you will also find some tips and tricks to make your trip even easier!

Later down in the article, you will also find some alternatives.

If you think the first itinerary is too much for you, you can discover what to see in Scotland in 5 days using other routes.

🔎 Table of Contents

Planning your trip to Scotland

victoria street edinburgh in winter

Before getting started with the itinerary itself, it’s important to plan your trip.

With only 5 days in Scotland, you need to be quite organised if you want to make the best of your time.

Luckily, travelling in Scotland is pretty easy. As long as you know how to get around and where to stay, you will be just fine.

And that’s exactly why you are here. I’ve been living in the UK for years and I will help you plan the perfect trip now!

How to get to Scotland

The best way to get to Scotland is by plane. The main airport is in Edinburgh.

There are loads of cheap flights going there every day and that’s the first thing you should check.

From Edinburgh airport, you can take a bus, train or tram to reach the city centre. It’s very quick. It takes less than 30 minutes.

Click here to see the latest fares for flights to Edinburgh.

Another option is to fly to the second main airport in Scotland, Glasgow.

There aren’t as many flights and it’s a bit less convenient as you will want to spend more time in Edinburgh than Glasgow but depending where you are flying from, you may get a better deal.

If you choose to fly to Glasgow, you will need to reverse the following itinerary. That’s not an issue at all but it’s worth mentioning.

Click here to see the latest fares for flights to Glasgow.

How to get around Scotland

Scotland is the perfect country to experience the outdoors .

For this reason, the best way to enjoy it is by car (or with a tour). If you wish to explore the country by yourself, you should rent a car and go on the ultimate Scotland road trip.

As you only have 5 days, you may also want to consider going on a multi-day tour. Everything will be planned for you and you won’t have to worry about anything.

The last alternative is taking the train. Public transport in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) is excellent.

It’s very easy to get around by train however, you won’t get to enjoy the outdoors as much and that could be an issue.

Road Trip in Scotland

Road trip in Scotland

Renting a car and going on a road trip is perfect for people who like to take their time and be on their own.

Whether you are starting in Edinburgh or Glasgow, you will find loads of car rental companies.

To get the best deal, use Skyscanner . You may know it as a comparison tool for flights but they also do it for car rentals.

Click here to see the best car rental deals in Scotland.

Tours in Scotland

Rabbies tour in Scotland

As you only have 5 days in Scotland, you should also consider going on a tour.

The good thing about going on a tour is that you won’t have to worry about anything. The tour company will sort everything out for you.

Also, you will be with a guide which means that you will get loads of information about everything you visit.

It truly is the best way to make the best of your time in Scotland. The local tour companies know Scotland like the back of their hand. They will bring you to the best places in the most efficient way. Meanwhile, the only thing you have to do is to enjoy!

I would recommend to fly to Edinburgh, spend a day there and then go on a 4-day tour around Scotland.

Here are some of the best 4-day tours around Scotland:

  • Scottish Castles Experience : this tour features the same itinerary than the one below. It’s a great way to discover the mainland and what Scotland truly is about. The tour company, Rabbie’s, is a Scottish company. The tour guides are amazing. Click here to see the latest prices.
  • Isle of Skye and West Highlands : this tour is a bit different as instead of focusing on the mainland, you will go through the highlands and head to the beautiful Isle of Skye . It’s a great tour especially if you’ve always dreamt of visiting the Scottish Isles. It’s a bit harder to do this itinerary on your own in only 5 days so going on a tour is a great option. Click here to see the latest prices.

Trains and buses in Scotland

The railway and bus network in Scotland is pretty amazing. You will find loads of trains and buses going to all cities and towns. It’s very easy to book tickets however, if you are planning on following the itinerary and going to the lochs, this won’t be ideal.

To book your train tickets, you can use Trainline . It’s very easy to use and you can keep your tickets on your phone.

For buses, check out Megabus . The tickets are super cheap!

Accommodation in Scotland

For accommodation, you can opt for hostels, hotels, B&Bs or Airbnbs . You will find below recommendations on the best places to stay.

Overview of your Five Day Scotland Itinerary

Map of the 5-day scotland itinerary.

Your Scotland Itinerary 5 Days

Now is time for the good stuff. Here is the ultimate 5-day Scotland Itinerary.

Please note that this itinerary is packed with activities.

It really is for people who want to do as much as possible however, we’ve indicated the optional activities.

That way, if you want to slow down, you will know what to skip.

Scotland Itinerary Day 1: Edinburgh

To begin your Scotland 5-day itinerary, you’ll be exploring Edinburgh, Scotland.

This is the easiest (and most affordable) city to fly into, so this is the perfect place to start your road trip.

As you only have 5 days, you shouldn’t be spending more than one in Edinburgh. If you choose to do so, you won’t get to see as much of Scotland.

That being said, if you’d rather spending more time here, check out this 2-day Edinburgh itinerary.

Morning: Arthur’s Seat

View from Arthur Seat in Edinburgh Scotland

Start your morning at Arthur’s Seat. This is one of the most underrated places to explore in the country, but your 5 days in Scotland wouldn’t be complete without it.

Arthur’s Seat is an old Volcano located in Edinburgh that has since become a popular place to hike.

There are a few different trails to the top with varying difficulties, but each has an extremely rewarding view.

It’s best to hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat first thing in the morning so you can avoid the crowds.

On average, you’ll probably spend about two hours here.

The hike is not particularly hard but it is considered a hike rather than a leisurely walk so make sure to wear good shoes.

PRO TIP: You can go up to Arthur’s Seat even if the weather is not great. As you can see on my photos, it doesn’t need to be sunny however, if it’s too rainy and the view is blocked, it’s better to reserve it for a time when the weather is a bit better.

Also, the top of Arthur’s Seat is very windy so make sure to wear a good wind breaker.

Once you’re done with the hike to Arthur’s Seat, be sure to explore the rest of Holyrood Park and also check out the Palace of Holyroodhouse , the King’s official Scottish residence.

Lunch: Kilderkin

Haggis wrap

Address: 67 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BT

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite by hiking to the top of an extinct volcano, it’s time to grab some lunch.

While you make your way back to the Old Town, you will walk past the Scottish Government (which is a building that is famous for being particularly ugly and that went 10 times above budget).

You will also walk past the Holyrood Palace which is the residence of the British monarch in Edinburgh.

Head to Canongate and starts walking up towards the Old Town. You will find on the right hand side a traditional Scottish pub called the Kilderkin.

This is an excellent place for lunch because they have all sorts of drinks and several dishes with haggis. They also offer all the pub classics which means that everyone can find something.

It’s also very reasonably priced.

Afternoon: Edinburgh’s Old Town

edinburgh castle in winter

The Old Town of Edinburgh is the most historic part of the city.

The main attraction in the Old Town is Edinburgh Castle, which sits on top of Castle Hill, another extinct volcano in Edinburgh!

This castle holds the country’s crown jewels and is also a museum open to the public. Tickets cost £15.50 per adult if you purchase your tickets online in advance or via a tour company.

Royal Mile in Edinburgh Scotland

While in Old Town, make sure to also walk the Royal Mile. This is the long bustling street leading up to Edinburgh Castle.

It’s lined with some historic and modern attractions that are worth stopping it, dating back a few centuries.

You will also find loads of souvenir shops.

View from Camera Obscura in Edinburgh Scotland

The most popular stop along the Royal Mile is Camera Obscura. This fun museum is filled with optical illusion exhibits that will blow your mind.

If you don’t go inside Edinburgh Castle, this can be a great alternative. Tickets can be purchased here.

victoria street harry potter in edinburgh

If you have a bit more time, consider stopping by the Scottish Parliament, Victoria Street (Real-life version of Diagon Alley) and St. Giles Cathedral.

To make the best of your time in Edinburgh Old Town, I particularly recommend going on a walking tour. The Old Town is full of gems and you can easily reach all of them on foot.

By going on a walking tour, you will discover more about the history of Edinburgh, the famous sites, Harry Potter and some cool anecdotes.

If you are a history lover and want to learn more about Edinburgh as a general thing, opt for the classic walking tour. See prices here.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, that’s no brainer, you must go on a Harry Potter tour! It’s so good! You will discover all the important sites and learn many fun facts! Click here to see the latest prices.

Dinner: The Jolly Judge

Address: 7 James Court, 493 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PB

After exploring the Old Town, it’s time for dinner! Since you didn’t get to try some traditional Scottish pub food for lunch, make your way to The Jolly Judge.

This is one of the top-rated pub restaurants in the whole city.

It’s located right in Old Town near St. Giles Cathedral and has mid-range prices so that you won’t break the bank.

The Jolly Judge is also open until 10 p.m., so if you also want to grab some drinks after and make it a longer night, you absolutely can.

Evening: Calton Hill

Calton Hill in Edinburgh

End your first of 5 days in Scotland by hiking up to Calton Hill after dinner. It may seem like a lot to hike again after starting the morning with a hike, but it’s completely worth it!

Calton Hill’s view is impeccable and it’s a lot easier to get to the top compared to Arthur’s Seat.

There is a National Monument that was never finished at the top of the hill and an art gallery. However, you should hike up to the top to catch the sunset over the Edinburgh skyline.

This can be a rather romantic way to end the day as you get prepared to see more of Scotland tomorrow!

If you are visiting in winter , make sure to go before dinner and not after otherwise it will be too dark.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

  • Luxury:  The Balmoral Hotel is the ultimate place to stay in Edinburgh. It’s located by the station and is the place where JK Rowling wrote the last Harry Potter book. Click here to see the latest prices.
  • If you’d rather a luxury Airbnb, this beautiful apartment in the Old Town will be perfect for you. See prices here.
  • Mid-range:  The Angus Studio is a cute flat in Edinburgh Old Town. This Airbnb is perfect for a couple. The location is excellent and the amenities perfect. Click here to see the prices.
  • Budget:  St Christopher’s Edinburgh Old Town is the best hostel in the city. It’s clean, comfy and well located. See prices here.

Scotland Itinerary Day 2: Cairngorms National Park

Next on your 5-day trip to Scotland, it’s time to head towards Cairngorms National Park!

This is one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it’s also filled with tons of castles that you won’t want to miss.

Morning: Dundee

Visiting Dundee in Scotland

Begin your morning by making a quick stop in Dundee.

It’s about one hour north of Edinburgh and is located right on the coast.

Travellers often overlook it, but it’s a good pit stop before you continue the rest of your trip for the day.

While in Dundee, be sure to stop at the V&A Museum. It recently opened in 2018 and is the first design museum in the country.

It’s completely free to visit, but there are always some rotating exhibits that you may have to pay to enter.

Lunch: The Ship Inn & Waterfront Restaurant

Address: 121 Fisher St, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2BR

Grab lunch while you’re still in Dundee just because there are lots of options. One of the best restaurants in the city is The Ship Inn & Waterfront Restaurant, which has affordable prices and a great water view.

Afternoon: Castle Sightseeing

Now it’s time for the fun part! After your early lunch, make your way towards Cragievar Castle.

This is often referred to as the “pink castle” because of its colour.

This quaint castle truly looks like something out of a fairytale and is worth stopping at.

People inhabited it until about forty years ago! Tickets cost £14.50 per person to see the inside.

Next, make your way to Balmoral Castle, nestled inside Cairngorms National Park.

This is the Queen’s summer residence, but you’re allowed to visit the castle and grounds if you visit anytime besides the summer months.

Tickets can be pricy, but it’s worth it.

If you’ve watched the Crown, you should recognise this place. In season 5, Diana and Margaret Thatcher go there with the royal family.

Last but not least, stop at one more architectural marvel: Braemar Castle. It dates back to the 17th century and is what you’d expect a traditional Scottish castle to look like.

If you visited Balmoral Castle and still have your ticket, you can get discounted access to this castle.

Dinner: The Old Bridge Inn

Address : 23 Dalfaber Rd, Aviemore PH22 1PU

Finish the night by grabbing dinner at The Old Bridge Inn.

This is arguably the best pub near Cairngorms National Park, and they offer a wide variety of dishes.

The menu pleases even the pickiest of eaters. It’s located in Aviemore, a great place to spend the evening before continuing your 5-day road trip in Scotland tomorrow.

Where to stay in the Cairngorms

  • Luxury: Loch Insh Chalets are perfect for a luxury stay. They are located on the waterfront and some of them have a private hot tub! See prices here.
  • Mid-range:  The Birds Nest is a beautiful cabin in Aviemore. It can sleep up to 2 guests. See prices here.
  • Budget:  An Cabar is a super cute tiny house in the Cairngorms. It’s entirely made of wood and a great choice for travellers on a budget looking for an authentic experience. See prices.

Scotland Itinerary Day 3: Inverness & Loch Ness

Inverness in Scotland

Next on your Scotland itinerary 5 days, it’s time to make your way to Inverness. This drive will only take about 40 minutes so that you can get started on your day relatively early.

Morning: Inverness Castle

The first stop of the day is the beautiful Inverness Castle! It was built in the 19th century and has a beautiful view of Inverness since it’s located slightly higher than the rest of the city.

Even though it was built only a short hundred years ago, a castle has been in this very spot since the 11th century, when King Malcolm III established his fortress here.

You may instantly recognise the name of Inverness Castle if you’re a Shakespeare fan. That’s because it was featured in Macbeth!

Compared to other castles you’ve visited so far in Scotland, this one is relatively affordable at only £6 per ticket if you purchase your tickets online in advance.

Lunch: Rocpool or The Grumpy Chef

For lunch, make your way back down to Inverness. There are tons of spots to eat here, but some of the top-rated lunch restaurants are Rocpool and The Grumpy Chef.

If you have a bit more money to splurge on a fine meal, be sure to eat at Rocpool. Prices are a bit more luxury and not as budget-friendly, but it’s a top-rated place for modern cuisine in the city.

Address: 1 Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5NE

The Grumpy Chef is a more budget-friendly place to grab some quick food. They offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on their menu.

Whether you’re in the mood for French toast or a ciabatta sandwich, The Grumpy Chef has got you covered.

Address: Chapel St, Inverness IV1 1NA

Afternoon: Loch Ness

As with most Scotland itineraries, you absolutely must visit Loch Ness.

This is one of the best places to see in Scotland in 5 days and is only a thirty-minute drive from Inverness.

While you can drive around Loch Ness for free, you can enter the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition for £8.45 per person.

While you’re at Loch Ness, be on the lookout for Nessie, the legendary monster who has lived in the depths of the loch for centuries.

Be sure to also stop at Urquhart Castle, which is located right along Loch Ness.

Construction began on it and the 13th century though it wasn’t finished until the 16th. Tickets cost £9.60 per person to enter the castle.

And of course, one of the best things to do here is to take a cruise on Loch Ness.

Dinner: The Dores Inn

Address: B862, Dores, Inverness IV2 6TR

For dinner, head back to Inverness and grab some delicious pub food at The Dores Inn.

This pub is family run and offers some of the best views in Inverness, besides the ones from the castle.

Despite being one of the best pubs in Inverness, it’s usually relatively quiet, especially if you choose to use their outdoor seating along Loch Ness.

Evening: Scotch & Rye

Address: 21 Queensgate, Inverness IV1 1DF

If you still have some energy left, go out for drinks at Scotch & Rye!

The inside of this cocktail bar and restaurant has a lively atmosphere with tons of Prohibition decor and memorabilia.

The bartenders serve up almost any cocktail you can imagine.

Be sure not to stay up too late because you have another busy day tomorrow on this best itinerary for Scotland!

Where to stay in Inverness

  • Luxury:  Cheerful and Airy Flat is a wonderful Airbnb in Inverness. The home decor is absolutely stunning and the location is ideal. See prices here.
  • Mid-range:  West River Apartment is an excellent option for mid-budget accommodation. It’s very cosy and well located. See prices here.
  • Budget:  Crown Street is a private room Airbnb. It’s the perfect choice if you are on a budget. It’s very good value. See prices here.

Scotland Itinerary Day 4: Fort William

Fort William is an absolute must-see in Scotland, and luckily that’s what you’ll be seeing today! After waking up in Inverness, make the hour and a half drive to Fort William.

Morning: Nevis Range Scenic Mountain Gondola

Nevis Gondola in Fort William

If you’re wondering what to see in Scotland while you’re in Fort William, look no further than the Nevis Range. Make your way here first, as soon as you make it to Fort William.

Once you’re there, you’ll want to find the ticket booth and purchase admission to the gondola. Each ticket costs £22, which may seem pricey, but it’s worth it.

After you grab your ticket, hop onto the gondola and catch one of the most breathtaking views in the whole country!

It is a rather steep ride, and if it’s windy, the gondola could also be a little shaky. Keep in mind that every once in a while, the gondolas might stop so that someone can attach their bike to one!

Lunch: The Pinemarten Cafe or The Snowgoose Restaurant

Address: Nevis Range Parking, Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SQ

There are two places to eat at the top of the mountain: The Pinemarten Cafe and The Snowgoose Restaurant.

It’s best that you just grab lunch here because there’s a vast outdoor patio looking down the incredibly scenic mountain.

There are quite a few meals you can purchase, and they change depending on the day. Prices are also relatively affordable, but with a view like that, any price is worth it!

After lunch, be sure to walk on a few of the trails at the top of the mountain before heading back down.

Afternoon: Ben Nevis Distillery or Neptune’s Staircase

Here are two things you can do in the afternoon: visiting a distillery (perfect on a rainy day) or going to Neptune staircase and walk down to Corpach port (perfect on a sunny day).

Ben Nevis Distillery’s Address: Lochy Bridge, Fort William PH33 6TJ

Next on your 5-day self-drive tour of Scotland is Ben Nevis Distillery.

No trip to Scotland is complete without visiting a distillery of some sort, and this one is one of the most scenic parts of the country.

Ben Nevis Distillery is one of the oldest in the entire country.

This distillery is known for its whisky and offers tours to visitors. Admission is £5 per person, or you can pay £18 to go on a tasting tour. Either one is fantastic!

Neptune staircase Fort William

Neptune’s Staircase Address: Banavie, Fort William PH33 7NG

If it’s sunny then heading to Neptune’s staircase will be an excellent idea. At first sight, there is nothing that exciting about this place but I promise, you’ll be impressed!

Neptune’s staircase is a staircase made of 8 locks on the Caledonian canal.

In simple terms, it allows boats to go up!

As you get there, you can walk on the different bridges and get nice views of the stairs but it’s when a boat comes that it becomes truly impressive!

If you are down for a walk, you can stroll along the canal all the way to Corpach port. It’s an easy 30-minute walk.

Once you get to the port, you’ll discover stunning views of the loch and Ben Nevis.

On a nice and sunny day, you can even see the reflection of Ben Nevis on the loch. It’s so beautiful!

That said, it’s really not worth going on a rainy day as Ben Nevis will be hidden by the clouds.

PRO TIP: If you are a Harry Potter fan, you can stand by the railway at Banavie Station (next to the staircase) and see the Jacobite train coming! Make sure to check the timetables. The train doesn’t stop in the station but it goes fairly slow when it reaches this stage.

READ MORE: Harry Potter Train in Scotland: Ultimate Guide to riding the Jacobite train in real life

Dinner: Crannog Seafood Restaurant

Address: 4 Cameron Rd, Fort William PH33 6AJ

Eating seafood is an absolute must-do in Scotland, and there’s no better place to do it than while you’re in Fort William.

The Crannog Seafood Restaurant is one of the best seafood restaurants in Fort William and is located right on the pier, so there are excellent views.

Ask for a window seat if you can! Prices are mid-range, and the atmosphere is casual.

If you’re not a big fan of seafood, don’t worry. There are tons of other places to eat at in Fort William, so take your pick!

Where to stay in Fort William

  • Luxury: This Airbnb is a beautifully decorated house with stunning views of the water and luxury amenities. See prices here.
  • Mid-range: Lothlorien is a cute B&B in Fort William. Admittedly, it looks a bit old fashion but it is great value and breakfast is included! See prices here.
  • Budget:  Fort William Backpackers is a hostel located in an old Victorian building in the heart of Fort William. See prices here.

Scotland Itinerary Day 5: Loch Lomond & Glasgow

Finish your last day in this beautiful country by visiting some of the best places to see in Scotland in 5 days.

Today, you’ll be visiting Loch Lomond and Glasgow before heading home!

Morning: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Visiting Loch Lomond

Begin your day by exploring Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, one of the best things to do in Scotland in 5 days.

This loch and park are arguably even more beautiful than Loch Ness, so it absolutely can’t be missed.

Instead of purposely going to certain parts of the park, try just driving around and pulling off to the side whenever you find a great viewpoint.

This is one of the best ways to explore, especially after a hectic week of sightseeing. If you do want to stop for a couple of hours, head to Balloch and go on a cruise on the lake .

The cruise is only 1 to 2 hours long and this will be an amazing use of your time!

It’s very pretty and a fun way to discover Loch Lomond.

Click here to see the prices.

Road ttrip in Loch Lomond Scotland

Lunch: Mini Grill Glasgow Steakhouse

Address: 244A Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JW

From Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, make your way to Glasgow for lunch.

While there are many places to eat in this city, The Mini Grill Glasgow Steakhouse is a great option. It’s one of the more popular places to eat in Glasgow and has a friendly atmosphere and mid-range pricing.

Afternoon: Glasgow Sightseeing

Spend your last afternoon in Glasgow just doing some sightseeing. 

Again, I highly recommend going on a walking tour here.

The City Centre guided walking tour of Glasgow lasts 2.5 hours, during which you will learn everything you need to know about the city. There is no better way to discover the city quickly and in-depth.

Definitely, a winner when you don’t have much time. Click here to see the latest prices.

If you’d rather exploring on your own, it’s fine too! There are many great places to explore in the city, but here are a few top places to visit in Glasgow.

Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington in Glasgow

The equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley is the most famous landmark in the city.

Not exactly because of the statue or the man himself but because it always has a road cone on the head! Yep, I am serious!

Believe it or not but Glasgow is notorious for this.

As a matter of fact, every time the cone is removed by the city council, people start placing bets on how long it will stay that way. It never lasted more than a few days!

You will see this statue on all postcards! It’s a local institution! You can find it just outside the Gallery of Modern art on the Royal Exchange Square.

The Glasgow Cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is a beautiful gothic church. The inside is very dark yet enchanting, which only adds to its appeal. It’s the oldest cathedral in the country, so it can’t be missed!

George Square is one of the main squares in Glasgow. In particular, this square was named after King George III and features lots of statues throughout, so it’s worth exploring, even if only for a half-hour.

The best museum in Glasgow is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It was opened to the public in 1901 but was recently refurbished in the early 21st century.

It’s filled with beautiful art and also is a true testament to the architecture in Scotland.

Views from Glasgow Necropolis

The Necropolis is a cemetery located on the heights of the city. It boasts some of the most breath-taking views of Glasgow so it’s well worth walking up there.

Mural in Glasgow

Finally, Glasgow is known for its street art! As you walk around, you will discover many beautiful murals!

Dinner: Ox and Finch

Address: 920 Sauchiehall St, Finnieston, Glasgow G3 7TF

For Dinner, make your way to Ox and Finch.

This is one of the favourite restaurants among locals and tourists, which only adds to its appeal.

The majority of the menu is tapas, and the atmosphere is very casual. Prices are mid-range, and there are tons of delicious meals and appetisers on the menu, including vegan options.

Evening: The Pot Still

Address: 154 Hope St, Glasgow G2 2TH

Finish your last day in Scotland by heading to your last Scottish pub, The Pot Still. This is the most famous pub in the entire city, and they sell tons of whiskies (over 700!) and other alcoholic drinks.

A pub has been located in this very spot since the 19th century, so it’s filled with history.

Where to stay in Glasgow

  • Luxury: Kimpton – Blythswood Square Hotel is a 5-star hotel located in the city centre. When it comes to luxury accommodation in Glasgow, it really doesn’t get better than that. See prices here.
  • Mid-range: Historical Tenement Flat is a beautiful flat in Glasgow City Centre. It’s very good value for money and well located. See prices here.
  • Budget: Glasgow Youth Hostel is ideal for travellers on a budget who still want to be staying in a beautiful building. See prices here.

Other Scotland 5-day itineraries

Now that you know exactly how to pack as much as possible in those 5 days, it’s time to discover how to have a more relaxing holiday.

While the first itinerary is perfect for first-timers who want to see as much of Scotland as possible, it’s not exactly relaxing.

Here you will find some more itineraries that you can use to plan your 5 days in Scotland.

Scotland 5-day itinerary 2: Edinburgh, Isle of Skye, Glenfinnan and Fort William

Bobby in Edinburgh

  • Day 1: Edinburgh Old Town
  • Day 2: Edinburgh New Town and Dean Village
  • Day 3: Fairy Pools on Skye and Portree
  • Day 4: Old Man of Storr and Quirrang
  • Day 5: Glenfinnan and Fort William

Scotland 5-day itinerary 3: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond in Scotland

  • Day 1: Edinburgh Old Town and Arthur’s Seat
  • Day 3: Glasgow City Centre
  • Day 4: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
  • Day 5: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Scotland 5-day itinerary 4: Edinburgh, Loch Ness, Inverness and Isle of Skye

The Vennel Stairs in Edinburgh

  • Day 1: Edinburgh Old Town and New Town
  • Day 2: Loch Ness
  • Day 3: Inverness
  • Day 4: Fairy Pools and Portree on Skye
  • Day 5: Old Man of Storr and back to Edinburgh

Scotland 5-day itinerary 5: Edinburgh, Outlander, St Andrews and Dundee

Dean Village in Edinburgh Scotland

  • Day 2: Edinburgh New Town, Stockebridge and Dean Village
  • Day 3: Day tour to the Outlander filming locations
  • Day 4: St Andrews
  • Day 5: Dundee

Scotland 5-day itinerary 6: Edinburgh, Leith, Glenfinnan, Fort William, Ben Nevis and Glencoe

Hogwarts Express on Harry Potter bridge Scotland

  • Day 2: Leith and the Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Day 3: Glenfinnan Viaduct and Fort William
  • Day 4: Ben Nevis
  • Day 5: Glencoe (visitor centre and hiking the devil’s staircase)

You may also be interested in:

  • Edinburgh 2-day itinerary: How to spend 2 days in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Harry Potter in Edinburgh
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Founder of Beeloved City, I am originally from France and have been living in the UK since 2016. I've travelled to 25 countries as a backpacker, travel coordinator and for holidays. I spent a year in Australia before eventually settling down in Manchester, England

five day tour of scotland

Sensational Five Day Scotland Tour - a journey of discovery, of our history, scenery and culture

five day tour of scotland

20 days  / from 3042 USD

The Great British Road Trip

Get ready to explore Britain on this unique self-drive road trip. Choose the car of your liking before you hit the road: from the Cotswolds and its picturesque villages over the Beatle's favorite hang-out in Liverpool to Scotland's capital Edinburgh: this trip includes many highlights to be explored

Festive Feelings around Christmas in Scotland

6 days  / from 622 USD

Festive Feelings around Christmas in Scotland

Experience the magic of Christmas in the heart of the Scottish Highlands! Lovely Christmas Markets and winter festivals await visitors during the winter months, but this itinerary can also be turned into a summer festival hop!

Scotland's Wildest Natural Scenery

11 days  / from 1087 USD

Scotland's Wildest Natural Scenery

Want to lose yourself in Scotland's wildest natural scenery? This itinerary is a breath of fresh air and perfect to explore the most enchanting landscapes of the Highlands. It will allow you to get to know the wildest landscapes of Scotland, its fast-paced history and its amazing traditions.

There's no denying that Scotland offers far more than what can be squeezed into five days. However, it's still ample time to have an incredible trip, particularly if you're incorporating Scotland into a broader itinerary spanning multiple countries.

Given the limited timeframe, precision is key when planning your itinerary. Are you eager to delve into the historic landmarks and lively pub scenes of Glasgow and Edinburgh ? Or does the allure of Scotland's natural landscapes call out to you? Whichever path you choose, remember to consider typical weather conditions during your stay and factor in travel times between destinations.

Feeling overwhelmed by the daunting task of itinerary planning?  Leave the details to us. With our tailor-made trip service , you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey while we take care of all the planning and bookings on your behalf. Our trips , meticulously curated by local travel experts , can be customized to your exact preferences. 

Fingal's Cave, Sea cave in Staffa Island Scotland © Shutterstock

Fingal's Cave, Sea cave in Staffa Island Scotland © Shutterstock

This 5 day itinerary in Scotland is perfect for those planning a family trip. Your journey kicks off on  day one in Edinburgh. First stop? The Edinburgh Zoo — hang out with creatures from all corners of the globe, saying hello to those famous pandas. Then, dive into the world of optical illusions and stunning city vistas at Camera Obscura.

On day two , hit the road or hop on a train to Stirling . Explore the majestic Stirling Castle, a true icon of Scottish history. Don't miss the Battle of Bannockburn Experience, where you'll step back in time to a pivotal moment in Scotland's past. 

On  day three you’ll head over to Loch Lomond for a nature-filled day. Trek around the stunning loch, soak in the scenery and enjoy a leisurely family picnic. Cap it off with a visit to SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium for a peek at the wonders of the deep. 

Day four brings you to Glasgow where you can get hands-on with science at the Science Centre and journey through transport history at the Riverside Museum.

Wrap up your adventure in Falkirk on  day five . Stand in awe of the magnificent Kelpies and take a spin on the Falkirk Wheel, a marvel of engineering. Finally, it's back to Edinburgh to bid farewell or squeeze in some last-minute city exploring before you head home. Book this trip .


Stirling Castle, Scotland  © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Check out this 5 days itinerary in Scotland:

  • Arrival and check-in at your accommodation in Edinburgh.
  • Visit Edinburgh Zoo to see a variety of animals from around the world, including the famous pandas.
  • Explore Camera Obscura for a fun and interactive experience with illusions and panoramic views of the city.
  • Take the train or drive to Stirling.
  • Tour Stirling Castle, one of Scotland's most historically significant castles.
  • Experience the Battle of Bannockburn at the interactive center, where you can learn about this pivotal moment in Scottish history through fun and engaging exhibits.
  • Transfer to Loch Lomond.
  • Enjoy a family-friendly hike around Loch Lomond, known for its natural beauty
  • Go for a family picnic.
  • Visit SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium with exhibits featuring marine life native to Scotland and beyond.
  • Arrive in Glasgow.
  • Explore Glasgow Science Centre, a hands-on science museum with interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and live demonstrations.
  • Discover the transport history of Glasgow at the Riverside Museum.
  • Move on to Falkirk.
  • Marvel at The Kelpies, colossal horse-head sculptures standing beside the Forth and Clyde Canal, representing Scotland's industrial and equine heritage.
  • Visit the Falkirk Wheel, an infamous rotating boat lift connecting two canals.
  • Return to Edinburgh for departure or spend additional time exploring the city's attractions, shops, and restaurants before departing.

Old Man of Storr, Scotland © Pixabay

Old Man of Storr, Scotland © Pixabay

On this five-day itinerary in Scotland, you’ll get the chance to explore Scotland’s vibrant cities. Your adventure begins  in Glasgow on  day one , where you’ll explore the exhibits of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum before moving on to the Glasgow Science Centre

Day two sees you in Edinburgh, the historic capital, where you'll be greeted by the imposing Edinburgh Castle and the winding streets of the Royal Mile. Here you’ll have the chance to learn about Scottish history at the National Museum of Scotland. 

Next, it's off to Dundee on  day three , where you can marvel at modern design at the V&A Dundee and delve into Antarctic exploration at Discovery Point. In Aberdeen on  day four , discover the city's maritime heritage at the Maritime Museum and wander through the medieval charm of Old Aberdeen. 

Finally, on  day five , journey to Stirling to visit the imposing Stirling Castle and learn about Scottish hero William Wallace at the Wallace Monument. Conclude your Scottish city tour with a return to Glasgow. Book this trip .

View of Ashton Lane, a cobbled backstreet in the West End of Glasgow © DrimaFilm/Shutterstock

Ashton Lane, a cobbled backstreet in Glasgow © DrimaFilm/Shutterstock

  • Arrival in Glasgow.
  • Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to explore its collection of art and artifacts.
  • Explore the interactive exhibits at the Glasgow Science Centre.
  • Arrival in Edinburgh.
  • Tour the Edinburgh Castle for panoramic views of the city and to delve into Scotland's history.
  • Wander along the historic Royal Mile, lined with shops, cafes, and landmarks.
  • Visit the National Museum of Scotland to learn about Scotland's natural history, culture, and innovation.
  • Transfer to Dundee.
  • Explore the contemporary architecture and exhibitions at V&A Dundee, Scotland's largest design museum.
  • Visit the historic RRS Discovery at Discovery Point, where you can learn about Antarctic exploration.
  • Arrival in Aberdeen.
  • Visit the Maritime Museum to learn about Aberdeen's maritime heritage.
  • Explore the historic district of Old Aberdeen with cobbled streets and medieval architecture.
  • Arrival in Stirling.
  • Tour the Stirling Castle, one of Scotland's most important historical sites.
  • Visit the Wallace Monument to learn about Scottish hero William Wallace and enjoy panoramic views.
  • Return to Glasgow for departure.


Aberdeen, Scotland  © Shutterstock

Itinerary #3: Scotland's hidden gems

On this 5 day trip, you’ll travel through the lesser-known natural sights of Scotland. Your trip starts in Peebles on the  first day , where you'll wander through the ancient halls of Neidpath Castle, perched majestically above the tranquil River Tweed. Take in the Tweed Valley with leisurely strolls or opt for more adventurous hikes along its scenic trails.

Day two welcomes you to the picturesque village of Plockton, nestled along Scotland's rugged coastline. Spend the day discovering the enchanting Coral Beaches, accessible by car or via scenic coastal paths, and keep an eye out for playful seals frolicking in the nearby waters. As the afternoon wanes, return to Plockton, soaking in the scenic route on the way back.

In Aberdeenshire on  day three , explore the Dunnottar Castle, perched dramatically atop cliffs overlooking the North Sea and the rugged beauty of the Bullers of Buchan's coastal inlet.

Day four finds you in Moray , where you'll discover the quirky eco-community of Findhorn and see the natural wonder of Bow Fiddle Rock's striking sea arch. Finally, on  day five , you’ll explore the quaint fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, including Anstruther, Pittenweem, and Crail, before bidding farewell to Scotland. Book this trip .

Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  © Shutterstock

  • Arrival in Peebles.
  • Explore the Neidpath Castle, a historic fortress overlooking the River Tweed.
  • Enjoy walks in the Tweed Valley, with options for leisurely strolls or more adventurous hikes.
  • Arrival in Plockton.
  • Head to the Coral Beaches, located near Plockton. You can reach the beaches by car or by walking along the coastal paths, enjoying the scenery along the way.
  • Seal-spotting adventure. Head to areas known for seal colonies, such as nearby rocky outcrops or islands.
  • Return to Plockton village in the late afternoon, taking in the scenic views along the way.
  • Transfer to Aberdeenshire.
  • Tour the Dunnottar Castle, a cliff-top fortress with views of the North Sea.
  • Explore the unique rock formations and seabird colonies at the Bullers of Buchan, a coastal inlet near Peterhead.
  • Arrive in Moray.
  • Discover the charming village of Findhorn, known for its eco-community and l coastal scenery.
  • Visit Bow Fiddle Rock, a natural sea arch near Portknockie, which offers views and photo opportunities.
  • Transfer to East Neuk of Fife.
  • Explore the picturesque fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, such as Anstruther, Pittenweem, and Crail.
  • Visit Kellie Castle, a historic mansion with gardens and views over the Firth of Forth
  • Return to Peebles for your departure home.

Tweed Valley from Glentress Forest,  Peebles, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Tweed Valley from Glentress Forest,  Peebles, Scottish Borders, Scotland  © Shutterstock

This 5-day itinerary is perfect for anyone who wants to dive deep into Scottish history.  Day one  kicks off in Edinburgh, where you'll stroll through the enchanting Old Town, taking in the sights of the Royal Mile and the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Don't miss the chance to uncover the secrets of The Real Mary King’s Close, delving into the city's hidden history. 

Day two brings you to Rosslyn, home to the famed Rosslyn Chapel adorned with intricate carvings and symbolism. Explore the historic abbeys of the Scottish Borders, steeped in architectural beauty and historical significance. 

On  day three , fly to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands , where you'll step back in time to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae and marvel at the ancient stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar. Then, transfer to Fort William on  day four to soak up the area's history at the West Highland Museum before embarking on a scenic ride aboard the Jacobite Steam Train through the breathtaking Scottish Highlands .

Round off your adventure in Stirling on  day five , exploring Doune Castle and the Battle of Bannockburn site, before returning to Edinburgh for a well-deserved dinner and departure. Book this trip .

Scotland, Eilean Castle @ Shutterstock

Eilean Castle, Scotland  © Shutterstock

  • Explore the Old Town, including the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.
  • Take a tour of The Real Mary King’s Close to delve into the hidden history beneath the city's streets.
  • Arrive in Rosslyn.
  • Visit Rosslyn Chapel, famous for its intricate carvings. 
  • Explore the historic abbeys of the Scottish Borders, such as Melrose Abbey and Jedburgh Abbey.
  • Fly to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands.
  • Explore the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the ancient stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar, one of the largest in Scotland
  • Return to the Mainland and overnight in Kirkwall.
  • Transfer to Fort William.
  • Visit the West Highland Museum in Fort William.
  • Experience the Jacobite Steam Train on a scenic journey through the landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, including the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
  • Overnight in Fort William.
  • Transfer to  Stirling.
  • Explore Doune Castle, a medieval fortress famous for its appearance in the TV series Outlander.
  • Visit the Battle of Bannockburn site and learn about the pivotal moment in Scottish history.
  • Return to Edinburgh for dinner and departure.

Water of Leith flowing through Dean Village, a picturesque historic district in Edinburgh Scotland © Shutterstock

Dean village, Edinburgh, Scotland  © Shutterstock

Itinerary #5: Scotland's creative trail

If you’re the type of traveler who likes to focus on a destination’s artistic culture, this 5 day itinerary is made for you. Your trip will begin in Glasgow on day one , where you'll delve into the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and uncover the creative legacy of the Glasgow School of Art.  Day two takes you to Alloway, where you'll pay homage to Scotland's national poet at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and explore the picturesque Brig O’Doon, steeped in literary history.

Arriving in Dundee on day three , you’ll have the chance to explore the innovative exhibitions at V&A Dundee and learn of fascinating tales of Antarctic exploration at Discovery Point. From there, you won’t want to miss the chance to soak up contemporary art and culture at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Museum. 

Day four brings you to Aberdeen, where you'll take in the impressive art collection at the Aberdeen Art Gallery and explore the local street art in the city's Old Town. Finally, on  day five , arrive in Edinburgh to enjoy masterpieces in the Scottish National Gallery and delve into the literary heritage at the Writers' Museum. You’ll wrap up your trip with a return to Glasgow. Book this trip .


Clyde Arc, Glasgow   © Shutterstock

  • Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery to explore its collection of art and artifacts.
  • Take a tour of the Glasgow School of Art to learn about its design and artistic heritage.
  • Drive to Alloway.
  • Explore the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, dedicated to Scotland's national poet.
  • Visit the Brig O’Doon, a picturesque bridge immortalized in Burns' poetry.

Day 3: 

  • Arrive in Dundee.
  • Explore the exhibitions and contemporary design at V&A Dundee.
  • Visit Discovery Point to learn about Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition aboard the RRS Discovery.
  • Explore the Dundee Contemporary Arts Museum, featuring contemporary art exhibitions, independent cinema, and a cafe.
  • Arrive in Aberdeen.
  • Explore the Aberdeen Art Gallery to see its collection of art, including works by Scottish Colourists and contemporary artists.
  • Take a street art tour of Aberdeen's Old Town to discover murals and graffiti art.
  • Arrive to Edinburgh.
  • Visit the Scottish National Gallery to see its collection of Scottish and international art, including works by artists such as Rembrandt and Monet.
  • Explore the Writers' Museum to learn about Scotland's literary heritage and the lives of writers such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Depart for home.

Each of our itineraries is thoughtfully put together by our team of local travel experts to help you make the most of your holiday. To spark your inspiration, discover the best time to visit Scotland , explore its best attractions , or see our other Scotland itineraries.

If the idea of spending hours researching for your dream trip doesn't appeal to you, opt for our  tailor-made trip service . Our trips are completely customizable to cater to all your preferences.

Ready to plan your own 5-day itinerary in Scotland? See our Rough Guide to Scotland for expert insights and plenty of planning tips to get started.

The Rough Guides to Scotland and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to The Scottish Highlands & Islands

Travel advice for Scotland

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Scotland

  • Eating and drinking in Scotland
  • Getting around Scotland: Transportation Tips
  • How to get to Scotland
  • Travel Tips Scotland for planning and on the go

Find even more inspiration here

Cityscape of Edinburgh Arthur's Seat © S-F/Shutterstock

updated 26.04.2024


Ready to travel and discover Scotland?

Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

  • Where to stay
  • Travel advice

Heart of Scotland Tours

  • Tour 1 – Loch Ness & the Highlands
  • Tour 2 – Stirling Castle, Highland Lochs & Whisky
  • Tour 3 – Rosslyn Chapel, the Borders & Hadrian’s Wall
  • Tour 4 – The Best of Scotland in a Day
  • Tour 5 – The Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle
  • Tour 6 – St Andrews & the Kingdom of Fife
  • 2 Day Tour – Inverness & the Highlands
  • 3 Day Tour – Isle of Skye & the Highlands
  • 5 Day Tour – The Grand Tour of Scotland
  • View All Private Tours
  • 1 Day Tour – The Best of Scotland in a Day
  • 1 Day Tour – Loch Ness & the Highlands
  • 2 Day Tour – Inverness & the Highlands
  • 3 Day Tour – The Isle of Skye & the Highlands
  • 4 Day Tour – Inverness & the Isle of Skye

5 Day Tour – The Grand Tour of Scotland

  • 6 Day Tour – The Outer Hebrides & Isle of Skye
  • 7 Day Tour – The Complete Tour of Scotland
  • Departure Point
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Accommodation Explained
  • Our Story – The Wee Red Bus
  • John Muir Trust
  • Our Vehicles
  • Sustainable Tourism

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION – All group tours depart from Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3BQ (opposite Howie’s Restaurant) .

Achmelvich Istock 2

Achmelvich Beach

  • Tour Details
  • Accommodation Information

Please check in with your driver guide at Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place 15 minutes before departure

Prices & booking terms.

  • Luggage allowance of up to 15 kg (33 lbs)
  • Free cancellation/rebooking up to 8 days before departure
  • Transport in a luxury Mercedes Wee Red Bus
  • Fully guided services of a Heart of Scotland tour leader

Not Included

  • Entry fees to attractions
  • Meals and refreshments
  • Accommodation (see below)

Tour Highlights

  • Average group size of around 12
  • Culloden Battlefield and Clava standing stone circles
  • Loch Ness and Inverness
  • Achmelvich beach
  • Unique Highland landscape of Assynt
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Isle of Skye full day tour
  • Lots of photo stops on the magical Isle of Skye
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct

2024 Season

Next summer.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating According to TripAdvisor travelers as of May 2024

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Your Accommodation

Tour price does not include the cost of accommodation. Accommodation is pre-booked by Heart of Scotland Tours (or by yourself) and you pay card or cash at checkout. Please note some Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) only accept cash . Choose from:

  • Hostel – £25 to £35 per person, per night
  • B&B single or single occupancy of a double room – £60 to £120 per person, per night
  • B&B en suite double or twin – £120 to £190 per room, per night (2 sharing)
  • B&B en suite triple or quad – £160 to £240 per room, per night (3 or 4 sharing)
  • Hotel – £160 to £240+ per room, per night (2 sharing)

Your accommodation options explained in more detail.

This classic 5-day tour showcases the best of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. From dazzling white beaches to the dramatic mountain landscapes of Skye and Assynt, our Grand Tour will live with you forever. As part of a small tour group in the Wee Red Bus you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy world-famous sights like Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle as well as some hidden gems that many tourists never see.

Our 5 day adventure begins by crossing the famous Forth Bridge, travelling past the Fair City of Perth before our first stop at the picturesque Victorian Highland village of Pitlochry.

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Surrounded by a stunning Perthshire landscape of mountains, woodland and water there is an optional visit to the Blair Athol distillery for a tour and tasting – a must for all Scotch lovers!  Non whisky drinkers can enjoy the bustling High St or stretch their legs beside the River Tummel.

We continue north through the Cairngorms National Park with sweeping views across the Spey Valley and the Central Highlands.

By mid afternoon we arrive at one of Scotland’s most evocative and scared prehistoric sites, the 4000 year old stone circles and burial cairns at Clava Cairns.

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Our final stop is Culloden Moor where the Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in 1746, the last battle to be fought on British soil.

You will have time to walk on the battlefield and learn more about this tragic event that killed 700 Highland clansmen in three minutes. Our base for two nights is the Highland capital, Inverness.

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A trip to Assynt and the Coigach peninsula will live with you forever as an area of outstanding natural beauty encompassing hundreds of lochs, beautiful coastline, and native woodlands all set against the stunning backdrop of some remarkable mountains.

'Our trip to stunning Assynt will live with you forever'

This dramatic Highland landscape has inspired many from all over the world. We stop at the pretty fishing village of Ullapool for coffee, before continuing north-west to the unique landscape of Assynt and the Inverpolly Nature Reserve.

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Famous mountains such as Suilven and Stac Pollaidh are never far from view. There can be few more scenic roads in the country than that from Badnagyle to Lochinver, where we pause for lunch. It’s then onto stunning Achmelvich beach to enjoy the wild coastline and beautiful sands.

Achmelvich Istock 2

Our drive continues to the ruins of 15th century Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt before we finish this fabulous day at the dramatic Corrieshalloch Gorge.

We say goodbye to Inverness and head to the Isle of Skye via the magic of Loch Ness and the rugged splendour of the Western Highlands.

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First stop is the world’s most famous lake, best known for sightings of Nessie, the legendary Loch Ness monster!

There’s an option to take a 1 hour boat trip with views of Urquhart Castle or alternatively spend time at the loch-side village of Drumnadrochit for souvenir shopping and/or a visit to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.

We continue to the southern end of the loch for lunch in the picturesque village of Fort Augustus.

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Dramatic scenery unfolds as we drive west, stopping for photos at the famous viewpoint over Loch Garry and the wilderness of Knoydart beyond. We continue past the Five Sisters of Kintail – a high mountain ridge rising steeply from Glen Shiel – towards world-famous Eilean Donan Castle.

Perhaps the most iconic image of Highland Scotland the castle has been used as the backdrop for countless well-known movies. It is perfectly situated on a small island, surrounded by water and fabulous scenery – a ‘must-see’ Scottish landmark.

From here it’s only a short drive to the Skye Bridge and onwards to Sligachan for a stunning view of the Cuillin Mountains. Our final stop of the day is the island capital of Portree where we will stay for two nights.

Portree From Istock 1 Scaled Aspect Ratio X

Today is spent touring the Isle of Skye, a flexible itinerary at the discretion of your driver / guide * (see below).

We enjoy a half-day scenic drive along the dramatic Trotternish Ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Stops can include Lealt Waterfall, Kilt Rock sea cliffs, the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle and a walk at the Quiraing mountain pass. Another popular stop is the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the ‘wee people’!

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'We spend a full day exploring the spectacular and dramatic Isle of Skye in the Wee Red Bus'

The second half of the day explores the stunning southern part of the island which includes well-known sights and some hidden gems we’ve discovered over the years.

Nestled under the Cuillin mountains is beautiful Glen Brittle. Rugged scenery surrounds us and there are several fantastic options for this section of the tour, including a short walk in the iconic mountain landscape to the famous Fairy Pools.

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Another popular excursion is the drive to Neist Point lighthouse for spectacular views to the Western Isles.

The 13th century home of the famous Clan McLeod, Dunvegan Castle offers guided tours, a useful wet-weather option because of Skye’s famously changeable weather. It’s not called the ‘Misty Isle’ for nothing!

* Please note depending on weather and traffic conditions the itinerary is flexible to maximise our time on Skye.

Our day begins with a scenic drive across Skye to the ferry terminal at Armadale for the 30 minute sea crossing to Mallaig (subject to availability).

With spectacular views to the Small Isles and Cuillin Mountains, the iconic black and red Caledonian Macbrayne ferry takes us back to mainland Scotland with wildlife spotting opportunities en route including seals, sea birds and the occasional whale, dolphin or otter.

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On arrival in Mallaig we follow the beautiful ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan Viaduct which famously features in several Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express train crosses the bridge. Historically this stunning viewpoint also marks the spot where Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) landed on mainland Scotland and raised his standard prior to the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

'Glenfinnan Viaduct features in several Harry Potter movies'

As we drive to Fort William for lunch we stop for a photo of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis at Neptune’s Staircase. This series of locks on the Caledonian Canal raises the water level 20 metres and was designed by the famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford.

Mountains and lochs provide a dramatic backdrop as we continue to Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous of all Scotland’s glens.

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This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the MacDonalds took place in 1692. You may even recognise this part of the Highlands, used as a backdrop for many movies including Skyfall.

Our Grand Tour concludes with a photo stop at 13th century Doune Castle. Protecting the gateway to the Highlands the medieval castle has recently been seen as Castle Leoch in Outlander, Winterfell in Game of Thrones but is probably most famous for featuring in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Tour 1 Loch Ness & the Highlands bus tour from Edinburgh

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Tour 2 Stirling Castle, Highland Lochs & Whisky bus tour from Edinburgh

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Tour 3 Rosslyn Chapel, the Borders & Hadrian's Wall bus tour from Edinburgh

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Tour 4 The Best of Scotland in a Day

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Tour 5 The Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle

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Tour 6 St Andrews & the Kingdom of Fife

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2 Day Tour Inverness & the Highlands

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3 Day Tour Isle of Skye & the Highlands

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5 Day Tour The Grand Tour of Scotland

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Private Tours of Scotland


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Spectacular 5 Day Tour of Scotland

Tour Departs: This itinerary is customized for a Glasgow or Edinburgh pick up and drop off.

Tour Includes: Loch Lomond, Inveraray, Oban, Fort William, Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and Stirling Castle.

five day tour of scotland

Private 5 Day Scotland Tour

five day tour of scotland

Scotland 5 Day Itinerary Highlights

five day tour of scotland

  • Day 1 – Loch Lomond, Inveraray and Oban
  • Day 2 – Oban, Fort William and the Isle of Skye
  • Day 3 – Guided Tour of the Isle of Skye
  • Day 4 – Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and Inverness
  • Day 5 – Cairngorm Mountains, Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery, Blair Castle or Stirling Castle

Day 1 - Loch Lomond, Inveraray and Oban

five day tour of scotland

Travelling west on your 5-Day Tour of Scotland, our first stop of the day is to the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the shores of Loch Lomond. A perfect stop to stretch the legs, and capture some photographs of arguably the most beautiful loch in the world, Loch Lomond.

Heading North, we pass beneath the craggy mountain, “The Cobbler” (Ben Arthur), as we journey through the “Arrochar Alps”, and on for another photo-shoot at the spectacular viewpoint known as the “Rest and be Thankful”.

As we approach the Highland Harbour town of Inveraray, you have the option to stop for lunch at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, for a taste of some of the finest Scotland’s finest seafood. You may however, wish to opt for traditional Scottish pub cuisine at the ancient old Scottish Inn ‘The George’ in Inveraray town.

Arriving in Inveraray around midday, we visit the impressive Inveraray Castle and gardens. This proud fortress is the romantic Highland Home of the Duke & Duchess of Argyll. Enjoy some free time to browse the beautiful town shops, or take a stroll to the waterside to view the Clyde puffer “The Vital Spark”, once used for transporting coal, moored in the harbour.

In the town of Inveraray, we find the historic 19th century Inveraray Jail, where you can meet the warder and talk to the ‘prisoners’.

We then take a scenic drive to Oban, for our first overnight stay on our 5-day tour of Scotland.

Day 2 - Oban to the ‘Magical’ Isle of Skye

five day tour of scotland

From Oban, we head north travelling along the banks of Loch Laich. Our first stop of the morning on day two, is at Appin to take in spectacular views across the loch to Castle Stalker.

Our next stop is Fort William for lunch and shopping. We continue along the shores of Loch Lochy to Invergarry, and travel onwards to the magical Isle of Skye for a spot of sightseeing, before stopping for the night in the colourful, popular small town of Portree.

Day 3 - Isle of Skye Guided Tour Experience

five day tour of scotland

Departing Portree after breakfast, we take a scenic tour around the Trotternish peninsula, stopping to see the “The Old Man of Storr,” and the wondrous ‘Kilt Rock’.

After lunch in Staffin, our journey continues around the stunning coastline. We stop for more photo opportunities at the Minch which separates the north-west Highlands and the northern Inner Hebrides from Lewis and Harris. Before driving back to Portree for our overnight stay, we visit the Skye Museum of Island life.

Day 4 - Eilean Donan Castle, Fort Augustus, Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness & Inverness

five day tour of scotland

After a hearty Scottish breakfast, we cross the Skye Bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh, and then on to Eilean Donan Castle, filming location of the movie “Highlander”. Here we stop for a visit and photo-shoot.

Travelling onwards through Glen Sheil, towards the Great Glen and the banks of Loch Ness, we stop at Urquhart Castle, and again at Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness before lunch. “The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition Experience” offer you the chance to discover all the known facts about the mysterious monster, “Nessie”. Get your binoculars ready for some Nessie searching. Before arriving at our accommodation in Inverness we enjoy a relaxing break at Tomnahurich, to view the lock system in operation, and learn more about the Caledonian Canal from the Lock keeper.

Day 5 - Aviemore, Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery and Option of Blair Castle or Stirling Castle

five day tour of scotland

Departing Inverness, we journey on to Aviemore, where we experience the beautiful Speyside countryside. Chat to the driver and fireman at the Strathspey Steam Railway, and discover the mechanics of a steam locomotive and view the Cairngorm Mountains, famous for its winter sports.

Heading south, we continue our journey through Cairngorms National Park to visit and enjoy a guided tour at Highland Whisky distillery, Dalwhinnie. Here we can sample the “gentle spirit” of the Glen and learn about the “Angels Share”, created during the whisky maturing process.

Climbing over the Pass of Drumochter, and on through the Pass of Killiecrankie, we head into Perthshire to visit Blair Castle, home to the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s last remaining private army. Alternatively, we can travel onwards to one of Scotland’s most important medieval fortresses, Stirling Castle. The grand castle perched proudly upon a volcanic crag, can be seen from miles around and offers an intriguing insight into Scotland’s turbulent history through the Wars of Independence and into the Renaissance period. Your 5-day Scotland tour concludes at your named accommodation in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

You will return home with fantastic memories and fun filled facts and knowledge of some of our ancient historical beauty spots.

Book your 5-day tour of Scotland today

five day tour of scotland

Contact George today, to check availability on his wonderful 5-day tour. Make life-long memories on your wonderful Scotland touring experience. You can also check out our other fabulous selection of multi day tours in Scotland here .


4-5 days in Scotland: recommended itinerary + my best tips

The ultimate 4-5 days scotland itinerary + where to stay.

You’re planning to spend 4 or 5 days in Scotland ? You’re looking for the best itinerary?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 4-5 days Scotland itinerary. You will start by visiting Edinburgh , the capital, and then will go on a road trip in the Highlands .

For each stage of your trip, in addition to the best things to do , I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget . You will see, planning your itinerary will be super easy!

So, how to spend a 4 or 5 days in Scotland? Where to stay?

1) Edinburgh (2 days)

Where to stay in edinburgh, 2) the highlands ( 2 days ), where to stay in the highlands (fort william).

  • 3) Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (1 day)

Traveling to Scotland: flight prices

Scotland tours: 4-5 days.

  • You’re traveling to Scotland? These articles will help you!

4-5 days in Scotland: the best itinerary

Let’s start your 4-5 day trip to Scotland with a visit to Edinburgh, the capital.

To visit Edinburgh in 2 days , the best is to devote one day to each part of the city.

  • On your first day , you will visit Old Town , the medieval part of the city
  • On your second day , you will discover New Town , the contemporary part of Edinburgh.

Old Town , the historic center of Edinburgh, stretches mainly around the Royal Mile : this famous streets runs from Edinburgh Castle down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

You can start by visiting the city’s iconic landmark, Edinburgh Castle . It stands at the top of an ancient volcano and dominates the town.

As it’s the most touristic monument in Scotland, you should really book your tickets in advance here. It will save you a lot of time!

Let’s face it: during your short 4 or 5 days stay in Scotland, it’s better to spend your time visiting rather than queuing for hours to get an entrance ticket 😅.

During your visit, you will be able to discover both the inside and outside of the castle.

The famous Crown Jewels , the War Museum and the beautiful gardens are a must see. From the castle grounds, you will also be able to enjoy one of the best views of Edinburgh .

Edinburgh Castle

After your visit to the castle, you can head to one of the oldest tourist attractions of Edinburgh: the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions .

This original and unusual museum is a great place to visit if you’re traveling with your family. There, you will discover numerous optical illusions as well as a 360° animated panorama of the city.

You can find more information about the Camera Obscura on the official website. To avoid queuing at the entrance, you should also buy your tickets in advance by clicking here.

On the way out, continue down the Royal Mile, wander in the alleys of the old town and admire the medieval architecture.

Here are the main monuments to see on the Royal Mile of Edinburgh:

  • The Saint Gilles Cathedral , the oldest Gothic religious building in the city
  • Canongate Kirk , a quiet small church
  • The Real Mary King’s Close , to visit the underground streets and houses
  • Dunbar’s Close Garden , a small, quiet and charming garden
  • White Horse Close , a picturesque group of houses
  • Scottish Parliament House , the seat of the Scottish Parliament

If you love history and want to learn more about Edinburgh , you should definitely visit the 2 following museums:

  • The Museum of Edinburgh
  • “The people’s Story” Museum: This interesting museum will allow you to learn more about the working-class people of Edinburgh from the 18th century to the present day.

They are both located near the Royal Mile and are free of charge .

After all these visits, you will deserve a sweet break 😄.

You can for example go to Clarinda’s Tearoom , one of the best tea rooms in the city: British atmosphere guaranteed with flower tablecloths and porcelain dishes! Address : 69 Canongate Street, almost at the end of the Royal Mile.

It’s now time to visit the city’s second most popular tourist attraction: The Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Once the residence of Mary Stuart and now one of the queen’s second home, you will for sure love discovering its art galleries, state apartments, gardens , and the abbey ruins.

Here also, the best way to save time is to buy your tickets for the palace in advance by clicking here.

At the end of your visit, you can climb up Arthur’s Seat hill located nearby . The view over Edinburgh from the top of this ancient volcano is breathtaking!

At nightfall, to end this first day in Edinburgh with a typically Scottish visit, you can go Greyfriars cemetery. It’s reputed to be one of the most haunted in the world!

To get there, the best is to join one of the guided tours organized every evening. It needs to be booked here.

If you want to learn everything about Edinburgh’s Old Town , the best is to opt for a guided tour.

During your tour, you will have the chance to learn more about the city’s historical sites such as the Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Parliament.

This guided tour of Edinburgh can be booked directly here:

Arthur's seat

For the second day of your 4-5 day itinerary in Scotland , you will discover New Town , the contemporary part of the city.

This district organized around 3 main streets (Princes Street, Queen Street and Georges Street) is characterized by large squares and typical Georgian architecture .

Here are the best places to see in New Town, Edinburgh:

  • Princes Street Garden: stroll through the alleys and enjoy the beautiful views over the medieval city.
  • Charlotte Square, where the official residence of the Prime Minister is located.
  • Calton Hill: from the hill, you can enjoy a panoramic view over the historic center (Old Town) up to the sea.
  • The Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery , 2 free museums, perfect if you’re an art lover!
  • Dean Village, a former milling village. You can reach it in 15 minutes on foot from the center of Edinburgh.
  • The Royal Botanical Gardens, among the most beautiful in the world.

At the end of the day , if you’re up for more ghost stories and haunted places after visiting Greyfriars Cemetery, you should go on a Ghost Tour . Hop on a black double-decker bus and tour the the creepiest places of the city, where torture and executions took place. It needs to be booked here!

To learn more about the best things to do in Edinburgh, you should read my detailed article: Edinburgh: the definitve guide.

  • Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel: Youth hostel located only 800 meters from the train station and Princes Street. Bed in a dormitory from 30€ per night, breakfast at 6€. Strong points: cleanliness, great location, friendly staff.
  • Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket: Located in the city centre, 10 minutes walk from the castle. Contemporary and elegant double room from 90€, breakfast included. Strong points: the very helpful staff, the spacious rooms, the very comfortable bed. It is my favorite for its amazing value for money!
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh: Located on the historic Royal Mile Street, 10 minutes from the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Chic and refined double room from 200€ per night, breakfast at 14€. Strong points: central location, spa, heated indoor swimming pool, gym, and the excellent breakfast!
  • Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh: 5 star hotel located on the Royal Mile, 600 meters away from the castle. This luxury hotel offers comfortable and elegant double rooms starting at 300€ per night, breakfast at 18€. Strong points: located in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic centre, the interior design, very helpful staff, absolute comfort. This is the best hotel for a luxury stay in Edinburgh!

Hotel 5 étoiles à Edimbourg - Le Radisson Collection Hotel

For the second part of your 4 or 5 days trip to Scotland, you will spend 2 days to visit the Highlands.

For this road trip, you will need to rent a car (unless you came to Scotland with your own of course!). Personally, I always use Cars website , for several reasons:

  • You can easily compare all the car rental agencies prices at a given location
  • You can get their “full protection” insurance. It’s the best way to be fully refunded in case of an accident or theft. Tested and approved, they have already refunded me more than 1300 euros!
  • You can modify or cancel your booking free of charge.

If you know your travel dates, your should really compare the rates and rent your car as soon as possible. It’s the best way to get the best price (car rental prices only go up with time).

Voyage Tips - Advice If you don’t want to rent a car, the other solution is to opt for day trips from Edinburgh.

The big advantage is that you won’t have to take care of anything! Your guide and driver will take care of everything 😊.

To make it even easier for you, I have selected the best day trips from Edinburgh. Simply click on the orange links below to book them and for more information:

  • From Edinburgh – Loch Ness, Glen Coe and Highlands: spend the day in the countryside to admire the scenery of Loch Ness and the Highlands. A Loch Ness cruise is also included!
  • Edinburgh – Visit Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and Stirling Castle: Visit Stirling, pass by Doune Castle, walk through the Trossachs Park and finish the day with a cruise on Loch Lomond.
  • From Edinburgh – 1 day tour of the Highlands, Stirling Castle and whisky: a day trip by minibus with a visit to Stirling, a tour of the Trossachs Park and a visit to a whisky distillery, including of course a whisky tasting. If you are not a whisky lover, you can choose to visit Doune Castle instead.
  • Highlands tour with the Hogwarts Express train! – The best tour for Harry Potter fans 😉
  • Excursion to discover the lakes and castles of Scotland: visit in small groups (maximum 16 persons) of Doune castle and Argyl castle, stop in front of Stirling and Kilchurn castle. You will also pass by Callander, Loch Luibnaig, Loch Fyne and Loch Lomond.
  • From Edinburgh – St Andrew’s and the fishing village of Fife: visit the historic and picturesque villages of the kingdom of Fife and the medieval town of St Andrews where Scotland’s oldest university is located. Discover Falkland, one of the most beautiful villages in the country.
  • From Edinburgh – Outlander-themed excursion: visit the filming locations of the Outlander TV show, adapted from the novels written by Diana Gabaldon.
  • From Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel and Scottish Borders: day trip to discover the Rosslyn Chapel (a filming location of The Da Vinci Code movie) and the remarkable Melrose Abbey founded by the Cistercians.

If you have chosen the road trip option:

Once you have picked up your car, head for Glencoe , about 3 hours drive from Edinburgh .

The village is the starting point for many hikes in the Highlands. There are hikes available for everyone, so you can just choose the one that suits you the best depending on its length and difficulty.

The easiest are the Lochan Trails: these short forest walks take about 1 hour to complete.

If you’re up for a longer hike, the Pap of Glencoe , is clearly the best choice! This 4 hours round trip hike will take you to the top of the mountain of the same name. The view from the summit is just superb!

And if you’re looking for something in between, the Lost valley hike is quite nice too. It takes around 3 hours round trip.

When you will arrive, you should ask at Glencoe Visitor Centre for more information about the various hiking trails available.

Spend the night towards Fort Williams, 25 minutes from Glencoe.

Glencoe Scotland

On the next day, you will go to one of Scotland’s most famous places: the Loch Ness!

The Loch (the second largest in the country) is located between Inverness and Fort Augustus , an hour and a half drive from Fort William.

In the morning, you will thus head to Fort Augustus, the starting point of Loch Ness cruises.

During your cruise, you can try to catch a glimpse of Nessie, the famous monster!

After the boat trip and a good lunch break, head to the village of Drumnadrochit (40 minutes by car). Here, you can visit Urquhart Castle , a medieval castle built on the banks of the Loch.

To combine the 2 best things to do at Loch Ness (the cruise and the visit to Urquhart Castle), you should opt for a combined tour: it’s only €25 per person! It includes a 1 hour boat trip on Loch Ness and the visit to the castle. You need to book it in advance here.

If you’re not too tired and have some time left, you can then go to Inverness , the capital of the Highlands. Its castle is worth a visit.

On your way back, you can make a stop in Dores , a cute village offering a beautiful view of Loch Ness.

Return to Fort William for a second night in the Highlands.

For more information about the Highlands, you should read my detailed article: The 20 best things to do in the Highlands

Here is another option for your second day in the Highlands:

Instead of going to Loch Ness, you can go to Glenfinnan , 30 minutes from Fort William. The place is especially famous for it 21 arch viaduct that has been featured in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” movie!

Every morning around 10:30 and in the afternoon around 15:00 , you can see the Jacobite Express steam train (Hogwarts Express’s real name) passing by. A great moment for all Harry Potter fans 😄.

  • Fort William Backpackers: Located in the center of Fort William. Bed in a dormitory from 22€. Strong points: the atmosphere, the welcome, the location. The best choice for backpackers!
  • Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club: Located 1.5 km from Fort William. Scottish style double room starting at 100€/night with breakfast included. Strong points: indoor heated swimming pool, the free parking, the breakfast.
  • Nevis Bank Inn: Located on the banks of Nevis river, 10 minutes away from Fort William’s town center. Large double room from 190€, breakfast included. Strong points: pleasant staff, very clean and a good restaurant.
  • Inverlochy Castle Hotel: 5-star hotel located 6 km away from Fort William. The place is actually a small castle that offers double rooms with a view on the gardens and the peak of Glen Nevis. Prices start at 550€ breakfast included. Strong points: the extraordinary setting, the amazing breakfast and the wonderful staff. The best choice for a luxury trip to the Highlands!

Inverlochy Castle Hotel

3) Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (1 day )

That’s already the fifth day of your 4 or 5 day Scotland tour!

Today you will have to think about getting closer to Edinburgh. The best is thus to go to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park . Both the national park and the Loch are the largest in the country.

The place is really beautiful, and you will probably see a few sheeps during this day!

On your way through Trossachs Park, you’ll first reach Tarbet (1 hour 40 minutes from Fort William), where you can take a cruise on loch Lomond.

Then continue to Luss (southwards), a village known for its view of the Loch, and pass through Balloch . It is a 15 minute drive between the two.

In the afternoon , you should really hike to the top of Conic Hill (about 3 hours round trip). It offers panoramic views over Loch Lomond and the entire east coast, it’s really superb!

Before heading back to Edinburgh, pass by Doune Castle , and don’t forget to make a stop to visit Stirling Castle , one of the largest in Scotland. You should buy your skip the line tickets here.

From Stirling you will still have to drive for around 1h to reach Edinburgh.

If you’re planning only 4 days in Scotland , you can spend 1 day in the Highlands instead of 2.

Or, if you don’t want to drive so much , you can also spend 2 full days at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park , and don’t go to the Highlands.

In addition to the cruise and the Conic Hill hike I talked about, there are many others hikes to do there, so you will for sure find something to do! The advantage is that Loch Lomond is only 1h45 from Edinburgh, whereas the Highlands are 3 hours away from the capital.

As I suggested a bit earlier in this guide, you can also stay in Edinburgh for the 4 days and do day trips. The list of the best ones is just here (click here)

loch lomond trossachs parc ecosse

Flights prices to Scotland vary widely, so it is a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner . It’s the best way to pay the best price!

If you need help to plan your 4-5 day itinerary in Scotland , don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section located below.

On , I give you all my best tips and itineraries to plan your trip to Scotland by yourself. (All my Scotland travel guides are here)

However, if you prefer to book a 4-5 day Scotland tour with a travel agency , I recommend you to check the 10 best Scotland tours by clicking the button below:

Scotland travel Guides

  • Buy the Lonely Planet Scotland guide on or on
  • Buy the DK Eyewitness Scotland guide on or on

You’re traveling to Scotland ? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Scotland : All my articles to help you plan your trip to Scotland are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

Scotland itinerary 4-5 days

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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5-Day Tours in Scotland

From the medieval Royal Mile of Edinburgh to the ancient castle ruins of the Scottish Highlands, you can experience a fascinating array of attractions on a tour of 5 days in Scotland. From custom road trips to privately guided tours, the local travel experts at Nordic Visitor can arrange the perfect Scotland itinerary for 5 days.

Itinerary ideas for 5 days in Scotland

Want to make the most of your 5 days in Scotland? You’ll be surprised by how many picture-perfect attractions you can take in on a Scotland itinerary in 5 days, with Scotland tour packages that can be customised to your liking by the trusted local travel experts at Nordic Visitor.

Keep browsing below for trip ideas and suggestions for what to see in Scotland in 5 days.


Why book with nordic visitor.

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts

Experience Scotland in 5 days

Enjoy free time in the charming capital, Edinburgh, and take a short trip into the Highlands. Check out below what we recommend for a short tour in Scotland.

A Scottish Christmas to Remember

Best of edinburgh - loch ness & highlands, best of edinburgh - loch ness & highlands - winter, scenic scotland - express, loch ness & the highlands, stay longer and see more of scotland.

Stretch your trip to 6 or 7 days to experience more of the Scottish Highlands and isles. Explore these tour options below for different ways you can travel around Scotland on a week-long holiday.

Wonders of Scotland

Scottish highlands, loch ness & isle of skye.

Level 2 (Classic)

Express Scotland - Private

Edinburgh complete - loch ness, highlands & glasgow, edinburgh complete - loch ness, highlands & glasgow - winter, experience scotland your way.

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Scotland below.

Guided Small Groups

Privately guided, best sellers, culinary experience, scottish heritage tours, the scottish highlands, all travel styles, spending 5 days in scotland: what to do.

Edinburgh  makes a wonderful starting point for a 5-day trip to Scotland. You can easily spend at least a day in Edinburgh strolling the cobbled streets of the  Royal Mile  between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace or exploring the elegant New Town neighbourhood. If you wish to spend all of your 5 days in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, there are also several day tour options, for example a day trip to the famous university city of  St Andrews .

To experience the best of Scotland in 5 days we recommend going on a short trip into the majestic Scottish Highlands to see the postcard-perfect landscapes. On a 5-day Scotland tour from Edinburgh you can can travel into the Highlands, spending a couple nights in the Fort Augustus or Fort William areas, and visit popular attractions like the legendary  Loch Ness , the beautiful shores of Loch Lomond, the prehistoric Clava Cairns, the stunning Glen Coe area, the medieval  Doune Castle  and the Glenfinnan Viaduct of Harry Potter fame.

  • Discover even more  popular attractions in Scotland

To see all these highlights at your own pace, a 5-day driving tour of Scotland is recommended. With a  Scotland road trip itinerary  for 5 days arranged by Nordic Visitor you can visit the places that interest you most, with your very own detailed itinerary, hand-marked map of Scotland and Scotland travel guide that we provide to you before your trip. Furthermore, you can enjoy a stress-free time in Scotland in 5 days by car knowing that all of your accommodations have been sorted you by our local travel experts.

Spending 5 days in Scotland with no car? You can have Nordic Visitor create a tailor-made  private tour of Scotland  for you, so you can experience the highlights of the Highlands with an experienced local driver-guide.

Customise your 5-day tour of Scotland

With 5 days in Scotland, where to go can feel like a challenge. That’s why it’s good to have the Edinburgh-based staff of Nordic Visitor to guide your trip planning and  create a tailored 5-day Scotland tour for you . All of our itineraries can be tailored with extra nights, day tours and more, and you’ll have your own dedicated travel consultant at Nordic Visitor to advise you on tour options and make all local travel arrangements for you. If you want to start your 5-day tour of scotland from  Glasgow , we can also modify your itinerary accordingly.

Want to travel to the  Isle of Skye ? Then we recommend staying longer than 5 days in Scotland to comfortably travel to this popular destination along with other top Highland attractions such as Eilean Donan Castle, Cairngorms National Park and Dunvegan Castle.

What do our customers say?

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.

Highly recommend Nordic Visitor

This is our second tour with Nordic Visitor. Agents used before the tour were always very prompt with responses to our questions. During the tour, we found the accommodation perfect, guide very informative and friendly, and the driver got used to where we needed to go without any problems. We would definitely use Nordic Visitor again!

Smooth experience

Throughout the years we have travelled a lot, but never with a group tour. This trip was our first time and it did not disappoint. The tour guide, the bus driver, our fellow passengers, the weather, accommodation, variety of activities, and how smoothly everything went makes me question why we never toured like this before!

Amazing experience!

We had an amazing experience with Nordic Visitor! Our guides, Richard and Tim, were organised, knowledgeable, and very friendly! You can tell quality and customer satisfaction are very important. We will be back!

An unforgettable holiday

It was an unforgettable holiday. They took care of everything, and we got to wonder and explore with little hassle. If you want to visit Scotland (or anywhere else Nordic Visitor has tours) they are the way to do it. Already talking about our next adventure with Nordic Visitor.

An indescribably fantastic experience!

We are two middle-aged women who had never been to the UK before. My sister-in-law always wanted to go to Scotland, so I started researching and came upon Nordic Visitor through internet searches. I checked for reviews and found the company to be highly recommended. I started corresponding with Kirsten. She was extremely kind, very helpful and was able to put my nervous mind at ease. The package she put together for us was perfect! From my first email, the airport pick up and drop off service, and the tour with Dave, it was an indescribably fantastic experience!

I can't thank Nordic Visitor enough

This is our second trip in two years to Scotland with Nordic Visitor, and we are seriously thinking about another. I can't thank Chris enough for his patience and expertise when booking this trip.

The tour package materials were top notch. Spiral bound itinerary, recommended activities, restaurant recommendations and the large-scale road map of Scotland were a nice touch. Magdalena, our Nordic Visitor representative, responded promptly to our questions. Accomodation was all great.

Perfect vacation!

For our 50th wedding anniversary, we trusted Nordic Visitor to make our vacation a memorable one, and they made it beyond special. Chris, our tour planner, did everything to accommodate our needs and answered our questions quickly. It was an absolutely perfect vacation!

We booked a 4-day Christmas Tour of Edinburgh which included hotel accommodation, a walking tour of the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, a day tour of the Highlands and Lowlands, castles, and lochs, and also a whisky distillery tour. The hotel was in an amazing location near the Christmas Markets and popular attractions. The day tours were such a wonderful way to experience the countryside outside of Edinburgh. We also added a driving service to drive us to and from the airport and the drivers were so lovely. The care package left at the hotel consisting of maps and suggested eateries was such a delightful bonus. We loved that every aspect of our trip was planned and ready for us once we arrived which diminished any travel stress that one may experience when travelling abroad.

We were in good hands

As first-time visitors to Edinburgh, and senior citizens, our choice to use Nordic Visitor was an excellent one. The welcome package we received at the hotel was really helpful, with our tour vouchers, maps and restaurant recommendations. We would not have known what hotel to select and the one selected for us was perfect. The choice of tours offered was perfect for a 5-day visit. So glad to learn about the Royal Mile and visit the castle. The trip through the Highlands and Loch Ness was beautiful. Our travel agent, Rebecca, always quickly responded to email questions prior to departure. Thank you! Nordic Visitor made our trip easy and rewarding. We were in good hands.

Highly professional service

Nordic Visitor is a highly professional tour company. From beginning to end, we have no complaints. Our travel consultant, Chris, was very quick to answer all our questions from start to finish. Could not be more pleased.

Absolutely wonderful!

Our trip was absolutely wonderful! Magda was great to work with and helped us through the whole process. Everyone we worked with from the beginning through the end of the trip was absolutely marvellous.

Scotland Travel Guide

Start preparing for your trip by doing some research before your Scottish adventure.

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Flights to Scotland

The two biggest international airports in Scotland are in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and in Edinburgh, the capital city and usual starting point for Nordic Visitor tours. Flight times to Scotland are, for example, 6.5 hours from New York City and 1.5 hours from London. Major international airlines with flights to Scotland include (but are not limited to) British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and KLM.

Scotland and the rest of the UK is on GMT time. If your journey to Scotland involves one or more connecting flights, or if you're crossing several time zones to get here, your dedicated Nordic Visitor travel consultant can add extra nights in Edinburgh to your package so you can rest up after arrival.

Please note that flights to Scotland are not included in Nordic Visitor packages.

Our Services

Whether you travel independently or with a guide in your Nordic Visitor package, you will receive personalised service from a designated travel consultant and high-quality travel documents. What's more, all self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines the driving route, overnights and highlights along the way. Travel with ease knowing that Nordic Visitor has close professional relationships with local service providers , which are carefully selected by our staff for their consistently high standards.

Book With Confidence

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Whether you’re looking to add a night in Edinburgh, want restaurant recommendations or have questions about your tour, we’re happy to help so get in touch with our friendly team to answer any of your travel queries.

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How to Experience the Best of Scotland in 5 Days

by Keryn Means | Mar 21, 2018 | 2 comments

Come wander the city life and highlands of Scotland as we dive into this country’s rich and beautiful culture. We’ve partnered with Keryn Means of  Walking On Travels  to help us plan our own adventure with only five days to do it too. 

Scotland is a land of myth and mystery, and for good reason. We love those sexy accents, kilts that show off a man’s knees, mist-covered moors, and just admit it, you want to try haggis, if only to brag to your friends. While we can’t promise you will love haggis, we do know that you will fall in love with this country in as little as five days. Hiking, castles, Scotch, driving on the opposite side of the road – what’s not to love? But where do you start when planning your dream trip to Scotland? You want to see the city sights and head into the Highlands. How do you do it all with only a few days? Have no fear, we have you covered.

View of Edinburgh

Photo Courtesy of Keryn Means of

Day One: Edinburgh, Scotland

Fly into Edinburgh and get moving. Grab a coffee and slice of cake at Lovecrumbs right near Edinburgh Castle. Hop in a City Cab (yes, there is an app- search City Cabs) and head to Arthur’s Seat. Start hiking to shake off that jet lag. You will thank us when you get to the top and see the view.

Walk back down to Holyrood Palace and tour the Queen’s local digs in town. Just make sure you can, because if the Queen or any members of the royal family are in residence, you are out of luck. You’ll have to stare longingly at the palace from the gate and enjoy a cup of tea and scones from the café. They are quite good, so it’s not all bad.

Walk up the Royal Mile, grabbing a bottle of Scotch at Cadenheads Whisky Shop and Tasting Room (yes, you can do a tasting to know which to buy) and end with a tour of Edinburgh Castle . Grab dinner at The World’s End, and crash hard. Chances are you haven’t slept in over 24 hours if you flew over from the States.

View of Edinburgh Castle

Day Two: Linlithgow Palace and Oban

Time to get out of Dodge! Grab a rental car and start driving west. Just outside of the city you will come across Linlithgow Palace, a Renaissance relic that is somehow still standing. Walk the bones of this palace, marveling at the size of the kitchen fire place and do a little waltz through the ballroom. The view from the ramparts is quite impressive, too. If you have a few minutes, walk the High street in town to get the sense of another city in Scotland. Edinburgh can be daunting, especially for non-city dwellers. Linlithgow is a bit more manageable.

Continue driving onto Oban, where you will spend the night in town or just outside of town at one of the many hotels, B&Bs or rent a farm house to hang with the Highland “coos” (cows). Check out the Oban Distillery. You can buy Oban Scotch in the States, but grabbing a taste where it was made is a worthwhile experience. Enjoy some fish and chips for dinner, walk the harbor and soak in that salty sea air. Tomorrow you are hiking the Scottish Highlands .

Scottish Highlands

Day Three: Glencoe and the Highlands

Day trip out of Oban up into Glencoe . There are several great hikes all along the A82 road. Not sure where to hike? There aren’t really any marked trails like we are used to in the U.S. Basically if you see a parking area (gravel section with enough space for a few cars), you can park and start hiking down a path. The Glencoe Visitor Centre is a great place to start and get the lay of the land. Staff at the center can help you figure out the best trails to head towards. There are also a few trails just behind the Centre, but don’t linger too long. The best views are just up the road.

Take a break at Clachiag Inn for a hearty lunch and pint to warm you up and refuel your belly. If you are traveling with kids, there is a great playset for them to climb around and meet other children. There are also a few rooms to rent for hikers looking to break up their journey.

Sweet treats in Scotland

Day Four: Stirling Castle

Start heading back east towards Edinburgh. If you wanted to check out Glasgow, now is your chance. If you are looking for more castles to explore, Stirling Castle is a beautifully preserved castle high on a hill with great views of the National Wallace Monument (Braveheart anyone?). You can easily spend half a day exploring the castle if you are a history buff. Give the town a wander as well to learn more history about the area and the importance of this stronghold. End your day back in Edinburgh, doing a little shopping, exploring Prince Street, and more of Old Town Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle in Scotland

Day 5: Edinburgh, Scotland

It’s sad, but true. Time to head home. Spend your last few hours enjoying the everyday life in Edinburgh. There is history at every turn in this city that has been the home of kings and queens. It has seen battles waged and lost to preserve its independence, continues to vote if it should be independent once again, and hosts one crazy Fringe Festival each summer. True, you didn’t get to see enough of Scotland, but that’s why you can always come back. Right?

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5 Day Scotland Tour

5 Day Scotland Tour

Our 5 Day Scotland Tour from Edinburgh and Glasgow takes you into the heart of the Highlands, giving a taste of the sights and sounds of Scotland. You’ll get to enjoy stunning landscapes, visit medieval cities, discover important archaeology sites, and see famous TV and film locations on this 5-day sightseeing trip. Our tour is led by an experienced guide, and you’ll travel in a small-group with a maximum of 16 guests.

Discover the dramatic Scottish countryside as we drive through valleys and over mountainous terrain. We’ll visit iconic viewpoints along the way including Glencoe, Ben Nevis, Eilean Donan Castle and more! A highlight of the trip includes a visit to the Isle of Skye which is home to one of the most extraordinary landscapes in the world. You’ll also have the chance to take a seal-spotting boat cruise, visit a Scotch Whisky distillery and try to spot Nessie, the Loch Ness monster! On our 5-day Scotland tour, you’ll stay overnight in well-known towns including Inverness, the capital of the highlands. The tour is available on selected dates.

  • Free cancellation: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund


five day tour of scotland

Oban, the seafood capital of Scotland

  • Leave in the morning with pick up from Edinburgh and then Glasgow on our 5 Day Scotland tour adventure!
  • In Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery which houses one of Europe’s great art collections
  • Drive into the Scottish Highlands, a rugged mountainous region with breathtaking scenery and views. We’ll pass several villages along the way including Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond, Arrochar at the foot of the Arrochar Alps, and Inveraray which is the seat of the Clan Campbell and Dukes of Argyll!
  • Visit the Dunadd Iron Age Fort which dates back over 2,000 years and was the coronation site of kings and queens of Dalriada, the ancient Gaelic speaking kingdom
  • See Kilmartin Glen, one of the richest Neolithic sites anywhere in Europe with some of the largest concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland. Visit the Kilmartin Museum to learn the history of the peoples who have lived and worshipped in this area for the last six thousand years
  • Our first day ends with an overnight stay in Oban, a port and fishing town.

five day tour of scotland

Glenfinnan Viaduct

  • Departing Oban our first stop of the day is Glencoe. This is one of the most impressive valleys in Scotland and is an iconic filming location, featuring in the Harry Potter movies and James Bond’s Skyfall. It’s also the site of the infamous 1692 Massacre of Glencoe, and your guide will explain its importance for Scottish history
  • We’ll continue to Glenfinnan Viaduct, instantly recognizable as the bridge that Hogwarts Express crosses in the Harry Potter movies!
  • Enjoy lunch in the town of Fort William, the second largest town in the Highlands. Choose to take a tour of the Ben Nevis Whisky Distillery and learn how Scotch whisky is made. At the end of the tour you’ll get to taste some Ben Nevis single malt whisky. Alternatively, you’ll have the chance to visit the ruins of Inverlochy Castle and explore “Neptune’s Staircase”
  • From here, we’ll head to a viewpoint at the Commando Memorial Statue to enjoy sweeping views of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. The memorial site commemorates commandos who trained near here during WWII
  • Continue to the village of Fort August which lies at the shore of Loch Ness. You might even get to spot Nessie, the Loch Ness monster!
  • Our drive continues through some of the most dramatic and breathtaking scenery in Scotland, passing Glenshiel and the iconic Five Sisters of Kintail. We’ll visit Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most famous locations in Scotland
  • Continue the drive over Skye Bridge and onto the Isle of Skye. You’ll stay overnight in Portree, the largest town on the island

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye!

  • We’ll spend the morning touring the Isle of Skye, which is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world!
  • Highlights include exploring the Trotternish Peninsula where you’ll see the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing. You’ll also get to see amazing views across the sea – east to the Torridon Mountains and west to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Your guide will also bring the island to life with tales of the local folklore. The Skye Museum of Island Life explains how people lived on this island a hundred years ago
  • Enjoy lunch in Portree which is known for its fish and seafood, with time to explore the pretty town with many craft and local gift shops
  • Following lunch we’ll drive over the Cuillin Mountains, leaving the Isle of Skye and heading to the village of Plockton on the shores of Loch Carron
  • Choose to take a 1-hour seal tour where you’ll get to see seals along with many species of sea birds. And sometimes you can even see dolphins and porpoise. Alternatively, spend some free time exploring the village of Plockton
  • We end the day in Inverness which is the capital of the Highlands. Spend your free evening with a stroll along the riverbank or visit Inverness Castle which dominates the city centre and offers a fabulous view of the surrounding area
  • Overnight in Inverness

View of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness

View of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness

  • We spend day 4 exploring the wild and mountainous North West Highlands. Our drive takes us past spectacular scenery that is amongst the most rugged landscapes in Europe
  • Visit Corrieshalloch, one of the most breathtaking gorges of its type in Britain set in a national nature reserve. See the series of crashing waterfalls from the Victorian suspension bridge
  • We’ll drive along part of the North Coast 500 Route, one of the top coastal road trips in the world. Stop to visit the ancient ruins of Ardvreck Castle
  • From here visit Knockan Crag, a globally important geological site. For serious hikers, there is an optional hike along steep paths that takes you through hundreds of millions of years of history. Alternatively, sit back and soak up the beautiful landscapes
  • Enjoy lunch in the pretty ferry port of Ullapool. This fishing town is well known for its fish ‘n’ chips! We’ll visit nearby  Rogie Falls, a beautiful sport which offers several good forest walks
  • Visit the town of Beauly. Mary, Queen of Scots is believed to have given this town its name in 1564 when she visited, exclaiming: ‘ Quel beau lieu!’ (What a beautiful place!)
  • As we make our way back to Inverness, we’ll stop for a fantastic photo opportunity from a vantage point high above Urquhart Castle – the only castle on the banks of Loch Ness
  • Spend our last night in Inverness

five day tour of scotland

The ruins of St Andrews Cathedral

  • We depart Inverness on our final day, gradually making our way south towards Edinburgh passing some beautiful places along the way
  • Begin the day with a visit to Clava Cairns. The stones and Burial Chambers date from at least 4000 years ago and were the inspiration for the author of the Outlander novels when writing about Craigh na Dun. We’ll also visit the nearby Culloden Battlefield, which is also connected to the Outlander TV series and is where the final battle of the Jacobite rising of 1745 took place
  • Our final stop is to the town of St Andrews, known as the birthplace of golf and the place where Prince William met Kate Middleton. You’ll have free time to explore the highlights of this town.
  • Golf fans can visit The Old Course which is the oldest course in the world. The British Golf Museum is located just behind the clubhouse. The medieval walled town is home to St Andrews University. Visitors can walk around the ancient buildings, and see the remains of the Cathedral. St Andrews Castle sits on the coast and highlights include the Bottleneck Dungeon, subterranean mine and medieval tunnels
  • As we return to Edinburgh, the drive takes us through the fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge and the 2017 Queensferry Crossing
  • Arrive back in Edinburgh in the early evening. The tour does not return to Glasgow.


During this tour, you will stay 1-night in Oban, 1-night in Portree & 2-nights in Inverness. Our tour does not include accommodation, and you can either book your own accommodation or request for us to book accommodation for you.

Drop-off & Pick-up locations:

You will be dropped off and picked up at these city-centre locations at the end of each touring day:

  • Oban: 1 Station Rd, Oban PA34 4NU
  • Portree: Somerled Square, Portree IV51 9BS
  • Inverness: 26 Queensgate, Inverness, IV1 1DJ

Leave it to us:

If you would like us to reserve your accommodation, please contact us after booking your tour. We can arrange the following types of accommodation:

  • Hostel accommodation: a dorm bed in a mixed room with 4-8 beds per room. Facilities are shared, and breakfast is not included, but there is a communal kitchen where you can prepare food
  • B&B/Guesthouse: we can arrange a single room, double/twin room, or family room (3-4 people). All rooms are en-suite or have private shower facilities. Breakfast is included

You’ll pay for your accommodation directly to the provider on arrival. By doing so, we can offer you the best prices!

  • The tour departs at 8:30am from Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2PS. It returns to the same location on day 5 at approximately 6:30 pm
  • Pickup at Glasgow is at 10am from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG.
  • The tour includes a driver, transportation. It does not include entrance fees/optional extras
  • This is a small-group tour that typically operates on a 16-seater Mercedes sprinter
  • Optional extras for this tour are: Ben Nevis Distillery Tour; Museum of Island Life Skye; Seal Tour; Eilean Donan Castle; St Andrews Cathedral. You can see prices for these extras on our book now page
  • It is important to bring warm and waterproof clothing, as well as comfortable walking shoes. We also recommended bringing cash (around £30 per day) since not all villages have ATM machines

Tour Booking

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five day tour of scotland

Highland Explorer West to East

This itinerary is suitable for a 5 day Scotland road trip .

Starting from Glasgow, the tour route covers the famous landmarks of Loch Lomond, Ben Nevis, Skye, Eilean Donan, Loch Ness, Culloden, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh.

The Highland Explorer itinerary features a stopover in the pretty Victorian spa resort of Pitlochry. This journey break, between Inverness and Edinburgh, gives you opportunities to explore back roads, castles, standing stones and other hidden places.

Allow a minimum of 4 days to drive this tour route. The guide contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 9+ days

PLEASE NOTE: The Guides come in the format of PDF files. After payment, you will receive an automated email that enables you to access your Scotland Tour Itinerary.

five day tour of scotland

Money Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you’ll be delighted with your guide that we offer a full Money Back Guarantee. Read More .

Tour Stats :

Guide Updated - 22 December 2023

Core Route Mileage:

Approximately 520 miles / 840 Km

Tour Duration:

4 to 9 Days

Share this tour

Tour summary.

We provide a sightseeing guide to Glasgow’s main attractions and recommended restaurants. The guide also includes directions for a short drive to the villages around Loch Lomond , so you can choose between staying in the vibrant city, or in a scenic rural location.

We start your road trip from Glasgow to the Highlands by guiding you west towards the shores of Loch Lomond. There is a marked change in the scenery when you arrive at the shores of Loch Lomond and you may wish to absorb the Highland landscape by joining a loch cruise.

After driving along the shores of Loch Lomond, we would recommend you schedule a journey break to soak up the atmosphere of a haunted coaching inn that has changed little in the last 300 years.

Continuing the drive north, you enter the wild and timeless landscape of Rannoch Moor on your way to Glen Coe . Of course, Glen Coe is infamous for the Massacre of the MacDonalds, but other grim events took place here and we will guide you to discover some of Glen Coe's other legends. 

Fort William is just a short hop from Glen Coe, but we also supply a longer route option that lets you visit Glenfinnan where you might see the Jacobite steam train (April – Oct).

Moving on from Fort William, you come to Loch Lochy where a strange creature has been sighted in its still dark waters. We can’t promise you’ll see a monster, but we can guide you to one of the best viewpoints in Scotland .

On the way to the Skye bridge , you pass the iconic Eilean Donan castle and we will give you tips on where to go for a good photo.

Driving Distance: ~175 miles

Stopover in Skye & Lochalsh area.  

Explore Skye - We provide directions for a road trip on Skye that features all the famous scenic landmarks plus Dunvegan Castle, Talisker Distillery, craft shops, tearooms, pubs and walks. However, you really need a full day (preferably more) for sightseeing on Skye.

This is a relatively short drive so you can spend a morning exploring Skye, or leave early and spend the afternoon exploring around Loch Ness and Inverness.

The drive to Inverness takes you back past Eilean Donan castle , but we also suggest a small detour so that you can visit Plockton , arguably the prettiest village in Scotland. Traveling east, you come to Loch Ness and a choice of routes to Inverness. You can follow the more direct drive past Urquhart Castle and the various “Nessie” attractions, OR you can take a scenic road that passes along the quieter southern side of Loch Ness.

The day ends in the vibrant town of Inverness, “Capital of the Highlands” . Our guide gives you recommendations on where to eat, drink and find live music.

For an extended stay in Inverness, or if you arrive early in the afternoon, we supply some short touring routes that explore;

  • Culloden Battlefield , Clava Cairns , Cawdor Castle and Fort George .
  • The Black Isle where you find pretty villages and dolphin spotting boat trips.

Driving Distance: ~115 miles

Stopover in Inverness Area.

Whilst everyone else is blindly following the busy main road south, we guide you on a more scenic drive through the Rothiemurchus forest in the Cairngorms National Park . Pack a picnic as this is a day where we’ll show you lots of idyllic places to chill out beside a loch or river.

The main tourist attractions on this route are Culloden , Cawdor Castle, the Cairngorm National Park and the Highland Folk Museum . But there is a lot more to be discovered and we give directions for exploring away from the mainstream tourist trail.

The drive ends in the neat Victorian town of Pitlochry , where you can visit the Salmon Ladder and a  Whisky Distillery (or two). Also nearby is the grand Blair castle which boasts its own private army, the Atholl Highlanders.

Stopover in Pitlochry / Aberfeldy Area

Two route options are provided for this last leg of your road trip around Scotland:

The longer route takes you west, towards Loch Tay with opportunities to visit standing stones , a whisky distillery and a haunted castle. You then drive through the Trossachs where you can take a small detour for a loch cruise on an old steam yacht. Famous castles covered on this day are Stirling Castle and Doune Castle . You might recognise Doune castle from its appearances in the “Outlander” TV show.

Driving Distance: ~111 miles

The shorter route guides you to Perth via back roads with visits to Dunkeld , a charming 18th century village, and Scone palace , the ancient crowning place of Scottish Kings. From Perth, you speed south to Edinburgh, but can extend the drive with a visit to the pretty village of Falkland where Mary Queen of Scots had a favourite palace. Falkland village also featured in the filming of  "Outlander" .

Driving Distance: ~81 miles

Stopover in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is a compact city and easy to explore on foot. We provide directions for three  walking routes that show you different sides of the Capital city; a walk down the historical Royal Mile , a leafy riverside walk to the Botanic Gardens that escapes the hustle & bustle of city life, and a more energetic walk to Arthur’s Seat with a good pub at the end. Edinburgh boasts a great range of atmospheric old pubs and we steer you to a selection of our favourites.

The guide also includes options for day trips around the surrounding area by car or bus / train.

The day trips by car take you to West Lothian where you can visit many of the sites used in the filming of “Outlander” and to East Lothian where you can visit some spectacular castle ruins, a distillery, pretty villages and embark on boat trips to Bass Rock.

Tour Gallery



To help you book the best places to stay, we offer a guide to Recommended Accommodation along the route of this tour.

We personally visit all the accommodation featured in the guides and only select places where we would wish to stay ourselves. Read More...

When you "Checkout" , you will have the option to buy the Accommodation Guide.

Preview Accommodation Guide

Car Hire - How to Save Money

When you buy a Secret Scotland Tour Itinerary you will receive a Discount Code that gets you a 10% reduction on the cost of Car Hire from Arnold Clark Rental .

Simply use the Secret Scotland code when you book via the Arnold Clark website and your car hire discount will automatically apply.


I convinced my other half to get the Scenic Tour 4-5 Days guide (even though he very much wanted to do it all himself), and it was the best experience ever. In fact, ever since this trip, we're trying to re-create the experience. Of course, Scotland can hardly let anyone down, but this guide truly made it an adventure. We found so many hidden and not so hidden gems, and everything was perfectly laid out for us so that all we had to do was decide how much time we had and what we wanted to see next. I can't recommend it enough and wish more guides like this existed!

five day tour of scotland

Excellent! We thought the information provided was fantastic and allowed us to see things I am sure we would have missed. Mike was very helpful in sending the itinerary through again for us when we had trouble with our downloads. Would definitely recommend this site. We have been travelling for a number of years and normally would just rely on the internet and books but decided to give this a go. So glad we did.

five day tour of scotland

Secret Scotland is EXCEPTIONAL in providing guidance for itinerary planning and accommodation referrals for those wanting a self guided driving vacation in Scotland.... Simple to use.  Thorough in suggesting ‘must see’ venues. Complete - sites, restaurants, pubs and experiences.” That is how I would describe what they do and provide.  Exceptional accommodation recommendations. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

five day tour of scotland

The itinerary Secret Scotland provided was a trip saver. We loved the suggestions for sight seeing, eating, and places to stay, but the best part was the detailed driving directions. Driving on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the car was a little easier without having to worry about how to get there! We will definitely use this service the next time we visit Scotland!

five day tour of scotland

Secret Scotland's itineraries, accommodations guides, and other resources are incredible value with great attention to detail.  Their owners, Mike and Aury, are experienced and honest, and they helped us so much as we attempted to narrow down a very long list of things we hoped to do during our time in Scotland.  I feel so much more prepared for our trip and can now just look forward to our approaching vacation!

five day tour of scotland

We have just got back from an EXCELLENT holiday following the Borders to Orkney route suggestions. We can't say enough about how much the detailed information enhanced our experience in Scotland. We had a wonderful time seeing so many interesting sites that we would have passed by without your guide. Thank you so much.

five day tour of scotland

These guys really are the best.  We used Mike's Flexi Days East to West itinerary last July and it was truly indispensable.  His itinerary is full of detail, including driving directions and options.  Mike is also very responsive if you have any questions.  We had such a wonderful time we are going back again this year, and we will be using his itineraries again for our planning.  I would also recommend his accommodations guide.

five day tour of scotland

Just like pictures of Scotland can’t do justice to the magnificence of the actual landscape, words can’t do justice to the brilliance and sheer volume of work you put in your guide. The level of detail provided on each stopover sheet, in all the different itinerary options and on all the B&B features exceeded even my most crazy expectations.

five day tour of scotland

Mike and Aurey from Secret Scotland prepared a fantastic itinerary for us. It was a huge ingredient in the success and huge enjoyment that we got from our trip. It was absolutely worth every penny and there is no way we could have seen so much and so well without their itinerary. We felt like we belonged in Scotland, we knew what we were doing and what it all meant at every step. We recommend their services wholeheartedly. Scotland is such a marvelous place. Thank you Mike and Aurey... and we will be back!

five day tour of scotland

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Home » Scotland Tour Itineraries » 5 Day Scotland Tour

5 Day Private Tour of Scotland Itinerary

TripAdvisor 5 star rating

Scottish Private Tours tailored To Suit You

The itineraries we offer on our site are a template, where we hope you can find out more about what you’d like to do and see in Scotland, before getting in touch with our expert travel planners to design you a fully customized and truly unforgettable private tour!

  • Stirling Castle
  • Jacobite Express Steam Train
  • Isle of Skye
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle
  • Edinburgh Full Day Tour
  • Risk-free booking guarantee: Full refunds up to 7 days before the start date
  • Certified driver-guides with 15+ years of experience, passionate about sharing their love of Scotland
  • Exclusive experiences that others without our local insight will not include
  • Travel in style in our luxury air-conditioned Mercedes vehicles
  • Fully customizable bespoke and complimentary itinerary for your vacation

Day 1: Arrival - Stirling Castle - Glencoe - Fort William

Stirling Castle

Designed with care to help you experience some of Scotland’s best sights and destinations in a short 5-day spell, this tour itinerary will give you a taste of what makes our wee country such a unique and enchanting land to visit. The following itinerary is just a guideline; a guideline intended to inspire you to dream of your ideal vacation to Scotland before getting in touch to create a personalized itinerary that is perfectly suited to you and your group. Your private 5-day tour of Scotland starts as your driver-guide collects you at a destination of your choice in Glasgow or Edinburgh, before chauffeuring you through central Scotland to one of the country’s most historically-significant and famous buildings: Stirling Castle. Perched atop Castle Hill – a dramatic geoformation – Stirling Castle is protected on all sides by vast steer cliffs which made the site an attractive strategic military base during Scotland’s turbulent history. On your tour of the Castle, you’ll hear its tales and mysteries first-hand with your private guide; including characters such as Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Once your group has explored the Castle, your driver-guide will whisk you off to the West Coast of Scotland en route to the incredible Glencoe Mountain Range. Here, we’ll stop for some pictures of the famous ‘Three Sisters’ and a short hike depending on the activity level of your group, before heading to the delightful town of Fort William. If we’ve still got time in the day, you might want to include a visit to The Nevis Range – home to the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis – where you can enjoy a gondola ride up the side of a mountain and toast to your first day in Scotland with one of the most beautiful backdrops in the world before your driver-guide returns you to your accommodation for the night ahead of a busy second day.

Day 2: Jacobite Express Train - Isle of Skye

Glenfinnan Viaduct

The second day of this guided 5-day tour starts with a journey on the world-famous Jacobite Express Steam Train. Featured in a number of the iconic Harry Potter films, the train twists through dramatic Scottish countryside – most notably over Glenfinnan Viaduct.

The train will drop you off in the beautiful coastal town of Mallaig, where your driver-guide will be waiting to collect you and take your group on a short ferry ride to the stunning Isle of Skye.

Once you reach Skye, your driver-guide will take you on a short tour of the island which could include a visit to The Old Man of Storr, The Fairy Pools, a tour of Dunvegan Castle & the town of Portree, or even a relaxing hike.

Your driver-guide will then drop your group off at your hotel.

five day tour of scotland

Day 3: Eilean Donan Castle - Loch Ness Tour

Eilean donan Castle

Day 4: Blair Castle - Pitlochry - Forth Road Bridges


On Day Four of your tour of Scotland, we begin the morning with a trip to explore Blair Castle. Certainly one of the lesser-known castles in Scotland, Blair has a fascinating history and was at a time host to Mary Queen of Scots as well as Bonnie Prince Charlie. Once your group’s enjoyed a tour of the castle we’ll drive to the picturesque town of Pitlochry. An incredibly well-preserved town, Pitlochry offers visitors a glance at medieval Scotland as well as a host of beautiful nature walks and hikes throughout the surrounding countryside. If you’ve got a taste for our national spirit, you may also want to try some of the local whisky distilleries. After a delightful afternoon, your driver will whisk you off to the Forth Bridges – the dramatic introduction to our stunning capital city: Edinburgh. You’ll spend the night in Edinburgh at a central location to allow the group to explore the city’s fantastic selection of traditional bars and restaurants before your tour of the city on the final day.

Day 5: Edinburgh Castle - Holyrood Palace - New & Old Towns


As we promised, the final day of your tour is focused on Edinburgh. Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world, our tour of Edinburgh starts in its heart: Edinburgh Castle. Situated (rather fittingly) on Castle Rock – which has signs of human settlement from the Iron Age – Edinburgh Castle dominates over the city skyline. Your group will enjoy a private tour of the castle to learn more about its fascinating history and significance to the Scottish people. Once you’ve explored the castle, next up is the Holyrood Palace before a drive around the New and Old Towns of Edinburgh to pick up any last-minute gifts or mementos from your trip with us. And alas, this 5-day tour of Scotland comes to an end as your driver-guide drops you at the airport in time for your onward journey.

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Even if you don’t know where you want to start and would like some inspiration, fill in your contact details below, and your personal tour expert will be in touch to help you plan your perfect vacation in Scotland.

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Go Scotland Tours

5 Day Regular Tours to Scottish Highlands, Western Isles and Orkney | Go Scotland Tours

Week long tours to Scottish Highlands, Western Isles, Skye, Outer Hebrides, Orkney and more. Regular departure Scotland Tours, limited departures.

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The Scottish Highlands Essential Experience Tour

The Scottish Highlands Essential Experience Tour

  • Tour ID: 1094
  • Tour theme: Group Sightseeing Tours (Multi-days) ,
  • Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
  • Starts from: Edinburgh, Glasgow

The Essential Scottish Experience, tour highlands of Scotland and the western islands, Skye, Loch Ness, Glencoe, Oban, Simply the Best Tour of the Highlands...

Orkney and Far North Tour Experience from Edinburgh

Orkney and Far North Tour Experience from Edinburgh

  • Tour ID: 1543
  • Starts from: Edinburgh

A tour to the amazing Orkney Islands from Edinburgh. First we travel through the Highlands, Loch Ness, Inverness, then a spectacular 3 days in Orkney, Kirkwall.

Small Group Tour

Orkney Explorer and Far North of Scotland Tour

Orkney Explorer and Far North of Scotland Tour

  • Tour ID: 1019

Orkney and northern Scotland tour, Highlights of the tour are prehistoric Orkney archipelago, Scotland northern coastline, Loch Ness and Cairngorm National Park

Outer Hebrides and Highlands Tour Experience from Edinburgh

Outer Hebrides and Highlands Tour Experience from Edinburgh

  • Tour ID: 1260

Tour to the largest islands in Scotland, the Outer hebrides, visit Lewis and Harris, stay in Stornoway, tour Callanish, Rogie Falls, Taransay and the Highlands.

Outer Hebrides and Scottish Highlands Tour

Outer Hebrides and Scottish Highlands Tour

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Scotland 4 Island Magic Tour; Skye, Iona, Mull and Staffa

Scotland 4 Island Magic Tour; Skye, Iona, Mull and Staffa

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Scottish Highland Explorer Tour

Scottish Highland Explorer Tour

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Yorkshire Dales, Lake District Tour and Hadrians Wall

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five day tour of scotland

Inveraray Castle

5 Day Tour of Scotland

Sensational 5 Day Scotland Tour – a journey of discovery, of our history, scenery and culture.

Join us in our wonderful whistle stop 5 day Scotland tour experiencing Scottish culture, absorbing yourself in the spectacular scenery and exploring fascinating historical sites. This is the ultimate five day tour to see as much of Scotland as you can, in a relatively short space of time. Take the stress out of having to navigate maps and negotiate the often-winding single-track roads. Sit back, relax and allow us to show you what Scotland has to offer our visitors, and enjoy a wee dram or two, with some traditional Scottish music along the way. This five day tour has something for everyone, as we travel from town to town, with some breathtaking views on your magical Scottish adventure.

Your Magical 5 Day Scotland Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Amazing Argyll & The Isle of Bute

Enchanting Puck’s Glen Mystical Forest Hike and Magnificent Mount Stuart House Visit

Your magical Five Days in Scotland touring adventure can depart from Glasgow, Edinburgh or any other designated town in central Scotland. We commence our five day journey by following the stunning Clyde Estuary, to the small seaside town Gourock, in the west coast of Scotland. We board the ‘wee ferry’ from McInroys Point (near Gourock), and sail the short journey across the Firth of Clyde, to Hunters Quay (near Dunoon). The three-mile voyage takes approximately 20 minutes. You will be in awe of the stunning Scottish scenery, as we approach the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll. Disembarking the ferry, we take a 6-mile drive north, alongside the Holy Loch en route, to our first adventure of the day at Puck’s Glen.

Pull on your hiking boots, as we prepare to hike through the enchanting fairy like Scottish Glen. Your group will be guided through one of the most stunning Glens in Scotland, on a mysterious woodland adventure. This enchanting trail crosses wooden bridges over cascading waterfalls and fairylike pools. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this (mile and a half) challenging walk, which has some steep inclines and uneven ground. You may even be fortunate enough to spot some amazing wildlife, such as red squirrels, deer, woodpeckers and pine martens.

Once we have completed this spectacular trek, you can sit back, relax and take a ‘wee breather’, as we journey south westerly through the craggy peaks and hidden glens of the Argyll forests to Colintraive. Boarding another short ferry crossing, (which takes 5 minutes) we sail from Colintraive to Rhubodach on the Isle of Bute. We then journey south through the Victorian Seaside town of Rothesay en route to the magnificent Mount Stuart House.

This neo gothic structure is a masterpiece of Georgian and Victorian architecture, set within 300 acres of a labyrinth of beautiful gardens and wondrous woodland. Join a public or private guided tour and explore this marvellous house, commissioned by the 3rdMarquess of Bute, built in the late 19thcentury. The interior design was inspired by history, astrology, art and dazzling mythology.

Once you get your breath back from this mesmerising visit, we travel back to Rothesay, where we will take our final sailing of the day to Wemyss Bay. Your day will conclude heading south to Largs or Seamill, where you will spend the first night of your wonderful 5 day tour of Scotland.

Overnight stay in Largs or Seamill.

Day 2: Largs to Oban

National Trossachs Park, Luss, Loch Lomond, Arrochar Alps, Inveraray, Kilmartin Glen and Oban

Departing from the historical seaside town of Largs, (famous for the Battle of Largs 1263 when the last pitched battle between the Vikings and Scots took place), we travel north to the tantalising Trossachs National Park.

Your first stop on day two of your five day tour of Scotland, takes you to the exquisite conservation village of Luss, beside the ‘Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond’. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through this picturesque village, offering stunning views of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond, the most southerly mountain in Scotland.

We continue touring north through the amazing Arrochar Alps, where we can stop for photo opportunities at the breath taking, ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ beauty spot, between Glen Croe and Glen Kinglass.

Our next destination is the charming Highland town Inveraray. This popular tourist town, lies on the western shores of the glistening sea Loch Fyne, famous for its delicious Oysters and delicious seafood.

You may wish to opt to visit the neo gothic Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, (Chieftan of the powerful Clan Campbell). Alternatively, you can enjoy exploring Inveraray Jail, a living nineteenth century prison which has some gruesome exhibits on display. Interestingly, many convicts were held here in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, before being shipped off overseas to Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania, many dying en route before they reached their destination.

Why not indulge in some local Scottish cuisine in a traditional inn, or meander through the whitewashed Georgian streets, and browse some of the local shops.

Departing from Inveraray, we continue our fantastic 5 day Scotland tour, travelling south westerly on the magnificent scenic coastal route to the village of Lochgilphead.

Veering north from Lochgilphead, we approach the fascinating Prehistoric burial Cairns, standing stones, stone circles and rock art of Kilmartin Glen. We will enjoy a climb up the rocky crag at Dunadd, which was once the major political centre of the Kingdom of Dalriatta.

Overnight stay in Oban.

Day 3: Oban to Inverness

Oban, Kilchurn Castle, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, The Great Glen, Fort Augustus, Invermoriston Falls, Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

Relax, and take some time out to explore Oban, (little bay in Gaelic), a bustling historical town, and gateway to the isles. You can browse the boutique shops, climb up to the famous tower, or even enjoy a visit to the 1790 Oban Whisky Distillery.

Having enjoyed spending some time in the morning exploring Oban, we set off travelling North to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.

En route to our next destination, we journey west to stop for some photographic opportunities overlooking the ruins of Kilchurn Castle at the head of Loch Awe. This fifteenth century built stronghold, was home to the Campbell’s of Glenorchy.

Travelling north, we drive through one of Scotland’s great, uninhabited wildernesses, Rannoch Moor. This vast moorland occupies nearly 150 square miles of unspoilt rugged terrain. Enjoy the tranquillity and look out for red or roe deer as we approach the dramatic three sisters mountains, in Glencoe.

We arrive at the often described, ‘eerie’ Glencoe. This dramatic and overwhelming mountainous site, is steeped in clan history and the heart wrenching woes of the massacre of the McDonald clan, by the Campbell’s.  You will stop in the ‘weeping glen’ to savour the atmospheric conditions and listen to stories about the ‘Massacre of Glencoe’

After lunch at the Clachaig Inn, situated in the very heart of Glencoe, your 5 day trip of Scotland ventures through Scotland’s Great Glen. This geological fault line bisects the Scottish Highlands into the Grampian Mountains, to the South East. Gaze in awe at the scintillating scenery as we tour through 62 miles (100 km) of the Great Glen, from Fort William to Inverness on the edge of the Moray Firth.

Time allowing, you have the option to visit the picturesque Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus, Invermoriston Falls or Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness before settling at your accommodation in Inverness.

Overnight stay in Inverness or Nairn.

Day 4: Inverness to Pitlochry

Clava Cairns, Culloden and Cawdor Castle

On day four of your five day Scotland tour itinerary, we visit the incredible prehistoric burial chambers and standing stones, Clava Cairns. These fascinating chambers and standing stones date back more than four and a half thousand years.

Only a five-minute drive from Clava Cairns, we travel to Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last Jacobite Rebellion, which came to a tragic end on April the 16th, 1746. You will have time to walk on to the sacred battlefield and visit the cairns and gravestones of fallen clans. It is considered a very atmospheric site, and gives the visitor an insight on the location and conditions the clans endured that fateful day. You can discover stories from the Jacobite and Government perspectives in the Culloden visitor centre.

Leaving the eerie Culloden Moor we take the short 10-mile drive, to the stunning five star visitor attraction, 14th century Cawdor Castle, just outside Nairn.

The castle is the ancestral home to the Campbell’s of Cawdor and also holds intriguing connections to Shakespeare and one of his most famous literary works, Macbeth. Today the castle is still home to the Cawdor family.

You may wish to stroll around the three gardens, which have been beautifully maintained and worth visiting. Additionally you could explore the ancient medieval tower, built around the legendary holly tree, held within the castle.

From Cawdor, we travel through the highest public road in Britain, journeying through the outstanding landscapes of the eastern Cairngorms en route to the Victorian ‘spa’ town of Pitlochry, in Perthshire.

Overnight stay in Pitlochry.

Day 5: Pitlochry to Stirling Castle

Edradour Whisky Distillery, Loch Tay, Dochart Falls, Rob Roy Macgregor’s Grave, Loch Lubnaig, Hairy Coo’s at Kilmahog and Stirling Castle

On the morning of your final day of your 5 day Scotland tour itinerary, you can choose to stroll through the picturesque spa town of Pitlochry, or visit the smallest farmhouse whisky distillery in Scotland, Edradour, for a guided whisky tour, where you may sample some of their golden nectar.

We then travel, skirting along the side of the scenic Loch Tay, to the Falls of Dochart at Killin.

From Killin, we will take the short drive to Rob Roy Macgregor’s final resting place in Balquhidder. We will enjoy a few stories about this legendary Highland Rogue set in the most beautiful serene surroundings, before heading east to Stirling Castle.

En route to this iconic castle, we will stop off at Loch Lubnaig and Kilmahog to (hopefully) spot some hairy heilan’ coos, and have a wee tune or two on the bagpipes.

When we arrive at the courtyard, you will be enthralled by the views, the cobbled paths and the talks given by the very experienced and knowledgeable guides on site, You will experience a fascinating tour of one of Scotland’s largest and most important historic castles in Medieval times. Stirling Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, and once you have visited, you will see why it is held in such high esteem.

Having completed your fact filled 5 day Scotland tour, you will be driven back to your chosen accommodation in central Scotland.

Book Your Memorable Unique 5 Day Tour of Scotland Experience Today

We are confident you will have wonderful memories and photographs of our magical country Scotland, to return home with. Your 5 Day Tour will provide an excellent snapshot of Scotland, but leaving you wishing you had more time to explore and discover our remarkable country. To avoid disappointment, we would recommend you contact us today as the diary is filling up fast for 2020 with the unique Kilted Piper Tours experience.

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Gennaio — Dicembre

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Kilted Piper Tours

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Kilted piper tours.

Kilted Piper Tours offer unique private tours of Scotland, enabling visitors to our country to experience the culture and beauty that our scenic Scotland has to offer. We provide day/multi day trips, shore excursions, bespoke and pre-selected tours from Glasgow, Edinburgh & Ayrshire. We are a unique tour group in that we provide a bagpiper to accompany you on your excursion, who can play a selection of well known Scottish tunes at the locations gratis as part of the service. Your tour is designed to suit your needs and to ensure your visit is more than just a trip, its an experience.

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Il contenuto di questa inserzione è fornito dal relativo operatore terzo e non da VisitScotland. VisitScotland non si assume alcuna responsabilità per (1) eventuali errori o dichiarazioni errate contenute in questa inserzione e (2) per il contenuto di qualsiasi link esterno all'interno dell'inserzione ((1) e (2) insieme di seguito denominati 'Contenuto'). VisitScotland esclude ogni responsabilità per perdite o danni causati da qualsiasi affidamento fatto sul Contenuto. Il Contenuto è fornito solo a titolo informativo e non è approvato da VisitScotland.

Scotland Tours

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You're sipping a wee dram of smoky whisky as you gaze out over a glistening loch. You and your new friends compare the photos you took of the Highland Coos you just spotted in a heather-covered moor. And someone is daring you to try haggis for dinner tonight... This is Scotland. And you're on a Rabbie's tour. Maybe you’re on a 1 day tour out of Inverness, or perhaps you’ve decided to discover the Scottish islands on a 17-day’ adventure. The choice is yours. Which of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks call to you? Loch Ness and its enigmatic monster ? The endless epic views of the Highlands? The raw beauty and legends of Skye ? Let our driver-guides take you there and share stories that go deeper and connect you with the land you travel through, its history, music, and culture.

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Why you'll love Scotland

five day tour of scotland

Epic tales and terrific traditions

Scotland is the birthplace of Sherlock Holmes, the television, and whisky. So, the culture is a mix of poetry, intellect, and fun. The locals also love showing visitors a good time. So don’t be surprised when you’re invited to a Highland dance or regaled with folk tales at the local pub.

five day tour of scotland

Famed beauty

Scotland’s landscapes are more dramatic than a superhero movie, more beautiful than a three carat diamond, and older than any of your grandparents’ stories. From blonde beaches to serene mountains: you’ll discover the scenery lives up to its reputation.

five day tour of scotland

A trove of secrets

It’s no secret Scotland has fascinating history. But what’s less known, is how much of it’s shrouded in mystery. There are unexplained standing stones, untranslatable hieroglyphics, and unbelievable myths. So, keep your eyes peeled, your mind open, and your imagination switched on.

five day tour of scotland

Natural flavours

Everyone wants a slice of Scotland’s local larder. The seafood is exported to the best restaurants, Angus beef is enjoyed everywhere, and whisky is loved worldwide. And although these flavours travel far, there’s no place it tastes better than in Scotland.

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10 Scotland Road Trip Tips You Need to Know Before You Go

A beautiful blue sky over the rugged highlands of Scotland on a road trip

Scotland is a rugged and beautiful country that’s perfect for exploring on a road trip. The craggy coasts, placid lochs, and rolling hills make it a dream to discover. There are countless historic castles, iconic distilleries, and postcard-perfect islands at your fingertips.

I absolutely love Scotland. It’s stunningly beautiful and I can never get enough of the countless changing landscapes, Scotch distilleries, and warm, welcoming locals.

Having been to Scotland over a handful of times in the last decade, I think taking a road trip is the best way to explore the country. Home to just 5.5 million people, it’s a sparsely populated land, so much of your driving here will be out in the countryside. The country is just built for it.

But there are still a few things to keep in mind before you depart.

Here are 10 Scotland road-trip tips (plus my favorite routes) to help make your drive better, safer, and more fun (based on my experience at least):

Table of Contents

1. Get Travel Insurance

2. rent the right vehicle, 3. be ready to drive on the left, 4. understand roundabouts, 5. know the speed limits, 6. add in time for scenic stops, 7. download the right apps, 8. bring a paper map, 9. understand how to drive on single-track roads, 10. don’t rush, suggested routes, scotland road trip faq, get your in-depth budget guide to europe.

I never leave home without travel insurance . And I never rent a car without comprehensive insurance either.

I know, it’s an added expense. And chances are you won’t even need it.

But what happens if you do need it and it’s not there? You’ll be paying out of pocket for damage. And that could cost you thousands.

Scotland has lots of narrow, rugged, or single-track roads (more on those later) that can be tricky to navigate. Tire and windshield damage is common. Throw in the ever-changing weather, and you’ve got recipe for trouble.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to take out car insurance for your road trip. The peace of mind is worth it.

When it comes to renting a car, I recommend Discover Cars . When you book, it’s easy to add car insurance onto your purchase with the click of a button. The site makes it clear what is covered and how much it costs.

You essentially have two choices when it comes to renting a vehicle in Scotland — and choice will drastically impact your trip. Your options are a car or a campervan.

A car will be cheaper and use less gas, but you’ll have to find accommodation each night. A campervan/RV will be more money and require more fuel, but you can sleep inside the vehicle and thus save money on accommodation. (It’s not my jam but to each their own.)

Both options make for an amazing trip, so there is no wrong answer. Just keep in mind that manual transmissions are the default in Scotland, so if you want a vehicle with automatic transmission, you’ll need to specify that while booking.  

Traffic in Scotland flows on the left, just like the rest of the UK. This is the opposite of the US, Canada, and the majority of Europe (only Ireland, the UK, Malta, and Cyprus drive on the left in Europe).

If you rent a manual vehicle, you’ll be switching gears with your left hand instead of your right, which has a bit of a learning curve. (Personally, I prefer an automatic).

Old habits die hard, so if you’re used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, drive cautiously. Driving on the left can be especially challenging when you arrive at a roundabout (more on that below) or in a city. Take it slow at first, until you adjust.  

Roundabouts are a traffic circles that serve as intersections, instead of stop lights or stop signs. They force vehicles to slow down without stopping the flow of traffic. While they aren’t especially common in the US, they are incredibly popular in Europe (they reduce serious traffic accidents by upwards of 90%).

Roundabouts are very common in Scotland. And they flow in the opposite direction (clockwise) than do those in the US (counterclockwise). When approaching a roundabout, slow down drastically and yield to traffic in the roundabout until you have an opening to enter the traffic circle. All traffic flows the same direction in a roundabout.

If there are multiple lanes, you’ll need to be on an outer lane when exiting. The inner lane of the roundabout is for cars not exiting immediately.

When you’re ready to exit the roundabout, signal so cars behind you know you will be turning.

If you’re not comfortable when you arrive at a roundabout, just take it slow and signal your intentions. They are much easier to handle than you think!  

Posted speed limits in Scotland are written in miles. While this is helpful for Americans like me, travelers from countries that use kilometers will want to pay extra attention.

Common speed limits are:

  • Built-up areas: 30 MPH
  • Single roadways: 60 MPH
  • Dual roadways: 70 MPH
  • Highways: 70 MPH

These numbers are just guides, however. Always follow local signage to ensure safety. When in doubt, it’s always better to go slower rather than faster until you verify the speed. I’d write down some common conversions so you can have them handy if you get confused.  

I know a lot of travelers like to really plan out their routes and itineraries. When you only have a few days, it can be tempting to plan everything to a T (I used to do this a lot). However, there are lots of diversions to explore in Scotland, from quaint towns to scenic vistas to short hikes.

You’re going to want to pull over every few minutes for a vista, mountain, loch, or abandoned castle. The landscape is so beautiful that even the average sights are Insta-worthy. For that reason, build in buffer time in your itinerary so that, if you decide to stop or take a little diversion, you’ll have the time. I can’t recommend this enough. Sometimes, the best parts of a trip are the ones you stumble into. And you definitely don’t want to be rushing from sight to sight either, so plan to be diverted.  

I know, when you head out on a road trip, the point is to get away from your phone so you can enjoy the local culture and stunning views. However, there are lots of apps out there that can help you save money, stay safe, and save time. Everyone road-tripping around Scotland should have the following apps downloaded to their phone:

  • Met Weather – This is the best weather app for the UK. Conditions can change drastically in Scotland, so plan accordingly.
  • Google Maps – The best app for looking up directions. Make sure to download your maps so you have them for offline use.
  • Park4Night – A helpful app for finding spots to park for your RV or campervan (including free ones).
  • Flush – A helpful app for finding public restrooms.
  • Petrol Prices – An app for finding and comparing nearby gas prices for when you need to refuel.

Whenever I go on a road trip, I always bring a paper map . I know, Google Maps is easy and free, and mobile data coverage in Scotland is generally reliable. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. You never know when your phone is going to break, if your signal will be lost (likely to happen if you’re driving through remote areas), or if there will be an emergency.

Give yourself peace of mind: bring a paper road map, and just leave it in the glove box. You likely won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you have it (they make nice souvenirs after a trip too).  

Once you get out of the cities, you may encounter single-track roads. These are essentially two-way roads that only have space for one vehicle. This means that if you encounter oncoming traffic, there is no room for you to pass one another.

Fortunately, these roads usually have passing areas built into them at regular intervals, allowing cars to pull over to make room. Take advantage of these when you see traffic coming, so that you can easily pass one another.

Additionally, take it slow around corners on single-track roads. Accidents can occur here because you can’t see oncoming traffic (with whom you’re sharing a lane). So, drive slowly, and always be prepared to stop.

Lastly, keep in mind that many single-track roads are a bit rugged. Blowing a tire can happen easily, especially if you’re pulling off to the side to make room for passing vehicles. For that reason, make sure you have a spare tire and that you also have insurance coverage for your tires, just to be safe.  

While Scotland isn’t huge, there are still a lot of things see and do here. It may be tempting to rush, so you can pack more into your itinerary, but I strongly encourage you to not do so. Quality, not quantity, is the name of the game. I’ve been on countless road trips around the world, and slower is always better. That means driving less and spending more time at each stop. Do that, and you’ll be able to soak in a lot more of Scotland’s unique culture.

Furthermore, chances are you’ll be driving on a lot of smaller, winding roads here, often surrounded by ambling farm animals to watch out for. That means, for safety reasons, you’ll need to slow down and really focus on the drive. Admire the sights, leave room for spontaneous detours, and forget about rushing from sight to sight. You won’t regret it!  

There are a few popular road trip routes in Scotland. They each offer different things to see and do, and each require different amounts of time to complete. To make the most of your time, pick the route that best suits your travel interests.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the best road trip routes in Scotland:

North Coast 500 – This is probably the most popular road trip route in the country. It loops around the northern tip of Scotland, usually starting and ending in Inverness. Popular stops include Bealach na Bà, Cape Wrath, Smoo Cave , John o’ Groats, and Dunrobin Castle.

You’ll want at least five days, though seven days would be preferable. Just keep in mind that it can get busy in the summer.

Edinburgh/Glasgow to Glen Coe – Glen Coe is a picturesque valley in the Highlands that’s both a National Scenic Area and National Nature Reserve. It’s a popular spot for photographers and hikers, and a must-visit location for anyone exploring the Highlands.

Glen Coe is just 2-2.5 hours from Glasgow and Edinburgh , making it an easy day trip (though I suggest stopping overnight, so you can really soak up the views). It’s also a part of several road trip routes, including the Argyll Coastal Route (listed next).

Argyll Coastal Route – This route along the west coast of Scotland stretches for 129 miles (208 kilometers), from Loch Lomond to Fort Williams. It’s a great alternative to the North Coast 500, as it’s less popular (and thus less crowded). Popular stops along this route include the Inveraray Jail, the cairns of Kilmartin Glen, Glen Coe, and Ben Nevis.

While you could easily drive the distance in a single day, plan to spend at least three days. That will give you time to see the highlights without rushing.

Highlands Tourist Route – Cutting across the eastern side of the country, from Aberdeen to Inverness, this route is a popular choice for history buffs, as there are numerous castle and museum stops, as well as the site of the last battle on British soil, the Battle of Culloden (1746).

The route is just 116 miles (187 kilometers), but at least three days are needed to take it all in.  

A rugged shores of Scotland on a beautiful day exploring on a road trip

If you pick a shorter route or just want to do a weekend road trip to camp, three days will suffice.

What is the most scenic drive in Scotland? Some of the most scenic drives in Scotland include the Argyll Coastal Route, the entire North Coast 500, and the Highlands Tourist Route.

Is driving in Scotland difficult? While driving in the cities can be a pain, once you get out into the countryside, it is very easy. Just use caution on single-track roads and in roundabouts — and remember that you have to drive on the left!

Can you drive onto the Isle of Skye? Yep! It’s connected to the mainland via a bridge.

What is the best month for a Scotland road trip? Generally, April-October is the best time to visit. Personally, I like the autumn, as you’ll get to see the changing leaves. It won’t be as warm, but prices will be lower and everything will be less busy.

Scotland is a beautiful destination and perfect for road trips. With stunning scenery, historic sights, plentiful hiking opportunities, and possible Loch Ness monster sightings, I think renting a car to explore is the best way to experience the country. Whether you want to discover the rugged coast or weave about the Highlands, having a car or campervan will make it both possible and affordable. Just follow the tips above and you’ll be sure to have an amazing time!

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Europe!

My detailed 200+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel while in Europe. It has suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off the beaten path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Book Your Trip to Scotland: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Scotland? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Scotland for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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Small Group Tour of Scotland: A Perfect 7-Day Itinerary 2024

This tour of Scotland is an activity level 4. Click here for terms, conditions, and cancelation policies.

*Subject to change. Updated January 9, 2024.

October 21, Monday Day 1:

Welcome to Edinburgh and the start of your Small Group Tour of Scotland! I’ll pick you up at the airport and take you to our hotel. Your room will be ready when you get there if you wanna take a nap or freshen up. The rest of the day is all yours.

Meet in the hotel lobby to walk over to The Devil’s Advocate for our Welcome Dinner! Dinner and a drink are on me!

October 22, Tuesday Day 2:

After breakfast (which is included all week), we’ll be heading to the Royal Mile.

Starting at the top, we’ll spend our morning at Edinburgh Castle . Everyone will get an audio guide and I will set you all free to tour at your own speed. We’ll meet back up for Afternoon Tea (included) in the castle restaurant.

Heading down the hill to the bottom of the Royal Mile, next up is Holyrood House Palace. Everyone will have an audio guide again to take in the Palace at their own speed.

The rest of the day is free for your own plans. Personalized suggestions can be made for what to do with your time.

October 23, Wednesday Day 3:

An optional early morning hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat for sunrise is available for anyone interested. We’ll meet up in the lobby later to head out for sightseeing and an Instagram-worthy photo tour of Edinburgh.

Lunch is at your own expense but I can make several suggestions. The evening will be at your leisure.

Add on Excursion: Consider adding on an exceptional evening at The Scotch Whisky Experience. We’ll be heading over to the Scotch Whisky Experience for a whisky pairing dinner after taking their tour of how whisky is made. This will be a very fun night!

October 24, Thursday Day 4:

We’ll be heading out early for a full day on a private tour with Rabbie’s (my favorite tour company…ever).

From their website:

“You leave the cobbled streets of Edinburgh and travel past Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle.

This region is soaked in history, so sit back and relax as your driver-guide entertains you with the tales of Mary Queen of Scots, William Wallace, and Scottish folklore.

If you keep a lookout, you can catch a glimpse of the Kelpies. These 30-metre tall horse head sculptures need to be seen to be believed.

Your driver-guide takes you to their favourite stop within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park where you can grab coffee and enjoy the views.

After this stop, it’s time to get your camera ready. Because as you travel north into the Highlands, the landscapes suddenly become more provocative.

Shimmering lochs, rugged mountains, forest filled glens: it’s all so beautiful that it’s easy to forget these were once battlegrounds for fiercely territorial Highland clans.

You stop in Glencoe, one of the most famous natural landmarks in all of Scotland. This beautiful area boasts steep slopes and photogenic peaks. Your driver-guide may reveal to you the tragic tale that’s haunted this valley for over 300 years.

You then enter the glacial valley known as the Great Glen and pass under the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.

After this visual feast of mighty inclines, you arrive in Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness. At 23 miles long and over 700ft deep, Loch Ness is the largest loch by volume in Scotland.

You have around one hour and a half here. You can search for the infamous monster on a relaxing boat cruise,* wander around the shores of the loch at your own pace, and grab a bite to eat.

Meals will be at your own expense at various stops throughout the day.

October 25, Friday Day 5:

Another fabulous day out on a private tour with Rabbie’s…this time we will focus on Outlander filming locations. Rest assured though, if you aren’t an Outlander fan…you’re still going to LOVE this tour. I’ve never seen an episode of the show but I’ve been on this tour three times and its incredible!!

“You leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. First, we travel to the place that needs no introduction: Midhope Castle, known as Jamie’s lovely home Lallybroch.

We then journey through the charming countryside to Blackness Castle. It’s an impressive fortress that’s known as the ‘ship that never sailed’ because it resembles a giant stone boat. You have time to walk along the ramparts and explore the fictional headquarters of Jack Randall.

The next stop is Linlithgow Palace, otherwise known as Wentworth Prison.

Unfortunately, the palace is undergoing some refurbishment and you can’t explore the interior. But you’re still able to admire the structure and enjoy the surrounding settings.

Heading north, we journey past Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument to Doune Castle, or as it’s called in Outlander, Castle Leoch. This formidable building represents home to Colum Mackenzie and his clan in the 18th-century episodes.

Travel back in time once more as your driver guide takes you to Culross. This virtually unchanged 16th-century village overlooks the sea and poses as the fictional town of Cranesmuir.

From there, we head back to Edinburgh, where we arrive in the late afternoon.”

Lunch will be at your own expense at various stops throughout the day.

After our day trip, we’ll go to the Old Chain Pier Restaurant for our Farewell Dinner, where we can exchange stories and pictures from our epic stay in Edinburgh! Dinner and a drink are included with my gratitude to you for letting me show you one of my favorite cities in the world.

October 26, Saturday Day 6:

This morning, we’ll be packing up and heading out of Edinburgh. We’ll be making our way to Waverley Station to start our journey north. We’ll then settle in on the train for a four hour long journey watching the gorgeous countryside go by as we head into the Highlands.

Upon arrival, we’ll drop our luggage off at the hotel and I’ll take you on a walking tour of Inverness before giving you the rest of the evening with plenty of recommendations for dinner and things to do.

October 27, Sunday Day 7:

Today, we’ll be going over the sea to Skye (sorry I couldn’t help myself with another epic tour with Rabbies.)

“After an early start, you leave the city and travel along the Great Glen Fault Line toward Loch Ness. You’ll continue through dramatic Highland scenery to the west coast and Eilean Donan Castle.

The moment you’ve been waiting for, because it’s over the sea and onto the Isle of Skye. You travel up the island’s east coast through the stunning Red Cuillin Mountains to Sligachan, where you stop for a photo of the clear mountain waters.

You’ll explore some of the most famous scenery of the island at the Trotternish

Peninsula. The Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and the Quiraing are all unforgettably beautiful.

You venture to Kyleakin for a chance to view the dramatic ruin of Castle Moil or the Skye Bridge and Eilean Ban. Traveling over the bridge, you journey back to Inverness. The route you take back is different from the morning, so you get even more opportunities to enjoy the Highland scenery.

This will be a long but PHENOMENAL day. Meals will be at your own expense at various stops throughout the day.

October 28, Monday Day 8:

Sadly, we will all go our separate ways today (unless you’re coming with me to Ireland ! ) but I can point you in the right direction if you’re going to the airport or back to the train station to go back to Edinburgh and beyond.

Slàinte Mhath (cheers) and safe travels as you head home! Until we meet again!

Included in your small group tour of Scotland

  • Airport transfers
  • Seven nights in a Premier Inn
  • 7 hot breakfasts at the hotel
  • 1 entree, a side, and one alcoholic beverage or dessert
  • Sharing platters for the table at both restaurants
  • 1 afternoon tea
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Holyroodhouse Palace
  • Any entry tickets needed on day trips
  • Loch Ness and Glencoe
  • Outlander Filming Locations
  • Isle of Skye
  • Walking photo tour of Edinburgh
  • Walking tour of Inverness
  • Hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat for Sunrise
  • Cab back to the hotel after Farewell dinner
  • One guide who is a text away if you need her (that’s me!)
  • Brighter Things Amenity Kit mailed to you before the trip to make your flight more comfortable
  • For example: flying internationally if this is your first time.
  • A swag bag waiting for you in your hotel room full of fun stuff.

NOT Included in your small group tour of Scotland:

  • Public transportation or cabs used during free time Meals not included:
  • Any meal not listed above
  • Meals and snacks during day trips
  • Meals and snacks purchased at M&S for the train ride
  • Entry tickets to places suggested for free time
  • Train ticket back to Edinburgh if you choose round trip flights instead of multi-city.

*Subject to change. Updated January 9, 2024

This tour is an activity level 4. Click here for terms, conditions, and cancelation policies.

This tour of Scotland is an activity level 4. Click here for terms, conditions, and cancelation policies. *Subject to change. Updated January 9, 2024. October 21, Monday Day 1: Welcome to Edinburgh and the start of your Small Group Tour of Scotland! I’ll pick you up at the airport and take you to our hotel....






Best of Ireland and Scotland 2025

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Best of Ireland & Scotland Guided Tour

Explore Northern Ireland & Ireland alongside Scotland’s Gaelic Grandeur on This 2-Week Guided Tour

14 days, 3 countries and 22 cities


Experience centuries of rich Gaelic history as you take High-Tea at the Ardgowan Estate near Glasgow and see the Queen’s residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Glencoe offers a glimpse of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis ahead of a cruise on Loch Ness and the chance to seek out Scotland’s most infamous bonnie monster. Up in the highlands, a whiskey tasting at a distillery, to uncork tales of smugglers before the vacation embarks on a grand tour of the Scottish capital. Edinburgh doesn’t disappoint with the Royal Mile, home to Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Scottish Parliament. Not to be outdone, Dublin impresses with the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College and the millennia old Book of Kells.

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14 days itinerary trip from Dublin to Edinburgh visiting 3 countries and 22 cities Choose Your Group Size

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Tours that average 33 guests and no more than 40.

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Tours that have no more than 24 guests.


Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas. 

Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.

Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.

We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.

From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.

Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).

If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with us, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.


Customize this tour for a group >

Our specialists can design an itinerary tailored to your group's personal interests.

Call (800)-867-1002 and select 'option 4'

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Every one of our tours includes at least one conscious travel experience that supports one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Look out for yours within the day-by-day trip itinerary.

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Net-zero by 2050

Travel knowing our 4-point climate action plan will ensure net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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Your tour directly supports local communities by visiting family-run businesses, UNESCO sites and places of cultural significance.

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Every part of our business, from trip design to how we run our offices, aligns to our 5-year sustainability strategy which ensures a positive impact on people, the planet and wildlife.


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Our not-for-profit, the TreadRight Foundation, invests in nature-based solutions to address climate change.

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  27. Best of Ireland and Scotland 2025

    Explore Northern Ireland & Ireland alongside Scotland's Gaelic Grandeur on This 2-Week Guided Tour. Experience centuries of rich Gaelic history as you take High-Tea at the Ardgowan Estate near Glasgow and see the Queen's residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Glencoe offers a glimpse of Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis ...