5 star rating: Highly Recommended 69 Reviews

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  • Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Duration:  3 days (approx.)
Experience the Highland beauty of the Isle of Skye on a 3-day excursion from Edinburgh. You'll spend two nights on the Isle of Skye, see legendary Loch Ness and ride one of the world's most famous steam trains, the West Highland Line, as seen in the Harry Potter films.


  • 3-day Highlands and Isle of Skye trip from Edinburgh
  • Scenic drive through the Cairngorms National Park
  • Spend 2 nights on the Isle of Skye
  • See the legendary scenery including the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin Mountains
  • Ride the famous Hogwart Express train (as seen in the Harry Potter films) from Mallaig to Fort William
  • Choice of B&B or hotel accommodation
  • Breakfast daily

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

Leaving Edinburgh, head north to the Highlands and the forested mountains of Perthshire. We visit the quaint village of Dunkeld with its historic cathedral sitting on the banks of the River Tay. It’s then further north and west deeper into the Highlands and its stunning scenery before we enter the Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, there is time to explore the shores of Loch Ness and maybe get a chance to spot our Nessie. Visit one of the most romantic castles in the region, Eilean Donan Castle, before traveling to your hotel on the magical Isle of Skye.

Day 2 is spent exploring the scenery, history and natural beauty of the legendary Isle of Skye. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his failed rebellion, see evocative ruined castles and the eerie scenery of the rugged Cuillin Mountains. Stroll through the scenic capital, Portree, then travel to the island's north past the cliffs and rock formations of Trotternish Ridge, including the Old Man of Storr.

Day 3 begins with a tour of the island's south, named 'the garden of Skye', before taking the ferry to Mallaig. Explore this busy west coast fishing village, then ride the famous Hogwarts Express steam train to Fort William, on one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. Along the way, you'll cross the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films and the location where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the start of the failed Jacobite campaign.

The return journey from Fort William takes in the mysterious beauty of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, skirting The Trossachs and Rob Roy country before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 8pm.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

We had booked this tour with lot of excitement and now I can happily say that it was the right decision we made. We saw so many things during this tour that it will take some time to get out of it that it. The tour was well arranged by Highland Explorer Tours, I and my wife felt very comfortable with the accomodation and itenary. Our guide Andy was wonderful and it was he who made our tour even more wonderful and full of events. Very talkative person with lots of knowledge and humour, made it so good that I just have good things to talk about him. His Scottish ascent and way of explaining the things was very pleasant and we liked it very much, hats off to him for providing us with the kind of information we needed. Isle of skye, Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig and the jacobite train all were great and I am just stunned with what I experienced on this tour. I would highly recommend this tour, this agency and most importantly Andy to anyone who wish to have an altogether new experience in their life.
Anshu Srivastav
Bangalore India

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

My Wife and I had 3 days to fill in between golfing tours and chose this tour. We were mighty glad we did - this trip was a huge highlight of our holiday. The first day took us through the quaint village of Dunkeld where we stopped for a short tour of the town and morning tea / lunch. Then we headed for the highlands! The weather was overcast with misty clouds covering the tops of the hills which added to the mystique and beauty of the ever-increasingly rugged terrain. Scotland was having a very cool summer, and all the hills were still green. The roads were quite narrow, but Chris, our Tour Director was not only a great driver but also kept us well-informed about points of interest that we passed. We passed a number of lochs which had been carved out of the rock by glaciers during the last ice age. Stops for photography were made at some stunningly beautiful spots with the weather obliging by being fine but adding mystique to the hills and valleys.
Late in the afternoon, we crossed the bridge to the Isle of Skye. Soon after being on the Isle we came across a sizeable roadside waterfall caused by fairly consistent rain throughout the day. We motored on to our B and B abodes in Portree which were our resting places for the next 2 nights. Most of us stayed at Rosebank, which had a very friendly homely atmosphere.
The next morning we boarded the bus again to explore the Isle of Skye. The scenery was again breathtakingly beautiful, and around every corner was some new visual gem. We made frequent stops at points of interest to climb hills, explore and take many photos. I was never a great believer in giants or fairies, but Chris's most eloquent story-telling had me convinced by mid afternoon with further confirmation coming when he took us to any area of hills housing the fairy castle. How could one doubt with such evidence being presented!

John H
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Only need one word to describe this trip, FANTASTIC! Chris our driver/guide made the whole experience one I'll never forget. His historical knowledge was amazing, he also kept us highly entertained with stories and anecdotes. Nothing was too much trouble. I have no hesitation in recommending this trip to anyone who loves history and amazing scenery.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Heather is our tour guide and she's simply fabulous.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

An amazing tour ably led by Heather

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This was a really enjoyable experience. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and knew where the best view points were even though they were sometimes obscured by cloud. There were several high spots on the trip, the Jacobite train ride was one of them. Driving through the glens and alongside the lochs was magical. The route was well planned and included many mystical locations. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to see something of the highlands and Skye.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Tour guide excellent .tour bus inadequate for long trip very cramped. Lack of tour route info

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

My best experience in Scotland! And Tony is the most versatile, most hilarious, most amazing and most enthusiastic tour guide I've ever met. I'll definitely recommend this tour to my friends.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

We really enjoyed our trip through the Highlands. Our tour guide, Joseph, was fantastic and being a Higlander Man himself, he was able to provide information about the landscape and history of the region. Our 2 night accommodation in the Royal Hotel in Portree was great too. One of the highlights was the steam train trip and even though the weather was typical for the region cold and rainy at times it didn't dampen our enjoyment of the whole experience. Joe regularly pulled the bus over, which allowed many wonderful photo opportunities and his knowledge of the region means that we are now educated about the Scottish Highlands. Also, we felt safe due to his exceptional bus driving capabilities, under adverse weather conditions. Highly recommended. Jenny and Grant, South Australia.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

The tour was great. A big part of that was because of Heather, our tour guide. She did an amazing job of guiding us through our journey and was full of interesting information to share throughout the trip.

The first day through the highlands was beautiful. An amazing day. We stopped many times along the way for some great photo opportunities.

Day 2 was rainy and windy all day on the isle, but still fun. It's Scotland, so you've got to expect that kind of weather at some point during your trip.
We chose the Hotel option on the Isle of Skye, and it was a very nice one and very comfortable. The others in our group that stayed in B and Bs said they were good too.

Day 3 was another good day. Lots of driving, but plenty of stops along the way. And the steam train was good fun too. But if you have no big interest in riding the steam train, you would get most of the same views if you just continued along in the bus. Only choose the train ride if you specifically want that experience.

Again, a great guide made this trip really spectacular. Loved it and would do it again.
Thanks Heather, and Highland Explorer Tours.

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Tour code: 5211SKYE3D


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