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How to Visit the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh

How to Visit the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh

The mountains, moorlands, and mist-shrouded lochs of the Scottish Highlands are a photographer’s dream, and there’s plenty to see and do in the region. Scotland’s small size means it’s easy to visit from Edinburgh—read on for our top tour options.

Guided Day Trips

Maximize your time with a guided day tour from Edinburgh and visit several attractions in one day. Drive north through the Cairngorms National Park to Glencoe and Loch Ness; head west to admire Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, and Trossachs National Park; or enjoy Scotch whisky tastings in Pitlochry. For a more personalized experience, opt for a small-group tour with a maximum of 16 people.

Guided Multi-Day Tours

A multi-day tour means you can travel further afield and see more of the Scottish Highlands. Perhaps take a 2-day tour to Inverness and Loch Ness; explore the West Highlands and cruise out to the Isle of Skye on a 3-, 4-, or 5-day tour; or escape the beaten track on an extended tour to the remote Orkney Islands. Multi-day tours typically include accommodation, ferry transport, meals, and entrance fees.

Things to Know

  • The Scottish Highlands make up Scotland’s northernmost region, and the capital, Inverness, is set about a 3.5-hour drive north of Edinburgh.

  • Day tours from Edinburgh typically last between 9 and 12 hours, so prepare for a long trip.

  • Be sure to bring your camera, comfortable walking shoes, and water and snacks for the journey.

  • Some tours provide hotel pickup, lunch, and entrance fees.

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14 Tours and Activities | All Edinburgh Tours

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Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

star-4.5
Take a personalized tour from Edinburgh to Loch Ness on this day trip to the Scottish Highlands. See wooded lochs and tucked-away villages as you journey through spectacular scenery en route to Glencoe and Fort Augustus. Enjoy an optional boat tour in search of the Loch Ness Monster and traverse the picturesque Cairngorms National Park. Travel in a top-of-the-range, 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach with a small group limited to 16 passengers.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$64.15
From
US$64.15
Taking safety measures

3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour from Edinburgh, Including

3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour from Edinburgh, Including "Hogwarts Express" Ride

star-4.5
Venture to the Scottish Highlands and spend two nights on the Isle of Skye, including a steam train ride on The Jacobite of the West Highland Railway Line — aka the ‘Hogwarts Express’ of Harry Potter fame. This 3-day guided trip from Edinburgh takes you through Cairngorms National Park to regional highlights such as the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin Mountains. Visit Eilean Donan Castle, ride the ferry to Mallaig and stop at the legendary Loch Ness. Enjoy daily breakfasts during your hotel or B&B stay in Portree.
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  • 3 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$539.35
From
US$539.35
Taking safety measures

Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

star-4.5
See Stirling Castle, the Kelpies monument, and Loch Lomond on this day trip from Edinburgh. Pass Linlithgow Palace on the way to the Kelpies, said to be the largest equine sculptures in the world. Then travel through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, where you can join your guide on a nature walk, before heading to Stirling Castle for an optional interior tour (own expense). This small-group tour in a top-of-the-range, 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach is limited to 16 passengers for a memorable experience.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$52.13
From
US$52.13
Taking safety measures

5-Day Highland Explorer and Isle of Skye Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

5-Day Highland Explorer and Isle of Skye Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

star-5
Escape the city to experience wild, small-town Scotland on this 5-day tour of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh. Aboard a luxury minivan, enjoy the scenery of Cairngorms National Park, Achmelvich Bay and the mysterious Loch Ness. Visit famous sites like the Old Man of Storr and Eilean Donan Castle, hear bloody histories like the massacre of Glen Coe, and admire the dramatic beauty of the Quiraing mountain pass. Four nights in 3- or 4-star lodging and daily breakfasts included.
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  • 5 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$754.17
From
US$754.17
Taking safety measures

4-Day Isle of Skye & West Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

4-Day Isle of Skye & West Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

star-5
Immerse yourself in the majesty of northwest Scotland on a 4-day tour of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh. In a small group, witness some of the world’s most dramatic scenery from spiny cliffs at Neist Point to must-see Scottish landmarks like Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Ness, and hear tragic tales such as the massacre of Glencoe. Three nights in 3-star lodging and daily breakfasts included.
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  • 4 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$554.58
From
US$554.58
Taking safety measures

2-Day Loch Ness and Inverness Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

2-Day Loch Ness and Inverness Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

star-4.5
Discover the Scottish Highlands on a leisurely 2-day trip from Edinburgh that includes overnight accommodation at a hotel or bed & breakfast. Visit two of Scotland’s most popular spots—Loch Ness and Inverness—during scenic drives among pine forests, dramatic castles and charming villages, with an optional boat ride on Loch Ness. Travel in a top-of-the-range, 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach with a small group limited to 16 passengers for a personalized experience with your informative guide.
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$226.69
From
US$226.69
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh

Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh

star-4
This full-day Scottish Highlands tour takes you on a scenic drive from Edinburgh to the fabled Loch Ness. The journey travels by coach across Rannoch Moor to Glen Coe and through the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, where you’re treated to a locally made picnic lunch. Take an optional boat ride on the legendary loch in search of ‘Nessie’ before the return trip over the Drumochter Pass and through the forests and rivers of Highland Perthshire, with views of the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$63.30
From
US$63.30
Taking safety measures

Highland Lochs, Glens and Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

Highland Lochs, Glens and Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

star-4.5
Experience Scotland's rugged countryside on a Highlands and whisky tour from Edinburgh. In a small-group, visit Scotland’s hilly Lowlands and forested Highlands, where you can spot waterfalls and migrating salmon in the River Braan. Stop in quaint towns for refreshments and optional whisky tastings, and soak up the stunning landscape — a mosaic of verdant glens, loch, and rivers. Along the way, learn the often dark history of this wild region.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$58.81
From
US$58.81
Taking safety measures

5-Day Orkney & Scotland's Northern Coast Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

5-Day Orkney & Scotland's Northern Coast Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

star-5
Experience the mystic and striking beauty of the remote Orkney Islands on this 5-day excursion from Edinburgh. In a small group, journey with your expert guide through the rugged Scottish Highlands, John o'Groats and the wind-swept Orkney archipelago. Enjoy views of the mysterious Loch Ness and Ben Hope Mountain, villages steeped in Viking mystery and landmarks like Stirling Castle and Lamb Holm Italian Chapel. Spend four evenings relaxing in 3-star accommodation.
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  • 5 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$825.44
From
US$825.44
Taking safety measures

West Highlands, Lochs and Castles Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

West Highlands, Lochs and Castles Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

star-4.5
Witness dramatic landscapes and majestic castles on a full-day trip through Scotland’s West Highlands from Edinburgh. With a knowledgeable guide, soak up stunning scenery from the rugged Breadalbane Mountains to The Trossachs National Park. Visit the villages of Luss and Inveraray, and hear tales of famous Scottish heroes and rebels. Movie buffs will love the visit to Doune Castle, film site of Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$60.15
From
US$60.15
Taking safety measures

Day Trip to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park with Optional Stirling Castle Tour from Edinburgh

Day Trip to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park with Optional Stirling Castle Tour from Edinburgh

star-4.5
Soak up Scotland’s majestic countryside on a full-day tour of Highlands from Edinburgh. Aboard a comfortable coach, stop at Loch Lomond, the largest inland body of water in Great Britain. Wind through Trossachs National Park, spotted with moors, lochs and jutting peaks, and on to Stirling Castle, coronation place of Mary, Queen of Scots. Explore the grounds or purchase an optional tour of the castle’s opulent interior rooms. On the return journey to Edinburgh, the tour stops at the Kelpies. The world's largest equine sculptures dedicated to the horse-powered heritage of Central Scotland, designed by Andy Scott.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$54.07
From
US$54.07
Taking safety measures

Whisky and Highland Waterfalls Day Trip from Edinburgh

Whisky and Highland Waterfalls Day Trip from Edinburgh

star-4.5
Appreciate the splendor of Scotland on a full-day whisky and waterfalls trip from Edinburgh. Wind through the Scottish Highlands and marvel at the majesty of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, then visit the Glenturret Distillery for a tour, whisky sampling and lunch (all payable on site). Discover the centuries-old tradition of Scottish whisky production, then cap off your tour at Hermitage forest and the village of Dunkeld.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$59.34
From
US$59.34
Taking safety measures

Scottish Highlands Day Trip and Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Scottish Highlands Day Trip and Edinburgh Military Tattoo

star-4.5
Soak up the spirit of Scotland with a full-day trip through the Highlands and an evening viewing of the world-renowned Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Wind through the Highlands and marvel at the majesty of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, then visit a local whisky distillery for a tour and tasting. Head back to Edinburgh for guaranteed entrance to the Military Tattoo –  an exciting light show and military performance on Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade.
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  • 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$192.53
From
US$192.53
Taking safety measures

4-Day Magical Mull, Iona & West Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

4-Day Magical Mull, Iona & West Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

star-5
Swap the lively streets of the capital for the deserted wilderness of the Hebrides Islands on this action-packed 4-day tour of west Scotland from Edinburgh, including accommodation. Explore historic landmarks like Stirling Castle and Inveraray Castle; discover the Neolithic ruins of Kilmartin Glen and admire the startling beauty of Loch Lomond. Finally, cruise out to the three isles of Mull, Iona and Staffa (optional), where you can tour a whisky distillery, visit Celtic heritage sites or spot whales and dolphins around the coast.
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  • 4 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$611.60
From
US$611.60
Taking safety measures


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